In a 45-minute meeting at the White House on Wednesday, a group of five progressive bloggers sat down with President Obama and individually asked questions pertaining to the current political climate looking towards the impending midterm elections, and the administration’s outlook on issues that are concerning voters.
The group included Joe Sudbay of AMERICAblog, John Amato of Crooks & Liars, Oliver Willis of OliverWillis.com, Barbara Morrill of DailyKos, and Duncan Black (aka Atrios) of Eschaton, all of whom were invited at the request of the White House.
Joe Sudbay, from AMERICAblog, covering issues of paramount concern to LGBT voters, took the opportunity to quiz the president on “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” as well as same-sex marriage and Prop 8 in California.
Sudbay, in questioning the president, referring to the recent DADT court battle in California and the administration’s decision to appeal the injunction order ruling by U. S. District Court Judge Virgina Phillips, which declared the law unconstitutional, said:
“Which you know, there is a certain amount of disillusionment and disappointment in our community right now.”
President Obama replied:
“On ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ I have been as systematic and methodical in trying to move that agenda forward as I could be given my legal constraints, given that Congress had explicitly passed a law designed to tie my hands on the issue.
“And so, I’ll be honest with you, I don’t think that the disillusionment is justified.
“Now, I say that as somebody who appreciates that the LGBT community very legitimately feels these issues in very personal terms. So it’s not my place to counsel patience. One of my favorite pieces of literature is ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail,’ and Dr. King had to battle people counseling patience and time. And he rightly said that time is neutral. And things don’t automatically get better unless people push to try to get things better.
“So I don’t begrudge the LGBT community pushing, but the flip side of it is that this notion somehow that this administration has been a source of disappointment to the LGBT community, as opposed to a stalwart ally of the LGBT community, I think is wrong.”
Read the full text of Joe Sudbay’s interview with the President, and the full transcript including all the blogger’s questions, at AMERICAblog.