What the hell has gotten into Obama?

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 · 26 Comments »

Obama has been such a mealy-mouthed unfeminist schmuck for so long that this morning’s news item simply astonished me:

obama6417880_370x278Asked if he would consider nominating a judge to the Supreme Court who does not support abortion rights, President Obama said today that, like presidents before him, he is not applying a “litmus test” on that or any issue.

But he went on to say that he wants “somebody who is going to be interpreting our Constitution in a way that takes into account individual rights, and that includes women’s rights. And that’s going to be something that is very important to me.”

“Part of what our core Constitutional values promote is the notion that individuals are protected in their privacy and their bodily integrity, and women are not exempt from that,” the president added. He said he is “somebody who believes that women should have the ability to make often very difficult decisions about their own bodies and issues of reproduction.”

What the hell? I mean, it’s great to hear the President say that, but considering that he just signed legislation that prevents women from getting medical insurance for those “issues of reproduction,” and given his previous nonsense about women needing to consult with their husbands and pastors on those “very difficult decisions,” etc., etc., etc., this is a little startling.

Perhaps I’m overly skeptical, but my general feeling with Obama is that he’s always pandering to somebody. God knows what the man himself really thinks.

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26 Responses to “What the hell has gotten into Obama?”

  1. anna says:

    Hell, I don’t care what he thinks as long as he does something decent for women’s rights at last.

    I’m hoping for Diane Wood as the next Justice. I’ll settle for Elena Kagan, as she seems to have decent views on women’s rights and gay rights, despite her crappy views on “national security” and such.

  2. Nell says:

    Talk is cheap. I’ll be impressed if he spends some real political capital by making a truly bold choice (such as Diane Wood or, bolder still, Pamela Karlan) for the next Supreme Court justice.

  3. TheNewAtheist says:

    He has to say that for political reasons, he will nominate someone who is pro-choice.

  4. gxm17 says:

    It could be that some of the women’s rights groups have been pressing him. But I agree that, as usual, Obama is assuming that his words will speak louder than his actions. On the heels of his gender apartheid EO it is unimaginable that anyone would fall for his BS but the say-one-thing-and-do-another jig has played out quite well for him so far. And, honestly, I think it’s the only dance he knows.

  5. bluelyon says:

    And then there is this:

    OBAMA: You know, the — my view on — on abortion, I think, has been very consistent. I think abortion is a moral issue and an ethical issue.

    I think that those who are pro-choice make a mistake when they — if they suggest — and I don’t want to create straw men here, but I think there are some who suggest that this is simply an issue about women’s freedom and that there’s no other considerations. I think, look, this is an issue that people have to wrestle with and families and individual women have to wrestle with.

    The reason I’m pro-choice is because I don’t think women take that — that position casually. I think that they struggle with these decisions each and every day. And I think they are in a better position to make these decisions ultimately than members of Congress or a president of the United States, in consultation with their families, with their doctors, with their clergy.

    So — so that has been my consistent position. The other thing that I said consistently during the campaign is I would like to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies that result in women feeling compelled to get an abortion, or at least considering getting an abortion, particularly if we can reduce the number of teen pregnancies, which has started to spike up again.

    And so I’ve got a task force within the Domestic Policy Council in the West Wing of the White House that is working with groups both in the pro-choice camp and in the pro-life camp, to see if we can arrive at some consensus on that.

    Now, the Freedom of Choice Act is not highest legislative priority. I believe that women should have the right to choose. But I think that the most important thing we can do to tamp down some of the anger surrounding this issue is to focus on those areas that we can agree on. And that’s — that’s where I’m going to focus.

    Nope. Not holding my breath.

  6. Swannie says:

    One of BOs more endearing traits (dripping sarcasm alert ), that I identified very early on during the primary race , was his ability to talk out of both sides of his mouth at once .
    see illustration :

    I think the picture is that of a medieval carving , which gives us insight into how old the ancient art of double talk might be …

    Add that trait to … enjoying hearing the sound of his own voice, a penchant for glib, insincere, hot air of his own creation…and the ability to lie as easily as any profligate con artist.. heck, any quick trick just slips off his slippery tongue easier than water off a frogs back….

  7. votermom says:

    It is impossible to be overly skeptical these days, when it comes to politics.

  8. Delphyne says:

    He will do just the opposite of what he said – just like all of his other “promises.” His talk is as empty as most everyday people’s wallets are these days.

  9. hm says:

    Talk is cheap especially with 0bama. Watch what he does.

  10. Northwestrain says:

    Best description EVER of 0bowma:

    mealy-mouthed unfeminist schmuck

    hm is correct– watch what the creep does — ignore anything that comes out of his lying mouth.

  11. octogalore says:

    It sounds good, but let’s recall Obama is a word parser par extraordinaire.

    What is he really saying here?

    1) He is not applying an abortion rights litmus test (putting him to the right of Clinton [probably, both Clintons] on this issue)

    2) He wants someone who feels individual rights include women’s rights – could anything be more vague? What, exactly does this mean? Basically, nothing. Who would claim individuals don’t include women?

    3) Women should be able to make decisions about our bodies and reproduction – again, what does this mean? Does it mean once we make those decisions, we get to have them executed at any time? Well, he doesn’t say that. Or, we can make them, but someone else then decides about execution? And it says nothing about being covered financially for reproductive needs under our healthcare plans.

    It’s a bunch of mumbo jumbo that sounds good. But to those of us with the dubious blessing of being attorneys, it’s very easily subject to many interpretations. “Look. To be clear, what I said was…”

    He’s also said he wants DADT repealed – hope we aren’t going to hold our collective breaths here either.

  12. sister of ye says:

    It’s just like his SOTU talk about DADT. He’s hoping people will hear the words and be too busy to notice that he’s not actually doing anything about it.

    I’d also guess that the party is starting big-time fundraising for the mid-terms and too many women are refusing to pony up the bucks. The last time a Dem fundraiser called – someone had the nerve to write a script about the need to protect women’s reproductive care from the Evil Republicans – I laughed hard, said have a nice day and hung up.

    P.S. Not that I believe Republicans aren’t on the wrong side re women’s reproductive rights. Just that in this case it was a straw man when the Dems were doing such a good job of betraying women themselves.

  13. ugsome says:

    You always have to read the fine print with Obama. He knows perfectly well that his remark that the next justice should support women’s rights will be repeated endlessly and thrown back in the face of doubters. The declaration that there will be no litmus test shows he won’t lift a finger to back his assertion up. Typical of him.

  14. quixote says:

    I’m with the commenters who figure this is just to get some of those female volunteers back out of the woodwork.

    Big0 MO: sweet talk, screw over; sweet talk, screw over; rinse and repeat forever.

  15. Adrienne in CA says:

    I have a friend, a psychologist, who has sort of remote-diagnosed Obama based on what we think we know of his life story. She sees him as continually playing out feelings of abandonment by his father and then his mother (who he blames primarily, while idolizing the absent father), first for leaving him with his grandparents while she pursues her education, then later when she sends him back to Hawaii while she continues life with her new family and subsequent career ambitions. Her theory is that unresolved feelings of rejection translate to a deep hatred of his mother — who he apparently saw very little of as an adult, even when she was dying of cancer — and a pattern of acting out his revenge by promising support, then doing the opposite. He does this to all supporters, but particularly, it seems, to women. Alice Paul and Hillary are two who were very helpful to him that he later betrayed. His closest confidants are all men.

    Run of the mill jerk, or major head case? Who can say. It would be pretty ironic to have put up with 8 years of Dubya and his daddy issues, only to wind up with Obama and his mommy issues.


  16. Michele Braa-Heidner says:

    This is just more of the same of Obama saying one thing on camera to the public and then catering exclusively to wall street, the banks and the corporations who funded his presidency. This reminds me of what he said about his health care legislation and also the “Making Homes Affordable” program that, when you get down and dirty into it in reality, it doesn’t really exist. The same thing goes for the “Health Care Reform”. The actual reform was as anti woman as you can get with the non funding of abortions, so Obama has to tell the people (especially the female voters) the opposite to convince them that they really didn’t get screwed with his health care reform. I absolutely abhor this kind of bull shit and I hope people don’t fall for it!!

  17. myiq2xu says:

    I believe that women should have the right to choose. But I think that the most important thing we can do to tamp down some of the anger surrounding this issue is to focus on those areas that we can agree on.

    “I’m pro-choice in theory, but in practice I’m not going to do anything to support a woman’s right to choose.

  18. Sophie says:

    Swannie called it: speaking out of both sides of his mouth, yet again.

    President Obama said today that, like presidents before him, he is not applying a “litmus test” on that or any issue.

    Actually, the only president I ever heard say that (litmus test) was GWB. Let’s all take a moment to feign shock.

  19. Grace says:

    I agree with Adrienne of CA about Obama having mother issues. But this also makes me think that his relationship with his wife is more like one of a parent and child. I base this on comments he has made (sorry I don’t remember the sources)in the past, such as “If I mess up Michelle would kick my butt” or “She is the rock of the family.” Michelle Obama saying of Barry that “he stinks in the morning, his socks..bad breath…etc.” (unconscious hostility?) And even the devil himself saying in his book “Audacity of Hope” that Michelle was angry at him because all the parental duties had fallen on her, while he was just interested in his political career.

    Moral of the story: This guy is a self-centered, narcissistic, and childish man who thinks that the whole world and all the people in it, revolve around him. My theory is also that Obama is not really emotionally attached to ANYBODY. He may “like” some people, but only if they make him feel good, serve his means, and feed his image of himself. If they ever cross him or make him look in an unfavorable light, he just tosses them out with no guilt or remorse of any kind.

  20. K.A. says:

    I’m going to be pilloried for this, but I honestly believe he is a closet homosexual, and his problem with women stems from that self-loathing. In my experience, I’ve noticed a lot of closet gay guys make the nasty little comments that Obama tends to make (like “girly dog” in that Walters interview), whereas misogynist straight men tend to express their contempt in different ways.

    Realizing he’s a closeted gay guy has made me much more forgiving of him in a way. Besides his male privilege, he really had it rough in almost every way growing up. His ascendancy to the presidency is surely a phenomenal example of compensatory motivation (you see this in overachieving people who have lost a parent early life, but on top of all his other oppressions he experienced–I think it’s an extraordinary case).

  21. littleisis says:

    Dunno. I suspect he’s talking out of both sides of his mouth, as usual.

    btw, if anyone is interested, I need writers for my blog.


    (Sorry Violet, don’t mean to promote myself here, but everyone knows this is the best Fem blog on the interwebs. I could never take any of your readershop away.)

  22. Sandra S. says:

    If Obama is talking up women’s rights, you can bet he’s about to screw us par excellence. A straight white republican libertarian for SCOTUS, perhaps?

  23. Nessum says:

    … he really had it rough in almost every way growing up.

    Being abandoned by both parents surely must have been a very traumatic experience with lasting effect. But otherwise he seems to have had an extremely priviledged and protected upbringing and life.

  24. m Andrea says:

    If Obama is talking up women’s rights, you can bet he’s about to screw us par excellence. A straight white republican libertarian for SCOTUS, perhaps?

    Oh gawd, Sandra’s right!

    Violet, if you would be so kind, I could use some brief talking points to slip into conversations with any woman who is considering supporting this two-faced back-stabber. TennesseGuerillaWoman had a clip recently about something else, and it struck me that he was gearing up his campaign rhetoric.

    What has he promised to do that he has actually done? What has he promised to do but didn’t? Most of that “medical insurance reform” doesn’t come into effect until 2012 or 2014, and so people won’t find out how screwed they are until after the election — but his supporters will be touting that “achievement” all over the place.

  25. Big Fat Feminist says:

    A straight white republican libertarian for SCOTUS, perhaps?

    Bingo. This is my guess. Straight white MALE republican libertarian, don’t forget.

  26. Rangoon78 says:

    Great article on Kagan (H/T Glenn)–

    How could she have brokered a deal that permitted the hiring of conservatives but resulted in the hiring of only white faculty? Moreover, of the 29 new hires, only six were women. So, she hired 23 white men, 5 white women, and one Asian American woman. Please do not tell me that there were not enough qualified women and people of color. That’s a racist and sexist statement.  It cannot be the case that there was not a single qualified black, Latino or Native-American legal academic that would qualify for tenure at Harvard Law School during Elena Kagan’s tenure.  To believe otherwise is to harbor troubling racist views.

    A supposed positive of nominating Kagan is that [like candidate Obama] she does not have a paper record. The obvious political benefit is that there is very little to serve as fodder for one’s political opponents. On this issue I think the Democrats may be making a[nother] long-term mistake. A confirmation hearing is an opportunity to present and defend a vision of constitutional decision-making and of judging to the country. This is what G. W. Bush was able to do with now Chief Justice Roberts in particular and Justice Alito to a lesser extent. Bush and Roberts together presented a conservative vision of the Constitution and the role of the judge. And they defended that vision with great success. Roberts’s umpire metaphor continues to serve as the predominant narrative for the role of the judge.

    By contrast, [nominal] liberals and progressives have [again] failed to offer and defend an alternative vision. A reason for that failure is their refusal to take these opportunities to offer an alternative. Instead, we are likely to get a nominee with no paper record and who is willing to say whatever will appease the conservatives on the judiciary committee in order to gain confirmation. We will then argue why the Court is moving so fast to the right.