Hope? Sure. Change? Meh.
Although the First Circuit Court of Appeals had dismissed Pietrangelo's lawsuit, a separate ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a parallel case gave Pietrangelo a foundation for appeal to the nation's high court, based upon the Ninth Circuit's reasoning that a 2003 U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down a Texas anti-sodomy law opened the door for review of other cases where laws effectively target homosexuals.
In Pietrangelo v. Gates, however, the nation's highest court chose not to review the First Circuit Court decision against Pietrangelo, deferring to the will of the Pentagon, which is resistant to any erosion of its anti-gay policy. Perhaps more surprising to those who still believe that Barack Obama is a progressive, the White House, itself, prevailed upon the Supreme Court in the case, despite its public claim that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is under review.
From CNN.com comes this note from the Associated Press on the Supreme Court's decision in Pietrangelo v. Gates:
"The Obama administration had asked the high court not to take the case, and White House officials had said they would not object to homosexuals being kicked out of the armed services."
The President who has described the standing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy as "abhorrent" and "counter-productive" is at the same time prevailing upon the United States Supreme Court to protect that policy from judicial review, citing the well-worn argument that the armed forces need "group cohesion" and "discipline," neither of which, according to the White House, now, can be accomplished by the best military in the world if gays and lesbians are soldiers.
The gap between Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's high-minded, progressive rhetoric and President Obama's operational policies is becoming a veritable chasm that only the most ardent of his supporters can deny. In matters ranging from his fight to prevent release of detainee abuse photos to his penchant for appointing indisputably incompetent insiders like former New York Fed Bank President Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary, Mr. Obama has displayed a willingness to play by the rules of the Beltway establishment many who voted for him specifically and earnestly expected him to vanquish.
It remains to be seen whether or not the new friends and supporters Mr. Obama is courting with his non-progressive, authoritarian, and conservative appointments, decisions, and policies will be sufficient to replace those among his previous supporters who finally, before the next general election, come to figure out the difference between soaring rhetoric and concrete actions.
For his own part, the President may very well find that currying favor with entrenched, conservative, establishment forces within the military, economic, and political communities yields only a meager cache of new friends among those who have run Washington for too long. His far greater chance of a second term will be from the prospect that the liberals and progressives he is now ignoring and thereby alienating will have become too accustomed to the abuse of their trust to think they have any option other than to continue supporting the man in whom they placed so much hope and got in return only so much facile lip service. On the other hand, perhaps by 2012 the progressive community will be able to appreciate that a deep shadow cast by bad governance is not remedied by bad governance of a shadow made lighter by the false sunshine of unfulfilled assurances.
The Dark Wraith will surely mince no words in persistent reporting on the difference between a good President and an establishment authoritarian cloaked in the fineries of empty rhetoric.
Wrote Peter of Lone Tree:
Wrote kelley b:
Wrote Dark Wraith:
Wrote Faraway Eyes:
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