Friday, May 11, 2012


The toxic division in the United States has reached the treasonous shore of the social issues. The rise of the Tea Party troglodytes is pushing the country to the right, obliging the advocates of, inter-alia, same-sex marriage not to remain idle. The gloves are off.

President Obama has endorsed same sex marriage. The measure is still not valid erga omnes as long as it remains an issue for the states. It has to be expected that the Supreme Court will get involved in the end. The political risk for the President is real since the measure might have a hard landing in his own backyard.  African Americans and Hispanics tend to be conservative. Still, the winds of social change can no longer be ignored. The voices of evangelicals and bishops thunder now, after having remained silent during decennia of child abuse. They give us the opportunity to witness the rush to defeat reason and justice by some established wrongdoers or Fox News addicts.

Obama, not unlike Montaigne, with whom he has a lot in common, is more observant than aloof. The T.S Eliot-reader from university days remains an intellectual, more seduced by nuance than by bangs. His oratory, which is generally lauded, tends to sound hollow when the issue doesn’t lend itself to more philosophical speculation.  As soon as the nitty-gritty comes up the natural narcissist becomes a salesman, who has to look outside, modus operandi which goes against his temperament, geared to take stock of himself.  Only the larger issues seem to haunt him. It takes him time to arrive at closure. Some argue that he was pushed by his vice-president to “rattle the chains that where broken years ago” with respect to gay rights. This might have been the case but the President is the type of person who arrives at his final decision mostly on his own terms, as was the case with the operation Bin-Laden. Therein lies, by the way, some of the roots of his disconnect with Congress. He will “signal” what he is up to, rather than choosing for proximity, as LBJ did so well.

His decision was certainly a difficult one to arrive at.  He may have made his re-election more difficult in doing so.  He felt he had to make a move now, for reasons more connected with destiny than opportunity.  He must know that he will be accused of defending “lofty” issues rather than bread and butter.  He might lose some, but most voters, as impatient as they might have been with the pace of performance, will still vote for him, whatever the context.  In acting the way he did he made a pact with history, opting for vision, foregoing the second term obsession which generally prioritizes what is convenient in the short term, foregoing the ambition to reform for generations to come. He promised change. He made it, again.

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