How close to being terrific?

Obligatory post on Obama’s declaration of support of same-sex marriage:

Many have said that though this is not an outright success because the law is yet to follow (much later, but more Americans are working on it), it’s still a risky, brave, essential step for progress. The word “evolve” has been used everywhere, rather appropriately, because change takes time. At the risk of being painfully obvious, I feel like this is how we are going to remember Obama-a stepping stone that helped us “evolve” toward a more just society. The first African-American President. The first President to win a Nobel Peace Prize during his first year in office. The first President to openly embrace Muslims, nominate the first Hispanic and third woman to serve on the Supreme Court, and to kill a terrorist. Wait a second, that last one doesn’t really fit in that category. Now if he could only be as decisive about ending drone strikes as he was about that navy SEAL operation….

Robert Scheer argues that once again, Obama has become “tantalizingly close to being terrific”. He didn’t shut down Guantanamo, continued the costly ventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, and didn’t quite put a dent in the deficit. And let’s not get forget about the atrocities of Occupy Wall Street. Maybe he shouldn’t have made some of these rather specific promises, but people like Glenn Greenwald point out that just as it is intelligent to critique a politician for what he has done wrong, it does not make sense to dismiss his accomplishments. In this moment, we seem to be moving forward for a marginalized group of Americans. This doesn’t magically change Obama into a better politician or human being, but it marks progress.

I can’t say it any better than this commenter on Greenwald’s blog:

“No, today’s statement doesn’t get any legislation passed (at least, not directly), and the states’ rights hedge is a copout. But the important takeaway is that marriage equality opponents, and homophobes in general, can no longer dismiss gay civil rights as a fringe concern, and the notion that we can be separated from the fabric of American life and be shunned, buried, and forgotten is officially dead.”

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