This is not a substantive policy post. Obama is as good on gay rights as we can (yet) expect any national candidate to be. It is not on his other policy stances either -- he's good on lots of issues like making college more accessible to all, full of shit on FISA and the Fourth Amendment, and elusive on the war. But he's a 1000 percent better than the alternative. I'll be working to get him elected.
No, this is about how he feels to me in the realm where we queers are popularly supposed to reside -- the realm of sexual energy, animal magnetism. And on that level I find Obama troubling. Let's see if I can explain why.
No President in my lifetime has struck me as having any great allure. Ike was granddaddy. Kennedy lost me when the Boston accent popped out of his mouth (my pure prejudice). Nixon looked like he had a rod up his butt and didn't like it. Ford and Carter were blurs. Reagan was a phony B movie actor -- I actually saw him up close in 1966 wearing stage makeup while playing Governor among student protestors. Daddy Bush was what preppy guys grow up to be. Clinton always reminded me of Leisure Suit Larry; turned out I wasn't far wrong. Bush Junior is a type I've seen a lot when running road races: talented enough to make it to the front of the middle of the older men's rankings; dumb enough to think that moderate prowess justifies strutting like a little peacock. (There are lots of running guys, talented and not so, who enjoy encouraging the less talented runners, unlike these turds.)
Obama's something else again. He reeks charisma, sexual energy. The Bag posted the image above from the Obama-Clinton rally at/for Unity. Click on it to see the picture full size. (Use your brower's "Back" button to finish reading this post.) The Bag comments:
Well, yes, that is Obama's style. He romances his supporters, and the merely curious, and uses his charm which is at root sexual, to sweep us off our feet.
The energy is wonderful, vital, enveloping. There's an element of dominance in it, as there is in most (all?) sexual coupling. He's courteous; this is not bullying, it is sheer energy. It is strong, beautiful -- and I don't trust it.
Perhaps that's partly because I'm a dyke -- I don't want that energy projected at me from a man, even one I like. Perhaps it is because I'm old (older at least) -- I've seen too many instances of people doing dumb things in pursuit of passion.
But also, I wonder -- does he think he can turn on the Obama charm and bring his detractors to his side? I'm sure he has more than once. But how real is that for a President? What will he do when it doesn't work? How will he govern? Will he be a deflated balloon when charm fails? Or will he find other ways of being in the world that don't depend on personal charismatic salesmanship?
We hope we get to find out.