Obama DOJ Refusing To Defend Bans on Spousal Benefits for Gay Soldiers

Holder said DOJ would no longer defend the provisions in Title 38 which prevent same-sex couples who are legally married from obtaining benefits. He said that Congress would be provided a “full and fair opportunity” to defend the statues in the McLaughlin v. Panetta case if they wished to do so.

Yeah Republicans. Attack active duty troops in an election year. Have fun with that.

The same Republicans who, on national TV, booed an actively serving soldier via satellite from Iraq?

Sure. Them being stupid enough to do it is just a bonus.

The Obama administration is going full-on liberal for the election, I take it.

I sure hope they don’t defend those statues.

Yeah, just pointing out that they haven’t been squeamish so far.

The Obama administration is going full-on liberal for the election, I take it.

Isn’t this just standard procedure so far? They did the same thing with DOMA.

Yeah, it doesn’t seem extra. And the DOJ is theoretically independent of the President on most matters, anyhow. I can’t really imagine that Obama’s reelection campaign had much input on a decision like this.

I can’t imagine this is any part of the Administration’s re-election plan.

Stirring up the cultural conservatives is the last thing they want to do.

Pretty sure the GOP has looked at the way they were able to shape the Contraceptive vs Catholics debate and thought that is the way to attack Obama this cycle. They’ll try a similar spin on this.

Anyway, good for the DOJ.

Oh, I disagree. This is clearly an extension of the DOJ’s DOMA stance, and the DOJ’s DOMA stance was clearly co-ordinated with the White House. Yes, the DOJ is theoretically independent in certain ways, but there’s no way they’d go forward with such a politicized ruling without at least tacit and probably overt coordination and approval.

Becaue what people seem to not be noticing is that the administration won on the contraceptive thing, according to polling. Social issues are a loser of the Republicans this election cycle. I think the Administration would be absolutely happy to have the Republicans continue to look bigoted, intransigent, and overly concerned with people’s private lives. Sure, it fires up the conservative base, but it kills them with women and independents.

Oh I think they are coordinated for sure, I just don’t think it is any part of an election stratergery.

Becaue what people seem to not be noticing is that the administration won on the contraceptive thing, according to polling. Social issues are a loser of the Republicans this election cycle. I think the Administration would be absolutely happy to have the Republicans continue to look bigoted, intransigent, and overly concerned with people’s private lives. Sure, it fires up the conservative base, but it kills them with women and independents.

I’d like to think the Administration is acting from conviction, but even if cynical, its the right thing, so good.

Much of the energy from the 2004 election came from Evangelicals who were energized by the looming godless threat of Gay Marriage, it would be fantastic if the same issue worked against them this cycle.

I think the exact opposite is true. Stirring up cultural conservatives to come out against contraception and soldiers makes said conservatives look so far out of the mainstream, they can’t see the mainstream from there. This is a terrific wedge issue for the Democrats.

If the Republican party is going to let their crazy theocrat wing run the place, I applaud the Democrats for forcing it out in the open, in terms that will make most people think twice.

I agree - the Obama administration has played the long game from the start, on this and so many other issues - taking every opportunity to wedge.

Contraception
Gay Soldiers
Hispanics (on the Supreme Court)

I’d go so far as to say that the Obama administration is cynically bringing these issues to a head now - and has plenty in reserve for the election.

I wish I shared your faith in the long term strategy of the Administration, but they are clearly in the right on this issue.

But, having energized Evangelicals in crucial states like Ohio is something the Obama team would probably like to avoid. Remember, the 2004 election turned on just those type of voters who had no enthusiasm for Bush, but turned out to vote when Rove cynically put Anti-Gay measures on state ballots.

While I suspect Obama is sympathetic to Gay Rights, he has so far been content to let gay issues play themselves out and let public opinion shape his policy. That being said, critical mass has been, or is about to be, acheived and they will be able to take advantage of the GOP’s bigotry, while being on the right side of history.

I just think it is a happy accident rather than a Master Plan.

The GOP starting up another culture war would be the best election present Team Obama could get.

Independents this year only want to hear about the economy. They don’t prioritize social issues (and in any case Independents favor gay marriage 60-40.) Public acceptance of gay marriage is growing by leaps and bounds each year. There’s absolutely nothing for the GOP to gain by doubling down on its opposition to it.

Of course, being complete idiots this year, they will anyway. Go, Rick Santorum, go!

Hispanics (well one) on the Supreme Court is a wedge issue?

I bet they even let her and Judge Thomas eat at the same lunch counter as the rest of the judges.

Sure, unless the spin becomes “Obama is starting a culture war!” Which is, I assure you, how FOX et al will spin it.

Dude(tte)s, the GOP base is pretty depressed if you look at the primary numbers, and the very core group this issue would stir up is one of the most wary of Romny as well as one of the strongest bases the GOP has. The Southern Strategy was so effective precisely because the country was progressing radically on race in those years. Even if you thought his campaign could coordinate this somehow, it’s really obviously bad politics. In the long run, reacting heinously to this could hurt the GOP, but not this election - at least, not obviously.

That aside, I wonder if anyone here can actually speak to the procedural feasibility of a decision like this being primarily campaign driven. It seems extremely unfeasible to me for a lot of reasons, but I don’t know for sure.

Evidently, it’s about Marco Rubio and a potential split between people of Cuban vs Puerto Rican descent. Rubio opposed Sotomayor. There was an article on Politico a few days ago covering it:

There is nothing Obama could do that would change Fox’s spin to anything other than what it is now. If he eliminated all taxation on the wealthy while simultaneously curing cancer and convincing the Chinese to give up on Taiwan, he’d still be black. Also, muslim.

More importantly, he’s a Democrat. And that still doesn’t explain how that would make it good politics. FOX isn’t irrelevant.

Also, I didn’t know FOX or their viewership had any strong unified position on Taiwan. If Obama expresses one, then I’m sure it’ll immediately have always been the opposite of whatever that is, though.