Gay marriage – check! Dream Act kids – check! Now, call off your DEA dogs, Mr. President.


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In case you’d been wondering why the nation has felt a little bit like a party lately, well, there’s a couple of things.

But do a couple of things add up to a pattern?  Not quite, but they do make 2/3 of a pattern.

And as we sit waiting for the “third shoe to drop,” we celebrate President Obama finally remembering his … no, I wouldn’t say “base.”  Obama’s base is pretty much the middle class.  But these are large groups of good people who’ve experienced and continue to experience injustice in America, and have traditionally voted Democrat, and have been promised some justice by Obama.

In order to deliver on even a fraction of those promises he’s had to bypass the anti-American, Republican-controlled Senate and House, which we coulda told him but it took him a while to wrap his head around that fact.  And of course he’s doing it all now in Pander Season, but hey whatever it takes.

There are the gays (and the people (like me) who care about them.)  True, he HAD barely managed, over the shrieks and moans of John McCain, to end Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and he did instruct his DOJ to no longer defend the monstrous, unconstitutional DOMA.  (No worries, Speaker Boehner’s brigade of church ladies stepped into the breach, using my tax money and yours!)

But of course what gobsmacked the nation a couple months ago was his coming out in favor of marriage equality, after what was evidently a bizarrely long but sincere “evolution.”  As MSNBC’s Alex Wagner paraphrased Gil Scott Heron, “The evolution was televised.”  Those who blame credit Joe Biden for pushing him prematurely to this place give short shrift to LA Mayor Villaraigosa, who a month earlier had many Democratic mother hens wringing their hands over his insistence on passing a resolution in favor of marriage equality at the upcoming Democratic Convention, in (!) North Carlina.

Speaking of the Tarheel State, it seemed especially gutsy and counterintuitive for the Prez to come out on this the day after North Carolinians triple-killed gay marriage – but not to my brother Crab!  The way he saw it, there were now no Southern states without laws specifically forbidding same-sex marriage – no new places for Karl Rove to use that kind of wedge issue to bring out the knuckle-draggers as he did in 2004.  I was thinking, maybe they could bring back the Shar’ia Law Scare?

Obama’s coming out was a bigger deal than I realized, even though it had no policy implications.   California’s Proposition 8 wouldn’t have passed if it weren’t for its backers successfully portraying Obama’s squeamish neutrality as opposition to gay marriage.  With the Leader of the Free World’s support, all the opposition suddenly looks like a paper tiger.  With manly blacks like Shaq, Jay-Z, and Charles Barkley following in his footsteps, the ‘phobes look more effete and pathetically outdated than ever.  Gay marriage is coming – WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT!  (apologies to Gavin)

And then the next good people the President remembered were the mostly Latino, frequently-undocumented immigrants (and the people (like me) who care about them.)  Do you remember what happened when we tried to pass the DREAM Act a year or two ago?  The Senate Republicans filibustered it.  That’s right, they filibustered the smallest, most acceptable little bit of immigration reform which was originally a Republican idea – allowing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented young people who were brought to this country through no fault of their own, had no criminal record, and were either pursuing college or serving in the military.  That’s 800,000 promising young Americans that all Senate Republicans wanted to keep illegal and in danger of deportation.

I hope everybody remembers that, forever – the Senate Republicans filibustered the DREAM Act.

So now, President Obama has done all he legally can to remedy the situation, and simply announced that he will not utilize the scarce resources of his Justice Department persecuting these young people.  And there was a great rejoicing.  And Republicans squealed like stuck pigs.  And Romney doesn’t know WHAT to say, he wasn’t prepared for this.  This executive order is only a temporary fix, these kids better hope Obama is re-elected and enough Democrats get into Congress to make it permanent.  LATINOS, get your nalgas out to the polls this fall – you really let us down earlier this month!

So, who’s next?  A lot of us have a good idea who should come next:  the pot-smokers, medicinal and otherwise (and the people (like me) who care about them.)  One of Obama’s biggest broken campaign promises was that he wouldn’t sic his justice department on pot sellers and users in states – like California – that have legalized the harmless and healing herb.  And his thugs have carried this betrayal through with gusto – showing up in any town like Costa Mesa that’s run by freedom-hating tyrants who invite them in, kicking down doors, brandishing machine guns, trashing places, always focusing not on the dispensaries that break rules, but the ones that are most politically active.

Well, this is the next step Obama needs to take if he wants to regain our trust - stop these raids immediately, with apologies and with reparations!

This is an even bigger deal than the true medical need for cannabis, and bigger also than the right of people to get high on this natural weed while other folks are enjoying the much-more-dangerous alcohol and tobacco.  Keeping this drug illegal is but one more way our government keeps power and control over us, makes the most innocent among us criminals, keeps the prison-industrial complex booming, empowers and enriches REAL gangs and criminals.

Complete this trifecta NOW, Mr. President, if you want to regain the respect of liberty-loving Americans.  We’re waiting…


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist in Orange County. Performs regularly with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem, and at regular concerts at the Huntington Beach Central Library.