Thank You, Mr. President! (seriously!)

President Obama comes in for a fair amount of criticism from me here at PTL, for good reason: there’s a lot to criticize.

But contrary to what I know some people suspect, I am not now, and have never been anti-Obama. Other than the fact that there’s plenty about this administration’s actions that deserves criticism, the other reason there’s perhaps a higher ratio of criticism to kudos around here when it comes to the President is that I’ve always thought it’s the job of citizens (not just journalists) to hold their leaders accountable to what they said they’d do – or hinted they might do. It’s citizens’ jobs to push like heck for the things they want to see from their government, and to make it known when those things aren’t accomplished.

In business, there’s an old bit of wisdom which has it that a happy customer will tell – MAYBE – their spouse or best friend about their good experience, but a customer you upset or give short shrift to will tell EVERYONE. To see the truth of this, one only need visit the consumer reviews section of any commerce web site that allows such things. And the same general human tendency is present in politics too: when an elected official does what they’re supposed to do, it not as big news – or as celebrated – as when they fail to do so.

But, whether in politics or business, when something truly great is done or achieved, people take the time to notice it, and to mention it. And notice is exactly what I did today when I read this (video at link, too!):

With the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta was able to win a raffle that gave her the first off-the-ship kiss, a Navy tradition, with her girlfriend of two years, Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlalic Snell

When the couple began dating, they had to hide their status under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. The 17-year-old policy was repealed in September. On Wednesday, in front of Gaeta’s entire ship and a cheering crowd, the two women made history as the first same-sex couple to share the coveted kiss.

Damn. That’s just awesome. Thank you, President Obama.