Dan makes a rather interesting argument. While on smaller issues, it matters greatly if the Democrats are in charge instead of the Republicans, on the big issues, the GOP rarely rolls anything back, and the Democrats rarely roll anything forward. And he’s right.
Here’s what happens to the gays and our issues when Republicans win the White House or control Congress: not a whole hell of a lot. There’s no progress on our issues under Republicans—all forward momentum ceases—but things don’t get appreciably worse.* We have to endure small outrages and insults, put up with slights, and be vigilant about legislative malice, but we don’t see a big rollback of previously secured rights. The Bush administration got everything it wanted out of Congress but it didn’t get the FMA or a ban on same-sex couples adopting. Eight years of Bush meant no progress at the federal level on our issues—lots of bullshit at the state level in the form of anti-gay marriage amendments (most of them orchestrated by some straight guy named Ken Mehlman)—but no ground lost.
When we open our wallets for Democrats—and vote for them—the hope is that electing a Democratic president and Congress will result in significant progress on our issues. That’s not just our delusional hope; that was an explicit promise made to us by Democrats. Once the Democrats were in power, everyone from Obama on down promised us, we would see real and significant progress on our issues: an end to DADT and DOMA, action on ENDA, a president willing to use the bully pulpit to aggressively defend our rights. But if, as we’ve seen, working to elect a Democratic president and give Democrats control of Congress results in no progress on our issues—no action on DADT, ENDA, or DOMA—then why the fuck should we bother?
If we get no progress under Democrats (just empty promises meant to excite their base), but no regress under Republicans (just empty threats meant to excite their base), why should we waste our time—and our money—worrying about who’s in charge