At some point, HRC – rather, HRC’s members, board and big donors – need to ask themselves what exactly they got in return for constantly providing cover for the President’s abysmal record in handling DADT, ENDA and DOMA.
The window of pro-gay opportunity for this presidency, certainly this term, will close in three weeks. After that point, there won’t be any significant (pro-gay) legislation to pass the Congress in years (last time we lost the Congress it took 12 years to get it back). And at the rate we’re going, we are not going to get DADT, ENDA or DOMA. So why is HRC President Joe Solmonese, yet again, proclaiming how great President Obama has been handling this issue at the very time that real gay civil rights advocates are trying to pressure the president into getting off his ass and doing something?
Democratic lawmakers are happier with his handling of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” [No they’re not]
The House passed a repeal earlier this year, [it’s not a repeal] but it’s stuck in the Senate. The repeal is part of a massive defense bill, and most Republicans want at least two weeks of debate on that. However, Senate leaders hope to limit the lame-duck session to three weeks, and there are lots of items on the agenda.
The president has been working behind the scenes, calling key lawmakers and having Pentagon officials do so, too. [Obama has reportedly called Carl Levin, who was already on board. Who else did he call? The story says “lawmakers” – who did he call? And who have the Pentagon officials contacted in favor of repeal – name one wavering lawmaker any of them has called.]
“We’ve checked one big box, that military leaders support the policy,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. [No they don’t. Mullen is supportive, while Gates is the reason repeal is on death’s door, because he just had to have his study, and it just had to be completed after the elections. And the rest of the joint chiefs are being a royal pain.]
They’ll check another Dec. 1, when the Pentagon is to finish its study on repeal.
Gay rights groups laud Obama’s effort. “He set out his priorities on this early in the year, and look how far it’s come. It just wasn’t always public,” said Joe Solmonese, the president of Human Rights Campaign.
That is absurd, and Solmonese knows it. The President never had a secret plan, and still doesn’t. Unless that secret plan involved:
Putting the vote off until after an election most of us thought we might lose, then swooping in at the last moment, when the pro-repeal groups already almost had the votes for full repeal, and suggesting instead a compromise that doesn’t give us full repeal. Never, ever, calling wavering Senators – ever – even now. But instead calling the WNBA champs while DADT was going down in flames during the September filibuster. Solmonese would like you to believe that he’s so inside, he’s the only one to know the plan. Well he’s not that inside. He doesn’t even go to regular meetings at the White House – we hear it’s because he got yelled at by some senior official after he once showed some balls and criticized Obama over the Rick Warren fiasco. Once that happened, the story goes, Solmonese now refuses to attend key White House strategy meetings ever again (lest he be forced to actually defend his own community and risk getting yelled at again).
It’s pretty pathetic that HRC is now claiming that there’s been a secret plan all along. And what’s HRC’s secret plan for getting DOMA repealed and ENDA passed in the next three weeks before Congress goes home and we’re screwed for years to come? What’s the secret plan to get UAFA and the federal employees benefits bill passed? For getting the hospital visitation memo, which can easily be ignored by the next president, put into law?
We had the best opportunity in history of making significant legislative progress on DADT, DOMA and ENDA – and a host of other gay rights issues – and HRC, President Obama and the Democratic congress blew it.
The White House has no plan, and it’s why you don’t hear them talking about DADT at all any more. As for HRC and Solmonese, the time has unfortunately come to go over their heads, and take the case to their members, their board and their major donors. HRC and Solmonese have sadly become a serious obstacle to achieving our civil rights. In the same way that FOX News is nothing more than the propaganda organ of the GOP, HRC has become little more than the propaganda organ of the Democratic party – a party that has become supremely disinterested in our civil rights.