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    June 24, 2008

    Strategy Question: What leverage do we have?

    Posted by: Kevin

    Obama_2 Gay Democrats, along with their party, are moving to unite themselves behind the certain nominee, Senator Barack Obama.  The Human Rights Campaign quickly endorsed Obama after he secured enough delegates to win the Democratic nomination, and many leading activists are calling for the gay community to unite behind Obama.

    In this environment, I want to pose a strategy question for reader responses:

    Say we unite behind Obama now and end all debate over his candidacy in June 2008 -- and he wins the presidency.  If Obama then subsequently pulls back from gay issues once in office due to political considerations, and fails to deliver on his promises, what leverage will the gay and lesbian community have over him?

    Let's hear your opinions.

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    Comments

    1. Gary on Jun 24, 2008 3:10:05 PM:

      Unlike Bush.... Barack's past is what has cemented his core values.... He has to leave a leagacy of accomplishments.. Ponder the thought? What if? Once he's in as President, he does more for gay rights than he can now say as a candidate.... He is the best chance in our nations history for implementing full equality... He's the right age (our generation), the right color (understands equality), the right voice (a passionate with conviction)

      On McCain...His day in the sun has past...During one of his TV spots, if you turn off the volume on the TV not to hear the "be told to say anything to get elected" bumbling rhetoric, then you can see the true picture of an elderly man confused and dazed in a crowd, without passion or conviction, who really doesn't want this job...

      Kevin, the choice is so evidently clear.....

    1. Colin on Jun 24, 2008 3:38:01 PM:

      What leverage does any interest group EVER have in holding a politician to his promises once elected? (1) Withhold votes or contributions for re-election, (2) Actively campaign for or contribute to the competition, (3) Public humiliation, and that's all I can think of right now. Do I think these would be effective against Obama? Probably not, because he seems to be very good at navigating political obstacles, and would likely still get re-elected, and avoid humiliation over our issues.

      That said, I don't think we need to be overly concerned about Obama back-tracking on promises. Public support for our issues is much greater than it was for Clinton in 1992, so I don't think the political fire will burn so hot if he moves to roll back DADT and/or DOMA within his first year or two. And even if there are set backs, I'm comfortable that he will be honest with us about the political realities rather than try to flip flop on the issue and justify it. I'm not expecting him to fix EVERYthing, but I think he'll fix what he can, and be honest about what he can't...

    1. Bob Miller on Jun 24, 2008 3:56:40 PM:

      Gays will have the same recourse that Vietnam veterans have, few if any. But wouldn't that be case if gays and vets helped elect McCain, and he turned away for whatever reason? I'm risking words, money, and blood if need be for Senator Obama. I'm a Vietnam veteran and a registered Republican.

      Even though I have spent every dime I could get my hands on since 1976 campaigning against the Bush dynasty, as a Republican, I do sincerely apologize for George W. Bush, the worst president in the history of this country. And I hope that after he leaves office, our country will once again make understanding, principles, and character its first line of defense because as we now know, jet fighters and aircraft carriers are no match for hatred.

      To all who want to follow McCain into WWIII, you just might want to reflect on the fact that he didn't do very well as a warrior. In my opinion, he should be in Leavenworth for snitching on two of his POW buddies who were planning an escape. One of them was killed and the other put on brackish water and rice cakes for a month. I'm a Vietnam veteran and I'd vote for Ho Chi Minh before I would John McCain.

      I suggest that Democrats remember what the neo-conservatives did to Max Cleland and John Kerry. I believe it’s time they harvested this crop of thorns they have so mercilessly sown. I don't know what you guys are going to do, but I'm going to feed this bunch who have disgraced our country and devalued our dollar some of their own medicine; and I'm not going to use a spoon, I'm going to use a shovel.

    1. Father Faggot on Jun 24, 2008 5:45:10 PM:

      Not much I would say.
      But then, what leverage do we have if we split over him?

    1. mike/ on Jun 24, 2008 6:10:51 PM:

      i guess we would have to just consider our votes as having been recorded as "present."

    1. tristram on Jun 24, 2008 9:45:47 PM:

      We have no leverage at all if Obama loses, which (call me a cock-eyed pessimist, but I really believe it) is a serious possibility. Given the alternative (which, for those of us who can't yet admit it, IS NOT Hillary), all of us queers of whatever political or sexual hue should get our butts in gear and do whatever we can to get Obama elected. Then we can worry about the rest.

    1. Allan on Jun 25, 2008 2:50:58 AM:

      I've been an Obama supporter since his 2004 address to the Democratic convention. I don't know why the gay community wouldn't unite behind the candidate with the most LGBT-positive agenda of any major-party presidential candidate in US history, especially when the alternative choice has made it abundantly clear that he opposes any advancement of LGBT civil rights.

      What debate do we need about his candidacy? Wasn't that what the 17 month torture of the primary process was for? If you still have questions or need more information to make your choice, then you failed to do your due diligence as a citizen.

    1. Bradley on Jun 25, 2008 10:11:41 AM:

      Leverage? You want leverage? Become friends with Richard M Daley, Mayor of Chicago. Support his pet projects and minions. Mr Obama will never cross a friend of da Mayor.

    1. Kary on Jun 25, 2008 11:08:49 AM:

      Leverage? Probably none. So, let's all vote for the homophobic geriatric Republican candidate. (Those Republicans.....you know how they talk and trash us, but when the rubber hits the road....they always deliver.) PLEASE!
      There is no choice for gay people in this election.....get out your pom-poms and get him elected.....he is clearly the best opportunity we've ever had for equality and civil rights in a presidential candidate. But for the "conservative" faggots.....and the Log Cabin Douchebags....go ahead...vote for the old fart. Idiots. Oh, and thanks for George Bush....he was truly special. Idiots.

    1. Double T on Jun 25, 2008 11:47:10 AM:

      Leverage.
      Well, we do have some. We have the promises he has made.
      We can call him out on it(that's not to say we won't call him out)

      Now. If we back McCain, what leverage do we have?
      NONE. He has promised us NOTHING and he'll make good on it.

      Being a Gay Republican must be like being an abused wife and worrying about the love of her man and remaining faithful to the institution of marriage.

      "what that dear, time for my evening beating?"

      LEVERAGE........my ass.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Jun 25, 2008 7:28:12 PM:

      Well, we do have some. We have the promises he has made.
      We can call him out on it(that's not to say we won't call him out)

      Sort of like, "You broke your promise to us, but we're going to continue to support you and vote for you."

      From Obama's standpoint, there are two choices; alienate other larger groups of voters and jeopardize his candidacy by giving the gay community what it wants -- or ignore his promises to the gay community to try to win those other groups of voters with the full knowledge that he will lose no gay votes or support whatsoever.

      Given that the road behind the Obama bus is already strewn with carcasses of people Obama said he would never disown, it should be obvious that the man's promises of lifelong fidelity mean little to nothing. But then again, he is also no doubt aware that he's dealing with a community that can, as it has in the past, spin anything a Democrat does into "pro-gay" and "gay-supportive".


      I don't know why the gay community wouldn't unite behind the candidate with the most LGBT-positive agenda of any major-party presidential candidate in US history, especially when the alternative choice has made it abundantly clear that he opposes any advancement of LGBT civil rights.

      Probably because some of us are people who happen to be LGBT rather than the reverse -- and who, from that perspective, have found Obama severely wanting in truthfulness and competence and overly dependent on exploiting his race to avoid having to deal with either point.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Jun 25, 2008 7:32:04 PM:

      But then, what leverage do we have if we split over him?

      Interestingly enough, evangelicals and religious people seem to get quite a bit of affirmation from -- and leverage over -- the candidates.

      Probably because they've made it clear that they will vote for a person of the "wrong" political affiliation if they feel themselves to be more in sync with his or her ideas. Since their votes aren't guaranteed, they have to be fought for and won.

      However, since the gay community's votes are guaranteed, neither side sees any particular reason to fight over them.

    1. Allan on Jun 25, 2008 9:17:09 PM:

      Breaking news: McCain held secret meetings with Patrick Sammon. Now that word has gotten out, how long before Grandpa Simpson throws the LCR under the Straight Talk Express?

    1. Allan on Jun 26, 2008 12:06:57 AM:

      And, ND30, because some of us are people who happen to be LGBT rather than the reverse -- we have found Obama's critics severely wanting in truthfulness and competence and overly dependent on exploiting his race to avoid having to deal with their own biases.

    1. Gary on Jul 1, 2008 5:28:42 PM:

      This quote from Barack clearly shows his intent on the issue:

      Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, who previously said the issue of gay marriage should be left up to each state, has announced his opposition to a California ballot measure that would ban same-sex marriages.
      In a letter to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club read Sunday at the group’s annual Pride Breakfast in San Francisco, the Illinois senator said he supports extending “fully equal rights and benefits to same-sex couples under both state and federal law.”
      “And that is why I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states,” Obama wrote.
      Obama had previously said he opposes same-sex marriage but that each state should make its own decision.


    1. Terrance on Jul 5, 2008 12:57:08 AM:

      What leverage do we have with, say, John McCain? I can't imagine with his record that he has all that many gay donors.

      I think we'd do better with a political system that had more than two political parties. We need at least, say, four.

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