• Gay BlogAds

  • Chris Tweets

  • « Something rotten in the Senate | Main | The questions get more pointed »

    July 23, 2007

    Karl Rove should be flattered

    Posted by: Chris

    At least he should if it's true that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Because Rove-ian (Rove-like? Rove-ish?)  is the only way I can describe how some gay Democrats react when a fellow 'mo dares to suggest that The Party could do more and do it faster on gay rights.  Faced with criticism, however reasoned and based on facts, these partisan apologists go immediately into a shoot-the-messenger mode that would make Karl and his GOP cronies proud.

    That's what has happened in response to my recent blog post, "Something rotten in the Senate," which questioned the strategy of attaching the gay-inclusive hate crimes bill to the massive Defense Department reauthorization, which was itself burdened by the Democrats' effort to force a withdrawal from Iraq.

    On an invitation-only list serv for politically active gays, two prominent gays affiliated with the party apparently took me to task, albeit in a way that denied me the opportunity to respond. From the way the posts were described to me, one even made light of my gay bashing in Amsterdam and only credited my opinion as worth listening to because of it. This is sadly typical; anyone criticizing Democrats must be some sort of closet Republican. Of course my Republican past — now a decade behind me — only opens that door.

    Except in this case, I anticipated that favored straw man, and answered it in my post:

    And just to get this out of the way (for the 100th time): By criticizing these Democrats, I am not saying Republicans are better. Of course they're not. And anyone who suggests differently should have their head examined. But the question is whether our energy is better spent complaining about conservative Republicans we’ll never change or pressing "friendly" Democrats who actually control the fate of gay rights legislation. Even our friends in Congress are politicians first and will take the path of least resistance. We need to make action more attractive than inaction for them. Look no further than the anti-war movement’s unrelenting pressure and the way Democrats have responded.  Only we have the votes on our bills that they do not.

    All too often, gay Democrats generally say they like the idea of activists pressing the party on our civil rights, but then they go immediately into defensive-apologist mode when it happens. You would think, as sophisticated as the gay rights movement has become, more of our "leaders" would welcome the good cop-bad cop approach — and would relish the "good cop" role since they play it with such gusto and they're certainly not out protesting in the streets.

    Another prominent gay party apologist apparently claimed on the same listserv that we should be satisfied that gay rights legislation has at least been introduced, as if that was some sort of victory. Except any member of Congress can introduce legislation, and in 2007, with overwhelming pubic majorities favoring workplace rights, hate crime protection, gays in the military and more, we deserve actual votes on our bills.

    HRC and the Democrats are claiming that the DOD authorization was a good strategic vehicle for the hate crime bill because President Bush wouldn't veto it. That strategy makes little sense if the same legislation also includes the Iraq withdrawal, which he surely would veto. It makes no sense, that is, unless the plan is to delay a hate crimes vote until later this year, putting off pressure to act on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the Uniting American Families Act and any number of other gay rights bills currently languishing.

    Of course hate crimes legislation isn't more important than Iraq or other issues of national security. But Congress has already passed dozens of bills on a staggering variety of topics, and there's no indication that taking up hate crimes would absorb more than a moment of the Senate's time. The fact that Harry Reid and other leading Democrats won't take that time says it all.



    TrackBack URL for this entry:


    1. Andoni on Jul 23, 2007 11:57:48 PM:

      You know, it’s way past time that all of our issues should have been addressed and passed. I mean, it’s a joke that ENDA was introduced in 1994 and still isn’t law. It’s a national disgrace how the gay community is treated politically in this country in comparison to other first world countries. All this indicates that something is very wrong in the way our community has been operating. We should fire all our leaders, all our organizations and all our strategists and start over with a new plan. This has been a 13 year debacle to nowhere. It’s pretty simple. When what you have been doing is yielding no results, something is wrong and requires new thinking. (Isn’t this what we keep telling Bush about Iraq?) We need new leaders, new plans, and a new direction. Andoni in Bangkok.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Jul 24, 2007 12:48:26 AM:

      "On an invitation-only list serv for politically active gays, two prominent gays affiliated with the party apparently took me to task, albeit in a way that denied me the opportunity to respond. From the way the posts were described to me, one even made light of my gay bashing in Amsterdam and only credited my opinion as worth listening to because of it."

      What a surprise, that.

      ( http://www.washblade.com/2007/6-8/news/national/10721.cfm )

      Or,in other words, you're getting the same treatment that these people and their lackeys like Rogers and Aravosis have been giving gay Republicans and conservatives for years.

      Even more ironic is that what gives them the assurance to do this to you is that you've already told them you'll vote for Dems anyway, since "Republicans are worse".

      And that ties directly to Andoni's point; since 1994, the gay community has made it clear to the Democrat Party that they'll support anything, no matter how homophobic, as long as it's anti-Republican.

      It should be no surprise that that's exactly what it's gotten.

    1. Sean on Jul 24, 2007 12:45:02 PM:

      I'm with you Chris on this one. You are doing the right thing. It is long past time that gay people get treated with respect and get laws passed.

    1. just ranting on Jul 24, 2007 3:10:56 PM:

      In the words of a not-so-great American President "You are either with us or you are against us". I find it personally degrading when a candidate for the president of the US says "I believe in civil unions but I don't believe in marriage for homosexuals" Fuck You, because little is being done for a path to civil unions either, at least not on a federal level. All the democrats who "in theory" support gay rights are hypocrites and are only looking for the "gay vote". Sadly, in reality, they don't have to fight for our votes because it is given to them on a silver platter.

      Then you have the majority of complacent homosexuals who are quite content to sit in gay bars or cruise online. This is their idea of freedom. For the most part I find that a large percentage of homosexuals don't actually even care about marriage. They see it as quaint. Well, this may have been my stance on gay marriage until I hit a road block. No Federal rights ie. immigration.

      Sorry for ranting and raving. It is just that I am sick of it all. Chris I agree with mostly everything you have written. Personally, I have come to the conclusion that our current strategy for fighting for equality is not working. I think it is time to actually fight. For instance, I think that it might beneficial if homosexuals abstain from voting until a party is willing to truly represent us.

      Also, I am sick of the gay stereotype that is shoved down our thoughts. Gay communities only play up this stereotype. Not all homosexual males are twinks, queens, or bears. We will not be taken seriously until these stereotypes, that we perpetuate, are destroyed. Chris, you pointed this out with the media coverage of pride events.

      Anyway, my point is that, as sad as it may be, I think it is time to use different strategies to acquire our rights. Gay rights in the US have been stagnant for too long.

    1. Wes on Jul 24, 2007 9:57:43 PM:

      As usual, Chris is right.The only thing I have disagreed with him on is the hate crimes legislation. And if I had been beaten to hell and back by fag bashers maybe I would think differently.

      Sad Truth of the Day: Politicians do not lead. They follow. The Democrats have done nothing for us. Civil Unions. What the heck is that? Does that mean they will sponsor legislation in the first 100 days to give us the same rights as other citizens? I would NOT hold my breath. Even the sorriest president of my lifetime has said he is for civil unions. Remember that Kodak moment? It sure got us far.

      So we are in a quandry. Vote for the liberal spenders that talk alot and do nothing for us. Or vote for the neo-fascists Republican big spending war mongers that appoint Alito and Roberts to the Supreme Court thereby voting against your rights until your hindquarters are dirt. Hmmmmm. This is hard. It is called the 'lesser of two evils' for sure. And there are no apparent changes on the horizon.

    1. Amicus on Jul 26, 2007 3:20:38 PM:

      Well, luckily, I've somehow lived this long without the need to be on any "prominent listservs". It's not good to be bashing people behind their backs, God knows, so I hope that's a one-off thing.

      Anyway, after consideration, I think the defense authorization bill is a o.k. place to put the legislation in the current political environment. (It's also been there before). With a Democratic/democratic President, the H-Crimes Bill would become law on its own. With Bush, instead, attaching it to the defense bill will make it hard for him to veto.

      ND30, your position is 'logically' defensible, but I'm not sure how much it is practically true. If the issue is Hate Crimes, then show me how the Dems have been stuffing the gays? It's the other way around. They have been advancing legislation at almost every turn.

      Being a "bad cop" is fine, so long as people know you are being a bad cop. Otherwise ... you're just 'a bad', I guess. If someone thinks that the 'gay agenda' is selling itself short this week, this month, or this year, on some calculus, then let them make a case on why more can be sought, without sinking the ship or lampooning everyone. With luck, such a case might actually include something more than just shouting "Equality Now!"

      The worst collective result of all this unfocused complaining is right on display, here, with this: "I think that it might beneficial if homosexuals abstain from voting until a party is willing to truly represent us."

      Recall that this is more or less how Nixon got elected. Humphrey wasn't pure enough, so a swath of people 'sat out' and, bingo! There are unintended consequences (including, in that case, six or seven more years of *escalating* war...)

      As for the complaint about 'our votes being taken for granted', here a thought: stop worrying about your own damn vote and start worrying about other people's votes. The "game" will be won persuading *other people* of the cause, not by gays voting one way or the other themselves, most likely, or pushing national candidates to the Left.

      Last, on civil unions, there IS a civil unions bill in Congress. Unfortunately, it is tied in with immigration, which is just about as 'hot' a topic as the war, now (not the least of which is that the GOP machine has actually successful in moving the poll numbers on immigration). If I had to push the Dems on an issue, I'd consider looking at the topic of immigration.

      Separately, to be fair, if I had to push the GOP on an issue, it would be DADT. I'm not sure I'd do it completely through the courts, however, as the Log Cabins appear to be doing...

      And since I'm at it, something about looking at how the 'leadership' is measuring up.

      Right *now*, I'd like to know how the "Legacy of Service" tour is going, in terms having an impact on people's opinions. I'd like to know, using real before and after polling, whether people are getting persuaded and if enough people are hearing the message.

      For instance, maybe there is not enough press coverage. Maybe there need to be media buys in the locations before these forums are held. Perhaps Gill's Foundation, or others, could support events by coordinating coverage, if the HRC is unwilling to 'place big bets'.

      In the end, what I'd like to see is a concerted National, local, inter-group effort to actually move opinion on some issues in highly tactical markets that have national consequence.

      "Equality" will follow, legislatively and otherwise, from changing lives and expanding views.

    The comments to this entry are closed.

    © Citizen Crain - All Rights Reserved | Design by E.Webscapes Design Studio | Powered by: TypePad