Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The LGBT Community Doesn't Get It

What I have to say, many of you won't like. Sorry. Politics are ugly, and having worked on issues in the sausage machine (v. those that have not), I think I have a bit of a different spin on the recent events.

Perhaps no one will like what I have to say. Fine. But you need to understand that just because you don't like it doesn't make it less true.

And before I continue, let me make my position as clear as possible: I support equal rights for ALL people. I support legal marriage for lgbt+ people, though I prefer ALL marriages be civil contracts with a "marriage" being considered a religious affair--an event by choice in whichever church (or other entity) you prefer.
1. Recently there has been a monstrous fight over the Department of Justice (DOJ) response to litigation where DOJ supported the horrid Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) because DOJ responds to federal suits against federal laws. You may not like that, but tough. That is what DOJ does. And if we begin to have DOJ NOT respond to federal litigation in defense, we become the past Bush Administration. What if DOJ doesn't defend court opinions on global warming, huh?

And NO, that is not different. They do or they don't.

As to the language used in the DOJ DOMA brief, it was horrid. Worse than horrid (you get a good sense of it here, in a previous post, where John Dean and Rachel Maddow discuss it). This is the same vile language spewing forth from every rabid right wing literalistic Christian lap dog that you can name, bar none. It's even worse than many. It makes Rick Warren look like a near Saint (and if you have been here for long, you know what I think of that man).

I do NOT want a current DOJ like the old DOJ. I don't want the Gonzales support for torture manipulated by the president. If the DOJ screws up, I want the president free to replace it's head and others. This means, as Obama has said he would do, a presidential hands-off on DOJ. And I concur.

Does that mean that Obama shouldn't hear from hell hounds like me that his DOJ head went WAY beyond in its language in defending? No. It MEANS that you call not only Obama on the point, but the offender himself. It means you register a blistering response, as I did (did you?), to DOJ's outrageous language and seek redress. And if you haven't, do it. And if you won't, then go away. You are politically irresponsible and useless.

No one is here to help you with your issues. DO IT yourself. It doesn't come from the cosmos.

Does it mean Obama needs to be blamed for this? NO. He cannot micromanage an entire nation. Get over it. Stop whining and start doing something about it (see above para).

2. Regarding the US military "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (Clinton.. and believe me it could have been worse) policy, it's a ridiculous, harmful, and seriously unwise policy from a US Security standpoint that has NO place now or in the past not to mention all the other crap that goes with it. In polling (even by the most conservative of credible pollsters which Gallop is), the American public agrees.

So, why hasn't Obama just used his pen (which he actually CAN do in this case) to undo it? Good question and I, like Dean in the above cited MSNBC vid with Maddow, doesn't know either. There may be political reasons that exist we all are unaware of. If so, I don't have a clue, factually, what it (they) might be.

But I do know that often, politically, you let rest one thing for another so something moves through realizing that you only have 3-5 issues that you can realistically support and get through at one time. Given the NO Party's (read GOP) reaction to everything Obama and Democratic Party, it is not impossible to imagine that that some horse trading is going on not only within the Democrats but aside it with the GOP.

Has it ever occurred to you that if health care is passed, more might be likely to accept other things the pres does given the enormous support for national health care of some kind (which is well above polling for ALL other issues and clearly the issue of the day, and on the other hand, if not gotten by the public, your issues are moot entirely for the public)? Are you out there supporting this and advocating for it? If not, you should be, it's good politics.

Then, of course, you have the military structure to deal with which is, in and of itself, an entire huge problem in terms of its own culture and structure. It might not be helpful, politically, to the president and dems in getting big ticket items passed to have renegade generals and the like dissing Obama for this move before the path is paved politically. Do I believe it will come and come relatively soon? Yes, I do. And, if for no other reason than national security, I think even homophobes might agree (though I doubt any will speak up as this will just be spun as homo-loving... well you know the lingo... regardless of party).

That we have traded a smart military for a white-supremacist/neo-Nazis military v. lgbt inclusive one is incredulous on all points. AND it does NOT help the country in terms of success, understanding or security.

But really, how many people do YOU know that actually READ?

3. On Obama's announcement today regarding federal benefits for same gender partners, a post was on dKos last night that got a huge amount of response. But if you read through the comments last night (and I re-read today) much is understandably emotional response, not well calculated political response. The former is understandable, the latter isn't and represents, mostly, people who don't get how legislation is made and the grinding until the end process. Obama CANNOT offer domestic partnership health insurance. NOR can he offer equality. And if those minds and bodies as represented on dKos are NOT moved to a political position, you will lose. Plain and simple.

The issue is right, the framing is wrong, yet it sets up the president... the one that CAN actually do something positive in terms of arm bending and signing bills, for not only a fall but places the blame on him for things he cannot do without giving the duty to congress which CAN do something. DOMA is a federal law. Congress makes laws, and congress changes laws. Presidents sign or veto laws.

This is what happens when you have a leaderless movement, nationally (unlike the King movement). If only Harvey Milk was alive today.

But realize, the environmental movement, a much older and broad movement, is likewise fractured, though less so now than 20 years ago. I could have strangled the Sierra Club for some of the inane work (not to mention their ridiculous community-based issues structure) on various issues. BUT, some were good. And some were REALLY good. It's how it goes.

So... my advice? If you want to GET SOMETHING DONE, then get OUT THERE and do it and make sure you have a clue as to what is politically feasible this month, the next and the next, and FIND A LEADER. The anarchistic approach just isn't working and won't and is actually destructive.

I am, frankly, sick of the whining. I understand it, but I am frustrated that no national approach has been put forward by the very movement that needs it most.

I will follow if YOU LEAD.