Saturday, October 10, 2009

HRC's Solmonese Says Wait Until 2017 to Judge President Obama, UTF Says That's Stupid

UPDATE: Solmonese has issued a statement further explaining his weekly update email blast.
I’ve seen some reactions to my weekly message, that I gave the President a free pass not to fulfill his campaign promises until 2017.

Here’s something from what I wrote that the authors didn’t include in their pieces: “I predict great things coming out of our work with this President, but that does not mean that I am satisfied today. Our community cannot be satisfied so long as DOMA is on the books and an inclusive ENDA is not.“

I am not satisfied.
HRC is not satisfied.


Do I believe we’ll have a good track record by 2017? Yes. But the President can’t deliver on his promises alone. It will take all of us working together.
Many other blogs objected to Solmonese's statement because they misinterpreted him as saying that we had to wait until 2017.

I know that's not what he's saying. What I'm objecting to is the assumption that Obama will still be president with a Democratic Congress to accomplish what needs to be done by 2017. That's a HUGE assumption.

All we know is that NOW we have an ally in the White House with a Congress that's more open to LGBT rights than any we've had in years. It's stupid to assume that this will last.


It takes quite a bit for me to say, "Well, they were stupid." But HRC president Joe Solmonese, or whoever his ghost writer is, accomplished in ripping that phrase out of me.

On the weekend of the National Equality March, who's loudly broadcasted mantra is to demand full federal equality in all 50 states NOW by pressuring congress and President Obama, Solmonese emails out a weekly update a day in advance of Obama's speech at HRC's black tie fundraiser, telling everyone to be patient and wait until January 19, 2017, the purported end of Obama's administration, before making judgments on progress.
It shouldn't be difficult to see why the president of the United States speaking to the nation's largest LGBT rights group is a good development for LGBT people. But at this point in time, it is hard for many among us to see. The substance of the feeling is this: he promised us the world, and we gave everything we had to elect him. But what has he done?

I've written that we have actually covered a good deal of ground so far. But I'm not going to trot out those advances right now because I have something more relevant to say: It's not January 19, 2017.

That matters for two reasons: first, the accomplishments that we've seen thus far are not the Obama Administration's record. They are the Administration's record so far. If you ask "is that all" my question to you is "is that all you think we're going to push for?" It isn't.


I am sure of this: on January 19, 2017, I will look back on the President's address to my community as an affirmation of his pledge to be our ally. I will remember it as the day when we all stood together and committed to finish what Senator Kennedy called our unfinished business. And I am sure of this: on January 19, 2017, I will also look back on many other victories that President Barack Obama made possible.
Read the full email at Pam's House Blend.

Joe at America Blog has said of the email, "...this is not the kind of thing a gay civil rights group writes - it's the kind of thing a White House badly in need of political cover writes for you."

Dan Savage at SLOG says, "HRC has lost its mind: the head of the Human Rights Campaign suggests that gay people really shouldn't criticize Barack Obama because 'it's not January 19, 2017.'"

Unite the Fight says, "Well, they were stupid."

I'm not dense. I know that the Obama isn't done. I know that he could possibly have until 2017 to get work done. He may also have until only 2012. He also may lose the Congress to Republicans NEXT YEAR and never regain it, resulting in getting NO legislation passed. So if we really examine REALITY, Obama may have less than a year to get any shit done, and so far, he's done diddly squat.

I'm usually pretty supportive of HRC, I think they've done amazing work, but I also think they've lost their way and are now in the back pocket of an administration willing to sell out some of its major supporters for political points. And unfortunately, HRC has now become accomplices.

When faced with opposition, (remember the Bush years?) major LGBT organizations are effective. But when faced with a so-called allied administration, they become lazy and look for the big bucks.

"Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors."

1 comment:

  1. If full equality was achieved, HRC would have no reason to exist, and its higher-ups would subsequently be out of their jobs.

    Gee, I wonder what their agenda really is.