Sara Whitman

Barney Frank: Stop the Scapegoating!

Filed By Sara Whitman | October 10, 2007 4:42 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Barney Frank, ENDA, Wizard of Oz

Last night, Congressman Barney Frank made a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives. It seems he got my previous letter.

In an eloquent flurry, he blamed the 300 plus LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) groups who have signed on to leave ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) inclusive of Transgender people.

Seems we’ve touched a nerve.

“What I am sure about this place is this: if we listen to the most dedicated, most zealous believers in purity and kill this bill that would be such a great advance in civil rights, we will be a long time in getting back to anything. People who think that if they are successful in killing this one and in attacking people and demonizing people who want to deliver, as part of a movement, this big advance that they will then be able to get more than that live in Oz, in not only a fantasy world but a nonexistent fantasy world and a dream. It simply will not happen.” Barney Frank, last night on Capitol Hill.

Congressman Frank? I am not a zealot or a fanatic. I’m a suburban lesbian housewife. I have three kids. I drive a Volvo station wagon with about 100,000 miles on it from my treks to and from grocery stores, soccer games and my kid’s schools. I don’t demonize people but I do have high standards of those who are suppose to be my representatives in the political process.

I have six loads of dirty laundry waiting for me in the basement. I definitely don’t live in Oz.

You, however, are right about one thing. The more time you spend on Capitol Hill, the further out of touch with the community you have become. That’s not an attack, Congressman, but an observation. Would it be a great advance for civil rights if only gay men were covered? Or just lesbians? Why not cut out Bisexuals because half the time they are invisible, so why bother with language that might make people nervous?

Congressman Frank, I don’t want to be accused of “killing” or “attacking” anyone, especially not you. You have represented me well for the last 22 years (I am aware you’ve served for 27, I did not live in your district then), and I am proud to pull the lever every election for you. It is hard, however, to remain civil in a discussion about leaving people behind. Who gets to choose?

Now, the notion that you do not pass an anti-discrimination bill protecting large numbers of people until you can protect everybody, in my judgment, is flawed, morally and politically. It is flawed morally because I am here to help people in need. That's why I serve in this job. - Barney Frank

It seems you get to choose who gets left behind. Someone commented recently that in Congress, you have to make “Sophie’s Choice” every day. Whether it’s immigrant children for the CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) plan or Transgender people for ENDA. I hear your outrage at being challenged on this particular choice. But the reality for me is, I won’t make that choice. That you will is a political decision, no question but I’m going to push hard on the morality of it.

In the movie, Sophie’s Choice, the main character has to choose between one of her children, forced by a Nazi guard. She must choose or they both will die. Is that the choice we are facing today, Congressman? Are we facing a signed bill, passed by the Senate with President Bush’s signature or nothing at all? Is that the truth?

I don’t think so. In fact, you said last night that we are going to lose.

Now, I said we're going to lose. I hope I'm wrong. After we did our count and found that we didn't have the votes, all of a sudden, the cavalry mounted up. But they're coming from a long distance. I have been pleading with people in the gay and lesbian and bisexual and transgender communities to lobby for us.” - Barney Frank

I’m here. I’m ready. Others are here and ready too. But I cannot lobby for a bill that doesn’t include everyone. I won’t. You can call me whatever names you want to call me. You can challenge the morality of my position and tell me I live in a fantasy land. The infighting is a publicity nightmare for our community and I wish it would stop as much as you do.

But not at the cost of others. Especially when there isn’t a real choice being made- millions of people aren’t being denied protections, rather thousands being blamed for being too difficult to discuss.

Can we stop the scapegoating and work together? Please? Tell me what to do. Tell me the people I need to talk to. Tell me if we need a fifty state delegation of Transgender folks to come talk to representatives. Tell me positives steps I can make. I want to work with you.

I don’t want to choose between you and the Transgender community. That really would be a “Sophie’s Choice.”


Recent Entries Filed under Politics:

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.


I agree that I really, really wish we could tone the rhetorich--which includes calling people zealots AND acknowledging that this is, in fact, a complicated issue means "throwing Transgender folks under the bus."

Politics is the art of compromise. I'm not sure this is something we should compromise on. But to equate mere discussion of this issue with transphobia really annoys me. Barney Frank has worked on this issue for 30 years. It is very understandable that he wants it to pass, because it will make a difference in the lives of actual people. Pryrric victories feel good, but for me, they got old in about the sixth grade. After thirty years, they've probably gotten old for him too.

The thing that has disturbed me about this debate on Bilerco is that any suggestion about practical, tactical POLITICAL considerations has immediately been equated with "hatred" and bigotry. I get it: there IS tran-hatred and bigotry in the GLB community. But that doesn't mean that's all that motivating "the other side." Anyway, the result has been that there hasn't been any real debate here...just name-calling.

Meanwhile, our enemies are laughing hysterically that we're divided once again.

Brent,
can you name one major transgender voice that has callled Frank a transphobe? I don't really think that's fair. Frank said we're accusing him of betrayal, but he's off base. We're pissed at HRC for the betrayal, not him. HRC is the group that said they would a oppose an non-inclusive ENDA just a month ago and then turn around and flip transgender people off.

Btw, I absolutely love the vids... especially todays.

Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | October 10, 2007 7:07 PM

As I have prevously said in a comment to another post on this topic, I've come to conclusion that under these circumstances and at this time, insisting on transgender inclusion at the risk of not having any ENDA at all is the best course (or at least the least of many evils). Under other circumstances I might come to another conclusion. Notwithstanding that I join Brent and others who decry the namecalling. Many very good folks can have some honest and valid differences in tough issues. Let's not impugn their motives so quickly. If we continue engaging in such things, people whose dedication and talents we all need will simply leave the ranks of activism and advocacy because of not wanting to be the victims of character assassination the minute the wind changes direction.

For decades politicians of both parties figured that an occasional pat on the back and a few nebulous promises were all they needed to make us forget their betrayals. That period is rapidly closing. Hustlers like Pelosi and Frank were stunned by the intensity and breadth of our condemnation of their gutting of ENDA.

Most Democrats are being pushed off the fence and forced to take sides. Inevitably they're dashing even further to the right. The fact that Pelosi and Frank felt they had to gut ENDA is a gauge of the level of bigotry in Congress.

Clintons lock on 2008 guaranttes this rightward movement will become a stampede. Get ready for a long war, more backstabbing from the bigots who bought us DOMA, DADT, and the ENDA debacle, an accelerated decline in the standard of living, and an obstinate refusal to tackle the effests of racism, homobigotry, the super exploitation of immigrant workers, the steady ruin of the environment, and etc.

As those issues dominate political life Democrats will become even more impossible to tell apart from Republicans. This trend will deepen and all the spin doctors in DC can't convince us that that we don't need real world solutions to the laws and bigots that stand in the way of our becoming first class citizens. The gutting of ENDA will hurt transgendered people but it's also aimed at decreasing protections for gays, lesbians and bisexuals.

Don't waste you vote on Republicans or Democrats. A lesser evil IS an evil. Vote for leftwing parties or join and build the union led US Labor Party.

A Republican politician is a baboon in a people suit with a totalitarian christian attached at the hip. A Democratic politician is a Republican in drag.

Brent, can you name one major transgender voice that has callled Frank a transphobe?

I'm not Brent, but you're avoiding the charge by overqualifying it. Brent just said:

The thing that has disturbed me about this debate on Bilerco is that any suggestion about practical, tactical POLITICAL considerations has immediately been equated with "hatred" and bigotry. I get it: there IS tran-hatred and bigotry in the GLB community. But that doesn't mean that's all that motivating "the other side."

He didn't accuse any major transgender voices of anything.

And Brent is right. These are some of the same purity people who were thumbing their noses at civil unions while trying to hold out for marriage without seeing civil unions as a step in the way that would help a lot of people.

I see this as a similar argument. Would I like a GLBT ENDA? Yes. Would I consider a GLB ENDA as an interim solution? Sure. Would I even consider just a plain L ENDA (because Americans find lesbians to be a lot less icky than gay men) as progress in the right direction? Hell yes.

Whatever pushes back against the fundagelical war, whether incrementally or by leaps and bounds is welcome.

Marti, I have personal friends who discussed this issue, and they're immediately labeled tran-bigots by some. The assumption seems to be that if you see any validity to an incremental approach, you're a bigot. Which is personally frustrating because I can honestly see both sides, at least in terms of political strategy. (And for the record, I believe this is exactly what the city of SF did: GLB rights first, tran rights a few years later.)

I appreciate almost any passion and energy when it comes to activism, mostly because so many people sit on their butts and don't do anything. But we've got to find a way to not immediately assume the worse possible motives in those who disagree. As Don suggested, that is sooooo incredibly off-putting, and immediately want to withdraw from the whole issue. Which is tragic, because I've been doing GLB AND T activism for 20 years.

A related note: I wish we could all acknowledge that most of us DO want a fully inclusive bill. That's not the debate we're having right now. The question is, what do we do when a fully inclusive bill doesn't seem to be an option? Do we take what would be a landmark victory for us (and massive defeat for our opponants), one that would grant actual, life-affirming rights to millions of actual people? Or do we forgo that in the name of solidary for an admittedly maligned addition to our movement for justice, fearing the worst: that once this current bill is past, the passion on this issue will dissapate.

THIS is the issue. And I'm willing to listen to all POVs on this issue, since I think both POVs have validity and moral arguments that support them. But the issue about whether a fully inclusive is preferrable? That's been settled, and 95% of us agree that it would be. That's simply not the issue at hand, all the emotion notwithstanding.

Oh, and I'm glad you like the vlogs! ;-)

*sigh*

Here we go: Hillary Clinton takes the position that she supports full marriage rights for gays, but won't call it marriage, so suddenly she's "backstabbing" us, she's no better than the Republicans, she's "betrayed" us.

It find it absurd and offensive to say there's no difference between Rs and Ds on GLBT issues: their response to this issue has literally never been starker. Most Republicans literally support sodomy laws, and want to see us in prison. Most Democrats support granting us full marriage rights, but don't want it called "marriage" (since that's STILL polling at about 32%).

Yeah, don't waste your time voting. That's the great advice that got us 8 years of Bush in the first place.

*sigh*

bill perdue | October 11, 2007 1:26 AM

The Clintons gave us DOMA and DADT. Some call that ‘practical politics’ but the vast majority of GLBT organizations and activists call it betrayal.

Wake up and smell the napalm. Hillary voted for the war, to prolong it and extend it into Iran. While Iraqi gays and lesbians are being rounded up and butchered by US armed Shiite and Sunni jihadists she votes for the Bush oil piracy every step of the way.

According to the California Nurses Association, currently in a militant strike for better healthcare and working conditions, Clinton’s health care plan was drafted by the insurance industry. CNA says that people with AIDS, the uninsured and the underinsured will be victimized by it.

Clintons Union busting measures like NAFTA and welfare cuts impoverish working people, a group that includes all but a tiny minority of conservative, wealthy GLBT folk.

It's true that Republican leaders are both worse and more candid about their bigotry but it's also true that the differences between the twin parties are largely cosmetic. What got us eight years of Bush was eight years of duplicity and betrayal by Clinton and the Democrats with NAFTA, DOMA, DADT, welfare cuts and tax breaks for the rich.

We understand that Clinton doesn’t support full rights for us because the polls show that's not yet overwhelmingly popular. That’s exactly why we don’t trust her. It's the same problem all Democratic and Republican politicians have; these questions are linked and neither of the twin parties have acceptable answers. It's why elections are boycotted by most Americans. They can’t stomach another bogus race between ‘lesser evils’. Why should anyone? Why should we?

Would you have preferred a federal constitional amendment outlawing same-sex marriage? Because that was the altenative to DOMA (MUCH preferrable, IMHO, given that constitutional amendents are almost impossible to overturn. Literally). The votes were there for such an amendment. I'm actually grateful the Clintons were smart enough to thwart that with DOMA.

Would you have preferred a complete and total ban on gays in the military, enacted into Congressional law? Because that was the altnerative to DODT. Again, the votes were there--more than needed to override any Clinton veto. DODT was a good faith compromise that, yes, has been enacted in horribly bad faith by, yes, Republicans in the Pentagon.

Look, I'm really tired of this debate, but I'll continue to have it, because so many people seem to have forgotten the political enviroment in the 1990s (a Republican LANDSLIDE in 1994 caused, in part, by Cliton's advocacy of gays in the military). What I just can't abide is this fantasy that the Clintons are "evil," that they "betrayed" us, that the differences between the parties are "cosmestic."

Bush and his appointees mostly support sodomy laws: laws that would put all sexually active GLBT people in prison, and force us to register as sex offenders. NONE of the current leading Republican presidential candidates support ANY marriage-like rights (even Guiliani is furiously backpedaling on his "liberal" views that were necessary given his New York mayorship). Meanwhile ALL of the Democratic candidates support FULL MARRIAGE RIGHTS. ALL OF THE RIGHTS OF MARRIAGE (though they don't call it "marriage") verses NONE OF THE RIGHTS OF MARRIAGE, AND support for sodomy laws. SODOMY LAWS! Where they put us in PRISON!

All rights (except for a word) verses no rights. That's your "cosmetic" difference.

But no, the Clintons and the Democrats are "evil," they're "hustlers," etc. etc. Ohhhhkaaayy.

The fact is, politics is messy. You don't get everything you want first time out. Competing constinuencies must be balanced. It's not fair, it's not right, but it's the way it is. Have I objected to some of what the Clintons did/do? Sure! That's called living in reality. But I support much of what they do/advocate (verses almost nothing of what the Republicans advocate).

Don't like all the Democrats? Fine, support and elect better Democrats. Or hey, build a third party from the ground up, if you honestly think that trying something that's NEVER been done in American history is going to work out better than changing an existing party, something that's been done successfully dozens of times (and beware: once the third party gets in power, they'll have to make compromises and balance constituencies too, because THAT'S WHAT POLITICS IS). The far right turned the Republicans into the party of Pat Robertson in 20 years; we could the Democrats into a totally progressive party in 10.

IF we worked our butts off.

But this idea that dismissing the whole process, of refusing to see evolution and nuance and context? Must be very emotionally satisfying. Too bad it means nothing will ever change.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | October 11, 2007 3:25 AM

Sara, great post! I have to go to work so I can't get involved in the comment thread discussion.

Which,I believe, is a foreshadowing of what will come if trannies are dumped from ENDA--a split that will rend our LGBT movement from within, potentially setting us back for decades to come. And for what? A bill that Bush will veto anyway IF it manages to pass the Senate.

But I wanted to thank you for your perspective and your words of support!

It is worth noting that nobody in the know on either side of this situation is proposing that the decision here is "GLB ENDA becomes law or GLBT ENDA fails to get through Congress." The informed parties on both sides agree that neither version of ENDA will make it past the president, and that even the GLB ENDA likely won't make it through the Senate.

That bears repeating, so I'll say it again: no version of ENDA will be signed into law this year or (barring presidential dementia) next year, so nobody stands to lose any immediate gains no matter what happens.

The motivation put forward by the primary architect of split-ENDA - Barney Frank - is that passing some form of ENDA in the House right now will speed things up in the future, as putting the House on record as passing a version of ENDA will make future repeat votes (which will be needed in any realistic scenario) easier. In other words, the absolute maximum gain right now is a symbolic victory in the House, with a potential but unlikely comparable symbolic victory in the Senate. (I disagree with Representative Frank's strategy immensely and am very skeptical of his candidness, but I think he would agree with that characterization of the ENDA situation.)

So the real question we should be debating is this: does the benefit from a quick symbolic ENDA victory in the House justify the costs it will take to accomplish, including the watering-down of the language in the bill (potentially to the point where its protections can be easily circumvented), the removal of coverage for transgender people, and the equally symbolic (though negative rather than positive) act of putting both the House and the ostensible LGBT political leadership on record as not being willing to fight for transgender people?

Nobody is getting any rights from any version of ENDA under the current president, so arguing that this is about "incremental gains" or that we should "move the majority ahead instead of waiting until we can move everyone ahead" is irrelevant.

Can we stop the scapegoating and work together? Please? Tell me what to do. Tell me the people I need to talk to. Tell me if we need a fifty state delegation of Transgender folks to come talk to representatives. Tell me positives steps I can make. I want to work with you.

Amen, sister.

Meanwhile, our enemies are laughing hysterically that we're divided once again.

Amen, brother.

I think that's what pisses me off those most. We're now embroiled in a bunch of he-said, she-said bullshit. Barney Frank cuts at the trans community in a speech on the floor of Congress and sends out an even worse press release. Trans folk accuse HRC and Frank for throwing them under the bus. And all of it - from both sides - gets us nowhere.

If ENDA's not going to pass the Senate or the President's desk this year, than put the damn thing on hold. The community at large obviously doesn't want a non-inclusive ENDA. Period. Keep working to sway the few votes still necessary to include trans folk. Or, hell, here's a novel idea - stop self separating our community into L and G and B and T and simply revert back to the old designation: You can't fire us for being queer.

United we stand, divided we fall.

Great post, Sara.

bill perdue | October 11, 2007 1:42 PM

In 2004 Laura Bush defended the butcher of Baghdad claiming that George Bush’s animosity to samesex marriage and other equality issues were based on his religious beliefs, not bigotry. Hartinger makes the same claim for the Clintons, but goes even deeper into fantasyland by alleging that the Clintons backed DADT and DOMA to save us. Well done, that’s the most tormented, wacky piece of political comedy I’ve heard in months.

Except it’s not at all funny when you look at the details. The Clintons DOMA and DADT laws cement our second-class status in law; both are based on bigotry, on claims that we’re predators, that our sexual and emotional lives are depraved, etc. DADT didn’t save any of the gays and lesbians who were victimized and lost their pensions and future. DADT didn’t save any of our people who were killed by thugs while serving in the military; on the contrary, the inferior status written into law by bigots encourages the thugs to come after us.

Clinton and the Democrats didn’t eagerly support DOMA, a Republican initiative, in some twisted byzantine scheme to save us, they did it because as Bill Clintons says to anyone who’ll listen, samesex marriage is “the kiss of death” for Democrats. They wanted to prove, for the benefit of bigoted voters, that they were as prejudiced as the Republicans, and did. The Republicans, overjoyed to have the backing of the Clintons and the Democrats have made DOMA the law in dozens of states.

The Republican landslide in 1994 occurred because working people were disgusted by Clinton’s treachery when he signed NAFTA barely a year before the election. They stayed home and the Republicans won. All Republican victories are based on Democratic cupidity and their unending backstabbing.

The claim that no third party has ever been a success betrays a thoroughgoing misunderstanding of American politics and history. The Republican Party, not the monstrosity we see today, but the first version was a third party whose program was “Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Speech”. They won their way to power and went on to lead, however ineptly and timidly, the Second American Revolution that demolished the slavocracy,

The comical, except for the victims, theory that the Clintons and the Congressional Democrats were trying to save us with DADT and DOMAis is an extreme example of panic-stricken projection, the attempt to project your ideas and goal onto politicians who don’t share them. Pelosi attacked and narrowly defeated San Francisco Supervisor Harry Britt, a rival for the Democratic nomination in her district with repeated claims that he was gay and had a narrow gay agenda. The same Pelosi took impeachment ‘off the table’. Maybe all that botox went to her head. Frank has wanted to exclude transgendered folk from ENDA forever, but as Lambda Legal, NLGTF and others have pointed out Franks version of ENDA would gut protections for gays, lesbians and bisexuals also. And the Clinton didn’t push DADT and DOMA because they’re on our side, they did it because they’re against us.

Daydreams and fantasy are acceptable, even good, in artistic labors, but in politics they’re lethal.

Bill, nice job ignoring most of my points.

Here's where we stand.

Most Democrats: full marriage rights for GLBT folks (except not called "marriage")

Most Republicans: no marriage rights at all, and in fact, many also support sodomy laws making us registered sex offenders adn putting us in prison.

You: this is a "cosmetic difference."

Meanwhile, the Clintons, Barney Frank, Pelosi, and most of the Democrats aren't supporting our issues 100% because, like all politicians, they're weighing consistuencies and reading poll numbers (polls that had same-sex marriage at 19% in 1994 and 32% now), it's because they're blinded by their irrational ongoing hatred of gay and tran folks.

Yup, I agree that one of us is living in a fantasy world, and one of us is projecting his own issues onto the world at large. But it isn't me.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | October 11, 2007 5:45 PM

Brent, I think you're unfairly presenting both your and Bill's arguments.

I, for one, agree emotionally quite strongly with what Bill says and feel his presentation of Democratic mendacity, cowardice and selfishness are quite true. That doesn't mean I haven't and won't hold my nose and vote Democrat in an attempt to rid government of the much worse Republicans.

One unfailing and increasingly obvious advantage the Republicans hold over the Democrats is they have now--by hook and by crook and by outright lies in many cases--quite firmly established themselves as the party of Principles. They have done this in part by default, as Democrats distinguished themselves as the party that will test the political winds before answering so much as a reporter's query. Democrats are almost universally despised as a party because for no discernable reason they continue to lick the boots of a lame-duck president whose popularity has sunk lower than that of pond scum.

Does that mean I won’t vote Democrat? No. In this blasted two-party system, I have no viable alternative. Does that mean I like or respect the Democrats? Not at all.

I totally agree, Brynn...we're seeing a classic Democratic sellout of principles right now with ENDA, but it's certainly not the first time, not by a long shot.

Personally, I just wish I were a little more surprised.

Brent, how can you support Pelosi and Frank in their efforts to gut ENDA? Pelosi does it because she’s a homobigot, and Frank because he wants’ to be a power broker and he’ll walk over as many bodies as it takes to make it. In this case he’s terminated the civil rights of a segment of our community entirely and gutted the bill for the rest of us. The bigoted employers who hire and fire are off the hook and owe a big one to Barney, Nancy and the Democrats. No doubt they’ll find ways to express their gratitude.

Why stand with the authors of DADT that ruined the lives of many GLBT service members. You said it was a clever to trick to help us but the victims aren’t so sure?

Why make up excuses the rightwing DOMA, another cleverly disguised token of Bill and Hillary’s devotion to the GLBT communities? Don't you understand that there are tens of thousands of couples who want to get married now and can’t because the barefaced homobigotry of the Clinton/Republican DOMA is written into law and in some cases into state constitutions?

Do you know that Clinton only says that she favors changing one part of her husbands’ bigoted law, but that doesn’t solve the question of state DOMAs? She leaves that up to the states; she now a ‘states rights’ advocate. ‘States rights’ is the last line of defense for racists like the KKK, antiabortionist religious extremists, and those who oppose same sex marriage like the Bush’s , the Clintons , and Pat Robertson. But hey, what did you expect from Dixiecrats?

If you’re going to be standing next to them for any length of time you’d better get a moon suit or you’re going to smell pretty awful.

The only solution to the problem of marriage rights is a federal constitutional amendment guaranteeing equality, a GLBT version of the ERA. Until we build a massive, militant campaign to get that the Democratic and Republican bigots will continue to deny us meaningful protections and keep us in the very hazardous status of second class citizenship.

These people have caused untold problems and suffering for our communities and yet people like you continue to fantasize about them and create excuses for them. Why?

Do you think we can just ignore that Clinton is a prowar hawk whose agenda is the same as the oil pirates Bush and Cheney, that she wants to extend the war, that she and the Democrats are union busters, etc? All the wishful thinking in the world won’t change that one iota. What conceivable reason would you have for supporting a war hawk, a union buster, an employee of the insurance industry, and the midwife of DADT and DOMA?

On another blog a very astute and funny man said that ‘Republicans are like big cats trying to run us down. Democrats on the other hand are like pet snakes, feed em, keep em warm, but don’t trust em that much because just when you think they’re your friends…” What else is there to say?

Our only alternative is to turn and fight, to build our own independent mass action campaigns around hate crimes, job and housing discrimination, samesex marriage, etc., and doing what it takes to build the union led US Labor Party. A third party led the Second American Revolution and we can do it again. In fact, we have to do it again.

Whoa. Pelosi a Homobigot? No. Bill. She's not. And while I think Barney is wrong about this issue, his back is against the wall right now.

I agree completely we need a multiparty system and we need to get money out of politics by instituting term limits for all positions- from the supreme court to local selectmen.

But don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Pelosi, Baldwin and Frank are not our enemies. They need our help, let's give it to them.

with a firm voice no exclusion will be accepted.

Sarah, sorry I took so long to reply. I think you’re wrong about Pelosi and Frank, and how to view the gutting of ENDA. This post is just about Pelosi.

Nancy Pelosi is a bigot, it we can include in that category rightwing Democratic politicians who get elected on the basis of a crossover vote by Republican voters, who are more inclined to be bigoted against us or frightened of us. Pelosi ran a very nasty campaign against Harry Britt; her campaign repeatedly 'accused' him of being a gay socialist. In the actual election Britt got most of the Democratic votes, but Pelosi won because her gay baiting attracted the crossover Republican antigay vote. (I had a brief argument with him once and I can assure you that he’s not a socialist.)

If gay baiting isn’t homobigotry then Pat Robertson and Der Pope are off the hook too and the term is void of meaning.

She came from a rich family and married into a richer family. Her net worth makes her the 9th richest member of the House and considering how many gazillionaires there are in Congress (the question of how they get so rich is for another time) she’s very rich indeed. Her fortune is about $25,000,000.00 and she owns a $1,000,000.00 mansion in DC and doesn’t have to eke out a miserable existence on her paltry congressional salary of a $212,000.00 a year.

And yes, her class/caste position disqualifies her from representing us, working people, national minorities, people against the war etc.
She’s a right winger who always supports Bush on the war, is for the extension of the war into Iran to protect Israel and US oil interests in Iraq.

Her politics veer to the right on other major questions;

she voted for a law giving a fetus rights under criminal law;
she favors cutting social spending to “balance the budget”;
opposes the legalization of immigrant workers;
supports the Israeli invasion of Lebanon;
says that impeachment “Is off the table”;
votes to keep the anticonstitutionalUSA PATRIOT Act which she says we have to “mend, not end”.

I believe I was right in my earlier posts when I said all these issues are interconnected, and that we can’t expect much of political hacks on the make. I think they are the enemy.