In a smart post called The Party Never Really Started Libby Post says:
Formed in 1980, HRC has built an impressive “inside the beltway” reputation—and it is that insider politic that has so many upset. It seems that HRC took too long to voice its opposition to the Frank compromise bill and when it did, it wasn’t strong enough.
This is all about the politics of politics.
Instead of flatly coming out against the bill, the Human Rights Campaign reaffirmed its support for a trans-inclusive ENDA but was clear that it would not lobby against Frank’s revised bill. Some consider this to be playing both sides off the middle. I consider it to be shrewd politics by an organization who knows how to play the game.
And, that is what gets many of the grassroots LGBT activists mad. Maybe it’s because they’re not in a position to play the game, maybe it’s because they don’t want to. Whatever the reason, the hyperbole from many corners of the LGBT community regarding HRC’s decision is over the top and, quite frankly, naïve.
As a political entity, the LGBT community needs insiders as well as outsiders. Our movement has grown at lightening speed. We’ve accomplished so much in a relatively short period of time because we learned from other social change movements. Intentionally or not, we’ve taken a more sophisticated view of politics and recognize activism is needed at all levels—both inside and out.
To marginalize HRC because it’s not taking the “politically correct” stand—as defined by those who believe their position is the only effective approach—is not only doing a disservice to our community, but it is hurting our community.
Libby is dead on in this assessment of the tensions between "insiders" and "outsiders" in our community. We need to be working every avenue possible to advance our fight for equality. That includes lobbyists on Capitol Hill and at state capitols, grassroots activists putting pressure on elected officials in their local communities, online activists who are using email, blogs, video and social media to amplify the message and sway public opinion, straight allies voicing their support and more. This is a political campaign and it should be run like one.