Michael Crawford

This Post is Not Gay

Filed By Michael Crawford | November 18, 2007 8:15 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics, The Movement
Tags: campaign 2008, Congress, Democrats, ENDA, gay rights, Markos Moulitsas

But, then again it is.

Newsweek Magazine has a new column by Markos Moulitsas, a.k.a. Kos of DailyKos, in which Markos writes about how absent some freak political happening, the Democrats should be fine come the November 2008 elections.

Consequently, to stand any chance of winning next year, Republicans must pray for a national amnesia to erase the previous eight years from the minds of voters. But amnesia only happens in soap operas—and that's why Democrats will win in 2008. As long as Democratic candidates remind voters that the Republican platform and Bush's record are one and the same, victory will be assured.

To some, like the commenter who asked about my post Hillary Clinton Smacks John Edwards "What exactly does this post specifically, or your intra-party biases generally, have to do with gay rights?", this may seem like needless partisanship. To me, its a sign that if Markos is right and Democrats take back the White House and increase their majorities in Congress, then we will experience advancement on LGBT civil rights issues in the next few years that will dwarf any of our successes to date.

That is if we play our cards right and move past the divisive and infuriating bickering that marked the recent drama around ENDA. In some ways, that whole episode has been amongst our finest hours and our most amateurish.

Its no secret to anyone that the Democrats are light years of the Republicans in understanding and supporting LGBT issues. And while I support efforts to educate Republicans about LGBT issues, the reality is that the more pro-gay Democrats we have in Congress in combination with a pro-gay Democratic president increases the chances of passage of historic civil rights legislation that benefits the LGBT community. I'm talking about not just ENDA and the hate crimes bill, but also about the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, passage of the Early Treatment for HIV Act, the Responsible Education About Life Act, the Uniting American Families etc.

What Markos' column and the work of LGBT activists engaged in campaigns shows is that electoral politics matter. And our ability as millions LGBT and allied voters to elect candidates who will not just use all the right buzz words, but who will expend political capital to advance our issues matters even more.

I am not under the illusion that simply electing Democrats will take us over the rainbow, but it sure as hell increases our chances.


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Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | November 18, 2007 9:54 AM

Michael, with all due respect, weren't DADT and DOMA brought in under a Democratic president? Not to mention, a Democratically controlled House of Representatives have given us a toothless ENDA. I believe a Democratic president will be a vast improvement over GW Bush, but that's not saying a lot. The Democratic party has shifted so far to the right, I don't have the high expectations you seem to have.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | November 18, 2007 10:17 AM

Brynn,

I have not forgotten that DOMA and DADT came into being under Bill Clinton. It was wrong of him to cave into GOP wedge issue politics.

I said having more pro-gay Democrats in Congress and a pro-gay president increases the chances of our passing LGBT legislation, not ensures that we will pass such legislation. LGBT activists will have to work like hell for every legislative advance that we want to make. Nothing will be handed to us.

I disagree with you when you say that ENDA is toothless. It may not be as inclusive as we would like, but it would still provide protections to millions of Americans if its signed into law.

Don't put words in my mouth. I did NOT say your previous post was "needless." I said that Bilerico is not the proper forum for it, and it is not why I subscribe to it. No more, no less.

KipEsquire: I fail to see how Bilerico is not a proper forum for advancing the view that a Democrat in the White House and a Democratic-controlled Congress would be more conducive to GLBT-friendly law and policy that would be a Republican scenario. I'd appreciate knowing your logic here.

Michael,

At least we know where we stand with Republicans. The same simply cannot be said for Democrats. I hope someday you'll take the blinders off.

Chris from Denver

http://hubblebooks.com/?p=228

To be fair, DOMA was approved by a veto proof majority in congress. On the other hand, Clinton didn't have to sign it or boast that he did the very next day in the south on advertisements.

DADT indicated a veto-proof majority at whip count as well despite the final vote in the senate only being 3 short of being veto proof and that the law was marginally better than the previous status quo.

The only inarguable fact is that the Democrats are better for equal rights than the Republicans. Just look at the progress we've made in blue states vs. the marriage bans in the red ones.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | November 18, 2007 2:58 PM

Michael, I said ENDA is toothless mostly because it does not protect LGB folks from being fired on the basis of gender presentation and gender-related behaviour, which in my experience is where the discrimination occurs. Employers typically don't voice their opposition in terms of whom you sleep with, they object to how you walk, how you dress, whether or not you wear earrings and make-up, how you cut your hair or grow it long, etc. etc. And my understanding is that the bill passed in Congress does not protect against dismissal based on such factors. Likewise, it exempts religious organizations, who WILL frequently fire you for merely being gay (if they find out) regardless of your gender presentation. And it exempts the military.

So I guess it depends on your definition of "toothless."

Does that mean it's straight? Bi? Questioning? Straight with a twist, maybe?

*teasing*

Whoa, Michael. Don't get too carried away. If you really think that electing Democrats (sic) will help please take a moment to consider who you're dealing with. The probable winners will be Hillary Clinton and the Congressional Democrats, the same mob of bigots that just burned ENDA at the stake.

Did you know that Hillary Clinton is THE candidate of big business and union busting, she’s the godmother of DOMA and DADT who’s got her grubby paws on more corporate and right wing 'campaign contributions' than anyone else? She's well liked by gay bashers like Pat Robertson, Brownback, Santorum and Rupert Murdoch. She sat on the board of directors of the union busting octopus Wal-mart for years and she and Bill Clinton are now shills for Wal-Mart.

Did you know that she supports the war and it extension into Iran at every turn as do most Democrats? If Democrats betrayed the promises to end the war they made during the 2006 election, what make you think they’ll keep their even hazier promises to us? They mulishly refuse to impeach Bush and to convene an International War Crimes Tribunal even though a majority thinks Bush is impeachable.

Do you remember that it was Bill and Hillary Clinton and a bipartisan Democratic and Republican congress that gave us NAFTA? As predicted, it's a rolling disaster that cutting the standard of living for Mexican, Canadian and American farmers and workers. And, as predicted it's caused innumerable environmental disasters. Unemployment, lowered wages, environmental ruin, foreclosures on homes and farms, the loss of union jobs, vast northward migrations of workers and farmers to escape grinding poverty, an astounding, hazardous growth of credit buying and the ubiquitous spread of Wal-Mart all followed in the wake of NAFTA. Consumer credit, once a balloon has morphed into the dirigible Hindenburg on steroids. It’ll be coming in for a hot landing any day now.

Do you realize that the Democrats consistently joined Republicans in giving more and more and more tax breaks to the rich and by deregulating industry? If you wonder why children die of salmonella and why Ford SUV’s like to flip over and why levees and bridges aren’t maintained you don’t have to look beyond bipartisan deregulation. DOMA , DADT, NAFTA, tax cuts for the rich and deregulation were all bipartisan betrayals.

Democrats (sic) in Congress and Hillary Clinton are hand puppets for the uberrich. If they support the war, bust unions and just finished gutting ENDA what makes you think they miraculously change by 2008? What makes you think they give a damn about us other than wanting our votes and money?

With Democrats like these who needs Republicans.

A Republican is a baboon in a human suit and a Democrat is a Republican in drag.

http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0207-34.htm

http://www.laborrights.org/projects/corporate/walmart/CounterSustainability.pdf

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2004/11/15/8191093/index.htm

http://walmartstores.com/GlobalWMStoresWeb