Waymon Hudson

Speaking Washington's Language: Money and Media

Filed By Waymon Hudson | June 17, 2009 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Media, Politics, The Movement
Tags: DOMA, Don't Ask Don't Tell, ENDA, media, money, Obama and LGBT rights, politics, Washington

It seems the silence from the Obama Administration might be coming to end. Maybe. Well, at least they're being forced to respond.

After the increasing outrage from all sides in the LGBT community over not leading on ENDA, DADT, Hate Crimes Legislation, and the horrific hate brief defending DOMA, it seems the message might be sinking in with the administration. They have announced they will offer some benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees and there are rumblings of new movement on hate crimes legislation and a fully-inclusive ENDA.

It's a whisper response to a scream of discontent.

What brought about this sudden "enlightenment"? Is it just the start of a plan that has been in place all along? I don't think so.

The administration saw we were starting to talk in the Washington language they understand: Money and Media.

The equality-minded, pollyanna side of me would love to think that the justice of our cause has changed the hearts and mind of political leaders.

I think we all know that's not how it works.

We began to really speak in a clear language they can understand. Word started to come out that major money-givers were dropping out of a big fundraiser over the offensive DOMA defense and the general inaction of the administration. Individuals were answering fundraising emails from the Democrats with "not on your life."

The purse strings and support for the Obama Administration and Democrats began to disappear. They saw the reliable voting and money-giving block slipping away and realized they had to do something to stop the hemorrhaging.

The second punch came as the media started to really pick up on the anger in the community. From blogs to social networking to the 24 hour News Networks, the story took hold and gained steam. For an administration that prides itself on media prowess and spin, they seemed to begin to panic as they saw themselves losing control of the story. They've begun to scramble, throwing together this "benefits memorandum", to try and change the story. They may have finally realized how far behind the curve the are.

In other words, we were hitting them were it hurts.

I think loud criticism and flexing the muscles of a community are necessary to make any movement on minority issues. We have to drag our leaders in the right direction and make sure our concerns are heard and responded to. The louder we speak, the more they will listen. It takes voices coming from all directions, using whatever means they have- whether it be withdrawing financial support, lobbying lawmakers, or just adding their voice to the growing chorus of dissatisfaction.

I hope we continue to stay fluent in this Washington D.C. power language. We have an uphill battle and only by keeping the pressure on can we reach any of our goals.

Because they obviously won't do it just because it's the right thing to do.


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LJSNAustin | June 17, 2009 3:10 PM

Waymon, you are exactly right. We have to speak in the only language Obama and the pols understand...MONEY. This pitiful attempt at placating us with the "benefits" for federal employees' domestic partners is really going to give us NOTHING if you read carefully. I hope the organizers of the DNC LGBT fundraiser get an earful from our community! They can't throw us under the bus and expect us to throw our money at them anymore! Let them hear about it! Take action here:
http://pumapac.org/2009/06/17/obama-fail/

how many times does the Obama-nation have to bitchslap us before we stand up to the abuse. People, he hung with homophobes during the election, he had a homophobe do his benediction. He went mygnostic on Hillary in the primarys.

He had to have his feet held to the fire to address any of our issues besides insulting us!

STONEWALL 2.0

TAKIN' IT TO THE STREETS. Be in his face 24/7 until we get it all.

Every remaining Pride event this month needs to be a shame on Obama event as well.

I know this move will placate some, but I am even more incensed that they are doing "something" (little as it is). The fact that they are throwing this together at the last minute just tells me we have to "buy" our civil rights one at a time. In other words...we'll have to cut off the money, get some concession, then turn the flow back on for a bit. Cut it off again...get a little more, etc.

This is worse than being ignored, and it tells me there are no plans, zilch, zero, for this fierce advocate to work on equal rights for gay amerikans.

Obama is a homophobe and always has been. He exploited the gay community and the gay leaders fell for it. It's time to take a stand.

http://pumapac.org/2009/06/17/obama-fail/

As a retired Federal employee, I can tell you that the policy Obama is putting into place is exactly.......nothing. Feds have always been able to take leave to care for a loved one, whether straight - or - gay. It is decided between the employee and the supervisor. As for long-term care, we pay for those premiums ourselves.

Obama says he cannot do more for active/retired Feds because of DOMA....didn't this Administration just file a brief just last week in defense of DOMA?

Obama has lied to us; he is now a hypocrite. He certainly is no friend whatsoever of the GLBT community. Even Bush wasn't this bad toward us.

Rick Sours | June 17, 2009 5:03 PM

As a retired federal employee, my Partner and I
got nothing. For the record, most supervisor in the federal government already allow individuals to use
their leave to care for their Partners. We both already have long term care insurance via the federal government which we pay for at the same rate as if we went to the company
directly.

The most important things are health insurance and
survivor benefits.

We are still second class citizens.

Per one of his books, Obama stated regarding civil
rights that he would not get involved but leave it up to the states and the churches.

I grew up in a faith that was one of those that
took part and got arrested in the civil rights
marches in the south. Only with the help of
others have any group in the past gotten full
equality.

Rick Sours | June 17, 2009 5:09 PM

As a retired federal employee, my Partner and I
got nothing. For the record, most supervisor in the federal government already allow individuals to use
their leave to care for their Partners. We both already have long term care insurance which we pay
for a the same rate as if we went to the company directly..

The most important things are health insurance and
survivor benefits.

We are still second class citizens.

I grew up in a faith which was one of those which took part in and got arrested in the civil rights
marches in the south in the 1960s. Only with the
help of others have any group achieved full equality.

No Health Insurance?
The subject of Obama extending benefits to Federal employees is being discussed all over the web and TV but I have 2 cents to add.

What the heck is a Presidential Memorandum ?
No Health Insurance benefits? WTF?

Don't mind the pandering but throw me a bone Obama, not a shred of a meatball.


http://plaingayblogging.blogspot.com/


Money has ALWAYS been the only thing that gets government's COMPLETE, UNDISTRACTED attention.

But does anyone have a problem with paying taxes to a government that has actively worked to make sure you are LEGALLY PREVENTED from seeing your spouse when he or she dies? Who pays THAT tax?

I only wish I were still ABLE to work so I could continue my original tax revolt against the feds; now I'm just a cheerleader for the idea, and a case-study as to how legal discrimination ends up costing taxpayers additional dollars.