Editors' Note: Guest blogger John Aravosis is the founder and publisher of AMERICAblog and AMERICAblog Gay. John is the main organizer of today's blogswarm urging HRC to take a firm stand with the President about repealing DADT this year.
It's exactly as we said, HRC seems genetically incapable of ever challenging President Obama on anything. They simply parrot the Obama line - the President is supposedly powerless, you know, to influence legislation - and think that what's best for Barack Obama is best for gay America. Well, sometimes it's not. Sometimes you actually have to challenge the President. Sometime you have to recognize that the President of the United States of America actually has some political capital at his disposal - especially on an issue involving the military when he's the commander in chief.
HRC today, via one of its local affiliates, responded to today's DADT blog swarm, launched by top blogs in the gay and non-gay blogosphere, by yet again defending the President and deflecting the blame to Congress for the inaction on 'Don't Ask Don't Tell.'
Was HRC in a coma last year? Did they not witness the melt down on health care reform that occurred because the White House refused to lead on a key campaign promise, but instead sat back and "waited for congress" to act?
Yes, by all means, do what HRC says and call Congress. Congress does need to pass the DADT repeal, and they do need to feel pressure. But I worked in the Senate, for five years, and I can tell you as a fact that Congress won't touch the repeal until the President tells them what he wants. This is what Joe Sudbay and I are being told when we call offices on Capitol Hill. No one knows what the President wants. Does he want DADT repealed this year, next year, during the next administration (if there is one)? No one knows, because the President likes to issue vague statements of support for repeal, then disappear into the background when people ask him "when?"
We've all learned all too well, and painfully, that when the President doesn't lead, Congress doesn't follow. HRC should stop treating Barack Obama as their boyfriend, and start treating him as a politician who isn't keeping his promises.
It's telling that we're asking you to contact HRC today to put pressure on the president, and the response we get from HRC is a refusal to put pressure on the president. It's, sadly, just as we predicted. (And note to HRC: It's not just LGBT bloggers, the straight bloggers are part of our swarm as well, including DailyKos and TaylorMarsh.com.)
OUR MESSAGE TO HRC IS SIMPLE:
Publicly demand that President Obama take the lead in getting DADT repealed this year.
1) That means the President needs to state publicly that he wants Congress to repeal DADT this year; and
2) The President needs to take the lead in working with Congress to make sure the repeal happens.
If you're a member or donor to HRC, tell them, and ask to speak to Members Services:
HRC Front Desk: (202) 628-4160
TTY: (202) 216-1572
Toll-Free: (800) 777-4723
HRC Web site comment page.
General membership email at hrc: email@example.com