Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

Incrementalism Shoe on the Other Foot on DADT

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | May 28, 2010 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics, The Movement, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: Center for American Progress, Don't Ask Don't Tell, ENDA, incrementalism, Stachelberg

John Aravosis of Americablog yesterday called out the liberal Center for American Progress (CAP).increments.jpg

As he notes, CAP has been on a rather public campaign to take credit for the entire Don't Ask, Don't Tell compromise that has much of the gay community in an uproar.

That compromise puts the power to nullify DADT into the hands of military leaders and the president six months or a year from now. It appears to be wildly unpopular in the gay community at large.

The Gay City News reported that the compromise had been drafted by CAP and circulated among legislators starting roughly two months ago, quoting Winnie Stachelberg.

Winnie Stachelberg, a former HRC employee and senior official at CAP, was instrumental in the "incrementalist" strategy that left transgender people out of ENDA for years, and stripped them out in 2007 once they managed to get in.

I note that Mr. Aravosis himself was fully in favor of incrementalism when it came to transgender people and ENDA in 2007.

So now we find out that Ms. Stachelberg, the ENDA incrementalist, left HRC, went to CAP, where she promptly applied her incrementalist strategies to DADT repeal.

The incrementalism shoe is on the other foot.

Mr. Aravosis poses this question, which is a good one.

I don't begrudge anyone who wants credit where credit is due. But there are at least two problems with CAP's apparent coup d'etat over the gay movement.

First, who died and made CAP queen?

My answer is that this is emblematic of a certain type of strategy and type of "community" leadership that is secretive, top-down and based on who has the best political connections. It is not based on justice, on right, on good policy or on community-building.

It's our willingness as a community to give money and power to an elite that promises to bring us power based on their expertise and connections. But while elitism has its uses, it tends to freeze out the power of the people. And it often requires giving in on core principles to retain the friendship of the power elite.

Here's what Winnie Stachelberg said in 2007 during the ENDA debacle:

...The House bill is not as inclusive as policies in many major companies and a growing number of states. But history may inform us that while passing legislation that only prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation may not be the perfect strategy, it may hasten, and be a critical predicate for, legislation that protects the entire LGBT community over time.

...And the transgender community isn't the only group that will likely be left out of this narrower version of the legislation, including employees of small businesses, employees of religious institutions, and gay and lesbian individuals in the armed forces. But this bill was built on compromise; it was never intended to be the whole package, and should therefore be seen as a first step.

This kind of discrimination is wrong and has no place in our country. None. And it is wrong to fire someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. But right now the votes to pass an inclusive bill are just not there.

...I believe we can and should make progress--one step, and one inch, at a time.


As Ms. Sandeen noted at the time:

Of course, Ms. Stachelberg's statements on educating congresspeople might carry more weight if her own actions in the 1990's weren't 180 degrees out of phase with that "education" position. If it takes education, it should be noted that she, as an HRC lobbyist in the late 1990's, "educated" congresspeople against transgender inclusion in ENDA.

...transgender lobbyists were told by sitting senators, congressmembers and various staffers that HRC Capitol Hill lobbyists Nancy Buermeyer and Winnie Stachelberg showed up on the Hill accompanied by GenderPac's Riki Wilchins before transgender lobby events in 1997, 1998, and 1999. They asked those members and staffers to tell the transpeople coming to Washington that inclusion in ENDA wasn't possible, but hate crimes was. That revelation so enraged the transgender community that a group of activists that included yours truly founded NTAC in 1999.

And now, Winnie Stachelberg has successfully applied her one-inch at a time compromise strategy to DADT repeal. And it's not even clear that you got an inch. You got the right to have the military decide whether to allow gay people to serve openly. Isn't that where we were before DADT?

Yes, I'm hopeful that the new military leaders are more open than the ones in the 1980s and 1990s. But there are an awful lot of familiar-sounding themes here.

I'm not glad about that. I think it is a mistake that will be as haunting a mistake as DADT was, as a compromise measure, in the first place. All these compromise measures are disasters. Look at DOMA - put in place to forestall a constitutional amendment that probably could never have happened given the stringent requirements for such amendments. The idea was that when a friendly administration took over, DOMA would be repealed. Look where that's wound up.

There is a time for compromise, but this isn't it.

The incrementalism chicken has come home to roost.

When will we learn that incrementalism is another word for failure?


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Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | May 28, 2010 4:14 PM

I'm a little confused on this one. I understand the criticsm that making the repeal of DADT (meaning the 1993 legislation)conditional on certification by the President, Secretary of Defense, and the JCS Chairman was that it was bad compromise with outright repeal. But you say "You got the right to have the military decide whether to allow gay people to serve openly. Isn't that where we were before DADT?" Well, yes, but that sounds as if the original "repeal effort" would have been affirmative anti-discrimination legislation. Maybe there was such an animal, but if so, I think many of us missed hearing about it, at least in flyover country.

As part of the "compromise", the following wording of the house bill was deleted:

Sec. 656. Policy of nondiscrimination based on sexual orientation’

(a) Policy– The Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to the Coast Guard when it is not operating as a service in the Navy, may not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation against any member of the Armed Forces or against any person seeking to become a member of the Armed Forces.

(b) Discrimination on Basis of Sexual Orientation– For purposes of this section, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is–

(1) in the case of a member of the Armed Forces, the taking of any personnel or administrative action (including any action relating to promotion, demotion, evaluation, selection for an award, selection for a duty assignment, transfer, or separation) in whole or in part on the basis of sexual orientation; and

(2) in the case of a person seeking to become a member of the Armed Forces, denial of accession into the Armed Forces in whole or in part on the basis of sexual orientation.

(c) Personnel and Administrative Policies and Action– The Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to the Coast Guard when it is not operating as a service in the Navy, may not establish, implement, or apply any personnel or administrative policy, or take any personnel or administrative action (including any policy or action relating to promotions, demotions, evaluations, selections for awards, selections for duty assignments, transfers, or separations) in whole or in part on the basis of sexual orientation.

The idea is to pass something, anything, to keep the GayTM open.

Meanwhile, the discharges will continue.

Now this may be acceptable, assuming a president of the calibre of Truman. One who would
1. Issue a stop-loss order immediately, pending repeal.
2. Order the C(JCS) to ensure that the conditions for certification be met within 4 months of the report being completed.
3. Accept the resignation effective immediately of any senior officer who is incapable of carrying out this order from the Commander in Chief.

That would require a leader, not a Chicago Machine political hack. Not. Going. To. Happen.

amandaisfun | May 29, 2010 1:08 PM

Zoe-
As a recent vet myself, I wholeheartedly agree with what you wrote.

Not to get too OT, but there really is a serious problem in the US with the gap between the military and the more liberal parts of the country. I see it all the freaking time here in the SF Bay Area, and it sucks.

Hence why I felt like I was the only lefty who opposes Elena Kagan because I strongly disagree with banning ROTC or recruiters from northern and coastal universities.

Amanda

Winnie Stachelberg is an elitist tunnel-visioned political coward. Always has been, always will be. We've moved on so far from her antiquated political views that I don't see how anyone still considers her credible, assuming they ever actually did.

The 90's are long over, and so is Winnie Stachelberg.

What, no hat tip to Katrina Rose?

Chris Daley | May 28, 2010 4:40 PM

Jillian -

as you, Autumn, and others have pointed out before, Aravosis doesn't seem to be the most consistent of voices.

I'm curious about this assertion, though: "[The compromise] appears to be wildly unpopular in the gay community at large."

You're certainly right that a segment of the community (who are none too shy about posting on blogs) are unhappy with it. I didn't have the impression that the community at large is, though. I wonder how many folks even know about the votes last night, much less the content of the amendments.

You could be spot on with your analysis, but I'll be asking my friends (an admittedly nonrepresentative group) to see what they think (if anything). Just to satisfy my own curiousity.

Best,

Chris

Those of us who are Active Duty, Guard, Reserves, Veterans, or wish to enlist or commission are following this. It is wildly unpopular with me.

And in my book even without the compromise it is still incermentalism because Trans*Americans can't serve openly.

Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com | May 28, 2010 5:07 PM

Yes, Don, it was absolutely, and unequivocally in the original intent in 1993, AND again in 2010; even more detailed in both the original, five-year old House "Military Readiness Enhancement Act," and Senate version introduced by Lieberman earlier this year.

IN 1993, before it all went to hell in the proverbial handbasket [or Colin Powell's duffel bag], Clinton sent this to his SECDEF Les Aspin:

"Memorandum on Ending Discrimination in the Armed Forces

January 29, 1993

Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense

Subject: Ending Discrimination on the Basis
of Sexual Orientation in the Armed Forces

I hereby direct you to submit to me prior
to July 15, 1993, a draft of an Executive order
ending discrimination on the basis of sexual
orientation in determining who may serve in
the Armed Forces of the United States. The
draft of the Executive order should be accompanied by the results of a study to be
conducted over the next six months on how
this revision in policy would be carried out
in a manner that is practical, realistic, and
consistent with the high standards of combat
effectiveness and unit cohesion our Armed
Forces must maintain.

In preparing the draft, I direct you to consult
fully with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and
the military services, with other Departments
affected by the order, with the Congress, and
with concerned individuals and organizations
outside the executive branch."

>>>And, THIS is what the betrayal by the White House and the bigotry of Robert Gates and Mike Mullen got ripped out of the now gone "Military Readiness Enhancement Act" [emphasis mine]:

"Policy of nondiscrimination based on sexual orientation
(a) Policy- The Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to the Coast Guard when it is not operating as a service in the Navy, may NOT discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation against any member of the Armed Forces or against any person seeking to become a member of the Armed Forces.
(b) Discrimination on Basis of Sexual Orientation- For purposes of this section, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is--

(1) in the case of a member of the Armed Forces, the taking of any personnel or administrative action

(including any action relating to promotion, demotion, evaluation, selection for an award, selection for a duty assignment, transfer, or separation) in whole or in part on the basis of sexual orientation; and

(2) in the case of a person seeking to become a member of the Armed Forces, denial of accession into the Armed Forces in whole or in part on the basis of sexual orientation.

(c) Personnel and Administrative Policies and Action- The Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to the Coast Guard when it is not operating as a service in the Navy, may NOT establish, implement, or apply any personnel or administrative policy, or take any personnel or administrative action (including any policy or action relating to promotions, demotions, evaluations, selections for awards, selections for duty assignments, transfers, or separations) in whole or in part on the basis of sexual orientation.

(d) Rules and Policies Regarding Conduct- Nothing in this section prohibits the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to the Coast Guard when it is not operating as a service in the Navy, from prescribing or enforcing regulations governing the conduct of members of the Armed Forces IF the regulations are designed and applied WITHOUT regard to sexual orientation.

(e) Re-Accession of Otherwise Qualified Persons Permitted- Any person separated from the Armed Forces for homosexuality, bisexuality, or homosexual conduct in accordance with laws and regulations in effect before the date of the enactment of this section, if otherwise qualified for re-accession into the Armed Forces, shall NOT be prohibited from re-accession into the Armed Forces on the sole basis of such separation.

(f) Sexual Orientation- In this section, the term 'sexual orientation' means heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality, whether the orientation is real or perceived, and includes statements AND consensual sexual CONDUCT manifesting heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality."

AND note, too, contrary to the ruthless pretense by the Pentagon that they would not be given any "delayed implementation," and some gays shamelessly taking credit for suggesting it, the original bill gave them six months to create such policies ... TWO more months than ANY of the 25 other countries who have lifted their bans took!

To be absolutely clear: EVEN IF...and it REMAINS an "if"....DADT is erased, their insistence on the deletion of these nondiscrimination clauses means that NOTHING prevents the Pentagon from simply dusting off their old internal ban directives under which more than 100,000 gays were kicked out between WII and 1993 and continuing discharges in perpetuity..

Which leads to the obvious question: IF the Pentagon and Obama ACTUALLY want an end to ALL discharges [which is the REAL definition of "end DADT"] WHY did they insist on the removal of the mandate that would have created it?

I believe we will see one of two things:

1. A claim that "the study" determined that stopping discharges would hurt the military and, therefore, there will be NO change meaning discharges will continue, or

2. Based on the repeated times the
Administration has been caught using the verbs "change" or "modify" DADT rather than repeal, a "ban lite" in which some out gays will be allowed to serve in some functions, probably not including combat, and definitely not including being allowed into any sleeping/living quarters that involve sharing open space with nongays.

Obviously neither is acceptable, and only a coalition of LGBT groups finally demanding an ACTUAL end to discharges rather than simply surrendering an a priori religious-like faith in Obama and the Pentagon has any hope of making it happen.

The ultimate difference between 1993 and 2010 is that this President STARTED OUT siding with Pentagon bigots while the one in 1993 ended up that way.

I wonder what it will take to make people realise that Obama doesn't like gays? Oh, he'll make use of them when convenient - but will only do the absolute minimum needed to get their vote, then he'll ditch them as a liability till next time. As he's done with others.

Shhh. It'll dredge up memories of old columns of mine...

I hate this hunk of crap! Its open ended for one. Going forward, when December comes and the study isnt done, in Febuary when the results are still not certified, in 2012 when the presidency changes and in 2015 this 'law' will still be sitting there mandating a study to see 'if' repeal is ok, mandating the JCS and Sec Def and PotUS ALL must agree that it is ok to repeal DADT.
In 2020, when someone says 'When?' everyone will point to this shit and say 'its the law, wait until the study is done'.

The Republicans will successfully filibuster this charade because they'll be able to characterize it as "let's decide this now and then look at the study." The idea of the "study" killed repeal. When it was accepted it meant we will "wait and see." The "study," or need for it, has been fixed in the conversation.

If it makes it to a Senate vote it will not survive filibuster. We have 58 votes. There are no "possible changes". It gets worse once the filibuster card is played. Senator Byrd (remarkably) has some control over the deal and as a Baptist, he will make this part of his legacy. Filibuster will work for this issue, the non-compromise, non-repeal Amendment. It will be extinguished.

DADT Repeal will be revisited after the mid-terms.

Not sure you are right on this Andrew. What if the senate strips the DADT amendment? Does the bill go to conference between the House and Senate? If it remains in the reconciliation don't both the House and Senate then do a simple yes/no vote on the results of the conference recommendation? Just asking because I really don't know how that process functions.

Angela Brightfeather | May 28, 2010 11:05 PM

Jillian,

Just to set the record straight...I don't like revisionist history. Autumn was not at the first meeting of the BOD of NTAC and was not on the original founding BOD as I remember. I was there and was on the first BOD. That is not minimalizing Autumn's work for our community which I highly appreciate and her reporting, along with her courage and conviction.

The original NTAC White Paper noted the actual proof of what HRC did back then with ENDA and their prelobbying, led by Burmeyer and Stachelburg, with Wilkins in tow so that GPAC could gain face value and funding, while later dumping anyone on it's BOD that was not a transexual.

You have touched on the sore spot for many of us that is not understood by most gay and lesbian activists who can't understand the anger we have for HRC and the people who worked for it back then. Being thrown under the ENDA bus is only part of the picture. Deceit and outright cowardly political tactics like incrementalism were the norm for Stachelburg and her ilk and now
DADT has once again been touched by her magic wand and becomes the next victim.

What I do not understand, is that SLDN has come out for this legislation as a partial victory at the very least and I am not sure why, unless the fake tactic of incrementalism has been swallowed by them hook, line and sinker.

Stachelburg's belief in incrementalism is so out of touch with social equality and reality, that it has delayed changes that should have occurred years ago and fostered a belief that has literally caused the death by delay of many GLBT people who simply could not wait any longer for their equality within a system and frame of mind that believes that everyone can wait for their rights, an inch at a time.

I find it very ironic and tragic that DADT stops GLB people from defending and dying for their country, while ENDA is allowed to languish, as more GLBT people give up their lives voluntarily, rather than face the discrimination and be forced to live without being able to support themselves.

It is a shame that both pieces of legislation are matters of life and death in their own distinct ways. A fact that many who posture, debate, delay, politicize, negotiate and corrupt seem to forget or think is not important enough to fight for immediately. Instead they buy into the Statchelburg mentality and allow the struggle to continue.

Kate Doak | May 28, 2010 11:36 PM

It's hilarious that Transfolk are being used as an example in this article, though as with the 2007 ENDA are being left out of any form of legislation that'd let all LGBT people serve. "Equality"..... Wooooot.....

A debate on the topic would be nice just so that everybody knows what the way forward is, though I doubt that it'd happen.... However, I don't doubt that I'm going to get hammered for just asking the question....

I guess we'll just have to pass ENDA and then go after a military version Sexual Orientation Non Discrimination Act. Given some of the comments I've read here and around the blogosphere, it should be real easy to pass, as long as it doesn't include gender identity.

The deal is done, it's time to stop complaining, start concentrating on the other jobs and civil rights bill: ENDA and when that's passed, given that little will be done to promote real equality in the military for GLB people until then, start working on a codified nondiscrimination law that covers the armed forces. We have to make sure the next president, in 2012 or 2016, can't rescind any executive orders giving the GLB (maybe the T?) community the right to serve openly.

This is now done, let's let some air back into the room so we can start breathing about ENDA again.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | May 29, 2010 1:38 AM

This Obama/Democrat scam is to real repeal as the Obama/Democrat health care package was to genuine health care reform. Worthless.

It's heartening to see a massive reaction of disgust and a continuing boycott of funding by those still adhering to the Democrats.

The problem is that even if some perfunctory 'repeal' of Clintons bigoted DADT comes down the pike in a few months or a year there's still no minimally effective language in any current or proposed law to prevent ongoing harassment, discrimination and violence against GLBT folks or women.

That illegal and bigoted conduct is guaranteed to happen because of the christer officer crops. Such behavior has to be criminalized, opened to civilian lawsuits and involve the dismissal of general officers of commands where they occur, as well dismissal and jail time for the perpetrators.

Nothing less will do.

Don't be an victim in Obama's war to make the world safe for BP and Haliburton.

Don't enlist. Don't fight. Don't translate.

Bill - so you don't see the teeniest bit of danger in having an armed force consisting of nothing but the most fundamentalist dominionist Christianists?

One where not a single liberal, or even moderate American citizen who believes the Constitution trumps the Bible is to be found, not even the lowliest private?

Recently, a Trans woman gave a lecture at West Point. It used to be that the up and coming officer corps had been accepted in Yale, Harvard, Texas A&M, MIT, CSU.... but now nearly 50% had alternate places at Liberty University or other such institutions.

"Progressives" like yourself have made the military a dirty word. You wish to make it so that no sane, humane, even marginally liberal person would join.

That means it's becoming staffed with the most hard-core Right Wing. People who believe that the USA should be God's country, a Theocracy. One where the Constitution is scrapped and re-written according to Traditional Family Values and decent Christian Principles. Because of those like you.

I don't think this is a good thing.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | May 29, 2010 3:32 PM


Zoe - so you don't see the fact that it's the enlistees, not officers, who come home in coffins. It's they, not officers, who get maimed, sewn up and left to the tender mercies of the VA with crap for a pension. And that it's enlistees who do things and see things that emotionally cripple them for life. While the grunts kill and get killed their christer officers sit back and estimate tomorrows causalities and sweat it to come up with an explanation for rapes of female soldiers, for the vicious treatment of LGBT folks and for the torture and murder of civilians.

That's true of GLBT and straight enlistees and it'll be true of draftees if Obama's incompetence and kowtowing to the militarists leads him to try to defy the will of people in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan to run their own countries. Obama is Nixon redux. His supporters are militarists or Republicans in drag.

More enlistments mean more cannon fodder. It's outrageous to assume that more enlistments will change the officer corps. Officers are taught to loyally and consciously serve the looter class, not the working class. They happily order the deaths of working people, nationalists and insurgents around the world but wouldn't dream of sending a tank brigade to support strikers in Chicago, or dispatching a couple of Apache attack helicopters to hover outside BP or Haliburton board rooms and fire off a few Hellfire missiles to 'pressure' them to stop the leak in the Gulf. When was the last time a heavily armed USMC combat team was sent to prevent a foreclosure, a repo, or to put a stop to wage cuts or layoffs? Why aren't the gazillion dollar subs being used to shut down all offshore drilling?

I think you know why.

In this country 'progressive' specifically refers to people who left the Communist (sic) Party, stealthily entered the Democrat (sic) Party and then buried themselves, 'working within' even if meant supporting military tools like LBJ, Nixon, the Bushes, Obama or any 'lesser evil' d'jour.

I'm a socialist. Not an ex-CP 'progressive' or a Democrat (sic). Please try to keep that in mind.

It's no more possible to 'reform' the officer korps than it is to reform the Democrat Party or the vatican. Those institutions are all at the beck and call of the looter class and blaming their backwardness on the left is foolish.

Don't be a causality for BP. Don't enlist. Don't fight. Don't translate.

With many, many gay men and some lesbians (mostly men) praising this as a "victory," it is sad to see how easily they can be duped. Dr. Weiss on Bilerico and Autumn on Pam's House Blend, both trans women, are giving the rest of the community a dose of reality check. This compromise is a road to going back to the pre-DADT days, where GLB people will be kicked out like trans people are still being kicked out today, with no recourse. SLDN will be neutralized.

Why do you suppose trans people are so easily able to give the rest of the community a reality check on this compromise? The years of constantly being lied to, thrown under the bus, being lectured at for not accepting incrementalism and just generally being crapped on by various GLBt organizations trains people to see the bullshit when it is being dished, like Congress did on this compromise. In other words, we are cynical, and rightly so. A healthy dose of cynicism is needed here, because next year, when the DoD study is done and GLB people won't be allowed to serve openly, the "I told you soes" will be as thick as mosquitoes on a summer day. It won't be a pretty sight.

I for one never understood why the provision was added that allowed the military to study the matter in the first place. They do not need additional studies as there are plenty of modern military's around the world which are allies who have that data already. They need only make a few calls to the countries that do already allow openly Gay and Lesbian people to serve in their military to get whatever answers they need. This "study" in my opinion is nothing more than more delay to keep any real resolution to take place on the Don't ask, don't tell question. Which I also believe is nothing more than a delay tactic to keep ENDA which effects far more people than DADT does from seeing the light of day. Once again we have been out flanked it appears which may be part of the reason they question LGBT service in the military.

The biggest thing I see being overlooked in all this is the wars and the timing of withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan. There are several issues there. First, when the attention of the press is diverted to DADT politicians and military brass don't face continued pressures about ending the wars. Second, as those conflicts inevitably do draw to a close the military will be reducing manpower and the discharge of "undesirables" will be cloaked in necessary staff reductions. The brass is particularly aware of this reality because of their experience after the Vietnam debacle. They are thinking strategically while the GLBT focus is on daily and monthly tactics. Yes, outflanked is an entirely appropriate term.

Zoe, just an FYI, the 'so called 'Chicago machine' ain't exactly a fan of Obama either.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | May 29, 2010 3:52 PM

Which no doubt explains why Obama appointed Rahmbo Emanuel as his CoS.

Chitown Kev | May 29, 2010 4:16 PM

So true, Monica.

People just don't seem to get that in representing Hyde Park, Obama represented the one place in the entire city (if not the state) where he could escape much of the Chicago machine politics.

After all, both Daley and Bill Clinton endorsed Bobby Rush over Obama in the 2000 Dem primary and Rush went so far as to endorse Blair Hull in 2004.

And let's not even talk about Jesse Jackson Sr. (and, as we have come to find out, Jr. as well)

Now THOSE are Chicago machine politicians.

To be fair, though, Valerie Jarrett and Rahm Emmanuel ARE Daley machine politicians though. So Obama has embraced them. So, at best, one could call Obama's embracing of Chicago machine politics (the Alice Palmer incident in 1996 notwithstanding, lol) a very, very recent thing.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | May 29, 2010 6:25 PM

I guess it depends on what 'very, very recent' means.

It is true that in his early days Obama bucked the machine by supporting what have turned out to be largely ineffective reforms. Ineffective because corruption is as rampant and defining of Chicago Democrat politics as it is of Texas Republican politics. But since then he's moved steadily to the right.

He began as a supporter of GLBT rights like marriage and ended up sabotaging our efforts to retain it in California.

In 2007, if that's recent, Obama backed Daley for Mayor, who in turn backed him for President although at the time it seemed likely that B. Clinton would be the nominee.

Obama the 'reformer' has always shied away from challenging the machine. In 2006 he refused to endorse Forrest Claypool, a 'reformer' and instead endorsed the machine candidate Stroger.

He's been connected to Tony Rezko of the Blagojevich machine since 1990.

He has his history and like all Democrats who want to 'make it', it's a history of betrayal of principles and constituents.

Reminds me of a similar post I wrote back in the day:

http://www.bilerico.com/2009/06/how_did_the_gay_partners_get_in_immigrat.php

The incrementalism in ENDA in 2007 was fundamentally different from what we're seeing right now:

1. There was no chance ENDA would be passed back then, but this deal seems like it'll get through

2. The DADT bill doesn't cut any classes of people out - it just delays/jeopardizes/waters down the end result

3. Is there anyone who's actually come out against the DADT deal, instead of just saying that it's bad? Most of what I've read has been in the "it's not enough" category, not much "this is so bad I'm lobbying for it not to pass"

Anyway, yeah, but they're getting what they asked for. Nothing better's going to pass at the moment, and they're looking for a victory. It seems like CAP was in the right place at the right time with the right increment.