In the wake of yesterday's debacle on the defense authorization bill which included DADT repeal and the DREAM Act as amendments, like many others, I felt like vomiting.
The Democrats, naturally are saying it's all the GOP's fault. One Democratic blogger and paid cheerleader sent me a message that said in part "The problem is the GOP, end of story." That is certainly the message the Democratic Party establishment wants the LGBT and Hispanic communities to lap up like sheep or trained circus dogs. And if one looks solely at today's roll call, that ploy makes initial sense.
The cynic in me, however, tells me otherwise. Both political parties are all too happy keeping the status quo - regardless of the lip service the powers that be in the Democratic Party may say to the contrary.
Perhaps a better depiction of the situation would be to take the picture above and insert LGBT Americans on the receiving end under the Democratic Party donkey. Jim Burroway at Box Turtle Bulletin reflects some of my feelings on the matter:
This was never a serious attempt to pass legislation in the best interests of the American people. It was nothing but political theater, and everyone on both sides were eager actors in the drama. All the Senators had a role to play, and everyone played to the audience. Even the White House had a bit part. They issued a statement calling for an end to the fillibuster, but according to SLDN's Trevor Thomas, there was no lobbying behind the scenes.
And now that the vote was taken, the play moves on to its second act: everyone now gets to go home and use it on the campaign trail. Republicans, even those who support DADT's repeal, will be able to brag that they stood up to the evil Democratic machine. Democrats will be able to blame the evil Republican machine for blocking legislation that three-fourths of the American population agree on.
Yes, that's right. Yesterday played out exactly how the congressional democrats and the White House wanted it to. Now, they can use this vote to depict the GOP as the bogey man yet again and try to wring votes - and more importantly, money - from LGBT citizens and Hispanic voters. They killed two birds with one stone if you will.
So where does the LGBT community go from here? As one well know blogger queried earlier, do we have any long term plan as a community? I suspect the true answer is no, we do not. I likewise suspect that the Democratic Party establishment hopes that we're as dumb as they hope/think we are and that as a community we continue doing exactly what we've been doing: sending votes and money to Democrats and buying the story line that they are our champions.
The problem is that the approach that the Democrats hope we resume clearly has gotten us nowhere. If there was any doubt of this reality, the last 18 months have demonstrated that the Democrats really have no desire to repeal DADT, repeal DOMA (even the new DNC website seems to confirm this) or pass ENDA. With 60 votes in the Senate for much of 2009, a majority in the House of Representatives, control of the White House, and polls showing around 75% of Americans supporting DADT repeal, nothing was accomplished. Nothing!
Frankly, given the desire of the Democrat establishment to keep the LGBT community as the party's serfs for the foreseeable future, I believe that as a community we may be far better off diverting moneys now going to the Democrats and groups like HRC - which time and time again has given political cover to the White House - to groups that are willing to litigate for our rights. Sadly, it's in the courts where there are rules of evidence and set burdens of proof where we prevail.
Among the Congressional Democrats - and I include Barack Obama in this category as well - they simply don't give a damn whether or not LGBT Americans ever see full legal equality under the nation's laws. Oh, they will make pretty speeches and pretend to be sincere, but it's really all about keeping gays subservient to the Democratic Party and keeping the money flowing.
My Glenn Nye yard sign is now in the trash can, the event the boyfriend and I were to host on Sunday is canceled, and I am debating resigning as a LGBT liaison to the Democratic Party of Virginia.