Michael Hamar

Largely Worthless Tim Kaine to Remain DNC Chair

Filed By Michael Hamar | January 04, 2011 12:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, DNC Chair, Don't Ask Don't Give, Don't Ask Don't Tell, LGBT voters, lip service, Tim Kaine

Maybe my view of Tim Kaine is colored by his failure to do anything to support his own Tim_Kaine.jpgExecutive Order 1 (2006) - which allegedly afforded employment non-discrimination protections to gay Virginia state employees - when its effectiveness was being litigated in court after the leadership of the Virginia Museum of Natural History fired Michael Moore, a young gay man.

In the final analysis, Moore was fired solely because his sexual orientation apparently offended the sensibilities of then Musemum Executive Director Tim Gette. This is a topic I've addressed previously both here on Bilerico and on my personal blog.

Or maybe my dim view of Kaine is because he seemed more focused on his role at the DNC than he did on being governor during the period that his DNC responsibilities overlapped with his term as Governor of Virginia. Or it might even be because of his tone deafness to the issues important to the Democrat Party base and his utter failure to mobilize Democarats to prevent the 2009 GOP sweep in Virginia - which saddled the state with gay hater extradordinaire, Ken Cuccinelli - and the debacle in last November's federal elections.

Whatever the cause, I am far less than thrilled that Kaine will be remaining as DNC chair for another two years. While giving lip service to LGBT rights both as Governor of Virginia and at the DNC, Kaine is in truth anything but a strong LGBT ally, in my view, and activists in national LGBT rights organizations need to recognize that lip service will likely be all they see from Kaine. Hence why I am leaving the "Don't Ask, Don't Give" link on my personal blog for the time being.

Unless court decisions force change, I don't see either Obama or Kaine championing our equality over the next two years. These highlights from the Washington Post look at Kaine's decision to remain DNC chair:

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine said Sunday that he plans to stay at the helm of the national party another two years because that's where President Obama wants him to serve.

"My agreement with the president is I was going to do what he wants me to do," Kaine said on CNN's "State of the Union." "And what I know sitting here today is he wants me to continue in this spot and that's what I'm going to do with excitement, you know, traveling all around the country, going through the TSA lines like everybody else, going out and being the president's advocate and promoter. And it's a wonderful job and I intend continue it."

Obama campaigned for Kaine's gubernatorial bid in 2005; two years later, Kaine became the first major elected official outside of Illinois to back Obama's White House bid. He also was on Obama's vice presidential shortlist in 2008.

Late last year, Politico reported that senior Democratic officials were floating the possibility of White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs succeeding Kaine as DNC chairman, with Kaine potentially in line for a Cabinet job. At the time, the White House pushed back against the speculation and a Kaine aide noted that the chairmanship is a four-year term.

Again, my prediction with Kaine: two more years of mealy-mouthed lip service to LGBT equality, but no leadership or action at the DNC chair level. It's unfortunate, but I believe that is what we will see occur.


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As a Democrat, and particularly as one who claims to support LGBT rights, Tim Kaine is an even bigger joke than Michael Steele is as a Republican.

As I wrote a while back, rolling out Tim Kaine, who signed Virginia's same-sex marriage ban into law in addition to the many other indignities he heaped on LGBT Virginians during his tenure, out to the community as the Democratic Party's spokesperson on LGBT rights and progress is nothing short of a slap in the face and an insult to American LGBT community, and yet even more evidence that the Democratic Party still has its head stuck firmly in the sand when it comes to really taking on the issue of LGBT rights, DADT repeal notwithstanding.

It's not just LGBT rights, but everything. The party just doesn't care anymore.

John Rutledge | January 5, 2011 10:13 AM

Tim Kaine is an effective, capable communicator and an excellent voice for the DNC. He is able to strongly hold his own in any debate. He gets the point across and educates the ignorant. We cheer for him everytime we see him on Rachel Maddow, or any appearance for that matter. Does everything have to be so gay-centered we tear down the rest?
We live in Virginia, sorry to say. The commonwealth is brutal on 'the gay', and is only getting worse now that he is gone. Tim Kaine did a fine job overall. We were proud to have him as governor, and look forward to supporting whatever he does in the future. I believe given his intelligence and humanity, he is open minded to change on some of our issues. He is one of the few where religious bigotry does not rule. Theocracy is a real danger for us all.We need a reasonable voice in the game.

In a word, bullshit. Tim Kaine is a "fairweather progressive", the kind of Democrat who claims to be progressive but really only reflects those values as long as it's not in the least bit inconvenient for the Democratic Party.

Tim Kaine has proven repeatedly that he's perfectly happy to throw the poorest and most persecuted American minorities back under the bus to help smooth the path for cowardly Democrats. He's a perfect example of the kind of Democrat we need to replace with a true progressive leader instead of a craven sellout who always puts party before principle.

The fact that someone like Kaine is the Chair of the DNC tells you about all you really need to know about what the Democratic Party really thinks about standing up for the rights of all Americans.

If the Democrats want to convince me they're serious about fighting for true American equal rights, the first thing they can do is dump Tim Kaine and bring back Howard Dean. Then, maybe we can talk.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | January 5, 2011 3:05 PM

Tim Kaine, a DLC Dixiecrat in the mold of Bill Clinton, was appointed by Obama to head the DNC. He's an anti-union, anti-choice know nothing creationist chucklehead. While governor of Virginia governor Kaine signed a bill limiting marriage to 'one man and one woman'. He's opposed to civil unions, "I have never said I supported gay civil unions, gay marriages." AP

Leah Daughtry, who Obama retained to run the day to day operatons of the DNC is even worse. She's an actual ordained pentecostal minister in the same sect as Donnie McClurkin and Jimmy Swaggart, who said he's kill any gay man who looked at him that way. The DNC run by Daughtry and Dean was successfully sued for anti-gay employment discrimination, funded anti-GLBT and anti-choice religious groups with donated money and expunged any mention of GLBT issues from Obama's 2008 platform.

Comparing them to the RNC is six of one and half a dozen of another. The differences in terms of their bigotry are marginal and cosmetic. One, the RNC, calls us faggots, dykes and trannies to our faces and the other, the DNC, uses the latest PC terms while stabbing us in the back.

Kaine and Daughtry are not the problem. Their employer is the problem.