Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

Dems High After Primaries, But So Is Gay Bar

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | May 20, 2010 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Politics
Tags: Democrats, employment discrimination, Employment Non-Discrimination Act, ENDA, primaries

The Democrats are high with relief after the primaries, celebrating a far better than expected election night, but the bar on LGBT rights bills remains high as well.

They seem to forget why they get elected in the first place, still cowering timidly after victory.

Speaking in CQ Politics today, Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (Md.) cautioned that leaders should not over-read the Critz victory as a sign they can keep forcing moderates into "tough votes, such as passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act or repealing the 'don't ask, don't tell' law before the Pentagon is onboard."

"I really have an issue with discrimination, but we have to look at the politics of it," he said. "You are not going to be able to go forward with your agenda if you're not in the majority."

Excuse me, Representative Ruppersberger, but you have been in the majority for the past two years, and have done nothing with the power you were granted to help millions of LGBT workers suffering under high unemployment and underemployment, harassment and forced closeting.

The Democrats seem to forget why they won the 2008 elections in the first place. They want power, but not to use it for the good of LGBT voters, or Hispanics, or people who care about the environment. What then, is the use of giving the Democratic Party power, if the base is always given short shrift? Will the Democratic Party's desire to retain power suddenly abate after November?

Speaking in The Hill newspaper yesterday evening, Speaker Pelosi again vowed to end DADT, and said that ENDA has a good chance of victory in the House.

The article indicates that ENDA has a better chance of passage, with 202 co-sponsors, than the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," with only 192 cosponsors. While these numbers are both are short of the 217 needed for passage, there will likely be many Representatives who, while not co-sponsoring, will vote in favor of the bills. Based on information from various public sources, ENDA has 224 likely yes votes, with probably another 12 unconfirmed Representatives or so who will vote yes.

The word from DC before the primaries was that Democrats must be cautious about LGBT rights because of the possibility that the November mid-terms will cost many Democratic seats in Congress. Now we have a great primary election night, and what's the word from DC? Does this empower Democrats to fulfill their party platform? No, it apparently scares them further, perhaps because the taste of victory is so much nearer.

This is the triumph of power over good.

I do not understand this reasoning.

If the Democrats are going to lose control of Congress, now is the time to free millions of LGBT Americans from the scourge of discrimination.

If, however, Democrats want to de-energize their base and make them want to stay home in November, there is no better way than to act timidly when they have been entrusted with a mandate to govern. Throwing gays, Hispanics, and environmentalists overboard by refusing to grapple with civil rights, immigration and climate issues is not a recipe for winning in the November.

It is a recipe for disaster.

The People voted for the Democratic Party because they want the Democratic Party platform put into action. They did not vote for Republicans-lite.

If the Democrats, now high on the results of Tuesday evening's primaries, think that they can get away with as little as possible, they are making a very grave mistake that will come to haunt them in November.

Enjoy your party, Democrats. I'm happy for us too. But pride cometh before a downfall.

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Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | May 20, 2010 9:42 AM

"What then, is the use of giving the Democratic Party power, if the base is always given short shrift? "

None whatsoever.

The foundation for a real fight for equality begins after we declare political independence, abandon the Democrats and Republicans, project a campaign of unending mass action and direct action, adopt a 'won't take no for an answer militancy and begin to build democratic institutions for ourselves.

Nothing else is half as important as accomplishing those key movement tasks.

Renee Thomas | May 20, 2010 10:33 AM

Today's daily missive to the honorable Speaker Pelosi:

Madame Speaker

The questions of the LGBT community across this nation are as simple as they are repetitive:

Why do you and the Democratic majority so consistently fail to demonstrate the leadership that you were elected to provide to the people who trusted you and sent you to Washington?

Why do you transparently betray those constituents in an obvious stalling action guaranteed to ensure that this community will be denied, yet again, its civil rights?

Do you and your colleagues think that retaining your grasp on raw political power is - in and of itself - so important as to motivate you to ignore those who gave you that power in the first place?

When will you place integrity above expedience?

And lastly Madame Speaker,

What makes you think that we will lift a finger to help you or the Democratic Party in any way whatsoever when your betrayal of us is complete?

Madame Speaker . . . are you prepared for the consequences?

Geez I'm shocked I atleast agree with you totally for once on this statement!

Not enough "anger" Renee. You have to really, really demand and really, really threaten.

I think you have the Democrats scared now, but you need to turn it up a little more. Terrify them. That'll work.

Renee Thomas | May 20, 2010 12:13 PM

Please allow me, for just a moment, to violate the Prime Directive

Shut up Andrew

I need to remind everyone of our "Ignore Andrew Campaign" (IAC.) It didn't do too bad on the last couple of postings from Dr. Weiss, but we need to ramp it up each time. Thank you for participating.

I am a proud AndrewW ignorer.

OK let's turn our attention to winning. The key to defeat of an opponent is always found in their strength never in their weakness. So first who are the opponents? I nominate 3 as top of the list. They are ..
1. an ineffective speaker of the house.
2. The longest serving loud mouthed gay house member.
3. Many Republicans as well as the conservative "elitist" members of Congress. This group is somewhat harder to define precisely but those who support continued involvement in unwarranted foreign wars and vote against the interests of the average citizen qualify. Do they vote for wall street or the people who are unemployed. Some of these are tough calls.

So, where are the strengths and how do we use them to defeat those 3 opponents?

Pelosi is easy. She has consistently won re-election by large margins. Due to the very nature of her district she can be easily defeated by a GAP campaign. GAP= GLBT Against Pelosi.

Frank is in the same vulnerable position. GAFF = GLBT Against Frenemy Frank.

Third target? Tougher but it can be achieved by a serious campaign to get out the vote in 2010. We can be instrumental in flipping the fall elections on their head because the only way the elitists conquer is by mid-terms with a small turnout due to disgust. They are counting on getting conservatives to the polls and suppressing the populist vote. It is time for the young, disenfranchised, unemployed, poor and hungry to flood the voting booths. Drop quibbling over minutia and recognize that we need to break the back of the elite power brokers of industry and bigoted zealots by a massive turnout. We can call this campaign PEE = People Eject Elitists.

So there you have it ... PEE, GAFF and GAP in 2010. Very simple.

Any takers?

Renee Thomas | May 20, 2010 12:33 PM

Now that is change I can believe in!

Notwithstanding the meddling of the Supreme Court, it's instructive to recall that the margins that ensured the failure of Al Gore's bid for president were quite slim indeed.

EqualityCalifornia is throwing Pelosi a "celebration" and fundraiser on Friday night.


What a perfect opportunity for GAP. Boycott it.

Yes, by all means pay $75 at least to fawn at Pelosi's feet for being the representative of one of the largest queer populations in the country even though she hasn't delivered on any legislation for her constituents.


Pelosi and her party are symptoms of what has happened in San Francisco. Check out the paltry showing SF has planned to honor Harvey Milk - compared with what the rest of the country has planned.

Putting all the chips in one pile at the table of power gambling that a political party will deliver us is becoming blatently offensive. More gays than ever are lining up at the trough to suck up the $$$...Milk's message was never about being complacent or greedy once achieving power. But that's how he is being interpreted.

I agree. "Politics" isn't the answer.

Neither are all these "devoted to equality" non-profits that are more concerned about their salaries than accomplishing anything. The only "strategies" they have are for fundraising.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | May 20, 2010 7:33 PM

Hi Patrick.

Nancy Pelosi is the perfect Democrat. She's no more a radical than Obama's for change or McCain is an independent.

In 1987, her first election, she ran as the 'machine' candidate in a special Democratic primary narrowly defeating gay SF Supervisor Harry Britt in a campaign that featured gay baiting. That years primary was remarkable for its large Republican crossover pro-Pelosi vote. Pelosi, a member of the looter class, used her personal wealth to win the election.

Pelosi is making noises now, although that's all they are, because her election will be decided by GLBT forks, whom Obama can safely ignore. His election will be decided by christer bigots organized by Rovian ordained pentecostal bigots like Josh Dubois and Leah Daughtry, overseen by Rahm Emanuel and Tim Kaine, Obama's hatchet men.

Pelosi is rich. Her income as Speaker was $212,100 in 2008, but that's dwarfed by her personal wealth. Together with her husband, Paul, Pelosi owns a vineyard in St. Helena, CA, valued at roughly $25 million; a town house in Norden, Calif., valued at $5 million and rental property in Napa, CA, valued at about $1 million. Those are reported values, the real figures are likely much higher. The Pelosi's exercised a $5 million option to purchase a home in San Francisco as their primary residence in 2007. Paul Pelosi reported nearly four dozen stock sales and purchases in 2007, the year the Great Recession began all involving sums greater than $1 million, including stock in Cisco Systems Inc., New River Pharmaceuticals, Apple Computer, and Sandisk Corp.

Like most dues paying members of the looter class Nancy Pelosi is relentlessly rightwing. (Except for elections years, of course and taking into account that Democrats have to lie a lot more in California if they expect to get elected.)

According to Peter Camejo "Nancy Pelosi should be understood as someone who... voted for a motion for unequivocal support for George Bush's conduct of the war in Iraq, and she led the Democratic Party to vote for that. ... She led the Democrats in giving George Bush 35 standing ovations in the State of the Union address in 2005. Every single time he used the word Iraq, all the Democrats rose to give him a standing ovation."

She voted for FISA and for the Paytriot Act.

She drew a line in the sand about impeaching Bush because she and the Democratic leadership would be - and are - practicing the same kind of genocidal policies for the same reason - to steal oil.

She supported the recent health care scam that will continue to condemn tens of thousands to an early death.

Labor Unions have pledged their support of Democrats in November:

"AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard said Thursday they would reward Democrats in November for their healthcare reform victory.

Trumka and Gerard rallied union members on Capitol Hill as Democratic congressional leaders and vulnerable members thanked organized labor for supporting healthcare reform. Democrats will need motivated union support to fend off a Republican takeover in November.

"We thank them for supporting us, and we want them to know it’s payback time. You supported us, now it’s our turn," Trumka said. "We will work harder than ever. We will work smarter than ever. And we will win in November."

Link: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/96499-union-leaders-pledge-support-for-dems-this-november

The LGBT Community will do the same.

Perhaps what this country needs to experience by the people is a coup. We are not any better off than the oppressed in Thailand. Sad but true if we have to fight for every Civil Rights issue.

Today "about a dozen protesters" showed up in DC for a "Demand ENDA Now Rally." They brought the "ENDA Dancers" that performed a number based on the Village People favorite Y-M-C-A, but changed the letters and lyrics to reflect their anger and frustration. Cute.

Meanwhile another dozen misfit got arrested in Senator Durbin's office because he wouldn't "pledge to bring ENDA to a vote." He wasn't even there. After they began chanting, police removed them.

Silly, embarrassing stunts.

GetATTENTION is almost out of money. This lunacy will stop soon. I get the sense that eventually they'll just kidnap the President's daughters and hold them hostage. Demanding may work with some hostages. Right?

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Isn't it awesome that their job security is more secure? They want us to vote for them to keep their jobs but they're not willing to do the same for us.

That's pretty obvious Bil since not only will the Dems not get enda through for us but they will shove us under the bus so they can give the illegals more rights than us care to bet?

Sadly, I've made up my mind. If I don't see ANYTHING MOVE...then I'll stay home come election day.

Why waste my 5 minutes to vote for them when they can't use the 2 years I've given them to vote for me? The excuses are appaling. They aren't even TRYING to do anything! They just make a promise and hold out their hands for money.

Sorry, I plan on having a pizza when I stay home election day.

I hadn't seen that fundraiser. How do they justify it?

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | May 20, 2010 7:51 PM

The same way people justified asking LGBT folks to vote for Obama.

It's one part repetitive and dangerous partisan gambling that the new lesser evil (Obama) will be better than the last one (Clinton - DADT, DOMA) and two parts foolish projection of their own goals on politicians who don't give a rats ass about us.

But it seems to work each time for LGBT Democrats. Thankfully that's beginning to change among large parts or our communities.

Pelosi is only our friend at election time.

Chris Daley | May 20, 2010 9:11 PM

Alex -

what is that EQCA needs to justify? Obviously, she is a pressure point for moving important legislation right now and folks are working hard to move her forward.

At the same time, Pelosi is, far and away (like "farther than the eye can see" far and away), the most pro-LGBT and pro-government spending on HIV/AIDS speaker in the history of this country.

And there is that little miracle she pulled off in getting the health care bill signed. And she is the first woman to lead Congress.

Any one of which seems like a good reason to me for EQCA to honor her service and support her re-election. And, in total, seem like more than enough reason to add in a carrot or two to the sticks that are currently being deployed to get her to do what we want.



We can only hope that GetATTENTION shows up and disrupts her evening. THEY can get her to pay attention to our demands. Embarrassing her will make her like us even more. Bring it on.

She may be our friend, but she needs to understand that we are DEMANDING action NOW. No excuses.

If no one or just a few show up it will serve notice to her that she is history. GAP!

It was announced last night that ENDA is off until July, which means it is effectively dead. I cannot express in words how deeply, deeply disappointed I am. More in my post today.

Wendell Cochran | May 21, 2010 1:52 PM

The word from DC before the primaries was that Democrats must be cautious about LGBT rights because of the possibility that the November mid-terms will cost many Democratic seats in Congress.

This kind of "excusefull" reasoning makes my ass hurt and my blood boil. Democrates will lose their seats not because they vote for the rights of gay citizens, BUT because the goats failed to exert the kind of boldness of character they were elected to do -- change the Republican climate after eight years of the Bush debacle. Instead of doing what they promised to do during the time they had he bull by the nuts, they have embraced a do-nothing attitude mothered by do-nothing disfunctional leaders in both the House and the Senate. To blame gay legislation as possibile reason for not living up to the promises they made is nothing short of scapegoating. If they do in fact loose seats, it will be because as any farmer know, once you've got the bull under control, do what has to be done and don't let go. Other wise, you've got a very mad bull who's going to chase right out to the barn yard. The Democratic major will have no one to blame but themselves.