I have had it with the Human Rights Campaign. Had it. HRC is a great group and fine, committed people work there, but the nation’s largest GLBT civil-rights organization is so embedded in the status quo and so invested in the politics of expediency and so embarrassingly immersed in the half-life of going along to get along that it has rendered itself as useless as folks like Bob Casey Jr., Joe Lieberman, Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer.
Here are excerpts from HRC President Joe Solmonese’s ridiculous take on the as-expected defeat of the Dubya Bush-lauded anti-equality Federal Marriage Amendment (interrupted intermittently when I can no longer contain myself):
In the battle for fairness, the Federal Marriage Amendment suffered a resounding defeat this morning in the U.S. Senate.
Not only did not a single Senator on our side buckle to pressure and advertising campaigns from right-wing groups to switch their vote, but we gained two Senators, Senators Gregg (R-NH) and Specter (R-PA), who voted the other way in 2004.
President Bush and the Republican leadership gambled their dwindling political capital on a discriminatory amendment and came up empty.
To read the coverage in the press, visit here.
That would be great if it meant something. The Republican leadership had no goal other than to push a bill IT KNEW WOULD NOT AND COULD NOT PASS in order to rile up the fundies. (How did it know? Americans by and large may not want to acknowledge GLBT equality, but amending the constitution to include discrimination explicitly… that’s huge, nasty stuff. Relatively few people, however heterosupremacist or homo-hating, want to be seen as a jerk, and only jerks would support something so heinous as the FMA. That’s why the proposed amendment lost and had to lose.) When Bush of the Low Approval Rating uses an anti-American measure sure to fail as a photo-op for right-wing think tanks, conservative Christian groups and leaders of the “ex-gay” movement, obviously the bill isn’t the point: Winning over and re-engaging folks who hate and fear queer people in time for the fall elections is the goal. Where Salmonese sees a “resounding defeat” for the bigots who want to enshrine discrimination in the US Constitution, others see a chance for the Shrub to say “mission accomplished” with justification next November.
This is a day to celebrate. But HRC is already laying the groundwork for what will undoubtedly be an even harder-fought effort in the volatile, right-wing House of Representatives. Speaker Boehner has said today that he will bring the FMA up for a vote in July.
July, eh? Just in time to remind the Red Staters about the need to vote GOP in the fall. Does Solmonese not see this? Or is he, like so many other DINOs, spinning aimlessly and focusing on fatcat donors rather than demanding that his party actually stand up for real equality. No, Salmonese is babbling about the fight for equality while waving the flag for “Democrats” like Pennsylvania Senate nominee Bob Casey Jr., a man who told his state’s Catholic League that he doesn’t support same-gender marriage or adoptions by gay people. If Solmonese supports Casey, why should I support Solmonese or his organization?
And, pray tell, what in hell are we celebrating: Our continued inequality? Being used as bait to lure fundies back to the Bush camp? Being led down a primrose path of painful pragmatism by an organization that insists we compromise something uncompromisable (that would be equality, Joe) and settle for less-than-full citizenship? Oh yeah, throw a friggin’ party.
Our work is far from finished. We’re counting on you to continue your active, vocal and determined support of the Human Rights Campaign and the fight for equality.
I support equality. Let’s leave it at that.
Here is the note I dashed off to Solmonese and the HRC field office:
My god, how naive are you people? The goal wasn’t for the FMA to win. The goal was to energize the right-wing base, to raise funds and fear for the fall election. See how that shakes out: Will GLBT people be equal under law or closer to it by November? Or will the GOP maintain its legislative supremacy? I submit that we won’t know who was defeated resoundingly (or not) until at least then. And I suspect that the status quo now will be the status quo then and for some time to come. Which means tactics like the cynical, political use of anti-glbt hate and fear ARE successful for the right wing. This “resounding defeat” BS just plays into their hands and empowers the useless, vile anti-gay-when-it-counts Democrats In Name Only like Bob Casey (whom you people insist on supporting, so happy you are to accept any partial show of feigned respect from the hets).
This was going to be the year I considered joining HRC as an official member. Won’t happen. I’ll certainly support worthy HRC initiatives (Million for Marriage, the ExxonMobil boycott), but I can’t join. Immoral means do not justify honorable ends – ever. Neither does supporting DINOs. I have character and integrity and principles to uphold. And I have a brain.
One question, Joe: How many of the senators on your “good guy and gal” list – those who voted against the FMA this time around – voted in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act, the one your boy Slick Willie boasted about on right-wing talk radio in 1996? How many of them would support DoMA now if they thought their political lives depended on it? Ask Barbie Mikulski.
I am disappointed with HRC’s response, but surprised? Not in the slightest.
Pretty much says it all. Heaven knows I did try.