At least it's . . . something. The gay DNC fundraiser is splintering under increasing pressure from activists not to attend in response to last week's odious DOMA brief filed by the Department of Justice.
However, the situation is far from a devolution in gay partisanship. While being hailed as the strongest action yet by GLBTers against a Democratic administration, it seems not a single prominent blogger mentions the ridiculous submissive position they placed themselves in by spending the last twenty years being unfailingly loyal and protective of a national party that has gleefully abused their generosity while daring them to do anything about it.
To whit, the DNC fundraiser's very existence puts in a stark light the Democratic Party's usual treatment of the gay community as little more than a cash cow to be milked to the point of bruising. Imagine this, timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Stonewall, during a Pride month, the DNC "celebrates" these milestones by deigning to give prominent gays the privilege of paying them to mutter nice things. Could the party any more plainly and harshly say "Hooray for you! Now pay us."
Yet revolting against this base submissive stance is being hailed as a SERIOUS ACT in the fight against a tepid, unenthusiastic administration. It seems to me that serious activism would have avoided the gay community being in this position to begin with.
To gild an ever increasing comical lily, activists are hailing this letter from Joe Solmonese as a turning point in gay submission. Adjectives include the words "scathing", "brutal", and "unprecedented." Which part, this?
As an American, a civil rights advocate, and a human being, I hold this administration to a higher standard than this brief. In the course of your campaign, I became convinced—and I still want to believe—that you do, too. I have seen your administration aspire and achieve. Protecting women from employment discrimination. Insuring millions of children. Enabling stem cell research to go forward. These are powerful achievements. And they serve as evidence to me that this brief should not be good enough for you. The question is, Mr. President—do you believe that it’s good enough for us?
While not the HRC's usual bend-over-and-take-it tone, there's still room for Solmonese to wipe his chin as he once again points out that the largest organization supposedly representing all gays is still a good liberal soldier.
One, of course, should have some pity for Solmonese. Here is a man who has spent years straddling the divide between activism and a slobbering desire for access, money, and power. The HRC is usually the very last organization to spring into action with one of the rustiest barometers for gay sentiment ever constructed. With his back recently put against a very impatient, post-Prop 8 wall, Solmonese has no choice. One could almost hear the phone calls after the release of this letter, as the HRC president furiously dialed every Democratic politician in his rolodex. "How dare you! Look, I'm really sorry. Really. I have to. This administration is wrong! Really, so sorry. Please ignore this. Homophobia! Please don't hold this against me. They're making me."
If the gay community were a fifth as serious in opposing Democratic intransigence as they were complaining about Republicans, they'd probably start outing Democratic staffers in the Department of Justice. That, of course, will never be forthcoming. As Mike Petrelis notes, the activist community is prepared to do very little at all other than vent on blogs and refuse to attend a party. Although it would've been a fabulous party. Did the DNC treasurer and uber apologist mention the 10,400 sq. ft. spa? He did!
That's what the DNC thinks of gays. It's what they've always thought of gays. Pity it took a Prop. 8 to get anyone to notice. But then, the Republicans haven't even a modicum of power in Washington at the moment. The activists have no choice, and so now they will play-activist, without the slightest clue that they put the community here by apologizing for the gross submission to party for so very, very long.
Still, it's something, even if it's an incredibly late something.