I used to think the most annoying people to argue with were Clinton supporters during the primary last year. I may have to re-eavulate that assessment. At any rate, back to my earlier post on the bizarre freak-out from the online gay activists to Obama’s speech at the HRC. Some times I don’t think people read what I say at all. For example:
I love this blog but I have a genuine problem with someone who is straight telling gay people to relax regarding DADT and DOM. We just don’t have the luxury of waiting. Sully is a self-righteous tool sometimes and definitely does not speak for the gay community, but honestly John. What we are asking for is so simple and quite small. I would rather not be lectured.
Precisely where did I say to be patient? To state it again, since you all apparently did not read it the first time:
Yes, you have every right to be pissed at the current state of affairs, because I sure would be pissed at being treated as a second class citizen if I were gay, and yes, if I had my way these things would already have been taken care of, and yes, you may have heard parts of his speech a year ago.
If I were gay and being treated like a second-class citizen, denied the rights straight people have, I would be blowing shit up, so I am not telling you to shut up or be patient. What I am telling you, however, is that the response from last night is completely and totally unproductive. In fact, it could actually be destructive to the cause.
The past eight years the Bush administration declared open war on the gay community. Now, you have a President who has openly declared his support for the causes, and not only that, campaigned in support of those issues, and then just took to the microphone and gave a long speech in support of those issues. And the response? This is typical:
He has not even remotely tried to use the bully pulpit. He has not expended one iota of his capital to move anything through Congress…and DADT is rejected by something like 60% plus of the American people!
As I noted in the comments, what exactly do you think the bully pulpit is? When the President takes to the podium at the HRC dinner, and openly, publicly, and I think, passionately supports your cause, that is using the bully pulpit. There isn’t some magic podium with a sign that says “Bully” on it from which a speech can be given and all the wrongs in the world are righted.
And despite the fact that Obama’s position is a 180 degree turn from the previous administration, which declared open war with the FMA, he is greeted with catcalls of “what have you done for me lately” or “just words,” feeding the right-wing narrative that Obama is all talk. Well played.
Nothing constructive is ever built with negativity. Period. So instead of blowing up at the first President in my lifetime to openly advocate for gay rights, why don’t you do something constructive? Why don’t you embrace his message? How about an ad campaign that has Obama speaking from the HRC declaring support for your goals, and asking Congress whether they want to join you and the President in achieving those goals? How about going to Harry Reid, who is in a tight election as it is, and asking him whether or not he will join with the President and the gay community to end DADT and DOMA? How about stating that you stand in unison with the President, that you intend to work with him to achieve those goals.
I understand that may not be as cathartic as knee-capping your own guy while chanting “just words,” but it might be more productive. And it isn’t settling. It isn’t telling you to shut up or relax or be patient. It is telling you that working to change the status quo is more productive than hurting your own team, even though throwing eggs and making farty sounds with your armpit is more fun.
And by the way, while you all are weakening your own team, Maggie Gallagher and Focus on the Family are all raising money to turn things back to the way they were on January 19th 2009. While you may not realize things are a lot different now, trust me, those guys do.