CommunityPam's House Blend

A big strike at the Phobocrats

Love it. Fellow bloggrrrl and ally Shakes Sis has a good long rant on the sorry state of the Democratic Party regarding gay rights and gay marriage. The movement every eloquent straight and gay voice out there to call the Dems out on their complete ball-lessness on support of gay citizens, especially in light of John Kerry’s recent unbelievable kow-towing to the centrists, sh*tting on gays to drum up support when we are clearly in the Right’s crosshairs at every turn.

I had pointed Shakes Sis to a ridiculous DKos diary yesterday by dataguy that made me so angry that I had to shut off the computer and just walk away for a while. Take a read at some of the comments in Gay marriage – why it is not a good issue for Dems. It really says it all. Dataguy’s drivel:

Committed dems are looking for the values of the Democratic party. I see, over and over again, that “If we don’t stand for something, we stand for nothing.” I agree 100 %. However, the search for values is NOT a suicide pact. A value like “equality” can be achieved by many approaches. In particular, CU is equality, with a name change. Choosing and promoting a clear issue is important. However, we must also use sensible choices to decide WHERE to stand. CU [civil unions] is just as principled as GM [gay marriage], and a clear statement that this is good would clarify matters nicely.

The many gay members of the Democratic party are to be commended for their great passion for this issue, which is naturally very important to them.
As a democrat, I am NOT willing to give up public schools, Social Security, progressive taxation, environmental progress, science and all other democratic values for this one issue. I put it that way SPECIFICALLY because this is the request: We go the way of GM. This is not just a request, this is a demand by many of the strong supporters. If we do that, we lose election after election.

He just doesn’t get it. I think this is the sick thinking of a silent majority of the Dems out there. Gay issues don’t resonate with them as civil rights issues at all. They are underinformed and seek a “win” over principles. They, the Dems, are the roadblock to our obtaining equal rights.

Shakes Sis coins these Dems the Phobocrats, in the vein of the Southern Dixiecrats that opposed integration. It really is political history repeating itself.

Only the Phobocrats continue to insist on the need to acknowledge and respect the sanctity of marriage, with little concern for the simple reality that changing the definition of marriage in no way undermines its sanctity. Only the Phobocrats continue to insist that the militant gays and their supporters clamor exclusively for marriage, when the reality is that the Dems’ refusal to enact legislation providing for civil unions long ago has forced the LGBT community into challenging the constitutionality of state marriage laws. What can be expected of people who have no champion for their rights in Washington, or in state government? The idea for civil unions has been there for the taking by any party who had the guts and the belief in full equality for decades. That the people who would benefit were continually and wholly ignored (and still would be, sans challenges to state marriage laws) is not the responsibility of a radical gay agenda, but the fault of every straight politician and voter who happily and contentedly took advantage of the rights and benefits afforded them by marriage while never giving a second thought to what was being denied their fellow gay Americans. It was the complacency of the Phobocrats that compelled the very challenges for marriage equality they now lament. And from whence did that complacency spring? I suppose one doesn’t fight for something in which one doesn’t believe.

She’s spot-on; the Dem’s reticence to fight for gay rights has just as much an impact as the Right’s relentless whipping on these issues. At least the fundy Repugs know and accept their position — and believe in it. Dems are continually parsing, wavering and obfuscating their positions on this. They refuse to openly discuss the differences between civil marriage and religious marriage and whether they truly support federal equivalency of civil unions, and if not, why?

The bottom line is this — there isn’t really a middle ground here, despite the hand-wringing and talk of “patience” and “compromise”. The civil union/gay marriage red herring is a diversion, a way to avoid the hard discussions of why separate and unequal is deemed politically OK. There wasn’t a call for middle ground with the black civil rights movement, so to continue this charade of not publicly acknowledging that establishment Dems are too weak-kneed to hold to principles of equal rights for all is ludicrous. It’s feet to the fire time.

[Also, check out more anger by ‘Bean over at Julien’s List.]

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding