Our own worst enemies
Sometimes you wonder how members of the gay community can get behind or work for candidates that sell us out. Here’s yet another case, up in Minnesota.
Why, for instance is Rick Stafford, a gay leader in the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL) — and a state DNC member — is supporting a candidate that voted to put unhinged State Senator Michele Bachmann‘s amendment to define marriage as “a union between one man and one woman” on the ballot? [Blenders may recall Bachmann, who crouched behind a bush, watching the homos at a gay rally as if she was watching some dirty peep show.]
Stafford is backing the candidacy of Rebecca Otto for Minnesota State Auditor. Otto holds the distinction of being the only House Democrat in Minnesota to lose a seat in 2004 (she served in the 6th District).
Otto’s downfall was her support of the Bachmann amendment. As a Democrat, she managed to piss off her base big time, while cozying up to the hatemongers on this issue. She found out the hard way that this vote was idiotic — gays and progressives in her district decided to toss her butt out.
Why on earth did she vote for it? Look at this lame excuse, given at a rally by OutFront Minnesota, a gay-rights organization. (from the WSJ via Lloydletta):
“My vote would not have changed yesterday’s results,” Ms. Otto said, her eyes darting among her guests. “I need you to understand that.”
During the meeting, Ms. Otto suggested her vote didn’t necessarily mean she opposed gay marriage. All she wanted was a statewide debate on the matter, she told the group. Asked after the meeting how she would vote if the issue was included on the ballot, Ms. Otto wouldn’t answer. “When I am in the voting booth, I am a private citizen and my vote is between me and the founding fathers,” she said.
OK. Her position is “It’s a lost cause, so I’ll just vote for the winning team.” What kind of BS is that?
So now she’s back, running for State Auditor, and Rick Stafford, the recently elected Chair of the DNC GLBT Caucus, for goodness sake, is in her corner (see Otto’s endorsement page).
How can we expect to win on these issues when Dems cannot even get their act together at the local level over candidates that will not stand up to the Religious Right? It’s clear some of Otto’s former constituents had the guts to call her on this vote.
Do you really oppose giving equal rights to gays? Do you really believe that gay marriage will lead to a reordering of society, as your colleague Michele Bachmann believes? Surely you wouldn’t vote for something this awful simply for political reasons–to gain a better edge in your re-election campaign–would you?
Your vote was a slap in the face of your core base of support in this district. By voting for this, you have opened the door even wider to the hateful religious extremists who already are trying to take over the district. You have told them: “Not to worry, I’m with you!”
Folks might want to politely ask Rick Stafford (firstname.lastname@example.org) if, as Chair of the DNC GLBT Caucus, he plans to make a habit of endorsing candidates that support anti-gay federal and state constitutional amendments.
The DNC email form is here; Rebecca Otto: Rebecca@rebeccaotto.com.