Pam's post on HRC's letter to President Obama asks a critical question: “What happens next if the President thumbs his nose at this letter?”
The question really got me thinking. What options are left to us when our purported friends and allies ignore an appeal to common decency?
Because it's pretty obvious our elected 'friends' are screwing us. Again.
And why not? They've gotten away with it before and never paid a price. Too many of these so-called friends and allies in elected office know that if they show up at a pride rally and occasionally vote for some mildly progressive measure on our behalf, as grateful GLBT constituents we will continue to be a reliable source of money and volunteers. And we won't make a fuss because we're afraid our very real enemies will take advantage of any division.
So what do we do, after our 'friends' in the Oval Office and Congress have ignored and insulted us? Again.
We stop playing their game and make them play ours.
I no longer care what President Obama, his administration or the Democratically-controlled Congress think about GLBT rights. I no longer care if they 'like us'. There's a play about the French Revolution called Marat/Sade that has a great line, “We want our rights and we don't care how. We want our revolution now!”
So here is my message to President Obama and the craven leadership in Congress. From now on you work with us like any other powerful constituency — screw us and you pay a price. A serious price.
And you keep paying until you deliver.
Here are some initial thoughts on how we do this:
1. Barack and Michelle Obama and the Bidens makes no public appearances without having to run a gauntlet of protestors. The old ACT UP refrain of “Shame, Shame” would be one appropriate chant. There are many clever and witty people in our community who can come up with more catchy chants, but “Shame” is a good place to start.
2. Groups of protestors block access to the DC and local offices of the Congressional leadership. Eventually they will be arrested and interviewed. Imagine gray-haired PFLAG mothers and fathers saying, “I just want my child to be married and safe”, or lesbian spouse saying, my wife is sick and she can't use my insurance and our children risk losing their mommies when she dies”.
3. Only members of Congress who have sponsored legislation repealing DOMA, DADT and supporting full federal recognition of our relationships get our support.
4. The DNC, DCCC, DSCCC and other state and local Democratic organizations get no contributions or volunteers from GLBT people until our rights are secured.
5. GLBT celebrities and celebrity allies refuse to participate in any fundraising activities or public appearances.
6. These same celebrities call out the Obama administration and the Democratic party for their craven lack of action.
7. Similarly, GLBT elected officials no longer provide cover or do fundraisers for anyone who doesn't meet the standards laid out in #3. I'm talking to you, Barney, Tammy and Jared. It's time to publicly withdraw their support from the DNC fundraiser on June 25th that targets the GLBT funding community. They get nothing from us until they toe the line.
8. National organizations that don't adhere to the Dallas Principles and play hardball to meet them lose our support and donations.
For example, HRC adds a new requirement to their Corporate Equality Index — any business that doesn't publicly call on Congress and the administration to repeal DOMA, DADT and provide full rights to married couples where same-sex marriage is legal are downgraded. There are 260 corporations that have perfect scores of 100. They use these scores to recruit top employees and to have a competitive edge for our business. If they want to keep their edge, they use their corporate lobbying clout on our behalf.
Again, to pick on HRC — no more endorsing half-assed candidates like Joe Lieberman.
Ok Blenders, what other ideas do you have for making life a living hell for Obama and the Democratic leadership?