CommunityPam's House Blend

Joe Solmonese clarifies the 2017 message delivered in HRC e-blast

HRC's Joe Solmonese has released a response to criticism of the e-missive sent out the other day to HRC membership that I published on the Blend.

 As I said, the original message as delivered left it open to a whole lot of interpretation, particularly as an accommodationist position that we can afford to sit back and give the current President a free pass on progress through the end of an imaginary, assumed second term in office.

As I asked in my post, "Is HRC telling people to sit hands folded for Obama re: progress until 2017?," it was a  "what does he really mean" moment; IMHO, he couldn't have possibly meant to telegraph that message in the context of what is going on this weekend. I asked you all what you thought the intent was in the e-blast as well. So this is his response. Again, I'll leave up to you whether it clarifies or "clarifies" matters. I am glad, however, that it was acknowledged the language used was, to be charitable, murky.

The following is from HRC President Joe Solmonese in response to reaction to his weekly message published yesterday:  I’ve seen some reactions to my weekly message, that I gave the President a free pass not to fulfill his campaign promises until 2017.

Here’s something from what I wrote that the authors didn’t include in their pieces: “I predict great things coming out of our work with this President, but that does not mean that I am satisfied today. Our community cannot be satisfied so long as DOMA is on the books and an inclusive ENDA is not.“ I am not satisfied.

 (NOTE FROM PAM: I published the text of the email as received; the text referenced above is not in that document. It may be elsewhere, but not that e-blast.)

HRC is not satisfied.

Our community is not satisfied and that’s why thousands of LGBT people and our allies are in Washington this weekend to demand more.  

That’s our position. Stopping here would mean losing. But stopping here is not what we intend to do.  

We are pushing for much more. It is our job to dog them, but it is also our job to make sure that success is possible. As I wrote, “To do the work, we have to work with our supporters in Congress and with the Administration.

Whatever you think of the Administration’s first nine months, you don’t pass laws by sitting out. You pass laws by sitting at the table.”  Do I believe we’ll have a good track record by 2017? Yes. But the President can’t deliver on his promises alone. It will take all of us working together.

It's relevant to publish a reaction to the "patience" meme. Karen Ocamb features an interview with James Hormel, the first openly gay ambassador, where she asks him whether we should cut him a break or continue the pressure.

I was an ardent supporter. I am a fervent admirer. And although things haven’t moved as fast as one would like, I have no doubt that he is doing what he can in a very perverse atmosphere to accomplish goals which we all want.  

I am as eager as anyone else to have action on the various pieces of legislation – some of which are a generation old – like ENDA (the Employment Non-Discrimination Act). ENDA has been in the Senate for a literal generation.

 …I am almost 77 years old. I don’t have time to wait. And I don’t see any reason why anyone in this room – whatever their age – should wait for things having to do with fairness and justice.

UPDATE: Just to show you what kind of schism there is from Gay Inc vs. the grassroots, take a look at this Hardball interview with Cleve Jones vs. Joe Solmonese.

What is the messaging you see?

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding