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Reports and responses – LGBT Leadership Town Hall

There has been quite a response to the Town Hall on Thursday, and I thought I’d point you to some of the related coverage.

First, the full audio is now available on Mike Signorile’s blog.

A blow-by-blow liveblog of it is up at Daily Kos

* David Badash at The New Civil Rights Movement:

Why is it at every turn, Solmonese makes a concerted effort to bend over backwards and applaud Obama for things like appointing “the highest-ranking openly gay person of any administration in history,” (which is nice, but doesn’t stop DADT discharges or let me marry.) Joe’s own letter to Obama a year ago June, while firm, has certainly not delivered any results.) Why is Solmonese working so hard to defend Obama’s performance?

Here’s a little fact I learned during my twenty-five years in business. Think about your own experience and you’ll recognize its truth: Poor performers stick together. Excellent performers stick together. Not all the time, but look around your workplace, or think about life in college or high school.

* Over at DC Agenda, Kevin Naff unleashes this editorial, “HRC, Solmonese in the hot seat,” that cannot be missed. A snippet:

There were plenty of barbs sent Solmonese’s way, including a pointed question from Get Equal’s Robin McGehee, who asked if Solmonese and HRC’s David Smith would resign if key LGBT legislative priorities are not achieved this year. Solmonese responded that his continued employment is up to the HRC board. (Note from Pam -Joe has apparently opened the door for the LGBT community to give the board independent feedback on his performance)

…As for Solmonese, he and his organization often sound out of touch with the average LGBT person. There is a palpable and growing anger with President Obama and the Democrats in Congress and HRC would be wise to recognize it and respond appropriately. Solmonese, for example, should have apologized for the Griffin rally – it was a sorry exercise in star-fuckery that had no place in the serious debate over “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” a law that has destroyed the careers of 13,000 brave American service members.

More below the fold.Reactions

* Jason Bellini filed this report at The Advocate. Excellent report. Jason’s delivery is a hoot in all of the right ways.

***

Unrelated to the town hall, but connected to the GetEqual action, and general LGBT frustration with the Obama admin, Marc Ambinder weighed in with what can only be described as a damage control piece for the administration. Basically the Cliff Notes version is that the Obama White House is doing everything right, and the uppity gays are paranoid, impatient and too pushy. I’ve heard of drinking the Kool-Aid, but this is mainlining it.

Messina and chief of staff Rahm Emanuel are also accused of slow-walking the repeal strategy because they’re worried about culture wars. That is, they allegedly urged Congressional Democrats not to add language repealing DADT into the defense appropriations bill, and they counseled President Obama not to issue an executive order unilaterally ending the ban.

There is no mystery here. Repealing DADT is very popular. There is no political downside. So the argument that Messina and Emanuel think there’d be a political downside is untenable.   And Obama has said that he wants gays integrated into the military in the right way — in a way that builds on a foundation of legitimacy that only the Pentagon brass can create. And the time frame for repealing the ban was determined on the basis of what Sec. Gates and Adm. Mullen need in order to build that legitimacy.

Have you stopped laughing at the shite yet? John Aravosis blows this nonsense out of the water with Gay Netroots spooks Deputy White House Chief of Staff Jim Messina.

No one thinks there’s a conspiracy against gays in the White House, a phrase that Ambinder uses repeatedly (apparently in an effort to diminish gay critics of Messina and the President as kooky (a common tactic used by this White House against progressive critics, and it’s sad, as it’s the tacky kind of thing George Bush would do)). What we think, what we know, is that gay and lesbian Americans aren’t that important to this President. So his staff can refer to our civil rights, our struggle for equality and acceptance, our efforts to realize the American dream, as some sort of not-very-important inconvenience that we should be embarrassed to even be mentioning in polite company.

Bottom line is that this President promised us repeatedly that he was going to repeal DADT, repeal DOMA, and pass ENDA. And he specifically promised to get DADT repealed this year. His current plan, however, is to ignore the last two, and push off the former until a time when it can’t pass.

We’re not conspiracy theorists, but we’re not stupid either.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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