More bluntly, the Republicans may have been fucking with us, but the Democrats are screwing us.
Latest case in point, the preemptive strike to kill an amendment from Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings (D) that would have prohibited the use by the military of appropriated funds to implement the ever-more odious “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Who called in the strike? The White House and congressional Democrats. Chris Geidner asks, "Who in the White House and which of his colleagues believe continued funding is needed so that the military can continue to enforce Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?"
Well, at least on the west end of Pennsylvania Avenue, I think we can probably spot Rahm Emanuel's middle finger on this one. He and others from the political past refuse to live in the 21st century along with all of us LGBT people who've worked hard to make today's world more than a bit different than 1994.
But as much as some Rahm bashing would be an amusing diversion, it's Congress that I've grown increasingly angry with. Like everyone else in Washington who follows these things, I got word that the order of LGBT legislation was "Hate Crimes, ENDA, DOMA repeal and 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
Now, that particular order is screwy to me in all sorts of ways that perhaps I'll go into later, though I'll say my unease with hate crimes legislation is one of them. But more importantly, who on earth ever thought that putting repeal of DOMA on our federal agenda -- the biggest flashpoint on marriage equality issues, and something we outright lack public support for -- ahead of DADT repeal, which two-thirds or more of the country supports?
Making all this even worse is the Democratic conviction that anything more controversial than puppies has to be totally filibuster proof before moving forward. Hence, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand dropping her proposal to suspend DADT implementation because not enough of her fellow Democrats would join her. That leaves us with the promise of Senate hearings on DADT. Whee, hearings!
Obviously, there are some Democratic senators and representatives that need to be directly and emphatically lobbied on DADT repeal. While I'm unhappy with the Obama approach on repeal, I can at least see the outline of a gameplan and strategy (defuse high-level military resistance by refusing to be seen forcing the issue on an unwilling brass, etc.) even if I disagree with it. All I see from Congress on the issue is serial cowardice that can only be remedied by our community holding them accountable.
Of course, instead of doing that we're faced with a disorganized "march" on Washington that will arrive when Congress is out of town and lacks any sort of organizational purpose other than a vague declaration of "Do Something." It would be nice if, rather than spend money and effort coming to D.C. during a legislative dead season, people targeted their senators and representatives in their home districts. Constituent voices matter on issues like DADT and Democratic congresscritters (and reasonable, non-birther-type Republicans) need to hear them, frequently and vigorously.