Let's see if we can follow the bouncing logical ball of one Democratic Party lesbian leader as the 2008 presidential race for money heats up.
From the Bay Area Reporter's February 15 issue:
Clinton has the support of Hilary Rosen, another longtime Democratic activist and a member of the governing board of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. Rosen said she's personally known the Clintons for many years – ever since she babysat for their daughter Chelsea.
"I think she is just practically the smartest, deepest candidate in the race and frankly one of the smartest leaders I've ever met," said Rosen, who for many years served as head of the Recording Industry Association of America [...] "I think she has – on gay issues in particular and as senator for New York– broadened her horizon on the political interests and needs of gays and lesbians. I think, frankly, she's a wonderful person. I know her. I've always liked her."
Rosen said gay issues are her number one criteria in evaluating candidates and that she trusts Clinton to get the United States out of Iraq. Rosen said she is helping raise gay money for Clinton and predicted she will "pay a lot of attention to gay issues."[Emphasis added.]
If Rosen indeed has gay equality at the top of her agenda when sizing up politicians, then why did she donate $1,000 to zealous homophobe, and failed Senatorial candidate, Rep. Harold Ford, Democrat, of Tennessee?
Ford's vile use of his opposition to gay marriage and his strong support for a Tennessee amendment banning marriage equality and state recognition of same-sex relationships has even forced another gay Democrat, David Mixner, to declare recently:
"No one should contribute to the DLC [Democratic Leadership Council] or support it if Ford becomes its new chairman. Ford campaigned saying he would be the first in line to vote for the Tennessee amendment. The LGBT community and it's allies should never forget his advocacy on behalf of these amendments. We also should not give a pass to straight friends who think these actions are no big deal."
To know how low Ford has sunk in his homo-hating ways, one need only look at his ratings from none other than Rosen's own group, HRC.
107th Congress: 100%
108th Congress : 44%
109th Congress : 25%
With an ever-declining pro-gay score from HRC, vocal support to deny gays and lesbians full civil rights, one would think Rosen, who says gay equality is vital to consider before backing a candidate, nevertheless contributed $1,000 to Ford on October 28, 2006, just weeks before he went down to defeat.
He called out DNC treasurer Andy Tobias to defend Rosen:
In a message dated 2/20/2007 5:39:31 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, ATobias writes:
<< MPetrelis asks: Why did lesbian leader Hilary Rosen, former head of RIAA and honcho of the Human Rights Campaign, give money to Rep. Harold Ford in his homophobic and losing bid for a seat in the US Senate? >>
My guess -- having maxed out to him myself -- is that she wanted to win the Senate and thereby (among other things) avoid any more awful lifetime judicial appointments.
(And, noting that Congressman Ford had rated 100% on the HRC scorecard before he started running for Senate, she might have felt that, in his heart, he would be a lot less bad than his opponent.)
It's fine to take the pure stance, as, say, Ralph Nader did, so long as you're okay with bearing responsibility for the consequences (the war in Iraq, etc.).
In this case, the consequence of our not doing all we could to take back the Senate could have been one more right-wing appointment on the Court (not to mention many on the lower Federal courts) that could have blocked our equal rights for decades.
Some will look at the trade-off and, like Nader, conclude: never compromise, no matter what.
Others will look at it and wonder how could people of good will could FAIL to do all they could to try to win back the Senate.
Happily, this question turned out to be moot -- because everything else broke our way and we didn't need the Tennessee seat to gain the majority.
But who could have been sure of that outcome in advance?
The whole argument on the courts is bogus, because it looked like Harold Ford would have voted for extremist court nominees.
What always bothered me about Harold Ford is he ran on a "family values" platform, but was known as rather a casanova - with women.
Commenter Joe Hill hits the nail on the head. This is why I am suspicious of HRC:
Joe Hill said...
What's everybody excited about? This is exactly the kind of treachery HRC and its careerist staff and supporters have been practicing since its founding as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the national Democratic Party.
The furthest thing from the minds of these political opportunists is any kind of principled advocacy for the LGBTQ Community. In exchange for their blind obedience to the DNC powers-that-be, these folks can count on receiving invitations to Democratic Party functions where they get 'face time' with the Party movers and shakers who can help them along with their careers.
The Party has found that they can mollify the outrage of the LGBTQ demographic by wining and dining these Judases who claim to represent Gays/Lesbians. They show up to black tie extravaganzas and dinners at the White House (while the Clintons lived there)...pretty heady stuff for members of a scorned minority!
These critters reciprocate by delivering the votes of the Community and by not rocking the Dem Party boat over little things like same-gender marriage or Clinton's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" (Lie and Hide) policy. They are more than willing to accept scraps from the DNC table if it means they can rub elbows with the Harold Fords of the world.
This ain't 'News'...it's business as usual.