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Friday, December 05, 2008

Respected Gay Writer Paul Varnell Writes of the Uselessness of Democrats

Read his column at the Independent Gay Forum.

Although Barack Obama stated his opposition to the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ban on open gays in the military, the Obama team has let it be known that it will not try to repeal the law during the next session of Congress.

And now there are reports that despite New York state Democrats' support for same-sex marriage, the state Senate will "probably" not take up the issue during the coming session.

Have gays been had? Maybe so.

A lot of gays contributed time and money to the Obama campaign, not only because Obama represented a welcome change from the dismal Bush administration, but because he espoused a number of gay-supportive positions, including repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

I can understand the Obama administration's desire not to make the same mistakes as the Clinton administration in 1993, when Clinton proceeded without taking account of the strong military opposition to the inclusion of gays such as Gen. Colin Powell's and congressional resistance as personified by Sen. Sam Nunn. You may remember Sen. Nunn's highly publicized visit to the "close quarters" of a submarine. The implication was obvious.

"I would not go so far as to say that the Democrats deliberately lie about their intentions on gay issues. But they certainly promise more than they can or know how to deliver."And I can even understand that there are more nationally pressing issues for Obama and the new Congress to deal with such as the state of the economy, the war in Iraq and the worsening situation in Afghanistan.

Then too, in 2006 and 2008 Rep. Rahm Emanuel helped create Democratic majorities by recruiting candidates who were "moderate" (and often socially conservative) Democrats to run in swing districts. He achieved his goal, but weakened the strength of Democratic support for gays.

But at some point, say within a year, I would want to see the administration form a working group or task force to develop a plan to gain military and congressional approval for repeal. It could include deployment of those 100-plus admirals and generals who recently signed a statement supporting gay inclusion, commissioning opinion polls on the issue in marginal districts, and targeting wavering members of Congress for serious lobbying and promises of pork. Without some real indication of administration intentions, I'd be inclined to think they aren't serious.

Read the whole thing.