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Monday, January 12, 2009

Rick Garcia of Equality Illinois: Obama Pro-Gay Equality - Rahm Emmanuel, David Axelrod believe anti-gay actions are politically smart

Richard Rosendall has an interesting article in the Independent Gay Forum. He quotes Rick Garcia of Equality Illinois:

Rahm Emmanuel and David Axelrod still believe that being pro-gay is politically bad and anti-gay plays to the middle. These boys should give us pause and we have to keep an eye on them.

This isn't surprising. Emmanuel was a jerk to gays when he was in the Clinton White House also. Rosendall adds:

Here I diverge from Rep. Barney Frank, who said of Obama, “I believe that he overestimates his ability to get people to put aside fundamental differences.” Someone who overcame character assassination to win a landmark election can hardly be na├»ve enough to think he can take people on the right and “charm them into being nice,” as Frank puts it. Look at it another way: Warren will be blessing the presidency of a pro-choice, pro-gay liberal. Indeed, he has taken heat from fellow evangelicals for precisely that reason. It’s not so clear who is being played here.

Obama brings the prospect of nominating more moderate federal judges, repairing America’s standing in the world, reversing the assaults on the Constitution, reforming health care policy, and responding to critics without saying “So what?” or imputing disloyalty. Let’s also keep in mind that even a gay-friendly president cannot change things by himself. Each of us has a role to play, which should include encouraging the difficult conversations that we need instead of shutting them down.

Reality-based activism is about people with all their flaws and gifts, not saints and villains. There is nothing smart or empowering in rejecting a proven ally, or refusing to celebrate with him, because he is imperfect. Obama is a world-class talent, vastly better suited to the presidency than the smug, smirking scion of squandered privilege he replaces. Of course we must be vigilant and keep up the pressure, but that is done more effectively from the governing center than from an outpost of victimhood.

There will be plenty of battles ahead, as change does not come easily or all at once. Right now a political era is beginning, and with it will come new challenges and opportunities. This is a poor time to let one ceremonial sour note provoke us into sitting out the dance.

Points well taken.


Holly Cairns said...

Okay, yep, it's that all or nothing thought that will slow down the gay movement. Good luck on that.

I think: Use the courts, allow Americans to become more familiar with certain thought and action-- set the frame-- (and then they will become more accepting), and ask for civil unions instead of using the golden word "marriage."

Asking a legislator to support something only a smaller percentage of the pop agrees with goes against 'majority rule' concept and will get you more Minnesota Republicans (IMO).