After HRC president Joe Solmonese was roundly criticized for writing yesterday that the gay community should wait until 2017 before criticizing President Obama’s inaction on his campaign promises to our community, Solmonese issued a new statement today, seemingly backing off a bit on his unequivocal support for Obama’s inaction on gay rights:
The following is from HRC President Joe Solmonese in response to reaction to his weekly message published yesterday:
I’ve seen some reactions to my weekly message, that I gave the President a free pass not to fulfill his campaign promises until 2017.
Here’s something from what I wrote that the authors didn’t include in their pieces: “I predict great things coming out of our work with this President, but that does not mean that I am satisfied today. Our community cannot be satisfied so long as DOMA is on the books and an inclusive ENDA is not.“
I am not satisfied.
HRC is not satisfied.
Our community is not satisfied and that’s why thousands of LGBT people and our allies are in Washington this weekend to demand more.
That’s our position. Stopping here would mean losing. But stopping here is not what we intend to do.
We are pushing for much more. It is our job to dog them, but it is also our job to make sure that success is possible. As I wrote, “To do the work, we have to work with our supporters in Congress and with the Administration. Whatever you think of the Administration’s first nine months, you don’t pass laws by sitting out. You pass laws by sitting at the table.”
Do I believe we’ll have a good track record by 2017? Yes. But the President can’t deliver on his promises alone. It will take all of us working together.
When your primary goal is getting a seat at the table, and you’re not willing to walk away from the table, you’re going to have a very hard time winning. AIPAC, the NRA, and the religious right didn’t earn a place at the table in Washington by being nice guys. They’re respected by the Obama administration, and by politicians at large, because they’re willing to beat the crap out of anyone, Democrat or Republican, who crosses their members.
You don’t win in Washington by being perceived as a happy pushover whose primary concern is whether he’s got a place at the table. Especially when you’ve been given a seat at the kiddy table and you don’t even realize it.