There’s a rumor going around politically-connected circles in Washington, DC, and it isn’t pretty. I heard it Saturday night at a social gathering of senior Democrats in the administration, congress, and around town, and Joe Sudbay heard it yesterday afternoon from a different source. And if there’s one thing we’ve learned in our two decades in Washington, rumors like this move for a reason.
First the rumor. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina are so upset that the gay community is challenging the President’s broken promises on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” ENDA, and DOMA that they’re now threatening to cut the gay community off entirely, and do nothing more for the gays for the rest of the Obama administration.
When I heard the rumor last night, I thought “bullshit.” Don’t get me wrong, I can absolutely imagine Rahm and Messina throwing a hissy fit and threatening to cut off the gays. But following through on that threat? That would be too politically naive even for Rahm and Messina – and they’ve been pretty tone deaf when it comes to dealing with gay and lesbian Americans.
We’ll keep an ear out. DC is really a small town, so soon enough we’ll know where this is coming from. If the White House is doing this, it’s stupid. If the White House isn’t doing it, then someone is purporting to speak for Rahm and Messina, and I can’t imagine that will make them terribly happy.