In the past day, the Human Rights Campaign publicized two action alerts that, sadly, exemplify how terribly useless the once respectable organization has become. In both examples, note how HRC is launching these alerts after it’s too late to do anything on the issue, and note that their “target” for the campaign isn’t the right target anyway. The point of the campaigns aren’t to win. They’re to make you think HRC is doing something, and to build HRC’s lists.
1. Bullying Judges – i.e., the loss of three judges who supported marriage equality in Iowa.
HRC has suddenly discovered that three pro-equality judges in Iowa just lost their jobs in the recent election, as a result of a concerted campaign by the religious right to not just punish these judges for recognizing our civil rights, but also to send a message to every elected judge in the nation that they’re next if they dare find for our civil rights. That’s pretty dangerous stuff. So when does HRC launch a campaign on the issue? A week after the judges lose their jobs.
Even better, who is HRC targeting to rectify the matter (that can’t be rectified because the election is over, we lost): US Supreme Court Justice John Roberts. This from an email sent out yesterday in the name of HRC president Joe Solmonese:
In 2009, every Iowa Supreme Court justice agreed that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. This election season, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) set its political bulls-eye on ousting three of those justices. On Election Day, all three lost.
It was a calculated warning shot aimed at judges nationwide, all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court: Either you cast aside centuries of judicial independence and rule according to our radical, anti-gay ideology – or we’ll come get you.
Add your name to our open letter calling on U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to speak out for a judicial system free from bitter and biased political intimidation.
Right, because a far right Bush appointee is really going to help us. This action is ridiculous, it doesn’t do a thing to help us win the election in Iowa, because it’s over, and it’s not clear what it does at all, other than build HRC’s list (so it can send more useless alerts to even more people).
2. Today, HRC is publicizing another campaign. This one to get the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act passed. That’s the legislation that would let the President provide health care benefits to the partners of gay federal employees.
Because of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, federal employees’ same-sex partners are not recognized as spouses, even if the couple was married in a state that passed a marriage equality law
Send a message to John Berry, Director of the Office of Personnel Management, and let him know that all families deserve equal coverage.
A few problems here.
a. Again, it’s too late. We lost the House. And now suddenly HRC is lobbying for this bill? Seriously?
b. HRC’s target is none other than openly gay OPM director John Berry. Uh ok. What power does John Berry have to get legislation passed in the lame duck session? None. His boss, the President has a lot of power to push Democrats and woo Republicans to pass the legislation, but Berry doesn’t have any. But remember, this is HRC we’re talking about – so God forbid they actually have the target of their campaign be the President. HRC doesn’t press the President on anything, ever.
c. The real reason the federal government can’t provide these benefits is because of DOMA. You remember DOMA. That law the President once called “abhorrent,” but now defends in court, while he makes no moves whatsoever to push for its repeal like he promised. You’d think HRC might target the guy who promised to get DOMA repealed, but no.
So they launch a useless campaign, far too late, to pressure the head of OPM when he has no say whatsoever in what legislation the Senate is going to bring up during the lame duck session, rather than targeting his boss, the President, who has lots of say.
HRC doesn’t seem in the business any more to get anything serious done. They’re here to not rock the Democrats’ boat, and to convince you that they are – when they’re not.