As great as this speech was – as it was great – the time for speeches are over.
Where’s his press conference announcing the concrete plans the military is working on to prepare for the change on DADT? Where’s his press conference touting the bills sitting, stalled, in congress? Where’s his press conference asking congress to send him the bill by a certain date?
So far, the President’s actions haven’t lived up to his rhetoric, and I for one won’t believe it until I see it. No matter how great the speech was.
Obama: ‘I will end ‘don’t ask-don’t tell’’UPDATE I: Andrew Sullivan isn't too please (either) with yet another speech:
Oct. 10: Speaking at the annual dinner of the Human Rights Campaign, President Obama says, "I will end 'don't ask-don't tell,” but did not give a timetable or the specifics that some activists have called for. Watch his entire speech.
Much Worse Than I ExpectedUPDATE II:
Look: I didn't expect these issues to be front and center given his appalling inheritance; I know he has many other things on his plate; I didn't expect the moon; I didn't believe he would do any of this immediately; I understand that the real job is for us to do, not him, and that most of the action is in the states. And I remain a strong supporter of him in foreign policy and in the way he is clearly trying to move this country past the ideological divides of the recent past.
But the sad truth is: he is refusing to take any responsibility for his clear refusal to fulfill clear campaign pledges on the core matter of civil rights and has given no substantive, verifiable pledges or deadlines by which he can be held accountable. What that means, I'm afraid, is that this speech was highfalutin bullshit. There were no meaningful commitments within a time certain, not even a commitment to fulfilling them in his first term; just meaningless, feel-good commitments that we have no way of holding him to. Once the dust settles, ask yourself. What did he promise to achieve in the next year? Or two years? Or four years? The answer is: nothing.
HRC, of course, is putting no pressure on him; Joe Solmonese's disgraceful email actually took all pressure off him by saying he'd be happy to wait till 2017 for HRC to hold Obama accountable. HRC are putting pressure, as they always have, on gay people to go to the back of the line and be grateful a president attends their fundraising event. The only word for this is a racket. And if gay people do not rise up and demand change from this organization and stop funding a group whose goal has always been to sell the Democrats to gay people rather than secure civil rights, then they will continue to suffer the discrimination they live under day after day.
My thoughts on HRC:
Joe Solmonese is why I stopped giving $ to them. He's a joke. Nothing more than a political hack who is so enamored with having access, that's he's willing to make excuses and sell the bullshit he is being sold, to the gay community.UPDATE III:
As far as I'm concerned, it was HRC's fault Prop 8 passed in the MOST liberal State in the union.
Joe didnt even make a personal donation to the cause, let alone work his ass off through HRC to kill it (until it was too late that is). He was too busy acting as if it could never pass with a nonchalant attitude, that it was too late to do anything when he finally noticed it was about too.
Fuck HRC. Fuck Joe Solmonese. The gay community should be just as outrage at him as they are the very people trying to take away, not secure our rights.
Seems wasn't all that impressed either:
What did President Obama say new tonight? Absolutely nothing. What did the Human Rights Campaign get in exchange for once again giving our president cover for all of his broken promises to our community? Absolutely nothing.
I like HRC, I know a lot of people who work there, I've defended them when others in the community have been highly critical of them. But it is criminal that any gay rights organization would invite an embattled president to their dinner, giving him political cover for repeated broken promises and slaps in the face to our community (like the DOMA incest brief), and then get absolutely nothing in return. HRC's actions only feed the suspicions of critics who say that the organization is more interested in fundraisers than in advancing our rights.
All in all, the evening was a disappointment, but not unexpected. President Obama doesn't do controversy, and we, my friends, are controversy. So, the bad blood between this administration and the gay community will remain, and continue to worsen. It's unfortunate, but at some point you have to have enough dignity to say enough is enough. The Obama administration doesn't respect our community, and doesn't respect the seriousness of our cause. It's our job to hold them accountable. And we will.