Joyce L. Arnold, Liberally Independent, Queer Talk, equality activist, writer.
It’s so 2012.
The Democratic Party is so predictable.
And it’s so unsurprising that like big donors in general, those from Queerdom will almost certainly answer the fundraising call from the White House.
You already know about 2012, probably more than you wish you did. So let’s go the Democratic party election year predictability thing. Last week, the Democratic National Committee hired a new “Faith Outreach Director,” and the Rev. Derrick Harkins says he’s “pro-life” and opposed to “same sex marriage.” In fact, when asked by Sarah Posner, at Religion Dispatches, if he was a “supporter of same-sex marriage,” Harkins began his reply with, “No, no, no.” It’s not just a little “no,” or even a double “no.” It’s a trinity of “no’s.”
My sense of “predictability” here is the by now “norm” of watching the Obama administration, in this case via the DNC, try to find a “balance” that will satisfy their presumed base as well as moderates and some conservatives.
At Religion DispatchesPosner writes:
Yesterday the Democratic National Committee announced the hiring of the Rev. Derrick Harkins to head up the party’s outreach to “˜people of faith.’ Harkins, the senior pastor of Nineteenth Street Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., also serves on the board of the National Association of Evangelicals and its humanitarian arm, World Relief, and on the board of the Democratic-leaning Faith in Public Life.
Last June, during Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition (FFC) conference held in Washington …, Harkins was one of a group of faith leaders who participated in a press conference billed as “˜pushback’ on the religious right … .
See, Harkins can play both the “push back” game on the religious right, while also holding two of that group’s key positions: “pro-life” and “no, no, no” way should the homosexuals be able to marry.
Posner says she talked with Harkins after the June conference, and he said he is “”˜absolutely pro-life,’ but opposed the right’s efforts to shut down Planned Parenthood.”
Right hand, left hand. Posner continues:
… Harkins told me he opposes same-sex marriage, but hopes for a place of “˜common understanding’ of a “˜vexing question.’
Vexing, inconvenient questions are not what one wants at election time. Finding someone who can help make them less vexing can mean finding someone who can give answers like this. Posner asks, Harkins answers:
Q: So you’re not a supporter of same-sex marriage yourself?
A: No, no, no. But again, I’m not a bomb-thrower in terms of saying things that will get a rise out of a crowd because I just don’t think that’s … intellectually honest.
Translation (I think): I’m totally against “˜gay marriage,’ but I’m not going to make “˜homosexuals shouldn’t be able to marry’ statements just to get the crowd going, and so I’m really a perfect fit for the DNC.
At AmericaBlogGay John Aravosis writes:
I wonder if the Democratic National Committee would have hired someone in favor of miscegenation laws. Or are some core Democratic values less equal than others?
Oh why ask it rhetorically, we all know the answer. … They would never have chosen some (one) for the this job who didn’t believe in full and equal rights for African-Americans, Latinos, or Jews. …
Of course, what this is all about is the Democrats assuming gays will vote for them and give them our money regardless of how they treat us, so instead they’re going to focus on wooing … faith-centric communities.
And that gets me to my third “so,” the one about near certainty that big donors from the LGBT communities will come through. Or to put it another way, life in Queerdom really isn’t that different from Heterodom. Both have Insiderdom realms.
From The Advocate, Andrew Harmon and Michelle Garcia write:
Obama’s Power Gays
Members of the LGBT community now account for nearly one in five “˜bundlers’ who have raised at least $500,000 for the Obama for America and Obama Victory Fund … , according to recently released figures for the months of July, August, and September. LGBT-specific fundraisers for the campaign are currently being planned for Chicago, Houston, Boston, Miami, and North Carolina. …
The list of major fundraisers is a mix of behind-the-scenes players and public figures …
They then provide a list of the “10 notable LGBT major fundraisers in the Obama campaign, as well is a list of known LGBT bundlers for Obama.” The “10 notables,” with the range of “amount raised”:
Laura Ricketts, Chicago; $100,000″”$200,000
Occupation: CEO of Ecotravel.com; co-owner, Chicago Cubs …
Michael S. Smith and James Costos, Los Angeles; $500,000+
Occupation: Smith is an interior designer; Costos is an HBO executive …
Chad Griffin, Los Angeles; $100,000″”$200,000
Occupation: Political consultant/strategist …
Sally Susman, New York; $500,000+
Occupation: Ex. VP of Policy, External Affairs, and Communications at Pfizer Inc. …
Andrew Tobias, Miami; $500,000+
Occupation: Author; Democratic National Committee treasurer …
Dana Perlman, Los Angeles; $500,000+ (raised with Barry Karas)
Occupation: Attorney, Perlman & Associates …
Kevin Jennings, New York; $50,000″”$100,000
Occupation: CEO, Be The Change Inc. …
Eugene Sepulveda, Austin, Texas; $500,000+
Occupation: CEO of Entrepreneurs Foundation of Central Texas …
Charles Myers, New York; $500,000+
Occupation: Investment Banker, Evercore Partners
There are 20 on the list of “bundlers who have raised at least $50,000,” with nine of those also on the list above.
Given the significant level of unhappiness with Obama among LGBTs, are we surprised to see this list? Given the unhappiness with Obama by good numbers of grassrootsie Democrats, are we surprised at the choice of a “pro-life” and anti-marriage equality individual for the DNC’s “Faith Outreach Director”? Given the persistent lean to the Right by Obama and the Dem Party in general, are we surprised at any Right-leaning-if-not-lurching effort to appear as just as “faith based” as any moderate to conservative Republican?
No, no, no.