Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Post, Not Quite Justified

The Washington Post has slipped badly in recent years, they have moved to the right until the paper is almost unreadable. With the big demonstration over the weekend, National Coming Out day, and the President addressing the Human Rights Campaign on LGBT rights, the Post editorialists find themselves with an opportunity to criticize the Democrats as if they were the anti-gay party, as if moving too slowly to help LGBT citizens was as bad as actively campaigning against them.

I should have posted this yesterday, but I got caught up in stuff. Here is the Washington Post editorial in its entirety:
FULL EQUALITY for gays and lesbians is the civil rights issue of our time. Men and women who want to preserve and protect the ideals of this nation are being booted from the military because of who they are. Same-sex couples who seek the recognition of their relationships that their heterosexual counterparts take for granted are denied the rights and responsibilities that come from civil marriage. Ending these and other forms of institutional discrimination based on sexual orientation requires leadership. Pity there's not enough of it coming from either end of Pennsylvania Avenue.

President Obama ran as a candidate of change. Perhaps no other community took that to heart more than the gay community. Mr. Obama promised to end "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which prohibits members of the military from serving if they are openly gay. He promised to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as between a man and a woman and denies married same-sex couples more than 1,100 federal benefits available to opposite-sex couples. There's been no visible movement on either pledge.

As he has in the past, Mr. Obama said the right things on gay rights at last weekend's fundraising dinner for the Human Rights Campaign. "I'm here with you in that fight" for equality, he said. "For even as we face extraordinary challenges as a nation, we cannot -- and we will not -- put aside issues of basic equality." On gays in the military, Mr. Obama mentioned his discussions with the Pentagon, the legislation pending in Congress and stated plainly, "I will end 'don't ask, don't tell. That's my commitment to you." On repealing DOMA, the president said, "I believe strongly in stopping laws designed to take rights away and passing laws that extend equal rights to gay couples."

Frustration with Mr. Obama and the lack of progress in fulfilling his pledges on gay rights were evident at Sunday's National Equality March. But why is he the only target? Overturning "don't ask, don't tell" and DOMA require legislation. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) have been content to sit on the sidelines while Mr. Obama takes the hits. This can't continue. Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Reid must exert the necessary leadership in their respective chambers to pass bills the president has promised to sign. Until then, they deserve as much criticism and blame as Mr. Obama for impeding the long march to equality. Leadership on Gay Rights: President Obama isn't the only one falling short.

Do you see what is wrong with this picture? It's fine to assign culpability to Pelosi and Reid for failure to act, but what about the jerks who were running things for the past eight years before the Democrats came into power? Pelosi, Reid, Obama might be guilty of moving slowly, of giving a lower priority to LGBT issues than some would like, but at least they're saying the right things and endorsing the right positions.

I share everyone's frustration with the time it is taking to make promised changes, and I am as cynical as anybody. But you cannot blame the Democratic leaders for the way things are, they are trying to reestablish a new equilibrium after years of Republican hostility against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans. You pray they're serious about it. If all the Democrats do in reality is talk about gay rights, then The Post is right, they are passively promoting bigotry. Let's see some bills passed, let's see the President sign some papers, put your money where your mouth is.


Anonymous deluxe said...

"It's fine to assign culpability to Pelosi and Reid for failure to act, but what about the jerks who were running things for the past eight years before the Democrats came into power?"

The American people gave these guys a chance to put up or shut up.

They are doing neither.

They have until November 2010 to take a stand.

Otherwise, America will spit them out.

October 14, 2009 10:07 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Bob McDonnell in Virginia has been a key player in conservative efforts to criminalize my life, to prevent localities in the state from extending rights to lgbt people, to label student initiated Gay-Straight Alliances in schools as sex clubs and prevent their existence, to hobble efforts to combat bullying of lgbt youth, to deny social services to lgbt youth, and to reduce the amount of state funding for HIV prevention and treatment.

Yet the Post has labored to disguise these details and obfuscate efforts to reveal the real Bob McDonnell. Yesterday's article was practically a paean.

I point out, however, that regardless of the outcome, the next governor of Virginia will be named Robert.

October 14, 2009 10:12 AM  
Anonymous deluxe said...

go McDonnell

blame it on our Nobel Prize winner

October 14, 2009 11:51 AM  

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