Are we missing something here? As the debate rages on as to whether to support, ignore, or boycott the Democratic National Committee’s GLBT fundraiser in Washington on Thursday, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network says it plans to attend and give cash to the party. Two days later, SLDN will then lead a protest march “on the White House.” Huh? (UPDATE: Please read the note below.)
The SLDN — which represents folks like Dan Choi and, like Queerty, was one of the original critics of the White House while it stood still on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, while other organizations defended the president — will send board member and gay Iraq war veteran Brian Fricke to the fundraiser. Fricke says that if Obama doesn’t correct the Department of Justice’s notoriously vile Defense of Marriage Act briefing, then “there is no case” to defend the president, he tells the Washington Blade.
But: “That being said,” Fricke adds, “the DNC’s LGBT Leadership Council is an excellent platform for our community.” Yes, he’ll be there on June 25.
Interesting. Because two days later, on June 27, also in Washington D.C., the very organization Fricke represents is spearheading “The March on the White House” to demand Obama “show leadership on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
So SLDN is donating cash and supporting a political party that’s repeatedly turned its back on us one evening, then two days later demanding the party’s de facto leader grow a pair for gay rights? Several readers have written us with confusion, which makes sense, especially when re-reading this slogan from a SLDN ad: “Everyday, we work to lift the ban.” By donating cash to a party that’s refused to do just that?
This isn’t just an instance of mixed messaging to SLDN supporters, the theory goes; it also tells Democrats they can ignore gays but still collect our cash, with the only punishment being a little rally on the White House.
Unless, of course, SLDN is supporting the 77 House Democrats who just called on Obama to order an immediate halt to DADT dismissals. Are they the beneficiaries of the DNC donations?
If you want other reasons to laugh with logic, listen to DNC treasure Andy Tobias defend the president on the DOMA brief: The filing was “completely indefensible,” he says, but it was a “Department of Justice brief, and it’s not the president’s policy and not what the administration thinks about DOMA.”
What Tobias means to say is, despite appointing Eric Holder attorney general, and despite making promises to repeal DOMA, Obama shouldn’t be held accountable for the terrible things the federal government had to say in that brief. Because that would be, like, nonsense! If it’s truly “not what the administration thinks about DOMA,” then grab some White Out, Obama, and start redacting.
UPDATE: SLDN communications director Kevin Nix clarifies things for us: Fricke is going on his own accord, not as a representative of SLDN (which, notes Nix, cannot donate to the DNC given its 501(c)3 non-profit status). SLDN remains opposed to the DNC fundraiser, thus, the protest.