While the Human Rights Campaign last year secured President Barack Obama to speak at its fall fundraising gala, tomorrow’s (sold out, we’re told) event will welcome Valerie Jarrrett, the White House adviser. We came up with a whole list of things Obama could’ve addressed, including the Matthew Shepard Act (passed!), ENDA (not passed!), DADT, (not repealed!), and a national play to fight bullying (kids still killing themselves!) just before he began reading from the teleprompters. But what can Jarrett really say that’ll appease the gays?
Trick question, because she’s there to appease the Gay Inc. gays, not your average ones. The black tie crowd at HRC’s 14th Annual National Dinner at the Water E. Washington Convention Center is a chance for moneyed homosexuals to rub bubble butts with Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, Pink, Lee Daniels, Mo’nique, and Bette Midler. Jarrett’s role, then, is not to offer any concrete road map — HRC chief Joe Solmonese already said he’s got one, but won’t tell anyone what it looks like — but to convince affluent queers to continue donating to Democrats Inc., especially with November’s elections coming up.
It’s a symbiotic relationship: Jarrett appears at the dinner to show the media HRC has pull (insert airquotes) in Washington and gets donors to open their pockets for multi-thousand-dollar tickets, while HRC lends its brand of passive acceptance of the White House’s continued stalling and ineptitude on LGBT rights. These two are made for each other. What you won’t see tomorrow night, unless GetEQUAL is planning a zap I don’t know about, is anyone challenging the Obama administration to make good on promises.
But I guess that’s what Servicemembers United is for? The anti-DADT group has made the unrealistic request that Jarrett meet with LGBT military veterans before the dinner, which, c’mon. Though I like their chutzpah.
So if you’re going to the HRC dinner, enjoy yourself. Take pictures, send them to us, and record some soundbites. Bonus points for posing with Solmonese, David Smith, or Jarrett, or if you can get Pink to make an inappropriate sexual gesture. Then we’ll see you the morning after for yet another Obama hangover.