barney frank

Obama ‘not being for [a DADT repeal] will give people an excuse to not vote for it’

SOUNDBITES — “His not being for it will give people an excuse to not vote for it. Thing is – we’ve done hate crimes. We do ENDA. It’s a big agenda all at once. At this point – the President’s refusal to call for repeal this year is a problem.” —Rep. Barney Frank, criticizing Obama’s failure to push on DADT, and this week playing the White House bully instead of its lap dog (via)

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  • AndrewW

    The President doesn’t have any influence over members of Congress regarding LGBT-issues.

    Anti-gay politicians have based their position on their moral beliefs and the majority beliefs of their constituents.

    Barney Frank is just playing politics – that’s his game. But, it’s not our solution to obtaining full equality.

  • ousslander

    He could have it passewd if he did the same wheeling a dealing he did with Health care. Just buy their votes but we are bnot that important.

  • Cam

    No. 1 · AndrewW
    The President doesn’t have any influence over members of Congress regarding LGBT-issues.

    Anti-gay politicians have based their position on their moral beliefs and the majority beliefs of their constituents.

    Sorry, not true at all, Just look at Rep Harold Fords pandering when he was going to try to run for Senate in NY. He was for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage when he was a Congressman from Tennesee, but as soon as he wanted to be a Senator from New York, he was trying to meet with gay groups telling them he supported gay marriage. Did he have a religeous revelation? No, he was just pandering to a different crowd. 90% of politicians will change their opinions if it effects their fund raising or election prospects.

  • Fitz

    I am probably older than most of you, and I have never seen so much political goodwill as there was for Obama post election, and I can’t think of a single example of wasting that energy which comes near to what has happened here. He is a pro oil drilling, pro nuke, pro military spending, pro GTMO bay illegal prison, and anti gay marriage president. He is… a republican.

  • AndrewW

    @Cam: When Harold Ford had his miraculous reversal it was because the voters in New York ARE NOT anti-gay, like Tennessee. The majority beliefs of the constituents changed his mind, not influence or lobbying.

    @ousslander: Politicians beliefs (position) about gays are immutable because they are based on morality. It’s the same as abortion. You can’t “bargain” that belief away. The politician only changes when his/her constituents change.

    If you don’t believe that, find one member of the US Congress that changed their position on an LGBT -issue in the last 30 years. There are none. Despite HRC lobbying ($550 million) and letters, emails and calls to politicians – not a single vote has been changed in 30 years. Moral positions are non-negotiable.

  • reason

    @AndrewW: You are correct to some extent, but you need to do a better job articulating your point, probably why you got so many negative ratings off the jump.

    I know what you are trying to say, is the gay community really needs to focus on its grassroots efforts, reaching the voters in the communities that the politicians represent. We have done a horrible job reaching communities that should be empathetic towards are cause let alone the ones that shouldn’t. We need to put more focus on community organizing, citizens advocating, and community outreach. Harold Ford likely switched his view not because of an epiphany but because he was wooing different constituents. If Harold was never in Tenn he would have never voted that way and the gay community would likely love him. Who’s fault is this? We really shouldn’t be re-litigating the past but realizing that we have not made significant inroads in Tennessee, if we had, trust me, someone like Harold Ford, who is liberal at heart, would have supported us there…

    Obama did manage to get politicians to challenge the status quo and vote for healthcare even though it was not politically expedient. It would be intellectual dishonest to not explain how he was able to do it, he had history on his side, healthcare is the D in the democratic party, a priority that they have been trying to get accomplished for decades: health care is one of the core reasons why democrats are democrats, to be the deciding vote against it would be to stab yourself in the heart. He had to fight to get it done, but when he walked into the house and told people to fall on their swords he was able to tell them this is why we became politicians, this is the cause of our party’s life.

    Were we fall out is I still believe politicians can play a strong role, as history has shown, even when they have to go against their constituents wishes. I also would not give up on all politicians, some will go against their interest if you can make them believe; Claire McCaskill supported Obama in the primary and after against the political headwinds. Lindsey Graham supports climate change legislation against his party’s wishes, and the arch-Conservative constituency of South Carolina. I still firmly believe that government can work for the people, if the people get engaged and make the government work.

  • Cam

    No. 5 · AndrewW Said…

    If you don’t believe that, find one member of the US Congress that changed their position on an LGBT -issue in the last 30 years. There are none.

    Andrew, the following example took me litterally 20 seconds to find…

    “”U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman (D-9th Dist.) says a member of his family persuaded him to change his position on same-sex marriage.

    The Bergen County lawmaker says he now supports the rights of gay and lesbian couples to marry, and has become a member of the House Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Caucus.””

    And this next one took me ten seconds more…

    “In the 2004 U.S. Senate race (and his last year as a congressman), Joe Hoeffel declared in a debate that he was for same-sex civil unions, but against same-sex marriage, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer and further confirmed here.

    “”This is the same man who’s now saying, on his website, “This is discrimination, and it is time for our society to recognize what is right. It is time for the majority to stand with, rather than against, the same-sex couples who strengthen our communities and our commonwealth. I support full marriage equality for all Pennsylvanians.””

    So there are two right there. You said politicians all have religeous convictions and their opinions can’t be changed. I’m saying that politicians are whores and will spread their voting legs for whoever has the most money and can help them achieve the only thing they care about…keeping their jobs.

  • AndrewW

    @Cam: In both of your examples, the constituents had changed their minds first – New Jersey. Both politicians are life-long Democrats.

    Joe Hoeffel has always been a progressive. He went from supporting civil unions to actual marriage. Joe Hoeffel was never anti-gay. Never.

    Joe Rothman is also a progressive. He was never anti-gay. When he decided to support same-sex marriage he told Huffington Post:

    Rothman did that this week by announcing he now supports legalizing same-sex marriage. This change in position is not because Rothman had a Jim McGreevey moment; Rothman had a Dick Cheney one. One of Rothman’s stepdaughters is lesbian.

    There is no evidence that lobbying had anything thing to do with either example. If lobbying does work – as you repeatedly suggest – find a Politician that was “anti-gay” and then that changed their mind. Two progressive Democrats from New Jersey (50-50 regarding LGBT issues) doesn’t demonstrate that lobbying is effective. These two were never anti-gay.

    The truth is, if lobbying was effective we would have succeeded a long time ago.

    Find a Member of Congress that was lobbied from anti-gay to pro-gay. Find one. The two you provided were never anti-gay.

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