Where's the Strategy on Gay Issues for 2006?
by Matt Stoller, Sat Apr 22, 2006 at 07:58:31 AM EDT
2006 should be a blowout for Democrats. Given Republican failures, we should easily take back the House and Senate. Yet Democratic Party leaders are still allowing the Republicans to define the terrain, which means that our chances are totally up in the air. The GOP is quite public about their election plan, they are going to run on gay adoption and gay marriage, again. They are already taking ethics off the table by suggesting both parties are corrupt, as I said they would, and they are moving to blur the differences on foreign policy. Democrats are reduced to the 'competence' line, and the Republicans are going to rev up their base with fearful moral values language. What this means is that while we have huge leads in generic polls, voters may simply pull the lever for their local incumbent.
I asked Rahm Emanuel and Chuck Schumer on a conference call what they are going to do about wedge issues, and their answer was basically 'the Dubai port deal'. That sounds great, if you can get Bush to try to sell our ports to foreigners in October, 2006. If you can't, start making another plan.
And let me just point something out. The immigration rallies should have taught us something - sticking up for your friends and allies is good politics. I got this email from Paul Yandura recently to this effect.
The Republicans have announced that they intend to use gay equality issues as a divisive election year tactic- AGAIN this year. Neither the DNC, nor any of the national committees (DCCC,DSCC), have a strategy to combat this hatred (unless you count avoidance as a strategy).
Dont believe me? Ask Howard, Ask Nancy, Ask Harry, Ask Rahm, Ask Chuck.
For many months a number of us have made appeals to Howard Dean and party officials to care about and defend the dignity of gay and lesbian families and friends, in the same way they defend the dignity of other key constituencies.
... The DNC is fighting the vicous attacks being waged upon immigrants by the Republican party. Its the right thing to do and I applaud their action. Why then is it so difficult for them to do the same for us?
Why are gays and lesbians continually left to fight these battles alone? Where are our allies?
All progressives need to be asking how much has the DNC budgeted to counter the anti-gay ballot initiatives in the states. We also all need to know why the DNC and our Democratic leaders continue to allow the Republicans to use our families and friends as pawns to win elections.
I think that's about right, though I will say that the gay groups have their role to play. The question applies to everyone concerned about the election. Where is the strategy here? I know the DNC meeting in Orlando is going on right now. I would hope there's some discussion around this.