Andrew Sullivan is urging gays who are in the pocket of the Democratic National Committee to start trying to hit it where it hurts:
One way to get the Obama administration’s attention on civil rights is for gay people to stop funding the Democrats. That’s all these people care about anyway when it comes to gays: our money. If the Democrats refuse to support us, refuse to support them. This is a start. But we need to get more creative. We need actions to highlight the administration’s betrayals, postponements and boilerplate. We need to start confronting the president at his events. We need civil disobedience. We need to tell him we do not want another fricking speech where he tells us he is a fierce advocate for our rights, when that is quite plainly at this point not true. We will not tolerate another Clinton. No invites to these people for dinners or fundraisers. No cheering him at events while he does nothing to follow up on his explicit promises. Of course these things can be done. If anyone high up in the Obama administration or the Pelosi-Reid Congress gave a damn, much would have been done.
“That’s all these people care about anyway when it comes to gays: our money.” Well, yes, some of us have thought that for quite some time. Or maybe not quite that coarsely—I’m sure plenty of DNC higher-ups genuinely care about gay people, but when it’s time to make political calculations, we have little power unless we’re part of a larger bloc. I don’t say that out of self-pity; it’s just cold, hard political reality. The incentive to give gay activists what they want just because they’re being loud about wanting it is pretty low, though I certainly agree that gay people who feel betrayed should feel free to exercise their First Amendment right to petition the government.
Allow me to observe, however, that it would be nice if they hadn’t set a track record of making it so easy to walk all over them. Sullivan talks about not tolerating another Clinton, but liberal gay politicos have already made the same mistake they did with Bill: showering a charismatic politician with such adoration that they can hardly blame him for presuming on their unconditional love. And then looking whiny when they start bellowing about how betrayed they feel. Nick Gillespie posted this yesterday at Reason.com:
I can appreciate the anger and disappointment among gay and lesbian supporters of Obama, but in their frustration may well be the seed of a deeper understanding that politics and politicians are disappointing at best and malevolent at worst. Which is precisely the reason to squeeze their power and influence over citizens and human activity to the bare minimum, whether we’re talking about the bedroom or the boardroom.
We can dream. If this does get gay activists and voters to rethink their knee-jerk allegiance to the DNC, then the tactics Sullivan is calling for will serve a good purpose. But unless they recognize Gillespie’s libertarian point, it’ll be hard to shake the feeling that they’ve learned the tune but are pointlessly rewriting already adequate lyrics:
Added later: Also, there’s this from Matt Welch:
For journo-pundits especially, but I think all of us too: Life really is better lived when you reserve your love for the deserving people you know, rather than the undeserving politicians you think you understand.