I am not sure how i missed this….but is joe solmonese fiddling?
Our so-called “leader of the gay community” is writing an op/ed slamming the minority party’s leader while the DEMOCRATIC House and the DEMOCRATIC Senate hasn’t given us a single piece of legislation in their 2 years in power. And we’ve been told by the DEMOCRATIC White House that it won’t be possible in 2009…..
so where’s Joe??
Washington is burning and he’s fiddling with the minority party.
Solmonese needs to put down the party invitations, stop sending his resume to the Obama Personnel Office – and get to work.
What is that saying about the plank in your own eye? I think Joe needs to tell his DEMOCRATIC cabal that they need to put their mouth where our money is.
Where’s the inclusion, Steele?
By: Joe Solmonese March 5, 2009 04:46 AM EST
How many times have we heard this refrain: There’s a war going on for the heart and soul of the Republican Party? Here’s another one: The Republican Party shoul d be an open tent. Or this one: Republicans need to make sure everyone is welcome and has a voice in his or her party. In reading the political tea leaves, that’s what many thought we were witnessing in the race for the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee. This, we believed, might tell us a lot about where the party was headed. In fact, former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, who ultimately won the post, was portrayed as the moderate in a field that included incumbent Mike Duncan, former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell and South Carolina GOP Chairman Katon Dawson. Yet, after his slim victory on the sixth ballot, Steele seems focused more on style than on substance, calling for a “hip-hop” approach. The president’s economic package was called “bling bling” by the new chairman. This is going to bring the Republicans back from two terrible elections in 2006 and 2008? As Ricky Ricardo used to say to his wife, “Lucy, you’ve got some explaining to do.” But I digress. It’s not that we didn’t know Steele was ultimately a conservative. But he was also a founding member of the Republican Leadership Council, whose stated mission is promoting fiscal responsibility while allowing diverse views on social issues. His co-founders were former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman and former Missouri Sen. John Danforth, two public figures who have broadened the dialogue from the Republican side of the aisle. Even though he distanced himself from the council in his successful bid to lead the GOP, we still held out a little hope, particularly given the alternatives. He even told Fox News that he thought there was an opportunity to “build a bridge between moderates and conservatives” on the issues of abortion and gay rights. But talk about cold water. First, Steele told the Christian Broadcast Network that, while he was personally opposed to a federal marriage amendment that would ban marriage equality, the party would advocate for its passage if the bill was filed again. How is that a departure from the Bush-Rove era of attacking gay Americans for political gain? How is that new leadership? Then, this same new party chairman who greeted his election with the words, “Get ready, baby. It’s time to turn it on,” really went off the deep end. In the same week that Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, also a Republican, announced his support for civil unions, Steele completely shut that conversation off.
When asked by a conservative radio talk show host the simple question, “Do you favor civil unions?” Steele seemingly couldn’t wait to shoot back, “No, no, no. What would we do that for? What, are you crazy? No. Why would we backslide on a core, founding value of this country?” I’ve been in and around politics long enough to recognize the knee-jerk tendency to veer sharply right after the defeat of what some saw as a moderate Republican presidential candidate. Perhaps, but did they forget about Sarah Palin? The truth is, America is changing its view on marriage equality and on civil unions. Depending on the poll, somewhere between 50 percent and 55 percent of Americans believe in civil unions or relationship recognition protection for loving gay and lesbian couples. Support for same-sex marriage gains additional support every year. And in a recent Newsweek poll that asked whether people favored marriage, civil unions or no recognition at all, 63 percent favored either marriage or civil unions. As for the Federal Marriage Amendment, even before our economic crisis, a plurality of Americans viewed this as a waste of time. This is a time for a new direction, not more of the same old, same old when it comes to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered America and the Republican Party. Most voters are dead tired of rhetoric that vilifies one group of Americans, or diminishes one family over another, or says to one teenager, “You’re OK” and to another, “You’re not.” And those lines are not drawn by a level of civic participation, scholastic aptitude or family values; they’re drawn by age-old prejudice that has no place in the uncertain world we all live in today. Chairman Steele would do well to look closer at where America is headed=2 0on these issues of family, heart, and basic fairness and to lead his party forward. Hip-hop, after all, is about authenticity, if nothing else. This three steps forward, two steps back approach not only won’t win elections; it won’t win many new party members, either. Joe Solmonese is president of the Human Rights Campaign.