HRC Sets A Deadline for Obama: 2017

Jim Burroway

October 10th, 2009

Wow. Talk about cutting the administration a lot of slack and eliminating all pressure. It looks to me as though HRC president Joe Solmonese is vying to be Obama’s next Press Secretary. His latest roll-over comes via John Aravosis at gay.Americablog:

But what has he [Obama] done?

I’ve written that we have actually covered a good deal of ground so far. But I’m not going to trot out those advances right now because I have something more relevant to say: It’s not January 19, 2017.

That matters for two reasons: first, the accomplishments that we’ve seen thus far are not the Obama Administration’s record. They are the Administration’s record so far….

I am sure of this: on January 19, 2017, I will look back on the President’s address to my community as an affirmation of his pledge to be our ally. I will remember it as the day when we all stood together and committed to finish what Senator Kennedy called our unfinished business. And I am sure of this: on January 19, 2017, I will also look back on many other victories that President Barack Obama made possible.

This is the second blank check Solmonese has given to the Obama administration this year. Does anyone recall any of our opponents giving George W. Bush and the GOP a tw0-term pass for passing their agenda? Me neither. I guess that’s why they got so much of what they wanted through the Congress and White House. But the HRC wants us to hold our tongues and sit on our hands for the next seven years. And just trust that change will come. It’s good to see that this president has such a fierce advocate in the HRC.

Unbelievable. And yet so completely in character.  Why do they still exist?

Update: Towleroad has the complete email, and Solmonese responds. I’m willing to dial back my criticisms a little — a little. Solmonese’s full email highlights some critical disagreements with the Obama administration, so he’s not exactly the administration’s de facto press secretary. And in his response, Solmonese rightfully points out that Aravosis carefully selected a few choice quotes for maximum outrage while ignoring everything else. Unfortunately, it’s what he does.

But go back and read that email again. I agree with Aravosis on this: Don’t tell me to wait and see where we’re at in 2017. I’m worried about the 2010 congressional elections. Plus, we’re still going to have a contested presidential election in 2012. Solmonese is working on a seven year timeline because he assumes Obama will still be around in 2013 with, what? — an even friendlier Congress than we have now? At the rate we’re going, we’ll be lucky if we get Hate Crimes and maybe ENDA. DADT? DOMA? Unless we see big changes, color me skeptical.

This email, even in its entirety, exhibits the sort of comfortable complacency and lack of urgency that we’ve come to expect from the HRC.

Ben in Oakland

October 10th, 2009

Eight years?? Why does that ring a bell? Oh yes, Obama will no longer be in office.

I am starting to regret every dime I’ve ever given to HRC.


October 10th, 2009

Stonewall, the LGB-only (no “T”) British equivalent of the HRC, shortlisted a transphobic writer for the journalism award last year, despite vocal protests from both LGBs and Ts alike. When the 2005 Civil Partnership act was passed Sir Ben Summerskill, Solomonese’s counterpart, welcomed CPs with open arms, announcing them to be as good as marriage and therefore entirely satisfactory. The most recent furore has been over their involvement in the DVLA’s decision to remove the “F4GOT” and “D1KES” number-plates from sale, which has denied ordinary LGBTs the right to use the number plates in an effort to reclaim the words.

I have to wonder whether the two organisations might not be competing to find out which can most successfully disappoint or irritate their supporters. If they are, it certainly seems to be neck-and-neck right now.

Or perhaps it’s just an inevitable problem with such huge gay organisations – their leaders spend so long in their ivory towers they have absobloodylutely no idea of what life’s like on the ground.


October 10th, 2009

Why do they still exist?

Neat bumper stickers.


October 10th, 2009

Eight years at $348,000 salary a year is a pile of money for Joe Solomonese to put in the bank…


October 10th, 2009

If the economy doesn’t turn around, I wouldn’t be counting on that 2nd term for Obama.

Emily K

October 10th, 2009

I might never donate to HRC again. I certainly won’t in the next few years.

Mark F.

October 10th, 2009

This would be hysterically funny if it wasn’t so pathetic.

Gay Democratic establishment = almost worthless.


October 10th, 2009

Human Rights Champagne cares more about maintaining its high influence than using it. They’ll do anything as long as they can continue to rub elbows with the political elite.

Dana LaRocca

October 10th, 2009

Solmonese and his ilk have cast their lot with the ruling class. They do not share the trouble we’ve seen. They are effete and conciliatory towards a social order that has marginalized us. They are myopic. They betray the spirit of Stonewall and embrace the social stance of Marie Antoinette.


October 11th, 2009

Last month HRC wanted 100 dollars from me. I told them I could use that 100 to pay some of my own bills. I give 40 a month on a credit card but that is about to stop too.
If HRC waits till 2017 I will be 73 so I may not live long enough to see if anything gets done to help the gay people.


October 11th, 2009

Why am i giving Joe or Hrc any money?
I wonder how much of Joe’s 348,000
goes to help HRC?


October 13th, 2009

2017? Typical HRC B.S. That is why the GATM is closed to them, the DNC, the DNCC and every other political organization that has DONE NOTHING TO ADVANCE THE EQUALITY AGENDA. Until DOMA and DADT are repealed and ENDA is enacted, NO BILL$ = NO BILLS(Acts)


August 28th, 2011

As long as Democrats are so tightly wedded to Black America’s issues, and one of Black America’s key issues is “gay suppression”, then pinning our hopes, ANY hopes, on the Democrats will leave us with shattered dreams. (Anyone here have any shattered political dreams?) There are more blacks than there are gays, and white guilt is 17,000 times more powerful than straight guilt. Admit it! The Queer Culture response to this fact will be a vapid, non-sequitur question about Republicans, such as “Are you saying we should join the Republicans???”

Timothy Kincaid

August 29th, 2011

There is no evidence whatsoever that one of Black America’s key issues is “gay suppression”. In fact, NAACP leadership has publicly committed to supporting gay equality as have the most prominent of national black leaders.

You may wish to consider just how you turned statistical reporting on attitudes (in which African Americans are less supportive of marriage equality) into “one of Black Amercia’s key issues is ‘gay supression'”, because it sounds pretty racist to me.

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