I Don’t Wear Pajamas

Jim Burroway

October 12th, 2009

National Equality MarchAravosis shrieks:

For the political context of the gay community’s ire, NBC went to Chief Washington Correspondent John Harwood. Harwood was asked if the White House was worried about “the left as a whole,” and concerns they have that the White House isn’t doing things that “the left” expected them to do.  …

Harwood then went on to say:

For a sign of how seriously the White House does or doesn’t take this opposition, one adviser told me those bloggers need to take off the pajamas, get dressed, and realize that governing a closely divided country is complicated and difficult.

An NBC reporter quoted an anonymous source with an axe to grind — who is it? Chief of staff? Press Secretary? Electrician? — and bloggers go off the deep end fulfilling every blogging stereotype. Take a deep breath. I know people are frustrated with the slow pace of change with this president. I am too. But if an anonymous minion complains that bloggers are acting like cry-babies throwing temper tantrums, one doesn’t exactly counter that image by throwing a temper tantrum. We’ve all been called names before on the playground. Sheesh!

National Equality March

Meanwhile, some are estimating that 150,000 people showed up for a hastily-organized march. That’s a huge. And for the record, most major bloggers were very critical of Cleve Jones for calling for the march. And it remains to be seen what the march will actually achieve. But they had a very successful event, the media took notice, and everyone had a great and inspiring time by all accounts. Makes me wish I had been there after all.

So to keep everything in perspective, I have a suggestion. Go digging into the archives of, say, the Washington Post. Maybe pull out the August 24, 1963 edition, the day after Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I have a dream” speech. I’ll bet you’ll find an anonymous White House staffer trying to throw cold water on that march because it’s detracting attention from the things he thinks the President should pay more attention to. This is the ancient practice of trying to nudge policy by press quotes. It’s been going on since Ben Franklin began publishing the Pennsylvania Gazette. Chill out people. It doesn’t mean this reflects what the President is thinking. All it means is somebody noticed.

Update: A White House source with a real name disavows the remark.

Emily K

October 12th, 2009

Meanwhile, some are estimating that 150,000 people showed up for a hastily-organized march. That’s a huge. And for the record, most major bloggers were very critical of Cleve Jones for calling for the march.

Yeah, like this one. I know it might seem to be more productive to slouch behind a glowing rectangle and push the “PayPal” button, but we should never underestimate the power of demonstration. And I don’t mean the power for a demonstration to move the opposition. I mean the power of a demonstration to move those participating in it into further action. Who knows how many more will volunteer, change their votes, call out politicians, or even push the “paypal” button after participating in an experience that for some may have been life-changing. For those still deep in the closet, unable to come out in what might be a hostile hometown environment, it might have been a priceless and cherished experience.

Timothy Kincaid

October 12th, 2009

“internet left fringe” v. “progressive online community”


Just for the record (should anyone in the White House be reading) this site is neither “left” nor (that happy euphemism for left) “progressive”.

We are principled, moderate, honest, and watching. Don’t dismiss us – or most other gay sites – as ideologues driven by extremist agenda. Our community is diverse and reflects a broad range of political position.

And it is not just the “left” that supports equality. Regularly we see more and more principled conservatives who find that laws that are applied differently based on orientation are a violation of their beliefs in individual rights and freedoms.

What we agree on – right, left, or center – is that all people are created equal and endowed with certain inalienable rights. We believe in equality under the law. We believe in a level playing field. We believe in equal access. We believe in blind justice. We believe in being judged on our merits and our abilities.

And, unlike some (including the President on at least one issue), we don’t make exceptions or lose our principles when it comes to equality for gay people.

It’s not a right or left issue. It’s a decency, fairness, equality, and dammit American issue.

Timothy Kincaid

October 12th, 2009

To double up…

I think that I’m detecting what may be at the heart of the President’s lack of enthusiasm for championing and pushing our fight for equality. Perhaps he, and his White House, perceive all gay people as part of the “left”.

And as long as he’s focusing on issues of concern to the left – centralized heath care, executive salaries, etc. – then all gay people will see him as their hero even if he does nothing for them directly.

Perhaps he failed to notice that a quarter of gay Americans voted for John McCain or that even more may have voted for Obama because of his gay promises but are moderate to conservative on other issues.

Sadly, our most vocal leadership is quick to prop up the image of our community as lock-step ultra-liberals. So there really is no reason for the President to differentiate between issues of importance to gay men and women and issues of importance to the “left”.


October 12th, 2009

Personally, I have some of my finest thoughts in my dressing gown. Even so, very few bosses have been either understanding or accommodating over the years.

(Luckily we’re on the Sandringham line, and the attire raises barely an indifferent eyebrow at any hour.)

Jim — is this a post by a blogger complaining about an anonymous someone complaining about bloggers? No doubt some blogger will have somehting to say about that, so be warned.

More seriously… –>

“I do question the sincerity of people like the Reverend Martin Luther King” Jerry Falwell 1965


October 12th, 2009

Please read this article……..

[The remainder of this comment has been deleted due to violations to our Comments Policy, specifically with regard to copyright violations. This means no reposting of someone else’s material. Your writing must be your own, though you may quote selected short portions of speech by someone else. Reposting of entire posts or articles by another author is strictly forbidden.

This comment also violated our Comments Policy for being off-topic — Jim Burroway]

Richard W. Fitch

October 12th, 2009

nak: Thanks for posting. BTB TOS does not allow me to respond to the allegations contained in that article. I will only say that until the RC church realizes that it no longer dictates the terms of a diverse social order and can separate its ‘religious’ claims to civil and social justice, I will vehemently oppose the regurgitation of ‘natural law’ expounded by these men in ecclesiastical drag.


October 12th, 2009

It’s interesting that in spite of having to govern a “closely divided country” the Obama administration is able to find time and political capital for things like the war in Afghanistan, which is probably less popular than something like repealing DADT.

Which suggests to me that the administration has decided that:

1. There isn’t enough of a political advantage to bother making gay rights a priority, or

2. The administration doesn’t consider gay rights important.

Richard W. Fitch

October 12th, 2009

To ‘nak’ or Jim B: Is it possible to repost the comment or to post the link to the original article? I would appreciate having access for my own use. Thanks – rwf

Bruce Garrett

October 12th, 2009

I wouldn’t trust the Park Service estimates of the crowd size. They’ve reliably low balled every gay rights march held in D.C. I was there taking photos for Baltimore OUTLoud and that crowd looked to me easily in the same ballpark in terms of size with any of the larger marches and I’ve been to them all. I went wearing my faded button from the 1979 march.

As for Harwood’s source, Digby is wondering if Harwood just made it up, saying that he has a habit of saying exactly the same thing in his own voice all the time. The beauty of anonymous sources is they don’t even have to exist.


October 12th, 2009

I suspect that the White House is waiting on repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell because

(a) they know that DADT is hugely unpopular with the general public, and

(b) they want to capitalize on the popularity boost that would assuredly ensue once the President signs the DADT repeal bill.


October 12th, 2009

” And it remains to be seen what the march will actually achieve.”

The March accomplished exactly what Cleve Jones intended. It took the focus off of Maine and Washington state and put it on him. So three weeks from now when Question 1 passes and Referendum 71 fails, I want to see (a) the actual text of Cleve’s Magical Omnibus Federal Queer Equality Act, and (b) his schedule for getting it enacted. (“Full equality now.”)

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