Thursday, January 08, 2009

GLBT Community Has Misplaced Priorities

The GLBT community's maddening outrage at President-Elect Barack Obama's invitation to evangelical minister Rick Warren to give the invocation at his historic inauguration because of Warren's support for California's Proposition 8 amendment forced Obama to defend his decision last month. HRC's Joe Salmonese sent a letter to Obama, saying the decision was "a show of disrespect" and a "genuine blow" to the gay community. So Warren is one of several ministers who delivers a prayer at one of many inaugural events. What's the big deal?

Contrast the Warren flap to the GLBT community's reaction to Obama's decision to name Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine as the DNC chairman, replacing Howard Dean. Kaine's views on gay marriage are hardly distinguishable from Rick Warren's. He opposes gay marriage. He supported a constitutional amendment in Virginia banning gay marriages. He even opposes civil unions. Kaine will become the chief spokesperson for the national Democratic Party as Obama begins his presidency. Warren will return to his Saddleback Church in California after delivering his prayer. Why the silence from HRC and other groups and members of the GLBT community?

Meanwhile, Gov. Howard Dean, who signed into law Vermont's historic civil union legislation for gay and lesbian couples, was off in America Samoa tending to one of his final duties as party chairman instead of attending Obama's announcement of Kaine. "The conspicuous absence of Howard Dean from Thursday’s press conference announcing Tim Kaine’s appointment as Democratic National Committee chair was no accident, according to Dean loyalists," writes Politico's Jonathan Martin. "Rather, they say, it was a reflection of the lack of respect accorded to the outgoing party chairman by the Obama team." Dr. Dean had wanted to be appointed as Secretary of Health and Human Services, a post that instead went to lobbyist and former Sen. Tom Daschle, according to Martin.

I personally can't stand Howard Dean, but I think you have to give him some credit for Obama's success in red states like Indiana. Let's not forget that big rules committee fight over the seating of Michigan and Florida delegates. Dean prevailed in allowing the half-counting of Clinton delegates in those states, while awarding delegates to Obama he never won. That critical decision sealed Obama's victory over Clinton, despite her winning more popular votes in the primaries than him. As Martin's Politico story points out, Rahm Emanuel openly feuded with Dean over his 50-state strategy, a move that ultimately proved beneficial to Obama. Emanuel is now at the height of his power as Obama's designated White House Chief of Staff. Dean is out on the street with nothing to show for his efforts.


IndyPaul said...

The DNC's central focus is on campaign and political activity in support of Democratic Party candidates, and not on public policy. Kaine is an excellent campaigner and will engender respect from all corners of the party, including the 'blue dogs'. As Governor, Kaine reflected the values of Virginia, as Dean did as governor of Vermont. I agree that the GLBT community's fury at the prospect of Warren saying a prayer at the inauguration was silly. To upset that Kaine, a succesful Democrat from purpling Virginia is on board to help Democratic candidates who will by and large be more supportive of gay issues than their Republican opponents does not make much sense either.

Ted said...

Obama can't be POTUS.

Since no congressman and senator objected on 1/8/09 to Congress' count and certification of the electoral vote which would have turned resolution of Obama's eligibility issue over to Congress, rendering moot both the Berg and Lightfoot cases, Berg finally does achieve standing on the issue of actual harm, to be addressed at the 1/9/09 SCOTUS Conference on Writ of Certiorari. Obama's failure to submit evidence of his constitutional qualification for the 1/9/09 conference will mean he cannot thereafter challenge Berg's request to enjoin the 1/8/09 Congressional electoral count and certification, albeit retroactive, scheduled for SCOTUS conference 1/16/09. Moreover, Chief Justice Roberts has scheduled a full Court conference on the Lightfoot case 1/23/09 in the event there needs to be a Constitutionally mandated action, the Inauguration itself, to enjoin retroactively.


IndyPaul said...

There is no need for anyone or anything to turn 'resolution of Obama's eligibility issue over to Congress'. It had the jurisdiction to hear such objections, and none were made. Therefore, not only CAN Obama be POTUS, but he will be.

The lower courts' determinations that Berg et al have no standing had nothing to do with the fact that the electoral votes had not yet been counted. Only a candidates' opponent has standing. Berg et al. still do not.

Conferences on writs of cert. do not require any sort of evidentiary response. Indeed, it is not unusual for the prevailing party not to respond to such a writ, and not filing a response does not waive any ability to defend the appeal if a writ is granted.

The Supreme Court had the ability to address the issues presented in these cases at least twice before, and it declined. It is not going to do so now. The Plainiffs' arguments are far fetched and have no basis in law or fact.