When I read lefty gay blogs and communicate with gay bloggers and politically aware gay friends, I often hear a different critique on Joe Solmonese than the one I offered last night.
Their basic argument is that the HRC chief, instead of playing offensive on gay issues is playing defense for the Obama Administration and congressional Democrats. “Too often,” Stephen H. Miller writes on the Independent Gay Forum’s Culture Watch, “Solmonese has seemed more interested in defending the Obama administration to HRC’s gay donors rather than in playing hardball.”
I wonder if the Senate would have moved on DADT repeal had Solmonese called Harry Reid in May after the House voted on repeal and demanded that he move forward immediately on a vote or risk a loss of HRC support of Democrats in the fall elections. Surely, he has contacts in the Senate Leader’s office. Such ultimatum might have worked wonders on the then-vulnerable incumbent.
And while HRC may still have contacts in the offices of the Senate Democratic leadership, Miller says “lines of communication with the GOP . . . appear to be nil”:
Even leaving aside the group’s failed one-party strategy, the people running HRC, as Blatt notes, don’t speak the language of “liberty”; their template for politics is one of “rights.” They live in a different world from the party that now controls the House.
So, now we see two basic criteria HRC’s board should consider in picking a new leader, first, someone who can talk Tea Party Republican and, second, someone willing to play hardball with Senate Democrats.