Obama Adds Nothing To HRC Dinner
The President spoke at the Human Rights Campaign dinner, the biggest political event in the gay community, where he vowed to do the exact same things he's been vowing to do since he announced his campaign for President, without any timeline on when any of this would happen. About the only specific was that he would sign the Hate Crimes bill, which passed both houses of Congress in 2007 (even breaking a Republican filibuster). It's good that he didn't threaten to veto that bill, as George W. Bush did. But this is a speech that Obama could have made two years ago on the campaign trail. As John Aravosis said:
Barack Obama just promised us that if he becomes president, he's going to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell, the Defense of Marriage Act, and get ENDA passed.
He didn't even bother to mention the two big ballot fights looming in November - Prop. 1 in Maine, where the theocrats are trying to overturn the gay marriage law, and Prop. 71 in Washington, where they are trying to take away domestic partner benefits. Those campaigns in blue states could have used a soundbite from a popular President.
If you think part of life is just showing up, well, at least Obama showed up. But Obama really needs to show up when it counts. Nobody in the gay community is buying the promises anymore.