I was reading AmericaBlog a few minutes ago and they mentioned that Harry Reid (likely incoming Senate Minority Leader) had to be forced to sign onto ENDA. The GOP are already saying that ENDA and hate crimes laws will not go anywhere, and that doesn't really surprise me. They never went anywhere even when Democrats controlled Congress. I have no problem abandonding those.

But the idea that hacks and beltway whores like James Carville have that Democrats need to get the "rural" vote is misguided and almost impossible. These guys are so out of touch with the ground that they really do believe all you have to do is use code words against gays or against minorities, and the fundies will line up at your doorstep.

Even many people here believe that the party should stab gays in the back in order to attract more voters. The problems with that are:

  • people who vote based on gay-bashing will always vote Republican.

  • we lost many of these Senate races because of the blood red states they were in. We lost them even though half of the candidates were also anti-gay. In 2000, Mark Dayton, Maria Cantwell, Debbie Stabenow, just for starters, would not have been elected if not for support from gay voters. If gay voters stay at home in 2006 because the party has decided to let the Hate Amendment or far right judges through, then there will be even less of a chance for these potentially vulnerable incumbents to win. It will also make Santorum more likely to win reelection, since people will just vote for the enemy they know and gays won't bother to vote at all.

  • gays are one of the biggest money sources for Democrats. Tim Gill is one of the main reasons that Dems won so much in Colorado yesterday. Gays helped give Howard Dean his start in the Presidential sweepstakes.

Many of you seem to think that the party can bend and twist itself into some kind of heteroproud pretzel and that millions of votes will come flocking our way as a result. That this election "proved" gays are a liability. This type of attitude, the idea that you will gain big dividends if you ape Republicans, is what has cost Democrats many times in the past, and will cost them again in the future. It really saddens me how many supposedly tolerant people here have launched into the "some of my best friends..." and the "special rights, not equal rights" shit over the past few days. If you're looking for a scapegoat, then no one can stop you, but I can tell you right now that gays have lost more than just about anyone in this election, and we aren't going to take the abuse and the blame here. If you alienate gays then you are going to doom your party in the many states where gay rights are not a liability, and you are going to ensure that the GOP can only move further and further to the right and get away with it. This attitude is no better than when the hypocrites at NOW kicked lesbians out of their group and called them the "lavender menace" who brought negative attention. I could sit here and tell you that we need to become more anti-abortion, that abortion has done more to hurt the Democratic Party than gay rights ever could, but people would kick me in the head again and again. It's a shame that when people say the same about what a burden gay rights are, they are generally greeted with approval, or silence.

Originally posted to JamesB3 on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 09:16 PM PST.

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