Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Must Read: Insider says Obama didn't know contents of DOJ brief

Today's must read is a Rex Wockner interview with an Obama insider that puts a number of LGBT issues in perspective.
  • That awful Department of Justice brief on the Defense of Marriage Act? (Obama didn't read the brief before it was filed.)
  • Does Obama get the need for LGBT equality in his gut and heart? (Yes.)
  • Has the LGBT community done a good job of lobbying Congress? (No.)
  • Should the community put an increasing amount of pressure on Congress and Obama? (Yes, yes, yes!)
The insider in the interview is Steve Hildebrand, an openly gay man who served as the president's deputy national campaign director during the election.

I've met Hildebrand, and I know his connection to Obama. When Hildebrand speaks, we should all listen because his history with Obama pre-dates the campaign. Hildebrand was one of a handful of politicos who sat with Barack and Michelle Obama as the couple mulled over whether or not to even enter the campaign.

The other reason I value Hildebrand's observations is that he doesn't hold back from acknowledging political reality. He notes that if the LGBT community doesn't pressure the administration and Congress and if we don't prove our political might, we will never get the support we need to win equality.

That kind of political hardball shouldn't be necessary. In an ideal world, our senators and representatives would vote their conscience, but we don't live in a perfect world. When you get right down to it, politics is the art of convincing a bunch of frightened folks that they won't lose their jobs if they make the right vote.

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