Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

Roll Call Magazine Tempts Dems With Candy Mountain

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | April 26, 2010 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Politics
Tags: Andrea Lafferty, Candy Mountain, employment discrimination, ENDA, Roll Call

Thiscandy-mountain.jpg morning's Roll Call again calls for Democrats to head for Candy Mountain: take the easy road and forget gay rights issues like ENDA. (You can also view the article here.)

"Down one path lie easy-does-it items designed to gather bipartisan support and show the party is committed to job growth in the hopes of staving off a midterm election bloodbath....The road forks at a bill banning employers from discriminating against gay and transgender people."

Andrea Lafferty of the hate group Traditional Values Coalition more explicitly stated this last week in Roll Call: "Can Democrats afford another costly battle when they are running scared and, according to Rasmussen Reports, face 58 percent of Americans who want to repeal the health care bill?"

To emphasize the point, Roll Call has another article this morning as well: GOP Support for Gay Rights Measure Slips: Transgender Provisions Scare Off Republicans

Candy Mountain, Charrrrlie...Candy Mountainnnn....

Democrats: There's no candy on Candy Mountain.

If you haven't seen this classic bit of internet history, you must watch it right now. It's only 3 minutes long, but you can't understand the dangers of Candy Mountain without it.

The dilemma faced by Democrats is nothing new. It's the perennial high-stakes dilemma in our two-party system, faced by both Republicans and Democrats after they recede in the polls after the Presidential honeymoon. With a potential loss of Congress looming, should they take the easy road and play to the center, a move which might alienate the base and make them stay home in droves all over the country?

Or should they suit up for battle with conservatives, providing red meat for the base, but which might push more independents into the other column, especially in opposition states, ensuring the loss of new first-year moderates?

Yes, it's scary. As Roll Call emphasized, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has stated that he is committed to a vote on ENDA, but may himself be in potential trouble at the polls.

Here's my word of prayer to Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and the Democrats: There is no safe road. Yes, common wisdom says govern from the center. But in a bitterly partisan atmosphere, where anti-government sentiment has gone wild, you're not going to win by being Republican-lite. You had better work on your base and the independents who are sensible enough to understand the dangers of rampant conservatism.

Conservatives don't want you to do that. They want you to compete in the who's-more-conservative-than-thou beauty contest -- as moderates -- and as losers.

You know who else wants you to drop ENDA like a hot potato? The Washington Times, the Moonie newspaper. As they put it, Discrimination is Necessary. Do you honestly think you can compete as Republicans-lite with that?

Frankly, it's quite clear that the House has enough votes to pass ENDA. The Senate is only a few votes away from being on board. The 5% or so of LGBT people in our 130 million-strong electorate amounts to about 6.5 million. It's also quite clear you're going to have to do immigration reform in order to get the 18-million strong Hispanic vote out to the polls.

Yes, some conservadems are going to lose if you play to the base. But lots more of you will lose if you play to the center.

There's no easy road, Democrats. Get your battle gear on. It's going to be a rough one. But we'll be with you all the way.

It looks scrumptious, Democrats, but it's not Candy Mountain.

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This made LOL. I had forgotten about Charlie! The "We're on a bridge, Charlie" moment certainly speaks to the ineptitude of democratic leadership as far as defining agenda is concerned...

The best way for the Democrats to make it during the mid terms would be to take a tough stance on illegal immigration. If they pass anything even closely resembling amnesty they will be slaughtered at the polls. They will also lose my vote if they give more freedom to a non American who broke the law than me a US citizen.

Unfortunately for you, Amy, it's you and a bunch of Republicans in border states vs. 18 million Hispanic voters. Why should the Democrats go with an anti-immigrant stance?

Kathy Padilla | April 26, 2010 10:56 AM

Agree strongly. Dems don't win by cadging the "find someone to hate" tactic from the other guys.

That's how they lose.

How quickly we forget those who would vote against us remember Prop 8 ? How many illegal immigrants do you believe given the chance to vote would vote for lgbt rights? Sorry but i'll neither cut my nose off to spite myself or defend someone breaking the law.Cheaters don't deserve to be placed at the front of the line. We owe it to ourselves and the immigrants that are doing it the right way to prevent this.

Kathy Padilla | April 26, 2010 2:48 PM

"How quickly we forget those who would vote against us remember Prop 8 ?"

I know they weren't illegals as they can't vote by definition.

"How many illegal immigrants do you believe given the chance to vote would vote for lgbt rights?"

Well, the Irish ones I met up in Beantown were actually more progressive than the native Irish Americans.

Oh - you mean suspected "illegals" who have Spanish surnames? Not other folks. Because we all know that's what this is about. No one is out there putting enforcment mechanisms in place for other immigrants.

"Sorry but i'll neither cut my nose off to spite myself or defend someone breaking the law.Cheaters don't deserve to be placed at the front of the line. We owe it to ourselves and the immigrants that are doing it the right way to prevent this."

Fine - just don't cut of someone elses nose in spite either. Cheaters? Really? They don't get to the front of the line? You've obviously never visited Wall Street.

Here's the thing - some from my family - because of our last names and (not I though - I have a face like the map of Ireland) how they look would be targetted if they visited AZ right now. Natural born citizens - (Puerto Rico, you know, being part of the US and many folks in AZ who's families were there before there was a USA) and have to do things like carry around birth certs that peope who don't look like them don't have to do.

As a transsexual I wonder how that will effect us - will we be targetted by police and then get arrested if our names on our birth certs don't match our appearance or the many other documents associated with us? Yeah - that's pretty much a given. So - get ready for a lot of white lgbt folks to be arrested because....well...because they can now.

You do realize that I support sending all illegals home even the Blonde hair blue eyed European ones? We have a border we have laws we have a right to enforce them. The result of not enforcing them and granting amnesty is what we have now.Obama will fail miserably if he tries to pass immigration reform that even seems remotely like amnesty.Reform immigration laws for those who apply properly send the rest packing.

"Oh - you mean suspected "illegals" who have Spanish surnames? Not other folks. Because we all know that's what this is about. No one is out there putting enforcment mechanisms in place for other immigrants."

Ms. Padilla:

When 81% of the estimated 12 to 20 million illegal immigrants in this country are from Mexico and Central America (according to the Pew Hispanic Center), you don't bother looking for redheaded Irish.

But, I can say as a person of Filipino descent who is frequently mistaken for Hispanic, I, for one, am very well aware of the consequences for my fellow people of brown color, whether they are here legally, or not.

I'm not sure what Prop 8 has to do with this, Amy. My point about immigration reform was simply that the Democrats have two ways forward: beg cravenly for conservative mercy, or fulfill their platform and build a coalition that will get them re-elected.

Your view of immigration reform as rewarding "cheaters" shows that you simply don't understand the issues. If you think our undocumented population in the millions happened from people sneaking over the border in the dead of night, you're sadly mistaken. Our own policies have welcomed millions of workers into this country and our own crazy regulations and poor enforcement made naturalization and permanent residency an almost impossible task. Immigration violations are misdemeanors, not felonies. These aren't criminals - these are productive members of our society. Anyway, take a look here and learn something: http://bit.ly/b3RJEx

Your point was that there are 18 million votes to be had for Democrats if they sell their soul for amnesty.The fat lady will sing before that happens. We have 16 million Americans out of work do the math send them home we then will have a surplus of 2 million jobs for the immigrants that do it right. I'm for immigration but I'll not support policys that don't work and lead to more death in the desert. As for illegal immigration being a misdemeaner that might be true but one of the penalties for being caught is the denial to apply for lawful immigration for a period of ten years.The other penalty is deportation not we'll let you bribe us then all will be okay.Your a lawyer how many criminals even those who commit a misdemeaner get to choose their punishment?

Dr. Weiss:

Respectfully, being against illegal immigration is not the same thing as being anti-immigrant.

That said, we need immigration reform in this country. Those who are not familiar with the situation may not be aware that the United States is an extremely difficult country to enter legally, as US Citizens are generally welcomed around the world as tourists without so much as a pre-approved visa. I can get on a plane with a US passport and fly to most of the world, present myself at the immigration desk, and get my passport stamped with no more questions asked than, "Business or Pleasure?". The same is not true of many people coming to the United States. As a person of Filipino descent, I am keenly aware of this issue.

Kathy Padilla | April 26, 2010 10:33 AM

“I’ll just say that I think it’s time to focus on jobs,” said Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.), who voted “no” on ENDA in 2007.

I couldn't agree with Rep. Lipinski more. But will lgbt people be allowed to fairly compete for those jobs? Or will an admittedly rigged labor market continue to exclude us & favor others over us? How is that beneficial to the ecomony when competition is limited?

What these folks are doing is again a form of othering - jobs are important for real people - not such ilk as you lgbt folks. You don't need to pay rent or buy groceries or provide for your families like the rest of us.

Jobs really are key - I have two immediate family members (non lgbt) who have been out of work for a very long time & on extended unemployment benefits. No doubt about the pressing need.

But ENDA is a Jobs Bill. And my family members who are out of work don't want me to join them.

They want more jobs for all and all to have a fair shot at those jobs. And especially for people to stop trying to divide us. That's not even a short term political gain, supressing the base...again. Who's going to do those lit drops, make those calls and bring the fight to our opponents onlins and at home? People who feel demoralised?

Cue the Picard facepalm pic....