Michael Hamar

Is there a connection between Jim Webb and Elaine Donnelly?

Filed By Michael Hamar | May 12, 2010 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, broken campaign promises, DADT repeal, Elaine Donnelly, ENDA, gays in the military, Jim Webb

My recent post concerning Robert Gates' outward insubordination on the issue of Webb Donnelly March 18 hearingS.jpgrepealing DADT have triggered a number of comments and e-mails to me on the issue of Obama, Robert Gates and one of my U.S. Senators, Jim Webb of Virginia. The writers almost unanimously see - some in scathing words - the Gates letter to a Congress as a coordinated plan involving Obama to sink DADT repeal this year. Yes, Senator Carl Levin has continued to say that repeal will happen this year "if the votes are there."

My concern is that, because of Defense Secretary Gates's letter, both GOP and Democrat homophobes have an excuse to defer a vote until after the November mid-term elections when chances of passage are believed to be less auspicious. Among the most disturbing questions raised is that of whether or not Jim Webb has ties to professional and mental basket case Elaine Donnelly.

Admittedly, Webb has a history of not wanting women in the military - one of Donnelly's other obsessions - but is there more to it? The following are highlights from some of the e-mails I have received and I welcome input from others who may be able to elaborate on this issue (my own letters to Webb concerning DADT have been met with mealy mouthed form letter responses, although he claims he is supporting ENDA):

But, I have become so bitter about what I see as NEEDLESS betrayal by Obama and the DNC on DADT and possibly ENDA and DOMA lawsuits [I get that DOMA repeal is a dog that will not hunt for a long time], for the first time in my life I am thinking, as you, of sitting out 2010 and 2012 elections. I probably won't, but it makes me ANGRIER that they've even driven me to consider it, just as my ultimate hatred for Bush was that he made me distrust EVERYTHING he said which no citizen should have to do.

Someone who attended the March 18th Senate hearing she attended, when DADT victims Mike Almy and Jenny Kopfstein testified, noted that Donnelly and someone with her went up to speak to Webb and he was really friendly with them. Per se, that, and the picture she took [above] is no proof of an actual friendship . . .

BUT, the rest of what she wrote made it very foreboding: "Prior to giving their testimony the witnesses walk up and greet the Senators. Of course, they don't greet them all, just the ones on their side. Elaine and Sen. Webb spoke for awhile and I took the picture[see above left]. Prior to the hearing everyone gathers in the lobby and get's in line to get seats at these hearings. Most have been standing room or overflow. I decided to stand by Elaine. It gave me an opportunity to overhear her conversations with other members of her group. One of Senator Webbs staffers came over to Elaine's group and shook everyone's hand and gave the impression this was not the first time they had met. I figured maybe Webb's staffer would then go over to Lt Col. Fehrenbach, Col. Cammermeyer, Jenny Kopfstein, or Michael Almy and shake their hand. Victor was in uniform, but no. Even though they were less than 6 feet away, the staffer just breezed right past them. Just like in the hearing room. Sen. Webb never personally greeted Jenny or Michael and you see how close they all were prior to the hearing."

And that reinforced what someone who has lobbied one of Webb's aides for repeal have reported, that the aide could barely control his indifference if not disdain.

WHY virtually every group but the Palm Center threw their legs in the air, as it were, rather than denouncing "The Study" in unison I may never understand. NOR, now that they SEEM to have realized how devious and vile Gates is, why are they STILL acting as if they HAVE to appease him..."Yes, go ahead with your homophobic study, just let us technically repeal before then, please, Master!" PLUS the fact that NO ONE is talking about that EXTRA year Gates wants.

Do Obama and Webb care that they may be setting the stage for LGBT voters to follow the Virginia 2009 election pattern where folks stay home because they are so uninspired by their alleged "friends" among the Democratic ranks? In a close race, LGBT votes could make the difference - e.g., in Glenn Nye's race - and absent passage of ENDA and a repeal of DADT, we've been given little reason to go out and vote.

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I'm sorry, that woman is so incoherent I couldn't figure out what she was saying. Does Google Translate have this language?

Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com | May 12, 2010 10:08 PM

It might be awkwardly worded but that's very different than being "incoherent." Perhaps if it was about ENDA you would have tried harder.

I think that it more a question of the dialects of english that you are familiar with, Michael, rather than a question of failure to concentrate.

There are emerican sub-dialects that I am hard pressed to understand that other people can comprehend with greater ease.

Dr Weiss is a bright and motivated activist who makes a genuine and positi9ve effort to support a broad range of LGBT issues, she plays well with others' and the Lesbian community thinks well of her.

Ummm... that email doesn't make a great case.

If Obama and the Dems keep throwing us under the bus, they're gonna need a bigger bus. I've been considering quitting the Democratic party for the last two election cycles. It's all about whooing the Indies and the moderates. Maybe if all LGBT's became independents, the folks in DC would start giving a shit about our needs -- and our votes.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | May 13, 2010 2:10 AM

This might cheer you and Dan Massey up.

You're definitely not alone. From today's NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, "more than 80% (47% in 2008) of Americans see problems with the two-party system — with 31% believing it's seriously broken and that America needs a third party, and with another 52% saying that it has real problems but that it can still work with some improvements." We owe the increase from 47% to 80% all to Obama and the Congress.

The 31% figure correlates nicely with the number of people who boycotted the 2008 election.

Both parties are politically bankrupt. Obama is best described as Bush Lite and those who voted for him, given his pre-election record, blundered badly. Instead of change what we got is a wider war, union busting, bigot pandering and handouts to the rich. That's more or less what we would've gotten from McCain but with more openly (and honest) doses of reactionary rhetoric.

There are only cosmetic differences between the two parties on the key issues and the word is getting out.

Voting for Republicans and Democrats is unprincipled – it's a betrayal of the trade union, GLBT and antiwar movements. As E.V. Debs said, "It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it."

Well, if you are all serious about the Dems, there are two steps that you can take to show that you are serious:
Register Socialist and join the Wobblies(IWW)
I actually belong to the IWW....

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | May 13, 2010 4:01 PM

My great granddad was in the Western Federation of Miners and the IWW during the violent Colorado labor wars.

I was a 'sort of' Wobbly for a few months as a kid but they were moribund even then. I really admire what they once represented. They're a big part of my family history and pioneered the politics I fight for today.

The various and sundry socialist groups that resulted from the break of the CP and the SWP are beginning to coalesce under the impetus of the radicalization and depression. As they do I'm sure I'll find a home in one of them.

As for registering and voting I vote for 'none of the above' or write in Mandela or Fidel or someone like that.


Actually, the e-mails contained more details and the names of LGBT activists and others involved. However, at the request of some of those witnessing events and/or writing the e-mails, I did NOT include the names so as to not compromise the individuals. If you knew the names, the story would be much more compelling.

Dan Massey | May 13, 2010 12:36 AM

We are past needing lobbyists and having street protests. The time for effective and complete political action is at hand and we need to act to protect our friends and destroy our enemies.

We need to get busy identifying primary candidates in either party to be placed, either in primary or general elections, as opponents to our enemies. We must throw our grassroots organizing capability behind these candidates. We know who our enemies are in Congress and we must do everything in our power (and pray for help from heaven) to unseat every one of them and replace each with an lgbt friendly politician.

We really don't have a national organization that seems capable of doing this, but it is desperately needed. While Victory Fund is very successful with their candidates, they are only occasionally focused on the Federal level. We need to find a way to inspire activism within individual states and congressional districts to change the course of elections.

This kind of effective grassroots activism was, of course, one of the promises of the National Equality March. Unfortunately, the assets from that event have not really been applied to effective direct action so much as to event packaging of conferences, protests, etc. Well, there's a place for all that, but if you want to turn the world order upside down, you'll probably spend some time in the streets and maybe a little time in jail before you're done. The more activist oriented survivors of the NEM have, or course, reconstituted themselves as GetEQUAL, with an ACTUP like commitment to occasional civil disobedience.

What's lacking in this spectrum is a highly motivated grassroots group devoted to the door-to-door campaigning that wins elections. And we have an election problem, whatever comes of DADT, ENDA, DOMA, UAFA, etc. What do you want to do if NONE of this gets done this spring? Are you prepared to devote your time to tearing apart the structure of the Congress and rebuilding it into something worthy of our nation's ideals, as opposed to the ridiculous pile of corruption and hypocrisy it embodies today, with major contributions from both political parties?

Ideas? Suggestions? Where do we begin? When can we begin?