I am starting to get discouraged with the progress of ENDA. I go through these periods. It's called being human.
The last word from DC was that they were supposed to do a whip count on April 12, when they returned from Easter recess, and move to a markup and a vote. I know they're doing the count, but why is a count that started on April 12 still ongoing on May 5?
What's the hold up? What's with the lack of communication? Can anyone blame us for being impatient? Are you listening? Just do it, already.
Waiting can make you crazy. I went off on some poor soul yesterday, and I thought I would share it with you. I really don't have anything more pressing to share. There's zero news on ENDA, so what's there to say? I could post about Lady Gaga. Oh yeah, remember when she stood at the platform at the National Equality March, and her voice screamed from the speakers with a resounding echo: "Obama! Are you listening!?" I loved it.
Lady Gaga's National Equality March scream and my crazy over-the-top rant after the jump. Because I have nothing better to report.
So I was reading a discussion about online organizing, and someone who I like a lot wrote that we shouldn't disparage orgs that have real budgets and staffs doing the grinding day-to-day work that is organizing, and heap praise on grassroots groups that do things with chewing gum and chicken wire. The right-wing machine didn't spring up from nothing, it was grown through smart use of considerable resources, careful collaboration, and compelling messaging.
I lost my mind. I did. I went OFF. This is what happens when DC leaves the rats-in-a-cage without food and water for a year. Message to DC from the Donner Party: your counsels of patience are wearing thin.
Here's what came out. Self-aggrandizing, sure. But minus the delusions of grandeur, I still think it's about right. What do you think? The silence on the list afterwards was profound. I could feel them poised over their keyboards, looking for the "Next" button. But my rant was ignored. I felt a little better afterwards, and then worse. This morning I'm just discouraged. Here's what I wrote:
"I agree with you completely. So where's our "considerable resources, careful collaboration, and compelling messaging" on ENDA?
Why haven't I seen the type of organizing that Obama did on health care happening among our monied classes? Why don't I see software sending advocates names of people in the swing districts to callers in other states to urge them to lobby members of Congress? Why do I hear Barney Frank grumbling about the fact that we don't lobby effectively as a community. Why do I hear of Congressmembers saying *I* get no calls on ENDA? *I* have had no lobbyists in my office on ENDA?
Why have I been compelled to spend the last year with my little chewing gum and chicken wire writing up spreadsheets on where votes are in Congress, sending out blogposts and Facebook status messages and tweets to get people to call and hearing not that much from our moneybags?
Why, a lot of those people were quietly whispering in January that ENDA is dead. A lot of those people are even now putting messages out that ENDA can't win because of the trans people. A lot of those people are whispering that I'm a loose cannon.
It's nice getting praise from people for my work on ENDA, but frankly, I shouldn't be getting that much credit. I'm just a fool who just couldn't let the whole rig go down in flames like in 2007 without a fight, even at the cost of my relationship, my income, my academic work. Why I am I feeling like I'm in the wilderness like a wild-eyed Old Testament prophet?
Frankly, I could have put together a better campaign than the money orgs in my effing sleep if someone gave me $10,000 bucks, let alone millions.
Am I bitter? Eff yeah.
But I'll keep on fighting because it's who I am. Not promising y'all will always like the results."
By the way, I am glad those organizations with the money are there. We'd be worse off without their work. But are they getting an A in my class? Nope.
Oh, and did you write your Representative today? Do your homework! Yes, you have to do it every day. Then you get to listen to Lady Gaga. Here's the link.
Anyway, Lady Gaga's scream at 0:40. It just feels good.