Jarrod Chlapowski

Credit for Reid? Who Cares? Just Keep Pushing.

Filed By Jarrod Chlapowski | September 15, 2010 12:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Don't Ask Don't Tell, gays in the military, Harry Reid, Lady Gaga, Log Cabin Republicans, Servicemembers United, SLDN

Maybe this is bigger to me because I live and breath DADT repeal, but there's this slight debate over why Harry Reid announced scheduling. Was it the power of Gaga? Was it Alex's piece in The Hill? Did the LCR case push it forward?

uncle sam.jpgHere's my contribution: I don't care. Nor should you. This is the week to push, push, push for repeal this year, and yes, it really is that dire.

Today SLDN and HRC (and Servicemembers United, for that matter) are respectively pushing for Senate phone calls. Do it. Pick up your phone and call. Yes, you called on Monday. Do it again. Here's the list, in case you don't have it anymore: Senate Contact List.

Tomorrow is SU's Final Assault lobby day. Register and come to DC if you can make it. Call again if you can't. Friday is SU's Beyond Repeal event, where we'll be talking about where we are, what still needs to get done, and what's next. Again, in DC, so if you can make it, come.

Don't be left behind. Don't let us lose this fight. There's a lot of work to get done, so do it. United, we can do this.

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No, I won't call. I will not be a part of this sham by a bigoted and homophobic Obama administration. DADT has been ruled unconstitutional. The lawyers in the case say that it's scope is nationwide. Obama is NOT compelled to appeal this ruling. DADT IS ALREADY DEAD. This legislation is no longer necessary. This drive for a legistlative repeal (which isn't even a repeal anyway) is a ruse meant to muddy the waters for when Obama's DOJ decides to appeal Judge Phillips decision. It is infuriating that our own community continues to fall for their lies time and time again. WAKE UP!!

I think the response is something along the lines of not putting one's eggs all in one basket. Expect the Justice Department to appeal and appeal that decision. We may not like it, but they're not going to go down that easily on this.

... and the point in trying to pass this legislation, which does NOT repeal a damned thing and actually gives all veto power to the Pentagon over whether it happens at all is.... what, again?

Do you even know what this legislation entails? No, clearly not.

DADT has been declared unconstitutional. Period. The courts have rendered their verdict. A legislative "solution" is no longer required or desired.

If Obama truly wants DADT repealed (which he doesn't, but let's pretend for a second) then he won't appeal this court decision.

Tick tock.

I'm guessing he cares more about what the military brass thinks than he does what the rest of us (or workaday servicemembers) thinks. He'll appeal but he'll sign the DADT deal. It's called having multiple strategies going at the same time.

And I'm sure Jarrod knows what's in the DADT deal.

Multiple strategies to screw us over, that I agree with.

This legislation does nothing but screw us over. It hands all power to the Pentagon to say "oh well, gays are icky and hurt unit cohesion, too bad" at which point the executive will shrug and bow to the almighty military industrial behemoth and say to gays "see? told ya."

What do you think that survey was for? Why do you think it was designed the way it was?

Lord give me patience to deal with people who will not open their eyes and see what's right in front of them!

I think the answer there is that the possibility of the military pulling a stunt like that is better than the definite ban that Congress has in place right now.

It's called being a homophobe and a bigot. The military brass work for him. If they're being insubordinate, fire their asses. Since when does the civilian leadership kowtow to the military in this country? Obama isn't doing this for them, he's doing it becuase he doesn't like gay people. And you're obviously not paying attention to this issue at all if you blindly accept that Obama will sign so called repeal legislation. He's already threatened on more than one occasion to veto it if other spending provisions are included.

Since when does the civilian leadership kowtow to the military in this country?

You're kidding, right?

I'm curious Jarrod, if phone calls can change a Senators position, how many calls do they need? If it's just making enough calls, I will gladly hire temp workers to call over and over and over again.

Look, your enthusiasm is great. It's also your JOB. But, some of us realize that the "compromise repeal" is just a charade to make Gay Inc. and the Democrats look like they've been working hard.

The make-believe-repeal amendment will be filibustered and removed. Reid tried to bring it to the floor in July and the Republicans said no. You can cheer all you want, we don't have enough votes. Calling doesn't produce votes.

You are your cohorts are just trying to "look good" so that your upcoming find-raising appeals suggesting "we were so close" might generate more contributions.

I get paid very little to do what I do, man. And I do it because I experienced this policy and I despise it, and I don't want anyone again to have to go through what I had to go through. That's it.

You're right - there are career lobbyists working on this. I'm not one of them.

Do calls work isolated in a vacuum? Not as an ultimate game changer, no. But they are a very necessary part of the overall picture. Senators don't know their constituents care about an issue unless they hear from their constituents. It's as simple as that. Once we get them to see that it matters to people who they represent and might vote for them, it makes them that much easier to nudge to do the right thing. Calls matter.

And this is the biggest issue that I've run into working on this over the last few years: if one individual's contribution is not the game changing moment on an issue (if that even exists), he or she won't do it. The reality is that in politics, the aggregate matters, and it's essential for many to join in that aggregate to get things passed.

You are correct a politician wants to know what their constituents think or believe - that's why they use POLLING. There is nothing scientific (or reliable) about "calls received" and nothing effective, either.

I don't have a quarrel with your commitment, but we don't have enough votes in the US Senate. Calls don't change that. There are 285 million cell phones in the US. If they ALL called John McCain he would still vote against repeal. It's just silly to keep suggesting that phone calls matter.

Lobbying is a waste of money, too. HRC has spent +$550 million in the last 30 years and they haven't changed a single vote in the US Senate. Not one.

LGBT-issues are affected by the religious intensity of voters. The 23 US States that are still have a majority of voters that are anti-LGBT have a high percentage of religious intensity. Here's an example: religious intensity in Connecticut is less than 40% - both Senators are pro LGBT equality. Religious intensity in Texas is 72% and both Senators are anti-LGBT equality. All the calls you could possibly make won't change anything in Texas. Calls made to Connecticut Senators are wasted, too.

If you really want to make phone calls, call friends, neighbors, co-workers and even strangers. Ask them for help. Until we realize our equality is our job and stop pretending politics will save us - the important and effective efforts are never done. We need to educate, enlighten and enroll people - especially in those 23 States that suffer from "religious intensity."

You use a lot of absolutes without qualifying them, Andrew. That alone should make you take a second look at your assertions.

But fine, don't call your Senator, call your friends instead. It seems you're hell-bent to do so. How many calls have you made today to do this educating?

Okay Jarrod, if you read what I wrote, we have to change minds because we CAN'T change votes. Maybe you should be come familiar with the differing opinions of constituents in places like Oklahoma compared to Connecticut and then you'd recognize why asking people to "make calls" to Senators is silly.

It's up to you. You can understand the dynamics or just be a cheerleader. Go DADT repeal! Yay!

The position of your armchair seems to be ideal in how it's given you such a vast, worldly, and accurate view. You're absolutely right in that all I've ever done for this issue is write a few blog posts to cheer people on to call their Senators. Thanks for the enlightenment, Andrew - your mission in trolling blog posts to shoot every possible productive action down has been successful.

WHAT "productive actions?" Just saying that doesn't make it so. If you want people to do something, it's your responsibility to make sense of it.

We differ because you think it's effective to waste time and energy. I don't.

Wait, maybe Gaga will tweet ALL the Senators. that should work.

That's a suggestion best sent to SLDN. Cute comment, but misdirected.

A few posts ago Andrew was praising Lady Gaga for telling people to do the same thing Jarrod is. I'm not just trying to pick on Andrew here. The way the gay community treats activists as compared to pop icons is why there will never be a gay rights leader. And that's a shame.

Anyway, I would hope people realize that constituents lobbying their representatives and senators is what gets things done. The NRA will tell you that.

Maybe it's not important now, but I do hope that in the end, it's the SLDN, Servicemembers United and the LCR and their case, that gets the glory for DADT getting repealed. They deserve it.

I was suggesting that Lady Gaga was bringing attention to DADT. She has a new album called "Born This Way" in an effort to extinguish the Christian belief that homosexuality is a "choice." She has used her career/success to help our community.

I wouldn't compare that to Jarrod. Sure, Lady Gaga said "call your Senators," but I didn't say she was smart - I said she was generous. Like most people she doesn't realize that calling a politician is useless. Politicians act based on polling (and personal beliefs) not the number of calls they receive. It's goofy to suggest otherwise.

Andrew, have you been to ladygaga.com? Lady Gaga is highlighting the SLDN. Maybe you should follow her and do the same.

Pop icons don't have the power to change religion. Pop albums don't change the world. Also, there's no Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy isn't real. Grow up.

Laws are changed by the legislature or the court. There is no way for the people to vote directly on DADT. They have to petition their representatives. That's how the whole American political system works.

Lady gaga doesn't have to change "religion." That's a silly assertion. She is a spokesperson for her generation and I appreciate that she has focused on LGBT issues.

People change the laws by changing their minds. Politicians follow polls, not phone messages. lady Gaga's efforts help in that regard. She is making it easier for young people to stand up and perhaps engage parents and grandparents. Her words seem authentic to me and we should be grateful. By any measure, they are helpful.

Calling a politician and expecting that to make a difference is childish. They have polls. Expensive and reliable polls. They don't make political career choices based on random phone calls. Really, they don't. They never have.

Jarrod and other non-profit groups want you to believe that making calls works because that all they've got. Politicians like Barney frank want you to make calls so that you'll believe you make a difference. It's all bull-shit. The ONLY thing that makes a difference to a politician is what his/her constituents think because that is how the game is played. In States that are more than 70% anti-gay BOTH the Democrat and Republican candidates are anti-gay. It isn't a coincidence - it is polling.

The only way to change political outcomes is to change minds. It's more difficult than dreaming of political salvation, but it is true. So, Lady gag's stand for LGBT equality is worth a lot more than calls, emails and silly protests. She is trying to change minds - changeable minds. Dialing for votes is childish.

You do know that the "they" you are referring to is the Obama administration don't you??? In case you weren't paying attention, He's a Democrat who promised to end DADT. The fact that you readily accept that he will appeal a decision that definitively kills DADT just illustrates the sorry state of our community's activism. It is shameful.

You're right. You've convinced me. The Justice Department won't appeal the decision! DADT is over for good! Right now! I won't be disappointed, at all, in the next few weeks! w00000000t!

and by won't, I mean will....

Good work lately on DADT, Jarrod. There will always be "the glass is half full" people. As long as the result is positive, you'll be the better fellow and they'll be left in the dust wondering how they got it all so wrong. Keep up the good work.

Accountability isn't about optimism and pessimism, it is about holding all tactics, methods, strategies and organizations accountable. It is about being honest and objective, especially when asking others to make contributions - money, calls, emails, etc.

Can you even read? The point is that they won't appeal because people like you are giving them a pass while acting like sarcastic, arrogant pricks to members of your own community. Congratulations, you've been fully co-opted!

"The majority leader (Reid) predicted a final vote on the legislation as a whole won’t take place until the lame duck session in November."


LCR filed for an Injunction yesterday. Justice Department has 7 days to respond.

Injunction sought to ban defense agencies from enforcing 'don't ask, don't tell' policy