Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dan Savage On Obama After Maine Vote

THIS VIDEO OF SEX COLUMNIST DAN SAVAGE commenting on Keith Olbermann is a very sharp rebuke to the Democrats automatic expectation to receive the votes of America's oppressed minorities, including gays and lesbians, even when they sell them down the river - as Obama and the Democrats have done. The recent mobilizations, including 250,000 in Washington, DC, hopefully are moving this significant constituency away from the Democrats.
I remember in 1995 in Ontario, in the dying days of the NDP government. When they were selling out same sex spousal benefits legislation there were mass demonstrations against the NDP - though moderates in the gay community and union bureaucrats tried to keep a lid on it because the NDP was "our party." It became clear how important those independent mobilizations were though because when the NDP were trounced by a very right wing Tory government a few months later, it was the gay community that mobilized the first demonstration against the Tories. That mobilization gave confidence to the left, which was totally demoralized in the wake of the right wing victory. Following the gay and lesbian mobilization there were anti-poverty and anti-Tory mobilizations from grassroots organizations like the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty and Embarass Harris (Mike Harris was the premier-elect). That fed into the labour movement and by the end of the year a series of city-wide, one day general strikes began. In other words, it was the courage and mobilization of one section of the oppressed that showed the way and led to a more general level of mobilization.
Let's hope that the gay rights movement in the States - the first movement to break from Obama - plays the same role of raising confidence and mobilization more broadly.

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