After several weeks of calls for boycott following the Obama administration’s failure to attend to any of his campaign promises, the 10th annual LGBT Leadership Council fundraiser for the DNC went on as planned last night. The event, with Vice President Joe Biden as the main attraction, was boycotted by at least 13 prominent members of the community, as well as the Stonewall Democrats and former DNC chair Howard Dean.
And yet, the DNC reportedly raised nearly a million dollars, at least 30% more than last year’s pre-election event. From Advocate.com:
Despite the controversy, about 180 people showed up to hear Vice President Joe Biden speak for a price tag of $1,000 to $30,400 per plate. The event brought in nearly $1 million, up from about $750,000 last year, according to a Democratic Party source.
When Vice President Joe Biden took the stage, he told the crowd that he had specifically asked to speak at the event and that his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, had also requested to address a Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network event earlier this month.
â€œI am not unaware of the controversies swirling around this dinner,â€ Biden said, â€œswirling around the speed — or lack thereof — that weâ€™re moving on issues that are of great importance to you and, quite frankly, to me and to the President and to millions of Americans.â€
The Vice President’s words are nice, but as we’ve learned over the last six months, they signify no real change in policy.
By donating a record amount, even amidst the outcry from the LGBT community, even while protesters from SLDN drew attention to President Obama’s refusal to halt the firing of servicemembers such as Maj. Margaret Witt, Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach, and 1Lt. Dan Choi, even after White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said yesterday morning that President Obama would continue to ruin the lives, careers, and futures of these honorable, dedicated servicemembers, even as it becomes clear that the Matthew Shepard Act will be DOA if it even makes it to the president’s desk, these donors have made a statement.
Their statement is this: They don’t care. Their access to and hobnobbing with well-heeled Washington insiders is more important to them than pesky rank-and-file members of the community who just want to stop being abused.
Understand the damage done last night. Every advance we’ve made over the last few weeks since the Obama Justice Department released its shameful DOMA brief, is now gone. The Democratic party knows, and President Obama knows, that we don’t control the community’s purse strings. Our supposed social betters do that for us, and they’ll keep the money flowing no matter what President Obama and Congress do.
So. Where do we go from here?
It’s been a month since David Mixner proposed a March on Washington for October 10-11, 2009 and this does nothing but solidify my support of the idea. Our job now is to show both our national leaders and the A-list LGBTs that our voices are louder than their money. Our goal is nothing short of full and total equality. Our duty is to secure a better future for our children.
Our time is now.