Last night over at Pam Spaulding's House Blend blog, she tied my recent look at the White House visitor logs pertaining to Human Rights Campaign leaders to a column by David Mixner.
Feels odd to be in bed, politically speaking, with Pam and David because I feel my views to be of a more radical bent than theirs, but it feels fabulous that Pam makes a point that should scare some sense into the HRC crowd. That point is that three very diverse gay thinkers and activists agree on one big thing: We want real leadership from HRC and no more kowtowing to the Obama administration and other Democrats.
David writes about one of many recent problems created by HRC that drives the divisions between them and much of the gay community:
At the height of this battle, for some reason Joe Solmonese traveled to London with the vote on ENDA, according to HRC happening in the next couple of weeks. Maybe there was a good reason or maybe Joe wasn't busy, but image is everything. This image leaves an impression of not leading and trusting too much in others. Joe: stay home, make this happen and restore our faith in HRC or get out.
Given that there has been no sighting of Solmonese in the community or on Capitol Hill or anywhere frankly, since he appeared via satellite from the UK a week ago Thursday on a gay leadership panel, I don't expect a miracle of him and HRC getting spines. Is he back on American soil? Other than the HRC p.r. cranking out a standard statement from him on Friday, what has he been up to, as our leader?
As we wait for answers, let's revisit the White House visitor logs because on Friday afternoon, thousands of new names and visits were made available for public inspection. I went over the logs and below have updated my earlier list of HRC visits.
Solmonese's visits climbed to 19, Raben's up by 2, Rosen's went up by one, as did Smith's and Moulton's. In the two-visits category, board member Gwen Baba is now included. New HRC names, with one visit each, for tours of the White House, have been added to the list of single-visit names.
Latest total of visits by HRC people? 104.
Name: Joe Solmonese
Name: Hilary Rosen
Name: Ty Cobb
Name: David M. Smith
Visits: At least 8, maybe more.
Name: Terry Bean
Name: Robert Raben
Name: Brian Moulton,
Name: Vic Basile
Name: Allison Herwitt, Harry Knox
Name: Phil Attey, Michael Palmer, Donna Payne, Judy Shepard, Mary Snider, David Stacy. New name added: Gwen Baba.
Name: Elizabeth Birch, Ken Britt, Marjorie Chorlins, Stampp Corbin, Darrin Hurwitz, John Isa, Dana Perlman, Elizabeth Pursell, Marty Rouse, Susanne Salkind, Meghan Stabler, Cuc Vu, David L. Wilson. New names added: Kim Allman, Michael Cole, Darrin Hurwitz, Ellen Kahn, Sharon Groves, Samir Luther, Sultan Shakir, David Turley.
If you know if and how these visits have benefited millions of gay people, kindly share that info with me. Other than warm memories and photo-ops for the HRC folks, what have the rest of gained by such high-volume access to White House meetings, cocktail parties and tours?