Sunday, June 27, 2010

Socarides on MSNBC

Kicks Obama, Kisses Bloomberg

Let me make one thing perfectly clear. I find longtime gay Democratic Party hack Richard Socarides to be slimy and not always looking out for the best interests of the gay community. He's a media darling and making the most out of his recent Wall Street Journal column attacking Barack Obama on gay issues.

Socarides appreared on MSNBC today, and had little praise for Obama. Here are excerpted quotes of his, from the closed-captioning transcript:

>> you know, he's done a lot, more than any other president so far, but, of course, he doesn't have a lot of competition except for perhaps bill clinton , that category. and he's made some significant announcements and made an effort around don't ask, don't tell. we think he could have asked the don't ask, don't tell discharges right away, and the military has been allowed to stall on this, even though 80% of americans support open service by gays and lesbians in the military.

>> i will say that i served in the white house on president clinton 's staff. and i appreciate it can be a busy [place], hard to get stuff done. but i don't buy into the notion that you can only do so many things. the man is the president. he can put somebody in charge of it and have them run with it, number one. and number two, i think this glass half empty , half full equation is not really smart. i mean, you're either fully equal or you're not. when it comes to basic fundamental issues that are so important to us in america, like full equality, you are either equal or you're not. i think he could push much harder on a lot of issues.

>> before he runs for re-election, he has to come out for marriage equality . ted olson is prosecuting the case in california. and i think the president has to be on the right side of history on that. elected officials everywhere are moving, and he needs to be with us on that.

>> [at today's gay pride parade i] will march with mayor bloomberg , with senator gillibrand and senator schumer, all of whom support marriage equality in new york state.

And if Obama doesn't come out for gay marriage as Socarides wants, what will he do? What is his plan between now and November 2012 to move the president? I mean, other than pulling the strings of GetEQUAL puppets and using Rupert Murdoch's WSJ to kvetch.

Here's the video:

NYC-based gay activist and pundit Andy Humm joins with me in criticizing Socarides:

I have been sickened by the ink and air time accorded Socarides as a critic of Obama on LGBT issues given his role as apologist for Bill Clinton when he instituted the policies he wants Obama to repeal. And you are covering that well.

But Socarides is also an ARDENT supporter of Mike Bloomberg whose record on LGBT rights is abysmal. Bloomberg single-handedly prevented marriage being legal for same-sex couples in New York City by appealing the only court order ever issued to start issuing licenses in New York. Had he not appealed that decision, gay couples from all over the world would STILL be able to marry in New York City.

Bloomberg vetoed legislation to institute a comprehensive LGBT-inclusive anti-bullying program in the schools and to compel city contractors to provide domestic partner benefits as San Francisco does. Bloomberg is the largest individual donor to the anti-gay Republican Party in world history and the biggest donor to anti-gay NYS Senate Republicans who vote as a block against same-sex marriage and are stopping the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act in Albany.

The list goes on and on. Richard Socarides campaigned for Bloomberg and marched with him today despite Bloomberg's miserable record on LGBT rights. We all want Obama to do more and sooner, but who is Richard Socarides to criticize him?

Here's some background on Bloomberg working against gay equality, and it comes from longtime gay writer and activist Allen Roskoff, in a column for

In 2005, facing a Republican primary, Bloomberg appealed a court order from Justice Doris Ling Cohan ordering NYC to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Had Bloomberg not appealed and all other appeals around the state been dropped, gay and lesbian couples would be able to legally marry in New York City today. Prior to appealing the order, Bloomberg would not even say whether or not he supported the right of same-sex couples to marry.

Michael Bloomberg claims his Corporation Counsel told him he had to submit the appeal, but my reliable sources in that office say they told him directly that he did not have to appeal and probably should not appeal. [...]

Socarides calls Michael Bloomberg’s support for marriage equality “outstanding, and without his help we would not have progressed as far as we have in New York City.” This is pure spin and a laughably deliberate lie. [...]

I don't trust Socarides, one bit, and will do my part to hold him accountable for his time serving as gay liaison to Bill Clinton, criticizing Obama and for getting in bed with Bloomberg.


Bob Schwartz said...

Socarides is without credibility due to his fronting for Bill Clinton and shilling for Bloomberg. But Socarides' betrayals in no way detract from those of Obama. Our message in Gay Liberation Network is to declare independence from both major political parties and to put our interests first. Let the politicians fend for themselves as we advance our agenda by direct action. Historically, this is the way progress has been made by African Americans, labor and women.

Wonder Man said...

he needs to be held accountable

AndrewW said...

@ Bob Schwartz:

I understand your reliance on "history" to promote direct action, but it's 2010 and we are not "African Americans," a "labor union" or "women."

Please explain HOW we "advance our agenda" with protest and demanding? Nobody pays any attention to protest anymore. In 2006 4 million people (in 160 cities across the Country) marched and demanded "immigration reform." It was ignored. GetEQUAL protested Exxon and we did worse than in the previous 12 years. Paid activist Kip Williams (GetEQUAL) heckled the President and all he generated was laughter and embarrassment.

How does the tactic of "direct action" (protest, demonstration, civil disobedience, heckling) help us achieve our full equality. Please explain the simple rationale without simply relying on historical references from a very different time with very different issues. Please.

We must change minds to achieve our full equality. "Demanding" doesn't change any minds. What does?