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10/08/2009

These boots are made for balking: B. Frank on the Equality March

by Jeremy Hooper

signorile-frankCongressman Barney Frank was on Signorile's Sirius/XM show. This is how Mike sums up what the gentleman from Massachusetts had to say about this weekend's National Equality March:

"I literally don't understand how this will do anything," he said. "People are kidding themselves. I don't want people patting themselves on the back for doing something that is useless." Besides, he says, "Barack Obama does not need pressure." He says we should model ourselves as lobbyists on "the National Rifle Association." He says people should not come to Washington and should stay home and lobby their members of Congress. "Nobody in Congress even knows they're there, he says, and he is not attending the March: He is going to California to raise money for himself and other Democrats.

Oh, that Barney: He simply must learn to form an opinion. ;-)

More on what the the thoroughly word-mincing Congressman had to say on this and other issues, including full audio from the exchange:

Barney Frank: March is "Useless," Lobby Politicians at Home [Signorile]

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Your thoughts

I agree wit Barney to some extent. While I'm all for marching to make one's presence known, I wonder how many of those same marchers also take the time to contact their elected representatives. It would be great if while everyone was in DC, if the knocked on a few doors and made their voices heard.

Posted by: Ed | Oct 8, 2009 9:40:48 AM

Lobbying MY congressman would accomplish about as much as, to paraphrase Uncle Barney himself, as lobbying my dinning room table. I'm in OH-4, and have the ultra right wing Jim Jordan as a Rep. Before him it was Mike Oxley. So will Uncle Barney please explain to me what good lobbying my congressman will do ??? I'll be in DC this weekend while he's out raising $$$. Guess that shows me where HIS priorities are. And one more thing, in all the years Uncle Barney has been in Congress, can ANYONE name ONE pro LGBT piece of legislation that he has helped get passed ??? Uncle Barney, if you're not with us... GET OUT OF THE WAY !!!! (and I'm no naive kid... i'm 46.....)

Posted by: Don Rumgay Jr | Oct 8, 2009 3:21:30 PM

Barney is right; marching will not change the minds of any elected official. What marching might do, though, is to draw more national media attention to LGBT equality. And, that could be somewhat more effective at affecting the political discourse. But, marching is (maybe) a once, twice or three times a year occurrence. Without the letter writing, phone calling, opinion vocalizing and other forms of citizen lobbying, marching is pretty useless. But, I think the biggest purpose for marching is to instill the necessity for citizen lobbying. Hopefully it will be effective at doing that.

I have this picture in my mind of a dozen Maxine-esque women (and men) sitting around a table in a church annex somewhere, who, between cigarette, coffee and pee breaks, are manning a bank of telephones calling every elected official in the country to lobby them to deny, or take away our rights. Those dozen (or fewer) voices have the potential to undermine a thousands or more or ours, and all of the money that we can raise to counter them. We really need to get with the program...

Posted by: Dick Mills | Oct 8, 2009 3:57:27 PM

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