Gays Reassess After GOP Gains

BY Kerry Eleveld

November 02 2010 8:40 PM ET

Richard Socarides, who
was working in the Clinton White House during the 1994 election when
Democrats took a big hit in the midterms, said he didn’t see the night so much in
ideological terms.

“I think people too often make the mistake of looking to previous
administrations for lessons in how to deal with present-day problems,”
he said, adding that the ’94 comparison wasn’t particularly
instructive to him.

“The voters sent several messages tonight,
but one is clearly that they are tired of the highly politicized
partisan battles that go on nonstop in Washington,” he said. “The
important thing for Obama to do now is to say, ‘I got the message loud
and clear, and I’m ready to work with others in governing.’”

Socarides
said the Democrats’ “big strategic mistake” on LGBT issues was failing to push
through DADT repeal and maybe even ENDA in 2009 while they were taking
an entire year to shepherd health care reform.

But from a broader perspective, he added that White House insiders had been too insular, even with people in their own party.

“If
you were not part of the Chicago group and there from the beginning,
they weren’t really interested in your ideas; it didn’t matter what
party you were from,” he said.

But he said the LGBT movement also had some takeaways from the last two years.

“We
have to press our enemies and press our friends harder,” he said, “and
also we all need to work together. This snarky infighting that goes on
amongst our side just does not do us any good.”











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