Steve Hildebrand to LGBT Netroots: ‘Don’t Hate Obama’

Obama's former deputy campaign manager Steve Hildebrand introduced himself to a group of LGBT leaders and media at Netroots Nation yesterday with three words — "Don't Hate Obama". In a follow-up interview with Kerry Eleveld at The Advocate, he told her that criticism of the President from the progressive blogging community has gone a bit overboard at times.

Hildebrand "My three words were simple – Don’t hate Obama – and if I would have had a chance to elaborate, I would have said, ‘This is a guy who isn’t going to do things exactly the way you want him to do, but know that his heart is in the right place. He has his priorities, they’re in line with our priorities and he’s going to do them at his pace.

That at the end of this four-year period, and ideally an additional four years, I don’t think the gay community will be disappointed with the progress that we made under this president."

On 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell':

"I’ve made it very clear that I believe the approach the president has taken to secure passage of DADT is the right strategy. I’m at odds with many in the gay community about that, but if we don’t have the support of military leadership for repeal of DADT, members of Congress in the Senate will use that as an excuse to oppose it and we will never have the votes in the House and the Senate to pass repeal if we don’t have the military leadership."

Hildebrand says he doesn't believe that Congress will ever have the guts to repeal DOMA but he believes the Justice Department needs to stop defending it:

"I’m very perplexed on the administration’s continued defense of DOMA in the courts. The Justice Department is not required to defend laws passed by Congress — they have a history of doing it but it’s not a requirement. Their ultimate duty is to defend the Constitution of the United States and if Congress passes a law that is discriminatory and doesn’t pass muster of constitutionality, the Justice Department in my opinion should not defend those laws. In fact, they should find ways to make sure that those laws are stricken down by the courts.

I’d like to see the president and Attorney General Holder announce that they will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act and to agree with the judge’s findings in the Massachusetts’ court case."

Read Eleveld's full interview HERE.

Comments

  1. says

    Sorry, Steve, but we didn’t vote for Obama “Doing His Own Thing In His Own Time.”

    I hate Obama. The man is a bigot, and he’ll not be getting my vote again.

  2. says

    He seems altogether too reasonable to get a good reception among purists. I don’t care for the “his heart’s in the right place” (except in terms of not hating him/vilifying him as a bigot), but I think he’s right that hating Obama is cutting off our noses to spite our gayfaces. But he’s also right to call out DOMA as unrepealable. DOMA needs to die via the courts, and its death is NOT being helped along by Obama.

  3. says

    “Don’t Hate Obama.” Spoken like a true KAPO.

    It’s not about hate. It’s about being played and lied to.

    For a vast number of reasons Obama is dead to me.

  4. Ervs says

    Don’t Hate Obama his heart is in the right place.
    Don’t Hate the Congress their hearts are in the right place.
    Don’t hate Clinton, his heart was in the right place.
    Don’t hate the Democrats their hearts are in the right place.

    Can we have a donation please? Our hearts are in the right place.
    Trust me.

    Until we exert some power and demonstrate they need us for an election or money, they will always take advantage of us.

  5. petes says

    “He seems altogether too reasonable to get a good reception among purists.”

    That would be fine, except what was that campaign slogan? Oh, yeah, “change you can believe in”. At the very least, Obama has been, shall we say, “opportunistic” with support from the gay community.

    And, anyways, how exactly does pandering to the reactionary right blogosphere in episodes like the Shirley Sherrod affair count as being “reasonable”?

  6. says

    I don’t hate Obama. I’m not willing to put that much effort into him.

    I deeply regret, however, that somewhere between the campaign and the inauguration, his backbone fell out and he decided to lean to the right and grasp Rick Warren so as not to topple over.

    NO hope. NO change, NObama.

  7. Disgusted American says

    as a 49yr old american TAX PAYING citizen this thoroughly Disgusts me – how FAR BEHIND OUR country is on EQUALITY for ALL Citizens….Liberty & Justice for all…my ass….they ARE EMPTY MEANINGLESS WORDS..that make america sound better then it actually is in reality…it’s a LIE! I could really puke. IF I come into some kind of “windfall”….Im taking that money and getting the Hell out of this Hateful,bigoted Lie of a country!

  8. Christopher says

    Rachel Maddow had Dahlia Lithwick on last night to talk about the Kagan confirmation process and both agreed that Obama could have nominated a true liberal to her seat, he had the political capital and the momentum and he blew his wad on this careerist moderate who will likely be as timid in her rulings as she has been in her career thus far. This to me says everything about Obama—he is as beholden to the status quo and the powers-that-be as any Rethug. He doesn’t want change, he doesn’t give a shit about a liberal agenda or social equality, he only wants to hold onto power.

    That he is the lesser of many evils is no reason to give this man a pass on anything. He lied, our hope died. End of story.

  9. Disgusted American says

    Come 2012, unless Alan Grayson, or someone like him is running for POTUS….then I’ll HOLD MY NOSE and Vote for Obama again…Only this time, NO $$$ (cause I’ll NEVER Vote Republican)

  10. jersey says

    “He lied, our hope died. End of story.”

    Oh, whatever. I am continually amazed at how taken in otherwise smart people were by Obama’s campaign slogans. He’s just a guy, and a politician at that. If you really believed that 1) he had the power to fundamentally change the system and 2) he *would* fundamentally change the system, then you are gullible–period.

    Now that the bubble has inevitably burst, everyone who let themselves be sweet-talked is again overreacting, but this time in the opposite direction. Obama is not the gay antichrist and he is not a homophobe. He’s a center-left politician who wants to move in small steps, as he said over and over again during the campaign when talking about policy.

    But by all means, if endless primal screams about hope and change make you feel better, knock yourselves out.

  11. says

    To be fair, though, we have to remember:

    He promised CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN.

    Not CHANGE HE’D ACTUALLY MAKE HAPPEN.

    We can BELIEVE in it. Like we BELIEVE in Santa Claus.

  12. says

    “Military leadership” support ending the ban? How about the Secretary of Defense and Chair of the Joint Chiefs? They say they support it….yet discharges continue day after day as Obama defends DADT in court this very week….EVEN THOUGH LCR offered to postpone the lawsuit IF the government would stop discharges pending the repeal they TELL us is inevitable and they REFUSED. At BEST, at the EARLIEST, “repeal” would not kick in until February of next year which means hundreds MORE discharged between now and then.

    And remember when the Obambots and Robert Gibbs insisted that a freeze was bad because it wouldn’t be a “permanent solution”? Well, Gates got Obama to agree to force our allies in Congress to trash the Military Readiness Enhancement Act which would have banned discrimination against gays in the miitary BY LAW. So, now even if Gates agrees to end discharges…a future President could order them to start again anytime he or SHE wanted.

    ” As president, I will work with Congress and place the weight of my administration behind enactment of the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, which will make nondiscrimination the official policy of the U.S. military. That work should have started long ago. It will start when I take office. America is ready to get rid of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. All that is required is leadership.” – Barack Obama, job application, November 29, 2007.

    “Equality is a moral imperative. And as president, I will place the weight of my administration behind a fully inclusive Employment Non Discrimination Act to outlaw workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. As your President, I will use the bully pulpit to urge states to treat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws.I will never compromise on my commitment to equal rights for all LGBT Americans. I believe that we can achieve the goal of full equality for the millions of LGBT people in this country. To do that, we need leadership that can appeal to the best parts of the human spirit. Join with me, and I will provide that leadership.” – Barack Obama, job application, February 28, 2008.

  13. Christopher says

    “But by all means, if endless primal screams about hope and change make you feel better, knock yourselves out.”

    Don’t be a fucktard. If a politician campaigns on promises and then fails to deliver them, those who elected him based on those promises have every reason and right to hold him accountable, and yes, to feel let down. Obama’s ‘change we can believe in” was a campaign slogan that, like all slogans, was coined to sum up the substance of what he offered the nation. Throwing that slogan back in his face is not “primal screaming” to make oneself feel better, it is calling a liar on his shit in the most economical way possible.

    No one who voted for Obama thought he would or could change the system. But just as the Repugs under Bush gamed the system to get every single agenda item they wanted over eight years, it is entirely reasonable to believe that Obama could game the system to make good on some of what he promised America. He has chosen not to (and please, if you think the DOA health bill is an exception than, yes, you are gullible indeed). The Democrats and the White House are not inept–they roll over and throw their legs in the air for the Repugs and corporate lobbyists because they share a common master—global capitalism. Perhaps this is obvious in retrospect, but after 8 years of Bush lies and deceit, I don’t think it was terribly naive of the nation to believe Obama would do better, nor do I think it is terribly gullible to feel betrayed that he hasn’t and he won’t.

  14. Ted B. says

    Translation: ”
    Shut up, sit-down, write us a check…and wait in the kitchen ’til 2015 for some table-sweepings. Oh, and don’t hold your breath since we might not be around in 2013.”

  15. jersey says

    @HawaiiBill: I don’t expect much pile-on. Lashing out is much easier than engagement.

  16. Christopher says

    @ 24play

    and it’s adult to expect nothing so that you’re never disappointed?

  17. candideinnc says

    Like the previous comments, Obama’s people suck. Don’t tell me that progressives have failed Obama. He has failed progressives. It isn’t just one thing, like Don’t Ask, Don’t tell. It is the entire progressive agenda: one payer health care, Guantanamo and the violations of human rights in fighting the so-called “War” on terror, the cat food commission that is about to ream seniors of their Social Security, Rahm Emmanuel, and on and on. Obama is a damned Blue Dog Democrat. His disrespectful attitude toward progressives is altogether evident. I don’t hate him, but don’t expect me not to be looking for someone to primary him in 2014.

  18. jersey says

    “I don’t think it was terribly naive of the nation to believe Obama would do better, nor do I think it is terribly gullible to feel betrayed that he hasn’t and he won’t.”

    I’m sorry you feel that way, Christopher, and I see where you’re coming from. The crux of our disagreement is probably here:

    “it is calling a liar on his shit”

    I don’t think Obama lied and it’s not his shit. What we have seen is how politics works when you don’t have enough liberals to pass liberal bills. Obama seems to have wanted to work on an 8-year plan for gay rights–one major promise per Congress (hate crimes, DADT, ENDA, DOMA, though I think legislative repeal of DOMA has always been a pipe dream). With the prospect of an imminent GOP takeover of the House, that’s not good enough and we should keep pushing. It’s only because of constant pressure from the gay community and its allies that DADT even came up this year.

    It’s one thing to take inaction on gay rights personally and feel angry, betrayed, disillusioned — these are very personal and emotional issues and it’s understandable to feel that way. I left a few nasty voice messages after the recent marriage vote in the NJ state senate. For us, the political is personal. But it doesn’t help anyone to react to *completely predictable* slow-footing by federal officials with unhinged attacks and recriminations.

    IMO, SLDN is the organization dealing with the situation best — be forceful, be calm, and when you have an opportunity to make something happen, make it happen, even if it’s not perfect. As long as support for the more controversial parts of the gay rights agenda hovers in the 40-60% range, that’s just how this process is going to work.

  19. Christopher says

    Jersey: please tell us what you’ve done to engage this debate other than making the wholly unsupportable claim that Obama on the campaign trail promised to make mincing little steps towards the center if elected

  20. jersey says

    Well, for one, I spent months working 12 hours a day, every day, for almost no money, in Maine and New Jersey canvassing, making phone calls, and coordinating volunteers to try to achieve marriage equality. But it doesn’t take on-the-ground experience or a Mensa IQ to do the math on potential votes in Congress for trans-inclusive ENDA, DOMA repeal, or single-payer health care.

  21. Christopher says

    Thank you, JERSEY, for your comments and in particular for those that were in response to mine. I agree that frustration can boil over into inchoate rage at times, although I would prefer to feel rage rather than the world-weary cynicism that often passes for political commentary from some on this site. My frustration with Obama is not limited to his LGBT stances; it is not even primarily directed towards them. What I feel (and if today’s Quinipec poll numbers are to be believed, what many, many young people who cast their first vote for Obama feel) is utter disenchantment. I’m much more worried about Obama’s failure to deliver a comprehensive jobs bill, or to close Guantanamo, or to roll back the more egregious aspects of the Patriot Act, or to pass real finance reform, or to deliver a real liberal voice to the Supreme Court, or to take control of the BP disaster, or….well, the whole litany is too depressing to chant. He is, as you say, just a man and a politician at that. But I will repeat, that Bush was just a man and a pretty stupid one, and he managed to fuck this country over nine ways from Sunday enacting the Republican agenda as President. I agree with you that idealism must be balanced with pragmatism. But I don’t see any real substantive movement towards enacting even a “centrist” much less an idealistic progressive agenda from this administration.

  22. Max says

    Obama is a fraud. My caustic apologies to the cultists who still haven’t realized this.

  23. Ted B. says

    Hehheh…
    The Progressives think Obama’s a “blue dog” and the Conservatives think he’s a socialist…what he is is ineffectual.

    Maybe you should have voted for Hillary in 2008 when you had the chance. Hell, I might have voted for her too once McCain picked Palin. Have both parties lost their minds??

  24. jersey says

    “I’m much more worried about Obama’s failure to deliver a comprehensive jobs bill, or to close Guantanamo, or to roll back the more egregious aspects of the Patriot Act, or to pass real finance reform, or to deliver a real liberal voice to the Supreme Court, or to take control of the BP disaster, or….well, the whole litany is too depressing to chant.”

    You’re sure as hell not alone on that.

  25. says

    Obama ISN’T a liar?????

    That’s contradicted by the FACTS, all of which can be documented. Here’s a sample:

    1. During the primaries, he told “The Advocate” that he’d been a “chief cosponsor” of and had “passed” Illinois’ LGBT rights bill. Here’s the truth:

    A. Though he had cosponsored bills introduced by others in earlier sessions of the state senate that ended up dying in committee…he was never a “chief cosponsor”…and he was too busy running for his next office [US Senate] to even stop and say, “Add my name to the list of cosponsors” of the bill that made it.

    B. And by the time the bill was voted on he had won that election, resigned his seat, and was headed to DC. How could he take credit for it passing when he wasn’t even in the state senate any more?

    BTW: he lied to Illinois voters who sent him to the US Senate, too; promising at least TWICE to serve out his full six-year term before he ran for President.

    That proves it’s not just Hildrebrand and his fellow gay Uncle Toms drooling here Lord Obama lies to.

    He also took credit for passing a bill in the state senate involving nuclear power plant regulation that NEVER PASSED AT ALL.

    And WHO can forget when he claimed that his conception was inspired by the passions surrounding the Great Selma March? Only problem is that Obama was born in 1961 and the March didn’t happen until 1965. Etc., etc., etc.

    Gee, if he’d exploit his own people’s bloody history in a lie to get elected, what chance do we poor Fagroes of many colors have?

  26. major707 says

    ” As president, I will work with Congress and place the weight of my administration behind enactment of the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, which will make nondiscrimination the official policy of the U.S. military. That work should have started long ago. It will start when I take office. America is ready to get rid of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. All that is required is leadership.”

    As your President, I will use the bully pulpit to urge states to treat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws.I will never compromise on my commitment to equal rights for all LGBT Americans.

    To Steve and Jersey: What part of these quotes from Obama indicates “baby steps” or a 8 year plan? We were sold a bill of goods and now that he has “his” the rest of us can just go to hell.

    As a retired senior military officer I can tell you that senior military leadership takes orders from the Commander in Chief…not the other way around.

    Obama = poor leadership!

  27. Bart says

    This sounds like the words of someone walking around with a coffee can asking for donations.

    Let me see…we have a Democratic President, a Democratic House, a Democratic Senate. And we still have DADT. We still have DOMA. We still, we still, we still…

    If the House goes Republican (chances are better than 50%) it gets that much harder to make any change that equalized the playing field for gays and lesbians.

    And the answer we’re given is the obtuse “On my time, not yours…”

    The silly adage is true, “With friends like these who needs enemies.”

  28. Bruski says

    You girls are funny as shit..Seriously everyone is saying he won’t get my vote. Then don’t give it to him.

    You queens are still bitter and the few things he has done you rather credit someone else which further proves your dislike of him from the beginning meaning the Democratic primaries. Most of you never wanted Obama in the fucking first place!

    And you know that he knows that.

    Obama was never the gay community’s first choice. He would NOT be in office had it been up to the gays to decide. Clinton would be. Who also doesn’t feel we should be married,or call it marriage and her wonderful husband who signed the 2 death certificates to ever face this community D.A.DT and D.O.M.A

    In the end, he was simply less frightening than McCain/Palin… and he probably still is.
    Remember, Palin tried but failed to ban gay-related books from the Wasilla public library and fired the librarian who opposed her.

    So, you are saying that gays are going to vote republican,or Libertarian, or Green in 2012?

    Vote out someone who somewhat supports your position in favor of a party that wants gays DEAD (Rethugs)….oh, so smart a political move you bunch of idiotic acting ass faggots!

  29. justiceontherocks says

    Obama is a great disappointment on many levels to the people to whom he promised “change you can believe in.” If the handling of the Sherrod matter – make a rash decision before knowing all the relevant facts – is standard operating procedure for these clowns, and I suspect it is, we have big troubles.

  30. Shane says

    What flavor was that kool-aid Steve? I, for one, have lost my taste for the kool-aid and won’t be getting shit on again.

  31. Tony C. says

    Wow. Lots of Freepers infiltrating this site these days as they are on almost every progressive blog, whipping the fringe into a frenzy.

    Grow up.

    Or don’t vote. Stay home. Disengage.

    Good luck with a Republican president working with a Republican Congress nominating conservative Supreme Court justices.

    Shame on you if you think there’s no difference. There is no greater hallmark of a political neophyte’s lack of experience and direct knowledge of process.

    What a bunch of whiners. Get real – the Democratic majorities in Congress rarely acted in concert. We have a “movement” which is led by dozens of organizations with competing agendas headed in many cases by egomaniacs, both in the Stonewall 1.0 and Stonewall 2.0 communities.

    I am sorry that you are so sorely disappointed. As usual, the Left eats its own. And the Republicans are fomenting dissent wherever they can. They *love* these threads.

    And they infect them.

    When all is said and done, and Republicans regain control, I and many others will lay the blame squarely at the feet of the self-annointed “activists” who advocated tearing down in order to build up.

    We deserve everything we’re getting.

    Scream away. That will do you a lot of good come November.

  32. Verdon Coleman says

    I don’t hate the President, I am just profoundly disappointed in him. When he threw Dr. Wright under the bus (no matter what you think about him, the President threw him to the wolves), I called him out about it. When he became the nominess and started talking about “change”, I believed that he might be able to be an effective president. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

    So Mr. Hildebrand, while I don’t hate the President, this Gay-TM is closed because this president cannot be trusted to keep his word, and I refuse to contribute yet another dime to any organization that is not working to ensure I have equal rights under law.

  33. Mars says

    Don’t put any value in Steve Hildebrand’s words. He is a nothing more than Obama’s BITCH and he should be ashamed of himself. When you put the electability of a politician above people’s rights, you’re a fucking piece of trash. Fuck off, Steve Hildebrand.

    The lgbt community has two enemies: the open bigots and the “allies” like Steve and HomophObama. We all know the open bigots so there’s no use talking about them. It’s the “allies” who are our bigger enemies. Whores like Steve Hildrebrand are one of the major reasons we still don’t have equal rights. They distract us and confuse about what we need to do to win equality. Voting for ANY politician is NOT fighting for civil rights.

  34. HA HA HA says

    NEWS FLASH The clock is going to be turned back in Nov 2010 and Nov 2012.

    THE GAYS WILL BE PERSECUTED UNDER A REPUBLICAN ADMINISTRATION. It will be law to bash the faggots. Get ready cocksuckers cause you’re so angry at Obama you’re going right into our camp and vote RED….And we’ll be waiting with guns, bats, and everything else to welcome you fags to your grave!

    It’s going to be a RED REVOLUTION MOTHERFUCKERS!!!

    HA HA HA!