Barack Obama | DOMA | Don't Ask, Don't Tell | News | Steve Hildebrand

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.

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  1. 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.

    Posted by: Christopher | Jul 22, 2010 3:08:48 PM

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

    Posted by: Max | Jul 22, 2010 3:11:48 PM

  3. 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??

    Posted by: Ted B. | Jul 22, 2010 3:36:13 PM

  4. "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.

    Posted by: jersey | Jul 22, 2010 3:37:35 PM

  5. 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?

    Posted by: Michael @ | Jul 22, 2010 3:42:51 PM

  6. " 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!

    Posted by: major707 | Jul 22, 2010 5:31:27 PM

  7. 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."

    Posted by: Bart | Jul 22, 2010 7:13:42 PM

  8. 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!

    Posted by: Bruski | Jul 23, 2010 12:39:29 AM

  9. STOP making excuses for this man.

    He's just stringing us along.

    Posted by: Randy | Jul 23, 2010 2:28:52 AM

  10. Randy, Girl please you were strung by Clinton....keep it movin'

    Posted by: Bruski | Jul 23, 2010 6:10:32 AM

  11. 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.

    Posted by: justiceontherocks | Jul 23, 2010 6:48:54 AM

  12. 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.

    Posted by: Shane | Jul 23, 2010 8:20:12 AM

  13. 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.

    Posted by: Tony C. | Jul 23, 2010 10:47:04 AM

  14. 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.

    Posted by: Verdon Coleman | Jul 23, 2010 11:12:26 AM

  15. 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.

    Posted by: Mars | Jul 23, 2010 3:38:22 PM

  16. 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!

    Posted by: HA HA HA | Jul 23, 2010 9:53:07 PM

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