Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mr. Brown Desperately Needs Some Sort of Victory

National Organization for Marriage is not very good at many things. Among these are:
  1. Complying with campaign disclosure laws and;
  2. Factually conveying information.
Such is the case when it comes to New York's special elections last Tuesday. NOM PAC NY (ID A47055) has failed to file 32 day and 11 day disclosure reports for the 2012 special election and they bundled the individual contributors in the January disclosures which is prohibited. One would think that an organization that exists to influence laws would obey those that do exist.



NOM and the bishops feel privileged to obey only those laws that they like.

With respect to factual matters, Brian Brown issued a press release claiming:
Tuesday evening, in Brooklyn, we took the first major step toward keeping that promise with an incredible victory in a special election for State Senator!

Political newcomer and marriage supporter David Storobin has pulled off a major upset (subject to a recount) against long-time councilman Lew Fidler in New York’s Senate District 27.
As the New York Times explains:

. . . as of Wednesday night, there was still no winner. And there may not be for at least another week, if not two, or three, though each candidate continued to assert he had won. . . . There are at least 757 paper ballots waiting to be counted, and perhaps hundreds more expected, since, if postmarked by Monday, they can continue to arrive until next Tuesday. Officials will start counting the paper ballots the following morning.

Thus far, this has nothing to do with a recount although Mr. Storobin may vary well end up the winner. It would be a Pyrrhic victory given that this seat has been redistricted  out of existence. Meanwhile, however, Mr. Brown used this hype to raise money. Later on, after the gimme your money stuff, Brown concedes that the election result is subject to absentee ballots but he is counting on people not reading all the "fine print." Sure.

Overall NOM's claim is that voting for marriage equality is toxic. In this ultra conservative Jewish district or in rural Oklahoma that may very well be the case. In mainstream America? Probably not.

New Hampshire was a crushing, and far more important, defeat for NOM     and the bishops. Brian Brown had previously claimed that New Hampshire was "poised to make history." On Tuesday, in an appearance on MSNBC, Brian Brown seemed extremely confident. He made a claim that has been a core theme of NOM's messaging; that voters caused a large turnover in the New Hampshire legislature specifically for the purpose of repealing "gay marriage." The polls and NOM's large margin of defeat strongly suggest otherwise. More than 100 Republican legislators voted to retain marriage equality.  NOM hasn't the resources to "primary" that many GOPers. Furthermore, the very campaign for the repeal revealed a simple fact: After a few years of marriage equality, they cannot summon up any real consequences. The bishops, NOM and their allies could not coherently expain why same-sex marriage should be repealed. God will be pissed doesn't cut it.

Making matters worse was Maggie's stunning, and very public, rebuke at the hands of both Starbucks' management and shareholders. Corporate America has ceased being fearful of the right wing Christianist fringe. It's not just Starbucks but other companies in Washington like Microsoft and Nike. Gay and allied consumers as well as gay employees are far more important to these companies than a few fringe extremists ever could be. These corporations are openly defying the four bishops of Washington who are stridently opposed to marriage equality. Furthermore, NOM's new boycott of Starbucks is pathetically pointless. The dynamics of such a boycott are beyond the comprehension of the opponents to equality.

If NOM cannot win GOP controlled legislatures and if it cannot win at the corporate level, what is the point of spending     and donating     all of this money? The last remaining pillar is the polls. We lost Maine and California with two of the worst executed campaigns imaginable. Hopefully, we have learned something since those losses. If the electorate starts to vote in favor of marriage equality, NOM is finished. Perhaps Brian can find a job doing something more productive. Meanwhile:


It has become increasingly obvious that NOM's very existence is dependent upon convincing people that marriage equality is not only not inevitable but reversible.
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