As the Deomocatic presidential pandering tour continues, the candidates held a forum last night for the party's gay and lesbian lobby (following a debate earlier in the week for leftwing bloggers). At least some of the party's homosexual supporters are, like many prolifers in the Republican Party, feeling used and taken for granted. According to coverage in today's Chicago Tribune:
Perhaps the most personal question of the evening was posed to Sen. Hillary Clinton by [lesbian rock singer Melissa] Etheridge, who told Clinton that she had felt personally hurt and abandoned by the Clintons after President Bill Clinton's inauguration.
"I remember when your husband was elected," Etheridge said, calling it a "hopeful time" for gays and lesbians. But "in the years that followed, our hearts were broken. We were pushed aside. All those great promises that were made to us were broken."
"What," she asked, "are you going to do to be different than that?"
Clinton said she remembered things differently, recalling the political appointments, public remarks and "the ongoing struggle against [conservative Republican House Speaker Newt] Gingrich and the Republican majority."
"We certainly didn't get as much done as I would have liked," Clinton said, "but there was a lot of honest effort."
While I disagree strongly with Etheridge on gay marriage, I feel her pain. As they say in the big city, you're graded not on effort, but on results.
Be that as it may, since the candidates are apparently meeting with every constituent group they can think of in their mad dash for the nomination, here's a modest suggestion: Why not meet with all those pro-life evangelicals who were promised that the Democrats would take their concerns seriously if only they would look beyond party labels and give them a chance?
For some reason, I'm not holding my breath. Here's what Heath Shuler, a new Democratic representative from North Carolina (and a self-professed pro-lifer), told CT recently:
I don't think it's as much about legal measures. Our communities have to do better. Our churches have to do better. I think that's part of growing up in a community like I did. It was a small, very [tightly] knit group, and you knew people in your community and your church whom you could lean on and [who] would help you make these difficult decisions. Everyone wants to talk to us about legislation.
Those are fine sentiments, but Rep. Shuler seems to think he was elected to be a pastor and not a legislator. We don't need more sentiments and promises, but more actions. It's time for some pro-life deeds to back up the pro-life words, Democrats. You received a good number of evangelical votes in the last election, which helped you to regain control of Congress. Don't presume those votes are now yours forever.