Live-Blogging The HRC Dinner
8.56 pm. More campaign boilerplate. This speech could have been made - and was made - a year ago.
8.53 pm. His major achievement - the one thing he has actually done - is invite gay families to the Easter egg-roll.
8.50 pm. Now we get the campaign speech on Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Does he not realize he is now in office? "I'm working to end this policy. I will end Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Solmonese has given us the timeline: 2017. This is bullshit.
8.48 pm. He mentions the HIV ban. It's "already under way."Already?" Eight months into office?
8.46 pm. This is his big achievement: a member of his administration testified against firing gay people for no good reason. That's it. Nothing else.
8.43 pm. Now the useless, trivial and total symbolism of the federal hate crimes bill. And the crowd goes wild. Matthew Shepard's murderers were brought to justice without any such law. The law itself is not actual progress; it's a bauble to distract from a refusal to grant real equality that could treat gay people as full citizens, not vulnrable victims beaten up by thugs. Hate crimes laws are not about equality; they are about entrenching victimhood.
8.40 pm. Now he's pivoting away from his responsiibilty and the Democratic party's responsibility and changing the subject to healthcare reform, Iraq, Afghanistan - as if gay soldiers are not already in Afghanistan being discriminated against by him.
8.39 pm. "I'm here with you in this fight." When are you going to prove it? Answer: by 2017.
8.38 pm. Obama begins the history of the gay rights movement with Stonewall, once again. The sheer Democratic party conventionality of this speech is pretty depressing.
8.35 pm. "A privilege to open for Lady Ga-ga." Great line. Pity it cuts too close to the bone with this crowd.
8.29 pm. Solmonese is speaking quite clearly as a representative of the Obama administration and the Democratic party establishment. Well, at least he's honest. His fundamental point is that the Republican party's base is the alternative and so we should do nothing to pressure the White House to act right now. In fact we should give him a standing ovation. Notice Solmonese mentions health insurance reform before marriage equality. He is a Democratic party functionary first and foremost and HRC is a means to advance Democratic party interests and gay issues second. That's why Solmonese is head of this group - despite no record of activism in gay rights before he got the job. His real job is to get gay money to support healthcare reform.