It's hard to believe things could get worse for the bungled "No on Prop 8" campaign in hindsight, but it appears they have. Over the weekend, fury re-erupted across the gay blogosphere following a report on the recent "No on 8" Town Hall in the Bay Area Reporter. The fury is centered around a letter to the Alice B. Toklas club from Barack Obama expressing the candidate's disapproval of Proposition 8. It was a letter that was never used. Revelations emerged from the meeting about the decision not to use the letter:
Bay Area Reporter: "[Consultant Steve] Smith also acknowledged that the campaign should have used then-presidential candidate Barack Obama's stated opposition to Prop 8. Instead, little use was made of Obama's opposition in a letter last June to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, and right before Election Day the Yes on 8 campaign sent out a mailer featuring Obama's image and quotes that he is opposed to same-sex marriage. 'That was a close call,' Smith said. 'Maybe we should have.' Smith said that people outside the Bay Area wouldn't know what the Alice Club was, but club Co-Chair Susan Christian spoke up and said that in fact, Obama's letter to the club been widely reported, including in the New York Times. 'I think we lost this campaign because of an approach that didn't recognize 'we are everywhere,'' Christian said."
(Smith photo: BAR Rick Gerharter)
The revelation prompted outrage from blogger/activist Michael Petrelis who wrote: "How nauseating to know that Smith, whose firm received hundreds of thousands of gay dollars for their expertise, is such a lazy thinker. Instead of touting who the letter was from, all Smith saw was who the Obama was addressed to. It shouldn't have mattered who received the letter, just that it was from our likely next president and would have done much to influence minority and independent voters to cast no ballots on Prop 8."
Dan Savage of Slog had harsher words for Smith: "YEAH, THAT MIGHT'VE BEEN A GOOD FUCKING IDEA, YOU STUPID ASSHOLE."
Meanwhile, Equality California sent out an email to its list over the weekend accompanied by this blog post, asking supporters for more money and a second chance. It remains to be seen whether that will be offered.
***LETTER FROM OBAMA THAT WENT UNUSED BY 'NO ON 8' CAMPAIGN***
Thank you for the opportunity to welcome everyone to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club's Pridc Breakfast and to congratulate you on continuing a legacy of success, stretching back thirty-six years. As one of the oldest and most influential LGBT organizations in the country, you have continually rallied to support Democratic candidates and causes, and have fought tirelessly to secure equal rights and opportunities for LGBT Americans in California and throughout the country.
As the Democratic nominee for President, I am proud to join with and support the LGBT community in an effort to set our nation on a course that recognizes LGBT Americans with full equality under the law. That is why I support extending fully equal rights and benefits to same sex couples under both state and federal law. That is why I support repealing the Defense of Marriage Act and the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy, and the passage of laws to protect LGBT Americans from hate crimes and employment discrimination. And that is why I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states.
For too long. issues of LGBT rights have been exploited by those seeking to divide us. It's time to move beyond polarization and live up to our founding promise of equality by treating all our citizens with dignity and respect. This is no less than a core issue about who we are as Democrats and as Americans.
Finally, I want to congratulate all of you who have shown your love for each other by getting married these last few weeks. My thanks again to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club for allowing me to be a part of today's celebration. I look forward to working with you in the coming months and years, and I wish you all continued success.