Democrats Must Share Blame for Spread of Discrimination

Virginia’s Republican governor Bob McDonnell recently removed sexual orientation as a class protected from employment discrimination and wants to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood. Blue Dog Democrats are partly to blame.

Thanks to Rachel Maddow, I learned that Virginia’s new Republican governor Bob McDonnell has just rewritten the state’s non-discrimination policies for state employees, and excluded sexual orientation from the list of protected classes.  He also wants to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthoods in the state.

In all of this, I’m fascinated with the intersection of the politics between what Republicans do, and what Democrats don’t do.  It was crystalized for me when watching the following segment.

Notice the argument Associate Professor of Politics and African American Studies at Princeton University Melissa Harris-Lacewell makes about who is responsible for creating an environment where hostility and discrimination towards the LGBT community and women is acceptable.

She argues that Blue Dog Democrats, who have attacked women’s reproductive health in health care reform and elsewhere, are responsible for setting this tone.

Professor  Harris-Lacewell also argues that  Democratic leaders who fail to  aggressively address discrimination or take a hard stand around citizenship based on sexual orientation as evidenced by the delay in the repeal of “Don’t Ask. Don’t Tell” are also to blame.

And like the rockstar that she is, she then goes on to say that these discriminatory laws need to also address the discrimination in employment and housing faced by those who do not conform because of their  gender expression.

Most importantly, according to Professor Harris-Lacewell as Democrats “we need to set a new tone.  We need a new standard of citizenship.”  Amen, sister.  (Hat Tip: JoeMyGod.)