Sep 8 2009

Hildebrand%20S-Photo%20%28high%20res%20headshot%29 Without a doubt, one of the most respected members of the Obama's inner circle in the campaign was grassroots/web organizing genius Steve Hildebrand. Throughout the campaign, numerous stories were done in the media about his organizing skills, especially in the caucus states which put Obama over the top in the nomination. A devoted and true Obama supporter who happens to be gay, Hildebrand recently took on the Democrats in Washington at an appearance in San Diego.

According to Zenger's News Magazine which reported on his speech a the Queer San Diego Democratic Club Freedom Awards, no one was spared in Hildebrand's tough and right on speech. Blogger Mark Gabrish-Conlan wrote of Hildebrand's speech:

When Hildebrand actually took the podium, he snapped, “The problem is Obama isn’t listening enough” — setting the tone for a slashing attack on Obama and the Democratic officeholders in Congress for failing to advance progressive causes and letting Republicans and so-called “Blue Dog” Democrats set the agenda for the country.

Zenger's News Magazine reported on how Hildebrand spreads the blame equally:

Hildebrand went after Obama, the “Blue Dogs” in the House and “moderate” Democrats in the Senate, and the party’s leaders in Congress — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate majority leader Harry Reid — in equal measure. “There are a lot of Blue Dogs in the House and moderate Democrats in the Senate who are standing in the way of getting things done,” Hildebrand said. “I gave up a lot to elect Democrats, and I expect them to give it up for me. I’m going to speak loudly. The Republicans don’t have power unless the moderates and the Blue Dogs give it to them — which is what they’re doing now.”

Gabrish-Conlan continues in his article:

“We all lose as a party if we allow the moderates and the Blue Dogs to continue setting the agenda for the party," Hildebrand explained. “The Republicans are loving it, and they should. When are we going to start standing up to these people? Tell [Pelosi and Reid] to start leading and holding the 52 Blue Dogs accountable. You’re either a Democrat or not. I view [the ‘Blue Dog’ movement] as cowardly, calculating and standing in the way of equality. We have to hold these people — and the President — accountable. We need leadership in the party. I’m not helping these people anymore.”

Coming to terms with the failure of the Democratic Party to stand up and be counted with real legislative action, Hildebrand wonders what will come next:

Hildebrand said that in the 22 years he’s been helping Democratic candidates win office “we haven’t come very far” in the struggle for equality. “The government still doesn’t treat gay people equally. Should I continue doing what I’m doing, or should I be a strong voice from the outside?”