“Common Purpose” is the name for the Tuesday meeting of co-opted progressive DC-based organizations made famous by Rahm Emanuel’s charge that they were ‘fucking retarded‘ for running ads against ConservaDems who opposed Obama’s health-insurance-company bailout disguised as Health Care Reform. Jane Hamsher calls these captive pseudo-progressives who take their orders from the White House the ‘veal pen.’
Today, GetEqual brought the fight for DADT repeal to the Veal Pen’s Tuesday evening meeting at the Capitol Hilton:
On Tuesday nights here in DC, there’s usual a gathering of White House staffers, often led by Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina, with leaders of progressive organizations. The meeting is called “Common Purpose,” but is better known as the “veal pen” — a term coined by Jane Hamsher. Basically, the White House gives the groups their marching orders — and most of the groups have done as instructed. We can see how well that’s worked.
GetEqual brought the fight for DADT repeal to the Veal Pen’s little weekly meetup:
Tonight, the Common Purpose attendees were met by representatives from GetEQUAL, including seven of the DADT protesters who were arrested yesterday for handcuffing themselves to the White House fence. They decided to directly address the progressive leaders, because as the sign notes, “There’s no common purpose without equality.”
From GetEqual’s press release:
This evening, six of the original 13 LGBT veterans and advocates who were arrested yesterday at the White House fence, stood outside of the Capitol Hilton (1001 16th Street NW) to protest the White House’s “Common Purpose” meeting, a mostly secret, low-profile gathering of White House officials and institutional, progressive organizations aimed at controlling the agenda and messaging around those issues, which includes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues. The invite-only meeting, first launched back in 2009 by White House Chief of Staff Rahmn Emanuel, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina and others, has been previously criticized by liberal, progressive bloggers and advocates for its attempt to shut-down any resistance to the White House’s strategy by instilling fear of retribution amongst the organizations invited.
UPDATE: Here are the names of the protesters, from GetEqual:
· Petty Officer Autumn Sandeen, Cpl. Evelyn Thomas – both were arrested back in April during the GetEQUAL “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” act of civil disobedience at the White House fence demanding President Obama show leadership on repeal;
· Robin McGehee, co-founder and director of GetEQUAL and a lesbian mother of two who has been arrested three times and organized dozens of actions in an effort to gain equality.
* Former U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Justin Elzie who, in 1993, became the first Marine ever investigated and discharged under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law. Elzie was also the first soldier to be discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to fight his discharge and win – resulting in his service as a Marine for four years as an openly gay man.
* U.S. Army Veteran and Repeal Advocate Rob Smith, who was deployed to both Iraq and Kuwait before being honorably discharged after deciding not to re-enlist in the U.S. Army due to the added pressure of living under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law.
* Scott Wooledge a New York-based LGBT civil rights advocate and blogger who has written extensively on the movement to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” at Daily Kos and Pam’s House Blend.
· Dan Fotou, GetEQUAL’s action strategist and one of the group of 13 arrested at the White House yesterday.