Stachelbergism: As Sick and Empty as Ever

Gee – if only a segment of the LGBT community had stood up and warned everyone else about what sort of diseased chicanery that Winnie Stachelberg is capable of.

Oh wait…

I think it was the T.

More specifically, it was that portion of the T that actually wants to see substantive progress.

I know, the term “substantive progress” should be a redundancy.  But, the term “Human Rights Campaign” shouldn’t be a self-contained lie.

From Bilerico:

John Aravosis of Americablog yesterday called out the liberal Center for American Progress (CAP).

As he notes, CAP has been on a rather public campaign to take credit for the entire Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell compromise that has much of the gay community in an uproar.

That compromise puts the power to nullify DADT into the hands of military leaders and the president six months or a year from now. It appears to be wildly unpopular in the gay community at large.

The Gay City News reported that the compromise had been drafted by CAP and circulated among legislators starting roughly two months ago, quoting Winnie Stachelberg.

Winnie Stachelberg, a former HRC employee and senior official at CAP, was instrumental in the “incrementalist” strategy that left transgender people out of ENDA for years, and stripped them out in 2007 once they managed to get in.

I note that Mr. Aravosis himself was fully in favor of incrementalism when it came to transgender people and ENDA in 2007.

So now we find out that Ms. Stachelberg, the ENDA incrementalist, left HRC, went to CAP, where she promptly applied her incrementalist strategies to DADT repeal.

The incrementalism shoe is on the other foot.

You remember Winnie the Shoe, don’t you?  I do now – because I did then.

Another transphobic hack with a history of ties to HRC comes out in favor of ‘incremental progress’.

This time, its Winnie Stachelberg – and, sadly, the Center for American Progress is giving her the space to shill for…well, you know:

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, H.R. 3685, introduced by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), would make it illegal to fire, refuse to hire, or fail to promote employees simply based on sexual orientation. Protections for the LGBT community exist in a patchwork of states due to the hard work of the LGBT community, but there are surprisingly no federal prohibitions on discriminating against individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.


Yes, its a shame – but a surprise?

Well, its also no surprise that someone who spent a good bit of time shilling directly for HRC would continue to party like its 1999. You can take the hack out of HRC, but you can’t take the HRC out of the hack it would seem.

[T]he transgender community isn’t the only group that will likely be left out of this narrower version of the legislation, including employees of small businesses, employees of religious institutions, and gay and lesbian individuals in the armed forces. But this bill was built on compromise; it was never intended to be the whole package, and should therefore be seen as a first step.


The first step was, depending on your chronological scope, either (a) all of the transphobic, gay-only ENDAs from 1975-2006, or (b) 2007 HR 2015.


You have heard of that, Winnie?

The trans-inclusive ENDA?

[I]t is wrong to fire someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. But right now the votes to pass an inclusive bill are just not there.


The trans-inclusive ENDA, which, if there actually were not the votes for it, should not have been introduced in the first place?

But, it was introduced, no?

I believe we can and should make progress—one step, and one inch, at a time.

But, of course, she gets all 2.54 centimeters.

We get to continue competing for employment in situations in which someone like her can get to decide whether a trans person is actually the best candidate for the job.

What do you trust more? Her well-funded sincerity? Or trans activists’ hungry analysis of how ‘incremental progress’ is a lie?

Those of us who live in reality have always known that, ultimately, Aravosisism is as empty as NCTE’s concern for the lives of trans women not named Keisling.  And some of us have been pointing out for years what those who could would never admit: that ‘incremental progress’ was even more of a lie than the Republicans’ mid-1990s  ‘principled’ drive for term limits.  After all, there were at least one or two Republican elected officials who voluntarily limited themselves to 12 years in Congress because they genuinely desired to limit themselves to the constructs of mid-1990s ‘term limits’ theory (even though we all knew then, and some Republicans have since admitted, that there was no ‘principle’ behind term limits; it was just a scam to force popular Democrats out of office.)  But there never really seemed as though there would be the opportunity to show, via controlled experiment, precisely to what degree ENDA-related ‘incremental progress’ was a lie and to what degree those who were pushing its virtures were liars – or worse.

To answer the question posed by Bruce Springsteen thirty years ago: A dream isn’t necessarily a lie if it doesn’t come true, but someone who continues to tell you that its going to come true even after she knows that its not is…

well, you know….

Strangely, if the reports of Winnie the Shoe’s involvement in the emptiness of the DADT ‘compromise’ are true, at least she’s maintaining some consistency – even while simply having shifted from one fraud to another. 

Aravosis, however….

Now, as for those actually defending the ‘compromise’….

You say you really believe that DADT – the policy itself, not the 1993 Congressional act which the ‘compromise’ targets – is going to go away?  Put your money (yours, not a pile from some HRC slush fund) where your mouth is.  There’ s bound to be a Las Vegas betting line on it.

6 Responses to Stachelbergism: As Sick and Empty as Ever

  1. Polar says:

    Stachelberg worked for HRC for many years…… expected her to do anything right?

    • translegalhistorian says:

      A solution that solves no problem and benefits no one in the real world but which can be used to maximum fund-raising gain?

      That’s right as rain in HRC World.

  2. GREAT post Kat!
    Huh, an empty vote to repeal DADT Vs passage of an inclusive ENDA and Winnie pushed for the DADT, screwing the G&L community in the process.
    No wonder no other of the B.O. (Beltway orgs) wants to fight for the credit…LMAO.

    • translegalhistorian says:

      But it will let Pee Wee get Barack to be Lady Gaga’s opening act again this year – which will allow the corporate schlock media to create more footage of drunk queer millionaires dancing on tables, which the christianist right will use as proof that no LGBT is suffering at all and that, even if any are, all they really want to do is hide in the ladies’ room and attack young girls.

  3. Monica Helms says:

    Great article, Ethan. “Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.” “Gee, trans people don’t know what they are talking about.” Now that we can officially use, “I told you so,” you think anyone will listen to us now? No.

  4. […] If you think the word “lie” tips my hand, then you’d be right – and your pimping of the incremental progress lie is as wrong as its always been.  Just in the past few days we’ve seen The John tip his hand to show that what he really thinks of ‘incremental progress’ is what trans people always knew he thought of it: it can’t possibly apply to anything that non-trans gay men and lesbians want, even if politici…. […]

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