Robert Eastman, head of the National Organization for Marriage was testifying in front of a Congressional committee today in a sad attempt to attach his organization to the IRS scandal. NOM is claiming that the IRS leaked the organization's information.
And NOM and other folks on the right will be talking about the above video clip, no doubt claiming that Eastman "socked it to" the Democrats and the I.R.S.
However, that's not the case.
As a good friend of mine, Viktor Kerney, pointed out on his blog, while Rep. Earl Blumenauer - a Democrat on the Congressional hearing committee - sat through Eastman's tirade, he took the time to respond in the Huffington Post:
Last year, internal National Organization for Marriage (NOM) strategy documents were leaked, stating that the organization seeks "to drive a wedge between gays and blacks" by promoting "African American spokespeople for marriage," thus provoking same-sex marriage supporters into "denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots," and "to interrupt the assimilation" of Latinos into "dominant Anglo culture" by making the stance against same-sex marriage "a key badge of Latino identity."
Does this sound like social welfare to you?
Social welfare organizations should work in the public interest -- not to divide, exploit, and conquer.
When I brought this up at the hearing today, Dr. Eastman, Chairman of the Board of NOM, angrily groused, "To say that defending traditional marriage doesn't qualify for defense of the public good is beyond preposterous."
To Dr. Eastman, I say that it is the denial of my constituents, and all Americans, the right to marry the person they love is preposterous. To exploit racial and religious differences so you can fundraise for and enforce your specific worldview is preposterous.
But your right to be preposterous should not extend to taking political positions under the guise of a social welfare organization, raising money and campaigning.
We all agree the IRS was wrong to target specific groups. But political organizations like the National Organization for Marriage can't have it both ways. If they want to engage in politics, that is their right, and they should register accordingly. But NOM's mission couldn't be farther from promoting social welfare -- and looking at the polls and recent ballot box victories, citizens across the country are proving that they agree.
Rep. Blumenauer's post is indicative of the fact that because of Eastman's testimony, NOM seems to be facing renewed scrutiny of its not-so-moral actions. Less than an hour ago, Chris Geidner from Buzzfeed put out the following tweet:
NOM keeps complaining about the IRS & saying they're filing a lawsuit. I keep asking if they've filed &, if so, to see it. They haven't.
Someone should ask Eastman how does his foot taste since he put it so deep in his mouth.