Saturday, October 14, 2006

McCarthy Republicanism and the Deluded Gay GOPer

GOP activists make a big to-do about the "sacrifices" that they make to advance gay issues inside the GOP.

Which would be great if there were actually any advances made.

A look at the GOP's history with gays should be depressing for them.

When campaigning as a "uniter, not a divider," George W. Bush's campaign lambasted Senator John McCain in South Carolina as "the fag candidate" in brochures sent to GOP primary voters because of McCain's (unjustified) endorsement from some gay Republicans. Bush also refused to meet with members of the gay Republican organization Log Cabin, preferring instead to assemble a hand-picked committee of friendly gays in Austin to discuss (and dismiss) a limited subset of the concerns of gay Americans.

As recently as a couple of election cycles ago, openly gay Republican lt. governor candidate Patrick Guerriero was told, in no uncertain terms, that Massachusetts GOP gubernatorial candidate Mitt Romney wasn't interested in running with a gay man. Did he bail on a party that, even in liberal Massachusetts, wouldn't accept an out gay man? Nope. He joined the Log Cabin Republicans as their new leader -- the very same group that the Republican leader refused to engage with. His tenure at that organization, up to his recent departure, was spent mostly lambasting his own party and culminated in the gay Republican group withholding endorsements from its own presidential candidate and most of its party's other candidates, while being excluded from most Republican Party events and discussions.
more . . .

Annoyed with the idea that gay issues are best articulated by gay people, the GOP's tiny moderate wing started a new front-group called the Republican Unity Coalition, whose leadership included well-known Republican "homosexual leaders" such as. . . Gerald Ford, Alan Simpson, Mary Matalin and Susan Molinari. Oh, they're all straight. Oops. Even funnier, the RUC's position was not to criticize the GOP and GOP candidates on objective issues, but to justify anti-gay positions and politicians with doublespeak and undermine the Log Cabin Republicans' activist role in their own party. That position has delivered howlers such as this:
We are Republicans because we believe in limited government, free markets, a strong national defense, and personal responsibility. Some of us are straight. Some of us are gay or lesbian, and some of us think it is nobody's business but our own what we are. All of us are Americans." (The Cody Statement).

We vigorously oppose the Federal Marriage Amendment, and will speak out against it. Yet, we are uncomfortable with the Hobson’s choice (no good choice) of beating up President Bush or defending the Amendment.
Now, it's getting even worse for gays in the GOP.

Those few gay people who, like recently-disgraced Mark Foley, choose to live a lie in the closet to maintain "respectability," face a new McCarthyism:

In the wake of the Mark Foley scandal, a memo containing the names of allegedly closeted gay Republican congressional staffers was composed by anti-Republican gay rights activists and sent to leading antigay Christian groups, according to a report in The Nation. The Reverend Don Wildmon of the notoriously antigay American Family Association told The Nation's Max Blumenthal that he had received that memo, which he referred to simply as "the list."


"They oughtta fire every one of 'em," Wildmon told Blumenthal. "I don't care if they're heterosexual or homosexual or whatever they are. If you've got that going on, that subverts the will of the people; that subverts the voters. That is subversive activity. There should be no organization among staffers in Washington of that nature, and if they find out that they're there and they're a member, they oughtta be dismissed el pronto."

I am reminded of Joe McCarthy's statement that "I have here in my hand a list of 205 people that were known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party..."

It's time that gay Republicans recognize the GOP for what it is: a deeply anti-gay political organization which puts gay hatred ahead of most other concerns, mouthing Libertarian slogans about smaller government (while hiking spending) and individual liberties (while passing draconian "security laws" and challenging habeus corpus).

Gay people who support an agenda of smaller government and greater freedom -- in an environment welcoming to gay people -- would do much better advancing the growth of the Libertarian Party and libertarianism by joining Outright Libertarians, rather than wasting time begging the Modern-Era McCarthyists of Republicanism to learn to love them.