I have been very critical of the Log Cabin Republicans. Well, today they have found their voice. In a letter, the beleaguered group articulated how it can play a positive role in creating a big tent GOP. I hope they continue down this path and help forge a new party that is inclusive and marginalizes the social conservatives who have killed the party. It is time they stop kissing ass and start kicking it.
According to the letter:
There's a battle going on for the GOP's future. Log Cabin is pleased to be in the middle of this fight, but we need your help.
It remains to be seen whether our Party will learn the right lessons from the GOP's defeat. Not surprisingly, social conservatives want to push the GOP further into the ditch. But there's good news--more and more leading Republicans understand we need to build a Party of the future, not a Party of the past.
* Last weekend, one of the new Republican leaders in the House outlined a positive path forward focused on what unites us not what divides us. Congressman Pete Sessions from Texas spoke at the annual Grand 'Ol Party hosted by Log Cabin--Dallas. Sessions is the newly elected Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC). As head of the powerful and important NRCC, he'll lead candidate recruitment and election strategy for House Republicans in 2010. Hearing his speech to our members in Dallas and speaking with Congressman Sessions, I am encouraged by his message. He understands more of the same is a recipe for defeat. At last Saturday's Log Cabin event, Sessions said, "Our Party needs new focus, new energy, and new ideas. For the Republican Party, it's been real easy to get elected...just run on the things you already know about: guns, God, gays, taxes..you get elected! The bottom line is that our Party can no longer successfully do that, and should not...do that."
* Even Republicans from a conservative state like South Carolina get the message. GOP governor Mark Sanford told his colleagues at last week's Republican Governors Association meeting that the GOP must do better reaching young voters (66% voted for Obama compared with the 59% support Reagan received from young voters in 1984). Gov. Sanford specifically cited the party's intolerance on gay issues as one big reason why so many young voters are supporting Democrats.
* Former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele is gaining momentum in his effort to become Chairman of the Republican National Committee. The leader of the RNC will be the most important person in shaping the Party's future. Steele believes in a big tent GOP. He has worked closely with Log Cabin ally Christine Todd Whitman at the Republican Leadership Council. In an interview with NPR this week, he specifically mentioned the importance of reaching out to Log Cabin and other mainstream GOP groups as the Party looks to chart a future course.
Even with this positive progress, our opponents are formidable. We need your help to confront people like Tony Perkins from the Family Research Council--who absurdly says the GOP must go further right on social issues to win again. What planet has he been on? Exit polls show moderates made up 44% of the electorate and 60% of them voted for Barack Obama. Perkins says the passage of California's anti-marriage Proposition 8 shows the potency of social issues. Earth to Tony! The California results actually prove the opposite. Sen. Obama received 61% support in California; even as the amendment passed--demonstrating that just because someone opposes marriage equality doesn't mean they'll vote Republican. In fact, 37% of the yes on Prop 8 votes came from Obama supporters.
Perkins also fails to point out that a similar measure in California passed with 61% in 2000. This year, it passed with only 52%. Momentum is on our side. More Republicans support basic fairness for gay and lesbian people. An ABC news poll shows 64% of Republicans support allowing gays and lesbians to serve in the military, up from 32% 15 years ago. Another poll shows almost 80% of Republicans don't believe a business should be able to fire someone because of their sexual orientation.
We need your help to take on people like Tony Perkins. If he has his way, our Party is heading for a generation in the minority. Instead, let's move forward with an inclusive agenda and new ideas that make conservatism relevant to the challenges facing our nation. The road back is long, but we are already seeing progress as leading Republicans want our Party to take the right path, not the Perkins path of division and defeat that took our Party off a cliff in the first place.
I think of Log Cabin members the way I think of cops: I don't particularly like their attitude, but I really respect them for doing a generally thankless job so that we don't have to. They are playing a valuable role in encouraging their party to give up on gay-bashing and other ills.
In the 1950s, if you supported equality for black people, you were thought of as a liberal. Today, if you support full equality for black folks, you're neither conservative or liberal, just normal. If you don't support full equality for black folks, you are correctly called a bigot.
This is what I dream of for the gay community...an America in which everyone supports gay equality as a natural course. The LCR does a lot of good in what is often a hostile climate. But the G.O.P. needs to show that they've changed. Just one thing will help change minds...perhaps supporting the proposed lifting of the ban on openly gay people in the military?
posted by Chris L., at
11/25/2008 12:08 PM
Chris, I respect your views, but in all honesty, I don't see the LC'ers as doing anything constructive in the area of making the GOP the "big tent" party.
These people have kissed right-wing ass since the LRC was founded. How to you think, given the right-wing thrust of the Repugs, they are sudenly going to get the RW on board for LGBTQ rights. I mean, you are likely dealing with a group of LGBTQ people who in all likelihood voted against their own interests in Florida, Arizona, and California.
Almost every LC'er I have ever known supposedly supports LGBTQ rights, but in the end, they vote their wallets.
posted by Merlyn, at
11/25/2008 2:13 PM
I hear what you're saying. I am often conflicted about LCR. Sometimes I think they do a good service, but other times, I think they are wasting their time. I just don't know.
posted by Chris L., at
11/25/2008 2:34 PM
No thanks, LCR.
This is still November and I don't have short-term memory loss of when they jumped on the "Gay Patriot" wagon of calling all non-McCain supportive gays "the gay left".
And how can I take them seriously about Tony Perkins, when they've been holding hands with him all these years?
Even if they did swear off Tony Perkins, the Log Cabinettes will continue linking to Ann Coulter, Matt Sanchez, Michelle Malkin and other kooks who work just as hard making up shit about gay people at the top of their heads, and trying to pass it off as "scientific fact".
So, in short, LCR can just buzz off and continue being Tony Perkins' buddy. They don't fool me.
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