Always the Faustian Bargain

by Stephen H. Miller on July 24, 2011

This political column in the Washington Blade caught my eye. It’s an endorsement of Nevada Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley’s run for the U.S. Senate, noting that Berkley is a strong advocate of gay rights. Also in her favor, according to columnist Peter Rosenstein, “Shelley Berkley understands how bad the Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) budget is for her constituents and seniors everywhere.”

Not surprisingly, I couldn’t disagree more. The waste, abuse, fraud and over-utilization in government-run Medicare is unsustainable, and Ryan’s plan is an important and courageous step to bring this overspending under control. While the columnist suggests that Berkley has other ideas on fixing Medicare, as with her fellow Democrats she has failed to spell them out while Demonizing GOP cost-controlling efforts. Berkley’s track history, in fact, casts doubt on whether she would favor any approach other than upping taxes, as a comment on the Blade piece (not from me) points out:

Berkley has a 100 percent pro-gay record. Great! Meanwhile, according to National Taxpayers Union, last year she voted 96 percent in favor of big spending. We have a $1.5 trillion deficit and a $14 trillion national debt because of people like her. So if I’m gay AND a taxpayer AND concerned about the looming debt disaster, should I support people who are spending us into bankruptcy?

So there you have it: good on gays, terrible on the #1 issue confronting the nation: the future of American economic solvency through reducing the exponential growth of government spending. But this is the choice gay voters typically face since gay equality was subsumed under the grand coalition of the left.

More. This Washington Post national debt chart says it all.

{ 32 comments }

Jorge July 24, 2011 at 3:59 pm

The real choice is whether gay voters need to listen to people who try to tell them that whether or not a candidate is an economic liberal is relevant to whether or not that candidate is pro-gay.

The answer is a solid no.

BobN July 24, 2011 at 7:15 pm

With a solid majority of the population in favor of increases in taxes as a partial solution to the debt “crisis”, of course it’s relevant. She’s more electable because of her moderate position*.

* It is, by definition, moderate because most people support it. The GOP approach is held by a distinct minority of the public.

North Dallas Thirty July 26, 2011 at 1:08 am

Actually, she opposes any cuts in spending whatsoever, insists that any changes to entitlements are akin to murdering Grandma, and demands massive tax increases on working people.

Her positions are mainstream in the gay and lesbian community, but not anywhere else. Of course she has gay and lesbian support — gay and lesbian people believe in punishing businesses, punishing working people, and forcing everyone to hand over their money so that the government can redistribute it.

BobN July 26, 2011 at 6:26 pm

What, no link?

Houndentenor July 24, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Ryan’s plan will be a disaster. I guess you’ve never priced private insurance. And since 80-something Americans haven’t been on the insurance market for almost 50 years, we have no idea how far that voucher will go. It’s unlikely it will provide the coverage they expect under Medicare. Yes, there are going to have to be cuts to entitlement programs of various sorts, but the Ryan plan is a non-started. Please come up with something workable and let me know.

But mostly, I’m sick of this tactic. You have almost no one in the GOP with even a passable record on gay issues. That’s not the left’s fault. Make your case to Republicans stop whining that the only gay-friendly politicians are solidly liberal on just about every issue. Of course moderate gays and lesbians vote for Democrats. The alternative is too repugnant.

Jimmy July 24, 2011 at 6:07 pm

hear hear

North Dallas Thirty July 26, 2011 at 1:16 am

Gays like you don’t think past your minority status, Houndentenor.

And that’s why the Republican Party has no use for you. There’s no reason to pander to people like yourself who clearly have no grasp on financial issues, hate business, don’t want to work for a living, and spend all of your time whining about how “discriminated” against you are.

“Cuts to entitlements”. Please. You say that, and then the moment someone proposes one, you shriek and whine and make ads about killing Grandma. You’re just a childish little liar who wants other people to do the hard work for you, just like your Barack Obama.

Add to that the fact that you still overwhelmingly endorse and support people like John Kerry, Hilda Solis, Kathleen Sebelius, Timothy Geithner, Charles Rangel, Claire McCaskill, and the enormous number of Obama aides who scream about and demand higher taxes while refusing to pay their own, and Republicans see right through you.

Houndentenor July 26, 2011 at 12:34 pm

“There’s no reason to pander to people like yourself who clearly have no grasp on financial issues, hate business, don’t want to work for a living, and spend all of your time whining about how “discriminated” against you are.”

That’s hilarious.

1. I was working on Wall Street during the financial crisis. I do understand what happened and am frustrated that most people still don’t.

2. I don’t hate business. I work in business. At least I’m not an HR parasite like you, ND, leeching off the hard work of people who actually create something productive in the business community.

3. I have been working since I was 16 with the exception of three months following 9/11.

4. Gay people should have the same rights as everyone else. I don’t know what’s so hard about that to understand.

5. Yes, I recognize there are going to have to be cuts to SS, Medicare and Medicaid. I don’t like that but that’s a reality. Please take your strawman bullshit somewhere else.

6. Seriously, dude, what happened to you that you hate other gay people so much?

Jimmy July 26, 2011 at 5:44 pm

He hates liberal gay people.

french62 July 26, 2011 at 4:41 pm

ND30, perhaps I am misinformed, but was it not Palin who popularized this ridiculous notion of federal death panels relating to the healthcare debate. All political parties have their Cassandras crying doom and disaster at every opportunity. All you ever do is post childish rants against any ideas in opposition to yours, and nearly always with ad-hominem attacks against the individual poster rather than focusing on challenging their idea. Try to divorce your personal attacks from your argumentation, it will go over much better, and you might find greater support, and even change a mind or two.

North Dallas Thirty July 28, 2011 at 1:56 am

Actually, you are misinformed, french62; it was Barack Obama and the Obama Party, including its supporters like Houndentenor and Obama Party operative Tom Scharbach, who made it clear that any sort of restrictions or cuts on government spending, including entitlement reform, was murdering elderly people.

Meanwhile, it’s interesting that you bring up Palin. Do you also agree with Obama-endorsed and supported website Wonkette that criticizing them for mocking Palin’s son Trig was “homophobic”?

Doug July 24, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Even with waste, fraud and abuse Medicare still seems to me more efficient than private insurance where 30%+ of my expenditure goes for overhead compared to Medicare at around 5% overhead.

Even Andrew Sullivan is finally realizing that purchasing medical care is not like shopping for a can of peas.

BobN July 24, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Isn’t it ironic that Miller chooses the phrase “Faustian bargain” to describe the choice supposedly before him and the rest of us?

Taking his framing of the issue at face value, i.e. gay rights + “bad” economic policy versus no gay rights + “good” economic policy presented by the GOP, he would take the latter combination.

Which leaves one wondering how his soul became more tangled with his wallet than with his heart (and dick, of course).

Wilberforce July 24, 2011 at 10:00 pm

But there’s no reason to take his framing of the issue at face value. It’s patently absurd. ‘Good economic poliy from the GOP’? Mary please. They haven’t shown good policy in my lifetime, from Reagan’s Keynesian spending spree, to both Bush’s fiscal nightmares.
The real plan of the last thirty years was neo-liberalism, developed by Clinton and Gore, fiscally responsible and stimulative at once.
It’s shocking that Miller and others can claim to offer serious policy without being laughed off the stage.

BobN July 24, 2011 at 11:40 pm

Sometimes one has to embrace the absurdity to point out the oddity.

Wilberforce July 25, 2011 at 5:18 am

Good one.

Hunter July 24, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Ryan’s plan for Medicare is nothing more than a handout to the insurance industry. How brave and bold is it to put a middleman into a program that’s working pretty well? Sure, cut the waste and fraud, which is what Obama was working for in the Affordable Care Act — and which Ryan’s plan doesn’t address at all.

I’d really like to know how much of Ryan’s campaign chest has been funded by the insurance industry.

Tom July 24, 2011 at 10:45 pm

The allusion to Faust is dead on.

Republicans are in a “Faustian bargain” because they sold their souls to the forces of darkness years ago in exchange for political gain.

Miller and all the rest of the gay and lesbian apologists for the Republican Party’s anti-gay politics over the years may not have been the instigators of the bargain, but they were its willing collaborators.

There’s another saying that applies to Miller et al: “You made your bed; sleep in it.”

North Dallas Thirty July 26, 2011 at 1:20 am

Oooh, what a surprise; an Obama Party staffer whose job it is to make sure that gays stay on the plantation bashes Republicans.

And what’s really funny: Tom Scharbach thinks that the Republicans in his city don’t know that he calls them the “forces of darkness” here and that he supports and endorses violence against them.

Tom July 26, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Oooh, what a surprise; an Obama Party staffer whose job it is to make sure that gays stay on the plantation bashes Republicans.

The DPW caucus that I c0-chair advocates for “equal means equal” within the DPW and holds the feet of Democratic politicians in our state to the fire on their election promises with respect to LGBT issues. Other state caucuses do that work in other areas of the country.

It is because we have been doing that work, and volunteering on, and contributing to, the campaigns of Democratic politicians who support “equal means equal”, for the last thirty plus years that the Democratic Party, however haltingly and inadequately, supports “equal means equal”.

That’s exactly what gays and lesbians within the Republican Party have not been doing during the last thirty years.

The Republican Party has been locked into a cynical — “Faustian” is a good word for it — bargain with conservative Christians and other anti-gay forces, in which the Republican Party abandoned both (a) the constitutional conservative principles of individual liberty and equal treatment under the law exemplified by conservatives from Barry Goldwater to Ted Olson, and (b) proper constitutional respect for the 10th Amendment.

And what, may I ask, has been the response of conservative gays and lesbians?

By and large, I think it is fair to say that the response has been to support the bargain, acting as apologists for the Republican politicians supporting anti-marriage amendments, Section 3 of DOMA, DADT and other efforts that are 180 degrees off constitutional conservative principles while criticizing the Democratic Party for not doing enough and deriding progressive gays and lesbians for working to move the Democratic Party in the right direction.

Meanwhile, conservative gays and lesbians have not worked in the Republican Party. The LCR, which stood up and fought back within the Republican Party, was mocked out of the Republican Party without protest from conservative gays and lesbians. GOProud, which doesn’t pretend to advocate “equal means equal” and won’t even raise its voice in protest to state party planks calling for re-criminalization of sodomy, touts itself as “the only national organization of gay conservatives and their allies”. Sadly, I think that GOProud’s self-assessment is factual.

That’s the bed which conservative gays and lesbians have made for themselves within the Republican Party. And now the bed turns out to be uncomfortable for Stephen and others looking at 2012 and realizing that Michele Bachmann is a mainstream voice in the Republican Party and may well be on the ticket. Well, who would have guessed?

I don’t know what has been going on for the last fifteen years in Republican gay and lesbian circles, but here’s my guess, based on reading this forum and other apologies from conservative gays and lesbians: Republican gays and lesbians thought that they could ride the tiger, electing fiercely anti-gay politicians to office without consequence, because they thought that the social conservatives’ opposition to “equal means equal” could be shunted aside as a “talking point” to rouse the “base” without expectation of action, just like abortion. The idea that conservative gays and lesbians could ride the tiger, if that was what was in play, hasn’t worked.

Stephen is right that there has been a Faustian bargain. But he’s wrong to suggest that the Faustian bargain is something new. The bargain was made long ago.

Is it “bashing” to point this out? Maybe. But it is the truth, as I see it, anyway.

And it is not too late for conservative gays and lesbians to get out of the bargain, to get to work within the Republican Party in an aggressive way, providing a counter-force to the anti-gay forces like the “Values Coalition” gang. It is never too late to stand up and fight.

french62 July 26, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Thank you Tom for laying out exactly where and when the “Faustian” bargain truly began. I am an independent voter, and will NEVER vote for a politician, regardless of party who sees me as less than deserving of the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of any other citizen of this great country. The Republicans, as a party, will eventually come around to this realization. They are just a little slower on the learning curve than progressive/liberal independents. A sad shame that there are apparently so many hateful, closeted?, homosexuals willing to accept 2nd class citizenship due to their belief that economic issues take precedent over civil rights. I’d rather believe that the two are mutually supportive. Thanks again for your contribution.

North Dallas Thirty July 28, 2011 at 2:37 am

A sad shame that there are apparently so many hateful, closeted?, homosexuals willing to accept 2nd class citizenship due to their belief that economic issues take precedent over civil rights.

Such as, for instance, when gays and lesbians are fired for sexually harassing their coworkers.

It’s a good thing, french62, that there are gays and lesbians like yourself and your Obama Party willing to put “civil rights”, such as the “right” of gays and lesbians to sexually harass their coworkers, ahead of economics — which would state that it is incredibly bad business to allow such behavior.

It’s a good thing you and your fellow Obama gays like Tom Scharbach agree that gays and lesbians who don’t put protecting gays who sexually harass others in the workplace first are “hateful and closeted”. You can sit here and pat yourselves on the back about how you fought to ensure that gays and lesbians can engage in workplace behavior that would get a straight person fired.

Jimmy July 28, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Knowing the possibly of sliding down a rabbit hole, here we go.

There is a difference between suggesting that accusations of harassment could be trumped up, or that policies could be applied in a discriminatory fashion, and supporting a right to sexually harass. A rational person understands this. To look at that case and conclude anybody supports a right to sexually harass a coworker would require a warped mindset with zero objectivity.

North Dallas Thirty July 29, 2011 at 5:27 am

There is a difference between suggesting that accusations of harassment could be trumped up, or that policies could be applied in a discriminatory fashion, and supporting a right to sexually harass.

Yup.

But of course, as we see at the links I provided, gays and lesbians, despite clear evidence and determinations that the person involved DID sexually harass others, went screaming and whining and crying that his being fired was “homophobic” and that gays and lesbians have a “right” to sexually harass others in the workplace.

You know, Jimmy, it seems odd that you refuse to condemn the behavior of your fellow gays and lesbians in this case, especially since it was determined that the person DID sexually harass others. Instead you make excuses for their support of sexual harassment and their insistence that companies that fire gays and lesbians who sexually harass other people should be publicly berated and lose government contracts.

Jimmy July 29, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Wrong. There was a process by which the determination was made that the offender did engage in sexual harassment, and the proper remedy was applied. I fully support due process, which is designed to avoid faulty a conclusion which could be based on personal bias. Your penchant for drawing your own conclusions, as people will do, is a perfect example.

The last thing we need is some mean ol’ queen screaming “off with his head!” with nothing to go on but an accusation.

Jorge July 30, 2011 at 1:38 am

Hey! You climbed out of the rabbit hole.

North Dallas Thirty July 30, 2011 at 2:32 am

The last thing we need is some mean ol’ queen screaming “off with his head!” with nothing to go on but an accusation.

Ah, the hilarity.

Because, had you actually read the links you were provided, you might have noticed something.

The determination that the Obama Party’s LGBT hero Vincent Atos had sexually harassed people was made at the end of the process on or around November 15, 2010.

Your Obama Party was out screaming that it was “homophobic” to fire people for sexual harassment and demanding that the company involved be punished on or around April 20, 2010 — over half a year prior to the completion of the process.

So there were in fact “some mean ol’ queen(s) screaming “off with (their) head(s)!” with nothing to go on but an accusation” — your fellow gays and lesbians and Obama Party members who you are defending.

Your fellow gays and lesbians and Obama Party members that you are defending were the ones screaming and demanding punishment without “due process”. Your fellow gays and lesbians and Obama Party members that you are defending were the ones demanding that people be wrongfully punished because of their personal bias.

So frankly, Jimmy, you’re just fibbing. Gays and lesbians like yourself and your fellow Obama Party puppets Houndentenor and Tom Scharbach FULLY support and endorse sexually harassing others in the workplace, or you wouldn’t be out in the streets demanding it, slandering businesses who fire those who sexually harass others, and working in the employ of the Obama Party that supports and endorses sexual harassment.

Jimmy July 30, 2011 at 2:53 am

OK, yeah, you’re right.

North Dallas Thirty July 28, 2011 at 2:25 am

The DPW caucus that I c0-chair advocates for “equal means equal” within the DPW and holds the feet of Democratic politicians in our state to the fire on their election promises with respect to LGBT issues.

Actually, Tom, as we’ve seen, you support whatever the Obama Party does, including your Obama Party communications director and his calling on people to “punch a Republican”.

If you can’t even say that it’s wrong for your state party to call for violence against Republicans, it is beyond credibility that you could hold anyone’s “feet to the fire”; you clearly have no principles or values other than blind and mindless endorsement of Obama Party activities of any type.

Meanwhile, it’s interesting that you try to invoke “individual liberty” and “equal treatment” when you and your party platforms in fact endorse government takeovers of private industry, decreased freedom of association, opportunity, and speech, and quotas and government-sanctioned discrimination based on minority status.

But of course, Tom Scharbach, that doesn’t matter to you. You and your “LGBT caucus” really don’t care about anything other than your sexual orientation. That’s why you don’t understand conservatives and Republicans; they judge based on behavior, rather than minority status, and you and your fellow Obama supporters don’t want that. You want to be judged solely by your minority status, and that’s why you’re an Obama Party member.

Meanwhile, it’s interesting that you mention LCR. The reason they were mocked out of the caucus is because Republicans and conservatives were well aware that LCR was being funded by Obama Party backers with the sole purpose of attacking Republicans.

That also cemented in the minds of most Republicans and leaders that gays and lesbians were duplicitous and hypocritical liars; add to that the endorsements of gays and lesbians for state constitutional amendment supporters like John Kerry, employment discriminators like Howard Dean, and FMA supporters like Harold Ford, and the hypocrisy was just more obvious. Gays and lesbians don’t care about “equal means equal”; they’re just using it as an excuse for their need to do whatever the Obama Party tells them.

North Dallas Thirty July 28, 2011 at 2:27 am

The DPW caucus that I c0-chair advocates for “equal means equal” within the DPW and holds the feet of Democratic politicians in our state to the fire on their election promises with respect to LGBT issues.

Actually, Tom, as we’ve seen, you support whatever the Obama Party does, including your Obama Party communications director and his calling on people to “punch a Republican”.

If you can’t even say that it’s wrong for your state party to call for violence against Republicans, it is beyond credibility that you could hold anyone’s “feet to the fire”; you clearly have no principles or values other than blind and mindless endorsement of Obama Party activities of any type.

North Dallas Thirty July 28, 2011 at 2:27 am

Meanwhile, Tom Scharbach, it’s interesting that you try to invoke “individual liberty” and “equal treatment” when you and your party platforms in fact endorse government takeovers of private industry, decreased freedom of association, opportunity, and speech, and quotas and government-sanctioned discrimination based on minority status.

But of course, Tom Scharbach, that doesn’t matter to you. You and your “LGBT caucus” really don’t care about anything other than your sexual orientation. That’s why you don’t understand conservatives and Republicans; they judge based on behavior, rather than minority status, and you and your fellow Obama supporters don’t want that. You want to be judged solely by your minority status, and that’s why you’re an Obama Party member.

Meanwhile, it’s interesting that you mention LCR. The reason they were mocked out of the caucus is because Republicans and conservatives were well aware that LCR was being funded by Obama Party backers with the sole purpose of attacking Republicans.

That also cemented in the minds of most Republicans and leaders that gays and lesbians were duplicitous and hypocritical liars; add to that the endorsements of gays and lesbians for state constitutional amendment supporters like John Kerry, employment discriminators like Howard Dean, and FMA supporters like Harold Ford, and the hypocrisy was just more obvious. Gays and lesbians don’t care about “equal means equal”; they’re just using it as an excuse for their need to do whatever the Obama Party tells them.

William Quill July 26, 2011 at 9:22 am

“But this is the choice gay voters typically face since gay equality was subsumed under the grand coalition of the left.”

Or since the Republican party were broadly happy to use ignorance on gay issues as a wedge issue in elections? I am a member of a conservative party myself. Do I blame the gay movement for being closer to our Labour party when they are more favourable? The issue is conservative parties, not progressive politicians or the gay movement’s political allegiance, and that’s where I focus attention and effort. Don’t be so bitter that Democrats are sound on this issue.

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