Worth Remembering

by Stephen H. Miller on May 11, 2012

An important perspective on the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” by a former aide to Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). Writes Matthew Gagnon:

I saw up close the White House and its Democratic allies actively trying to stop, for political purposes, the very legislation they are now taking undue credit for. Instead, a lone Republican senator from Maine was the one actually taking a phenomenal personal and political risk and ultimately proved to be the real engine behind the repeal.

It’s a reminder of the importance of achieving at least some GOP support for gay equality.

More. Via Politico, The pro-gay marriage Bush alumni: “…for an administration with a reputation for social conservatism, it’s worth looking at the number of alumni who come out in favor of same-sex marriage — and urged the rest of their party to follow suit.”

There is a very real possiblity that within the decade the GOP could be turned around, if there is a will to make the effort. But too many Democrats are just fine with an anti-gay GOP (as demonstrated by their attacks on Ric Grenell and other gay Republicans working for change within the party), as it serves their partisan interests. And too many LGBT activists have fallen into that trap.

{ 7 comments }

Mark May 11, 2012 at 6:56 pm

I agree that Collins and Lieberman–and Patrick Murphy, whose work, incredibly, wasn’t enough to prevent the Log Cabin Republicans from endorsing his less gay-friendly opponent–deserve primary credit for DADT, rather than Obama.

I’d like to think that the overwhelming public support for DADT gave Obama the courage to come out for marriage equality.

For people in Maine, it would be very helpful this fall if Sen. Collins followed Obama’s example and came out in favor of the marriage referendum, vote for which will likely be very close.

Mike in Houston May 11, 2012 at 7:42 pm

“It’s a reminder of the importance of achieving at least some GOP support for gay equality.”

And a reminder of how difficult that is, especially given the bent of the current brand of so-called conservatism.

The post’s author and most other bloggers here seem to whistle past this without explaining or suggesting exactly HOW one might go about engaging the best minds of the 14th century when it comes to lgbt equality.

Tom Scharbach May 12, 2012 at 8:35 am

There is a very real possiblity that within the decade the GOP could be turned around, if there is a will to make the effort. But too many Democrats are just fine with an anti-gay GOP, as it serves their partisan interests. And too many LGBT activists have fallen into that trap.

What about pro-equality conservatives? Is LCR helping or hurting the effort the turn around the Republican Party by pushing Romney this election cycle? How about GOProud? And how about you? Are you helping or hurting?

It is not my job, a Democrat, to turn the Republican Party around. I have enough on my plate as it is, holding the feet of Democratic politicians to the fire. It is your job.

Instead of complaining that Democrats aren’t doing your job for you, why don’t you begin doing what we have been doing for 30-odd years in the Democratic Party — get active in your own party and work for equality, support pro-equality candidates and politicians in our own party, and withhold support from anti-equality candidates and politicians in our own party.

Look where your complaining without working has taken you. For God’s sake, as someone else pointed out in an earlier thread, Mitt Romney’s stated positions on “equal means equal” are to the right of George Bush’s positions. Do you hear anyone in the Republican Party — most pointedly, those of you who are “pro-equality” and complaining that we aren’t doing enough for you — raising hell about this? I don’t. I certainly don’t on this forum.

Jorge May 12, 2012 at 10:05 am

First link is not taking my browser.

It’s an intriguing point, though. Oppositions can be very useful.

It is not my job, a Democrat, to turn the Republican Party around. I have enough on my plate as it is, holding the feet of Democratic politicians to the fire. It is your job.

I think it is your job as an American to speak truth to power, to look out for the best interests of this country, and not to denigrate those others who are doing the same.

Houndentenor May 12, 2012 at 12:42 pm

I’m not sure it’s possible to turn the GOP around on gay issues. Yes, a few Republicans here and there are gay friendly. I welcome their votes. I note that they are also the ones called RINOs by the base of the party. Sorry, but I live in Texas and know what the real base of the party is and how they think and talk. Change is not happening in this or the next election cycle.

JohnInCA May 12, 2012 at 3:06 pm

I’m sorry, but just what is it you expect me to do? Vote for someone that thinks discrimination is an American value (and has a history of voting that way) or for someone that thinks equal means equal?

’cause come this next election cycle, that’s what it looks like my options are in all the races I’ll be able to vote. There won’t be any “well, both the red-tie and the blue-tie are equal on LGBT issues”. Just “he thinks my security clearance should be revoked and he thinks I should be allowed to marry”

TomJeffersonIII May 13, 2012 at 9:29 am

First off all, I am surprised that a major party candidate for president actually out out in favor of legal equality. Frankly, I did not think that was possible. Thus far its been largely the work of the more leftist Democrats (like Dennis K) who are never getting their party presidential nod or Independent/third party candidates, who are never going to win.

Second off all, sexual orientation or gender identity does not automatically determine your political party ID. It certainly can influence it, because experiences tend to shape party ID, but we are probably going to have to live with the fact that not all LGBT people are going to be Democrats, Republicans or Independents. Even though defenders of each party, often insist that they should be.

Thirdly, I have no problem with gay Republicans working to change their party on gay rights issues. Or gay Independent/third party members trying to do the same. Frankly, tri-party partisan support for something does tend to make it a bit easier to get it passed.

I have no problem with some sort of big, gay coalition of gay Republicans, Democrats, Independnets working together on gay rights bills…but I have not seen too many examples of that happening.

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