One Month (or So) to Go

by Stephen H. Miller on September 29, 2012

1) I can remember when the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBT PAC, only endorsed congressional candidates and did so on a bipartisan basis. But since they’ve been making splashy, well-funded endorsements of the Democratic presidential nominee, they’ve lost virtually all clout among Repuboicans. How useful is it for a GOP congressional nominee to win the endorsement from a PAC so closely joined at the hip to the national Democratic party—it’s a negative to be avoided, branding any GOP candidate as a Republican in name only.

2) New York Congresswoman Nan Hayworth is one of the best GOP House members on gay issues, so of course LGBT Democrats are going all out to defeat her.

3) Sadly, but predictably, the Democrats’ racial demagoguery against voter ID laws is now being extended to claim that such reasonable measures to deter fraud are “voter suppression efforts” that negatively impact the transgendered (well, yes, if they’re not registered and/or entitled to vote!).

{ 36 comments }

Houndentenor September 29, 2012 at 10:27 am

LOL. The HRC endorsement has no clout with Republicans because they endorsed the pro-gay President over his openly anti-gay opponent? Really? Or could it be that an endorsement from a gay rights group would be ballot box poison for virtually any GOP candidate with his or her own party base?

I get that you don’t like HRC. I don’t either. They’ve spent millions of dollars and to date have absolutely nothing to show for all that money and staff. So start your own organization. Surely among that +/- 25% of gays who regularly vote Republican in national elections there’s enough money to fund a lobbying group. Maybe yours might actually yield some results.

North Dallas Thirty October 5, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Actually it’s because the definition of “antigay” as spouted by HRC and the gay and lesbian community simply means “not Obama Party”.

Meanwhile, why? You already call the other GOP and GOP-leaning groups out there traitors, Jewish Nazis, kapos, and the like for merely existing.

Doug September 29, 2012 at 12:15 pm

It would appear from recent news reports that the only voter fraud out there is being committed by the GOP. Even the PA GOP admitted that their voter ID laws were only intended to get Romney elected.

To paraphrase an old statement. I would rather a few fraudulent votes be cast than disenfranchise hundreds, thousands or perhaps more just to catch a very few crooks.

Jorge September 29, 2012 at 12:16 pm

I can remember when the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBT PAC, only endorsed congressional candidates and did so on a bipartisan basis.

And I can remember when Mario got killed in one hit. And only had 3 lives! “We never had any of this fancy 3-D stuff! Oh no, we had to survive on what we had!”

The HRC endorsement has no clout with Republicans because they endorsed the pro-gay President over his openly anti-gay opponent?

I think Mr. Miller is also questioning their endorsement of an openly gay Democrat over an openly pro-gay Republican. Anyway, I get plenty of spam mail from the Hayworth campaign, so I’ve done my part.

Look, the new equilibrium has already been set. There are dedicated gay pro-Republican organizations and they are becoming more powerful. (Although, as you have pointed out, “power” does not necessarily translate into political clout.) If there is any commentary to be made, it is not so much about the decreasing clout of pro-gay organizations, but their increasing partisan division. Stephen Miller seems to believe this is a bad thing. Hence he points out situations in which pro-GLBT interests act like Democratic party lapdogs on things that are irrelevant to their interests. I’m not too sure about the example he picked, though.

I would like to see some kind of outreach between gay organizations of different politics. It’s really not enough to see GOProud trying to get into Conservacon or whatever that big conservative gathering is called. Maybe a debate among some of them would be helpful.

esurience September 29, 2012 at 3:29 pm

It’s not racial demagoguery to point out that these voter-ID laws will have disparate impact on the ability of minority voters to cast a ballot. It’s true. It will. The evidence for this has been shown. You should try informing yourself of it.

And there’s nothing “reasonable” about these laws. In-person voter fraud is a non-existent problem, and unlike absentee ballot fraud, it’s just impossible as a practical matter to pull off in-person voter fraud on a large enough scale to swing an election — without the attempt being exposed, since it requires a physical person at a poll to cast each individual fraudulent ballot.

Integrity is important to elections. So is ACCESSIBILITY. Voting should not just be a right that non-poor people can exercise. It’s a big deal to a poor person to take a day off work to get a voter ID, or spend the dozens of dollars scrounging up the necessary documentation to get an ID. It’s a poll tax. And for some people, the burden is just to high. It’s too discouraging. That’s wrong.

Tom Scharbach September 29, 2012 at 5:28 pm

It’s not racial demagoguery to point out that these voter-ID laws will have disparate impact on the ability of minority voters to cast a ballot. It’s true. It will. The evidence for this has been shown. You should try informing yourself of it.

Dead on. The fact that Voter ID laws have a disproportionate effect on African-American and Hispanic voters are findings of fact in several of the court decisions which block Voter ID implementation. It is not demagoguery to state a fact, particularly a fact that has been established by evidence in a court of law.

North Dallas Thirty October 5, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Nope, it’s simply the racist beliefs of the Obama Party and its workers like Tom Scharbach who believe that all minorities are stupid and require benevolent whites like Massa Tom to keep them safely on the plantation.

Republicans believe that skin color has nothing to do with one’s ability to get identification. They treat all people equally regardless of skin color, and that is antithetical to the Obama Party and its workers like Tom Scharbach.

Furthermore, as we know, the Wisconsin Obama Party for which Tom Scharbach works has a long and storied history of voter fraud, so we can see why they are terrified.

Mark September 29, 2012 at 4:16 pm

A gay rights group endorsed a gay candidate over a non-gay candidate, in a race where the gay candidate is on record as favoring equal marriage rights and the non-gay candidate refuses to reveal her position. Why is this in any way remarkable, or worthy of condemnation?

Tom Scharbach September 29, 2012 at 5:50 pm

… Repuboicans …

I know that this was just a typo, but it is pretty funny, notwithstanding.

New York Congresswoman Nan Hayworth is one of the best GOP House members on gay issues, so of course LGBT Democrats are going all out to defeat her.

Of course LGBT Democrats are working to elect the Democratic candidate. That’s what we do — elect pro-equality Democrats. We are Democrats.

Sean Maloney is about as good as it gets in terms of pro-equality Democrats. He’s 100% pro-equality up and down the line. He’s going to be a strong advocate for equality if he is elected. And, of course, he will be a seat at the table, which is important.

I have nothing against Nan Hayworth. She has a good record on LGBT issues, although she has chosen to remain silent, as far as I know, on marriage equality, other than to say that she believes that it is a state issue. Looking at her record and statements, I’d give her about 50% on LGBT issues. Although that would be a source of concern for me if she were a Democrat, for a Republican, that’s damn near a miracle rating.

But think about this. If the situation were reversed — a gay Republican who is 100% on equality issues running against a straight Democrat who is about 50% on equality issues — you might have a rational complaint about LGBT Democrats supporting the Democratic candidate.

Not so in this case, Stephen.

Houndentenor September 29, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Sorry, I thought everyone knew that gay Republicans give any Republican an automatic bump to 100% if they can get above 5% on our issues. Democrats must have 100% or they are rounded down to 0%.

Tom Scharbach September 29, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Stephen seems to think that it is the job of “LGBT Democrats” to spurn strong pro-equality Democrats and elect Republicans instead, and he is aggrieved when we don’t. It doesn’t make any sense.

I don’t see it that way.

It seems to me that the best of all possible worlds would be to have two 100% pro-equality candidates, one Democrat and one Republican, running against each other so that we could vote on other issues of importance to us.

When that’s the case, pro-equality Republicans can vote for the Republican, and pro-equality Democrats can vote for the Democrat, in each case taking us toward our goal of “equal means equal”. That’s what we all want.

But I don’t understand why I should be called on to throw a 100% pro-equality Democrat — and an openly gay one at that — under the bus just to further the goal of bringing the Republican Party closer to its senses. I’m a Democrat.

When I read Stephen’s comments about this race (“New York Congresswoman Nan Hayworth is one of the best GOP House members on gay issues, so of course LGBT Democrats are going all out to defeat her. “), my jaw dropped.

Stephen is suggesting that LGBT Democrats are supporting Maloney rather than Hayworth because “Nan Hayworth is one of the best GOP House members on gay issues …” That’s nonsensical.

Stephen, hear this: LGBT Democrats are supporting Maloney because he is a 100% pro-equality Democrat. We are not trying to sabotage pro-equality Republicans. We’d like the Republican Party to come to its senses — and look forward to the day when every race in the country be a contest between a 100% pro-equality Democrat and a 100% pro-equality Republican — but we are Democrats and vote for Democrats. Get over it.

Jorge September 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Cute.

But not knowing any other gay Republicans, all I can say is that any Republican who can walk and chew gum at the same time is better than a Democrat who spits. This voter ID law discussion offers a fine example of this.

Jorge September 30, 2012 at 1:43 pm

It’s not racial demagoguery to point out that these voter-ID laws will have disparate impact on the ability of minority voters to cast a ballot. It’s true. It will. The evidence for this has been shown. You should try informing yourself of it.

And it’s not racial demagoguery to point out that disparate impacts on minority votes are more a function of disparate civic engagement and responsibility than any racial animus. People have been talking about reforming voter ID laws for years now–people should try informing themselves about what’s going on and get with the program.

Voting should not just be a right that non-poor people can exercise. It’s a big deal to a poor person to take a day off work to get a voter ID, or spend the dozens of dollars scrounging up the necessary documentation to get an ID.

I call BS on this. Then what are they doing pretending they’re citizens? They got plenty of time and money to take off work to go to welfare every time someone messes with their benefits (which is extremely often, at least where I live). I grow extremely tired of hearing these whiny excuses after every possible accomodation for time and money has already been made. We are not talking about a lack of voter accessability, we are talking about voter sloth.

Doug October 1, 2012 at 1:19 am

“They got plenty of time and money to take off work to go to welfare. . ” If they are working why are the getting welfare, Jorge? Let’s get real here. If the are working they are trying, so get off the holier than thou horse. You sound like Romney’s 47% comment.

Houndentenor October 1, 2012 at 9:47 am

It doesn’t make any sense, but it does reveal contempt for a large part of the American public.

Jorge October 2, 2012 at 8:57 am

If they are working why are the getting welfare, Jorge?

Because they’re poor.

Let’s get real here. If the are working they are trying, so get off the holier than thou horse. You sound like Romney’s 47% comment.

Well, actually, I am holier than thou. Get over it.

Doug October 2, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Rolling on the floor laughing my ass off !

TomJeffersonIII September 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm

1. A group of gay Democrats is probably going to want to help elect, um, er, Democrats. Likewise, a group of gay Republicans is probably going to want to help elect, wait for it, Republicans. That should not really be surprising.

The Human Rights Campaign is probably never going to have much clout within the Republican Party. When exit polling puts the number of self-identified gay voters in the 4%, versus the number of self-identified anti-gay evangelical Christian voters, well the GOP leadership is probably going to go with the bigger of the two numbers.

Having just started to watch some documentaries on gay history, it seems that the HRC grew out of a need to have a national group to lobby for gay rights.

I think that need is real and the HRC can do certain things well, but their too much rancor between gay Democrats and gay Republicans (and from what I hear high school-like backstage bitching) for it to be taken seriously as a bi-partisan group.

But, I think that is a problem with some gay Democrats and some gay Republicans. I am open to hearing ideas about what a bi or tr partisan national lobbyist group would look like, but I never seen serious ideas coming from folks that often complain about the HRC.

2. Voter ID laws are, as they are written, going to be incredible expensive to implement (i.e. raise taxes) and almost always exist, as written, to target eligible citizens because of their political beliefs assumptions made about their beliefs (and thus likely voting behavior) based on race, class, etc.

In Minnesota, their is no telling what sort of personal information politicians will decree must be stated on these cards and their is already some talk about how it might be used against transgender voters.

Does that mean that voter fraud or intimidation are not problems to be addressed? No, but they need to be done in a serious, bi-partisan manner with respect for political rights and transparency.

Houndentenor September 30, 2012 at 2:12 pm

The whole discussion is absurd. I guarantee you that the next time we catch people in real voter fraud, it’s going to be mail-in ballots, not in-person voting. P.S. Are they checking IDs for all those mail-in ballots around the country?

Jorge September 30, 2012 at 4:33 pm

But, I think that is a problem with some gay Democrats and some gay Republicans. I am open to hearing ideas about what a bi or tr partisan national lobbyist group would look like, but I never seen serious ideas coming from folks that often complain about the HRC.

It would be a group devoted firmly and completely to things that benefit gays. And it would probably look utterly silly doing so–think PETA.

What you can get more easily is a caucus of various organizations to issue joint statements or circulate each other’s statements–something that already happens among partisan organizations. In my opinion, the burden is on the Republican or Republican-leaning organizations to take part. But there are too many forces arguing against even that. Right-leaning organizations have to be free to pursue a spirited advocacy of such things as a strong national defense and (puke!) a limited government. Left-leaning organizations have to be free to promote multiculturalism and strong legal and social safety nets.

The whole discussion is absurd. I guarantee you that the next time we catch people in real voter fraud, it’s going to be mail-in ballots, not in-person voting. P.S. Are they checking IDs for all those mail-in ballots around the country?

I presume they check to see if they’re mailing the ballot to the right person. Why shouldn’t they check to see if it’s the right person entering the polling booth?

Well, we all know what happens when you assume, right? Nothing happens, because the other side is spreading misinformation.

Houndentenor October 1, 2012 at 9:49 am

Why do you assume they check the mail in ballots? How do we know who filled out the ballot? There are any number of problems with these and I think we’re about to see a lot of fraud with these mail-in ballots.

Jorge October 1, 2012 at 10:06 pm

It seems to me that you wouldn’t mail an absentee ballot in the first place without that ballot being mailed to the name and address that is actually registered with the Board of Elections.

In other words, there is some actual verification of identity and registration required to actually mail an absentee ballot to someone.

Your so-called “any number of problems” with absentee ballots strikes me as selective and more motivated by opportunism than anything else. I’ll be interested in hearing it only as a condition of your acquiescence to voter ID laws.

North Dallas Thirty October 5, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Actually, it’s already being done in states that have voter ID laws.

Fortunately, Houndentenor, your Barack Obama Party and you oppose any and all forms of voter ID, registration cross-checking, or anything like this, claiming that any checking of ballots or verification of identity and the like equals racism.

So in your Obama-dominated states, you can commit as much ballot fraud as you like. But fortunately, Federal law governs elections, and the upcoming Federal law requiring voter identification is going to push you away from ballot fraud and voting fraud into forging IDs.

Houndentenor October 1, 2012 at 10:02 am

About transgendered people, yes this is a problem. Many states (mostly the deep red ones, and the same ones passing the voter ID laws) do not allow transgendered people to change their gender on their driver’s license, even if they have been living as a different gender full time for years. What happens when someone listed as a man on the driver’s license but who has already had reassignment surgery shows up with a to vote in one of these voter ID states? (Of course an obvious answer to this problem is to allow transgendered people to list the sex they present as on their documents, but the religious right isn’t going to allow that to happen in those states any time soon.)

Jorge October 1, 2012 at 10:09 pm

(Of course an obvious answer to this problem is to allow transgendered people to list the sex they present as on their documents, but the religious right isn’t going to allow that to happen in those states any time soon.)

Or they simply take a new photo, and the rest of us get to see how that plays out in court.

North Dallas Thirty October 5, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Of course, this sudden concern for the transgendered also allows Obama Party voters to eliminate restrictions that would catch them voting twice.

One should realize that Obama Party members use minorities in the same fashion that Hamas does schoolchildren: human shields so that they can get what they want.

JohnInCA October 1, 2012 at 12:50 pm

… yay? More complaining that gay democrats aren’t doing more for Republicans? You have your own advocacy organizations. Make them earn their bread.

Carl October 2, 2012 at 12:11 am

I’m mostly waiting to hear what gay Republican groups are doing to help the GOP with gay issues. If Stephen is still counting on HRC to save the day, then apparently they aren’t doing very much.

Houndentenor October 2, 2012 at 7:49 am

LCR just released some Congressional endorsements for the 2012 election. I wonder if any of the bloggers here noticed that of if they’re too busy feeling slighted by HRC to notice.

Tom Scharbach October 2, 2012 at 7:22 am

JohninCA: You have your own advocacy organizations. Make them earn their bread.

Carl: I’m mostly waiting to hear what gay Republican groups are doing to help the GOP with gay issues. If Stephen is still counting on HRC to save the day, then apparently they aren’t doing very much.

I think that it is an objective fact that the Republican Party has gotten worse, not better, on “equal means equal” since 1980, while the Democratic Party has moved in the direction of “equal means equal” during the same period, albeit “little by slowly”.

Given that, Stephen needs to honestly assess whether the tactics and strategies LCR and GOProud have been using are effective or not.

To my way of thinking, LCR and GOProud have been ineffective because they both act like outside groups, essentially as lobbyists. Neither has done the hard work that the Religious Right did within the Republican Party during the same period, getting involved in the party at county, state and then national levels inside the party.

The work done inside that party structure paid off for LGBT Democrats, just as it the work done inside the party structure of the Republican Party paid off for the Religious Right.

I might be wrong about the relative effectiveness of talking from the outside rather than working from the inside, but I don’t think so. And I don’t see any sign that Stephen and other pro-equality conservatives are even thinking about the question.

If Stephen and other pro-equality conservatives are going to depend on lobbying from the outside to change the Republican Party, they will be waiting for a long, long time.

Don October 3, 2012 at 11:46 am

Very astute observation, Tom. However gay conservatives have always been at a disadvantage to their liberal counterparts in this regard. Gay conservatives are infinitely more likely to be closeted. The “you can’t ignore me because i’m announcing my gayness and will not go away” character trait that liberal gays exhibited for decades is anathema to a conservative person much less a gay one. It isn’t shame, it’s a temperament. (although it may be shame in some cases) Most liberals don’t get this about conservative temperament. (no, Rush is not conservative; he’s a demagogue. but that’s another discussion)

When I factor in that your point requires them to walk into a hostile mob, their current approach makes sense.

Evangelicals are not libertarians. Libertarians oppose anti-discrimination laws on of conscience freedom grounds. Evangelicals think we are agents of Satan whose entire campaign is to gain access to their children so we can molest them.

Blacks never sat down the the Klan to work out a compromise. Evangelicals are the Klan to gays. There is no room for compromise – only political annihilation.

I think LCR’s lobbyist approach is all they’ve got because they need to make “gay” not a left/right issue anymore so borderline center-right people no longer see it as a “my team’s against this” vote. Only when this particular social issue is a consistent loser among the broad electorate will our Klan began to lose its iron grip of power over our policies. Gay republicans will never outnumber the Evangelicals and kick them out of the party. That’s never gonna work.

JohnInCA October 3, 2012 at 10:37 pm

… um, if it’s ok for Tea Partiers, religious conservatives and pro-life vanguards to go the loud obnoxious route in the party, I’m not sure that such tactics are as anathema to conservatives as you suggest.

I mean hell… it’s pretty much exactly how the Tea Party took over the party in three years.

Tom Scharbach October 5, 2012 at 9:26 am

Very astute observation, Tom. However gay conservatives have always been at a disadvantage to their liberal counterparts in this regard. … The “you can’t ignore me because i’m announcing my gayness and will not go away” character trait that liberal gays exhibited for decades is anathema to a conservative person much less a gay one. It isn’t shame, it’s a temperament.

I hadn’t thought about the issue from this perspective, Don. I will, going forward.

But “I’m here, I’m queer, get used to it …”(although it is something those of us on the left are more comfortable with than those on the right) isn’t what made the difference in the Democratic Party It was the issues we raised and — more particularly — the way in which we framed the issues (as a basic, seminal issue of equality and civil rights) in a way that coincided with Democratic Party ideals and constituencies. And then we worked from the county level up.

Believe me, as someone who worked hard (and if the results are any evidence, effectively) within the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, “We support marriage equality for all couples …” in our state platform didn’t come out of the blue sky. Neither did the inclusion of that phrase (rather than Freedom to Marry’s phasing) in the national platform.

Both were the result of years of work, framing the issue and convincing the party from the ground up over the course of the six years since Wisconsin voters approved a “nuclear option” anti-marriage amendment.

It took hundreds of us, working hard in counties all over the state, to get that simple language into our party’s platform. And it took the efforts of a number of well-placed Wisconsin LGBT advocates at the national level (sitting on the platform committee and the DNC administrative committee) to change the platform draft from “freedom to marry” to “marriage equality”.

We would not have succeeded at the state level (in 26 states, at my last count) or the national level if we had not been working from the ground up within the party over a couple of decades.

When I factor in that your point requires them to walk into a hostile mob, their current approach makes sense.

I’ll grant you that the Republican political environment is going to be a tough nut to crack.

On our side of the political environment, we didn’t face hostility of the kind Republican LGBT’s will face; we faced indifference and fear of voter “backlash”. It took a long time.

But it has to be done. LGBT conservatives are going to have to convince libertarian-minded allies that the issue is real, and it is important, and frame the issue in a way that appeals to what used to be called “moderate” Republicans.

The reason that it has to be done inside the party is that whoever controls the party apparatus controls the primary filter. At present, social conservatives control that filter, and a Republican cannot make it though the primary process without standing hard against us. That has to change before the party will change course.

North Dallas Thirty October 5, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Actually, Tom, it simply has to do with the fact that the gay and lesbian community fits the typical Obama Party demographic.

I think it’s best described here:

After 2010, the numbers were crunched, and it was clear that Obama and the Democrats could not win a mainstream campaign. Instead, they targeted narrow groups, stirred up conflicts over issues aimed at that group, whether it was union pensions, racism or birth control. There was no more pretense of a national election, only a frenzied rush to polarize as many groups as possible and join them together into an acrimonious coalition, not so much for anything, as against Republicans.

There isn’t any inspiration here. Just paranoia over everything from gay marriage to abortion to racial profiling to illegal immigration. A dozen illegal benefits being handed out with the explicit threat that they will be lost if Romney wins. A dozen mini-civil wars being stirred up to divide Americans and set them at each other’s throats for the benefit of the Obama campaign.

From Occupy Wall Street to Wisconsin, from Trayvon Martin to Chick-fil-A, the goal of these manufactured conflicts has been to divide and conquer the electorate by emphasizing group rights over individual economic welfare….

There is not a single Obama voter anywhere in the land who believes that another four years of him will make this country better. Not a single one from coast to coast. No, what they believe is that he will make the country a worse place for those people that they hate. That he will have four more years to sink their ideas deeper in the earth, regardless of how many families go hungry and how many fathers kill themselves because they can no longer take care of their families. What they believe is that Obama will grant their group more special privileges and the rest of the country can go to hell.

This is why Obama supporters and the Obama Party are obsessed with calling minorities who don’t vote for Obama Jewish Nazis, traitors, kapos, etc. Obama supporters, especially the gay and lesbian community, simply do not care about anything other than abusing the power of government to punish those they hate and steal from others.

North Dallas Thirty October 5, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Yup.

Except you got it reversed, Don; you and your fellow liberal gays are the ones who want all conservatives exterminated.

You don’t see a problem with this because you hate conservatives, and you especially hate Christians.

TomJeffersonIII October 3, 2012 at 11:28 pm

Also, was their much progress in gay rights bills nationally during the era that the HRC was all (for those that can remember it) likeable and non-partisan for gay conservative taste?

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