Saturday, September 25, 2010

Log Cabin Republicans Should Look At Their Own Party

Ariane de Vogue and Devin Dwyer had written an article that appeared on ABC News that I found interesting.  The article was about a recent ruling by a federal judge that called the military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy unconstitutional and required the reinstatement of lesbian Maj. Margaret Witt, who was fired six years ago when her superiors learned of her same-sex relationship.  What I found interesting about the article was that the lead plaintiffs in the case were the Log Cabin Republicans - a homosexual wing of the GOP.  I found their statements regarding the case and DADT to be of most interest.
Gay rights advocates, including the group Log Cabin Republicans, the lead plaintiff in the case, have criticized the administration for its handling of the case and for not doing more to bring Don't Ask, Don't Tell to an end.

"Many times on the campaign trail, President Obama said he would support the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell," said Clarke Cooper, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans. "Now that it's time to step up to the plate, he isn't even in the ballpark."

"What is most troubling is that the government's request for a stay [of the injunction] ignores the harm that Don't Ask, Don't Tell causes to current and potential members of our Armed Forces," said the plaintiffs' attorney, Dan Woods. "That is the saddest, most disappointing and, in light of the president's position, most hypocritical part of the objections."
I thought it was hypocritical of the Log Cabin Republicans to point fingers at the administration while ignoring the actions of their own party.

Christopher Neff wrote the following about the recent Senate vote that raised the issue of repeal of DADT, pointing out the tricks the GOP played to try and distract voters away from the controversial DADT policy and make Republicans look like the victim:
Some have blamed the failure of this vote on the DREAM Act. This is false. Clearly, Senator Reid did not make it any harder for Republicans to run interference with this potential amendment, but the DREAM Act did not cost votes. There would not have been one more 'yes' vote without this amendment.

There were many smokescreens around this vote, but the GOP had only one target - stopping the repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell.' This was damage done by design. Defense funding will not be stopped this year with wars ongoing in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will get done in one form or another. But the odds that the Senate's final Defense Authorization bill will include the repeal of the gay ban during a lame duck session are vanishingly small.

Senator McConnell never wanted a deal with Senator Reid. That would have moved the Defense bill forward, and repeal along with it. Instead, he sold some snake oil on the Senate floor in which he demanded at least twenty amendments, a price so high that it could never be accepted. This was trick number two, to look like a deal was on the table when it was not. The rejection of this "offer" reinforced the need for party loyalty among Republicans and allowed activists to argue that it was Senator Reid who was being unreasonable.

This leads to trick number three. Boy, did the Republicans have some fun amendments to offer. Think of the joy that would have filled the Republicans if they could offer amendments on 'anything' and force the Democrats to make more impossibly tough votes forty days before an election. A number of potential wedge issues come to mind, such as forcing a vote on Washington D.C.'s same-sex marriages, immigration amendments, and I've heard something about a mosque. It would have been a free-for-all. Senator McConnell's last motion before that fateful vote confirms this strategy. The twenty amendment deal he offered was a ploy. It banned consideration of the DREAM Act until after all twenty amendments were finished and it would have extended debate indefinitely, much to the Republican's delight.
If the Log Cabin Republicans are so upset with the military's ban on gay soldiers, they should ask every Republican in the Senate why they voted against the National Defense Authorization Act.  They are upset with the Justice Department for doing their job - defending acts of Congress - and want Obama to run interference.

Just consider the right-wing's attack on actions taken by the Justice Department when it was against a position they took, like ACORN - the conservatives attacked president and the "Obama Justice Department," but when the government takes their position, they are silent.  The Fox News story about Major Witt was only six sentences long and made no mention of the Justice Department's defense of DADT.

The point is that if the Log Cabin Republicans, or any other advocate or group want to find the true culprit, they need to look at the Republican Party.  What the article fails to mention is that the lawsuit was filed during the Bush administration, in 2004.  How is it that the Log Cabin Republicans can place the blame on the Justice Department during the Obama administration when the previous administration spent twice the amount of time on the case, and did they expect a full reversal by the defense when Obama was elected in 2008?

Republicans keep trying to shift focus away from their intolerant beliefs.  They refused to vote for the National Defense Authorization Act and they employed every trick in the book to make it look like it was not about DADT.  The Republicans need to accept responsibility for their actions, and those sympathetic to the permittance of homosexuals in the military need to place blame on the correct party.


  1. Kevin, I recently saw on the news one of the leaders of the Log Cabin Republicans claiming that there was no problem with anti-gay hatred in the Republican party. The context of his claim was a discussion of comment, "All faggots must die!", posted at a gay blog from Lindsey Graham's office. Pathetic!

  2. Interesting. I had not heard of this but it has always bothered me that the Log Cabin Republicans never stood up to party leadership. In my opinion, the Lg Cabins are closer to the Blue Dog Democrats then the mainstream GOP...


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