I woke this morning in LA, CA and blog now from NO, LA.
At dinner tonight in the Big Easy, when one young gay Republican learned that I was GayPatriotWest, he replied that he was “Star Struck,” adding, “I feel like I’ve met a celebrity.” I think that’s the first time I’ve ever been called a celebrity. And that’s supposed to be what we Angelenos aim for. And to think I earned that “title” not for my work in the entertainment industry but for this blog.
At the convention’s “New Orleans Welcome Reception,” Eva Young did not (initially) recognize me. We had first met back in 2000 when she was at a conference in Torrance. We had a pleasant chat. I was also greeted warmly by a man who, under the name GOP Values, often criticized this blog. Steve May recognized me. I was introduced to Log Cabin Political Director Chris Barron who was very friendly.
I recognized someone. He smiled when I went up to greet him, recognizing me as well. Not until I saw his name badge did I realize that this Jeff whom I remembered from my days in D.C. was Jeff Cook, Log Cabin’s Field Director. He represents perhaps the biggest change in Log Cabin since my involvement with the organization.
When I founded the Northern Virginia club, the national office offered me no assistance. Today, Jeff is traveling the country, talking with and troubleshooting for leaders of existing clubs while helping others start up new clubs in towns that don’t yet have a chapter. Log Cabin is even helping pay for the convention expenses of two students trying to set up a chapter at their state university.
At dinner, a member of the LA club faulted Log Cabin for failing to endorse our man W last fall. He said that they could have carefully crafted a statement offering their support for the president while distancing themselves from his stance on the Federal Marriage Amendment. He indicated that he was not the only Log Cabin member to support the president, indeed, he thought that a majority of members had voted for him last fall.
So far, I can report on the friendliness of the reception here in New Orleans, both by the natives and by the people at the convention. I can also report that Log Cabin’s national office is more committed to building the grassroots than it was just a few years ago. Even so, I can’t find a place on the convention agenda for that grassroots to discuss, debate and amend the organization’s policies.
Finally, it’s clear that I’m not the only one here who voted to give another term to the man who, according to The New Republic‘s Marty Peretz is accomplishing a “genuinely momentous transformation in ways that virtually the entire foreign affairs clerisy–the cold-blooded Brent Scowcroft realist Republicans and almost all the Democrats–never thought possible.”
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com