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Where Has My Party Gone?

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 7:00 pm - November 28, 2005.
Filed under: National Politics,Post 9-11 America

After seeing the news this afternoon about US Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham resigning as the result of a bribery scandal, it reminded me of a great article in Sunday’s Washington Post Opinion Section.

The GOP And The Sandbox – WaPo Opinion Column by Douglas MacKinnon
(subscription required — use mine! email: gaypatriot2004@aol.com, password: gaypatriot)
(GP Editor’s Note — Douglas MacKinnon is identified in the article as the former press secretary to former Senator Bob Dole. He is also a former White House and Pentagon official, and an author.)

The subhead to the column is “I Wonder Where My Party’s Headed.” I couldn’t agree more. But let me provide some of Mr. MacKinnon’s best arguments.

For Republicans, all the intense, newfound focus on Iraq that the Democrats and some in the media are avidly promoting is coupled with a sharp rise in partisanship and both real and politically motivated ethics problems in the GOP (I consider the questions facing former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to be mostly politically motivated, while those surrounding lobbyist Jack Abramoff and Reps. Randy “Duke” Cunningham and Rob Ney are very troublesome). And it raises a critical set of questions: “Who are we, what have we become, and what do we, as a party, stand for?”

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For while it takes two parties to govern — or embarrass themselves — it is the Republicans who control the White House and the Congress and thus have the greater burden to lead. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way we seem to have lost vision, belief in our platform and a commitment to higher ethics.

Since 1994, when Newt Gingrich led the revolution that gave us our first House majority in 40 years, Republicans have sold the American people on the premise that we are the party of national defense, character, morality and ethics. But that premise is getting tougher to defend with each passing day.

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If these Republicans abandon the president because of their own worries, then the damage to the nation and to the Republican Party will be incalculable. We will have squandered any chance of democracy in Iraq, and potentially large parts of the Middle East. This is something that many Americans — and more Republicans — will not soon forget.

Instead of turning Congress into a sandbox, leaders of both parties should demand serious and extended debate over the war. While there is clearly no support, even among Democrats, for Murtha’s call to bring the troops home, there is also very clearly no coherent strategy for the future of the war coming out of Congress. Many members still refuse to be held accountable for their votes on it.

Enough with the name-calling, charges and counter-charges. Forget how we got there and focus on how we can and must prevail. The least that members of Congress and the administration can give our troops is a dignified and serious reflection on why they have put our soldiers in harm’s way. Both parties are in trouble at the moment. And Republicans have the most to lose.

Events like today’s Cunningham resignation and other recent scandals are not pillars of the Republican Party that I want to be a part of. They are instead the seeds of power and deceit that brought down the Democrats’ 40 year reign over the US House in 1994.

Governing responsibly is a lot different than campaigning from the minority position. The only saving grace Republican leaders have now is that the Democrats look more shrill and childlike every day. It is unfortunate that our elected leaders are helping demean our democracy brick-by-brick and in many ways are having a longer term impact than Osama’s plan did on 9/11. We are all responsible for our elected officials’ actions and we all need to call them on the carpet.

[Related Story — Charging Rhino suggests some punishment options for Rep. Cunningham]

Welcome Instapundit readers!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Log Cabin — Greater Standing Among Gay Groups, Increasingly Irrelevant to the GOP

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 5:13 am - November 28, 2005.
Filed under: Log Cabin Republicans

It is now nearly ten years since I first assumed a leadership role in Log Cabin. Over this past decade, I have been both active in and critical of the organization. I have attended four national conventions, served as an officer of two clubs, one of which I founded, and talked with countless gay Republicans, gay conservatives and gay libertarians, most of whom refused to join Log Cabin. Indeed, many who refused to join were surprised at my activism and pleased at my decision to quit the organization.

In my conversations with such “non-mainstream” gays, the most frequent complaint I have heard about Log Cabin (and yes, I have also heard this from LCR members, many of whom have e-mailed this blog to say as much) is that it has failed to provide an alternative to the left-leaning national gay groups.

I was thus hardly surprised when Log Cabin’s Political Director Chris Barron refused to criticize NGLTF President Matt Foreman for suggesting democracy was immoral and by simultaneously pointing out that LCR Executive Director “Patrick [Guerriero] never comments directly on the opinions of other Executive Directors.” It merely confirmed what I had long observed about Log Cabin. In press releases and other public statements. LCR’s national leadership more frequently attacks Republicans than it does Democrats. And they never take issue with the national gay leadership, even while these groups are busy badmouthing President Bush and the GOP and misrepresenting the president’s record and that of the party to which Log Cabin ostensibly claims allegiance.

Log Cabin will not be able to influence the GOP if it does not publicly distance itself from the anti-Republican rhetoric of national gay organizations. To do that, it needs to take on those groups when they unfairly attack the GOP or otherwise show their left-wing stripes. Most conservative groups in Washington — and across the land — as well as many elected Republicans officials are familiar with the leftist agendae of these groups. When gay Republicans (as well as conservatives and libertarians) come out against their left-of-center policies and pontifications, they increase their standing — and thus their influence — with those on the right side of the political aisle.

Thus, if anything, this article in the most recent Advocate confirms how increasingly irrelevant Log Cabin has become. Instead of building bridges to the GOP, Executive Director Patrick Guerriero has been increasing his group’s “standing among liberal national gay rights groups.”

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