For the past few weeks, I have been collecting information for posts articulating how I became disenchanted with Andrew Sullivan’s writings — and Log Cabin’s policies — to respond to critics who have accused us of “obsessing” about the two. In these posts, I would seek to make clear the reasons for my disenchantment. The long and the short of it is, that as a gay conservative blog, taking issue with prominent gay individuals and institutions who claim to be conservative, while acting like liberals, is essential to what we do.
Given how much effort I would have to put into making each of these posts comprehensive, I have wondered it would really be worth my while to write them. Most (but not all) of those who fault us for taking on Andrew and Log Cabin fail to address the substance of our posts. And I wonder if they would react any differently to a comprehensive piece on each.
I was pleased when a reader, generally supportive of Log Cabin, wrote me to say that after rereading my posts, he had a “handle” on my “areas of concern with the Log Cabin Republican organization.” It was clear that, for this reader, my posts did make a difference — and that even while he did not reach the same conclusions about the organization as (Bruce and) I have, he did at least appreciate my arguments.
What this reader got was that one of my primary “areas of concern” with Log Cabin was that it is at pains to make itself indistinguishable from the gay left. Given the statist ideas which dominate most gay organizations, it would seem that a Republican gay group would be eager to distinguish itself, by putting foward an agenda of liberty, consistent with our party’s principles (but, alas, not always its practice).
For example, when a gay group starts acting like a “knee-jerk, Daily Kos-ite arm of the Democratic National Committee,” gay Republicans should denounce its transformation. Instead, as I’ve noted before, Log Cabin invited the Executive Director of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) to its recent national “convention.”
A Republican friend who was there wrote me saying, “I went into the dinner not knowing what Log Cabin does and I left the dinner not knowing what Log Cabin does or intends to do.” The group seems adrift, without a clear a purpose, but only with a concern not to offend anyone on the gay left.
Much as Log Cabin seems eager not to offend anyone on the gay left, Andrew Sullivan seems eager to appease those on the gay left who once reviled him. And he appeals not to the best of their ideas, but instead to the worst of their passions — their unhinged hatred of President Bush. It’s not merely that he has become critical of the president, it’s that his criticism, while a tad more eloquent (than much of the bile emanating from the fever swamps), has become substantively almost identical to that unhinged hate.
For example, Andrew could have used the recent stories about the Vice President’s great realationship with his lesbian daughter to note how Cheney has publically dissented, unusual for this (or any) vice president, from the president’s support of the Federal Marriage Amendment. And given that Andrew has made gay marriage his signature issue, this should come naturally to him. But, in the fever swamps of the gay left, hatred of the Vice President is not mitigated by his positive attitudes toward gay people — more consumed are they by his overall support of the president.
Andrew is thus now not much different from most afflicted with Bush Derangement Syndrome. Instead of commending the Vice President for standing up to the president on this issue, he fires a cheap shot at the GOP, imagining that Karl Rove “would be preparing” attack ads for a Democratic politician in similar circumstances.
As reader Peg Kaplan put it on her blog, What If?: “Before Andrew became infected, he might have responded to Cheney’s comments about his daughter with a smile and some satisfaction that progress was being made.” But, since 02/24/04, Andrew seems only able to see the dark side of this Administration.
It took me a little longer to write this piece than I had anticipated. And I only touched the reasons for my disenchantment with a writer, all of whose books I own and whose blog (and columns) I once read regualrly, and an organization to which I once devoted much of my time (and money). Still, I don’t know that it will make much difference with those intent on attacking us for taking issue with Andrew Sullivan and Log Cabin.
But, by putting our ideas out there I hope that while we may not be able to convince everyone of our sound arguments, we may at least, cause a few people to take notice and engage us in serious discussion and rigorous debate.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com