I had hoped to do a series of posts on the future of Log Cabin now that Patrick Guerriero has stepped down as the group’s head, but given that he departed on the day of my father’s birthday when the PatriotFamilyWest was gathered to celebrate that most wonderful occasion, politics had to take a back seat to that which matters most.
Now that Patrick is gone, I’m concerned that the interim leaders of the organization are not focused on building bridges to the GOP and conservative organizations. While I share the group’s delight in the victory of the Lincoln Chafee, the most liberal Senate Republican, in yesterday’s Rhode Island Republican, primary I wouldn’t call the Ocean State’s Junior Senator a “mainstream Republican.”
Unlike Joe Lieberman whose votes put him in the middle of the Senate’s Democratic caucus, Chafee’s votes put him far to the left of his GOP colleagues, even to the left of a handful of Democrats. That said, while my views are closer to those of his erstwhile GOP opponent Steve Laffey, if I lived in Rhode Island, I would have voted for Chafee because he has a better chance of holding the seat for my party in one of the most Democratic states in the union.
Chafee’s victory shows that our party does not have a litmus test for membership. While Connecticut Democrats rejected their 2000 Vice-presidential nominee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and Rhode Island Republicans stood behind this Republican who is far from the party’s mainstream.
However, Club for Growth, a conservative advocacy group (which I have supported in the past) which backs GOP candidates “who support limited government and lower taxes” spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to defeat Chafee, largely because of his support for bigger government and increased federal regulation. While I think their money could have been better spent helping pro-growth Republicans in tough races against Democrats, given Chafee’s record, they had good reason to back Laffey.
Given the Club’s commitment to Reaganite fiscal principles, this is one group with which Log Cabin should seek to find common ground. Instead, in their release heralding Chafee’s victory, Log Cabin called its support of Laffey a “vicious effort.”
Rather than the Club’s efforts “vicious,” Log Cabin leaders should reach out to Club President Pat Toomey and make clear they support his efforts to return the GOP to its Reaganite principles, supporting its goals of cutting government spending, reforming Social Security, expanding free trade and enacting regulatory reform. We want to turn Congress’s attention to these issues rather that focus on items which are not in the purview of the federal government.
When Log Cabin’s new leader takes office, he (or she) needs to reach out to mainstream Republican groups like the Club for Growth and steer clear of such left-wing groups like the Human Rights Campaign and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com