A couple weeks ago, while I was driving in the Northeast, The Hill newspaper reported the response of Hillary Clinton’s campaign to allegations that the former First lady “listened to a secretly recorded conversation between political opponents“:
Clinton’s spokesman panned the book [Her Way: The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton, detailing the allegations] but declined to discuss the allegation that Clinton had reviewed secretly recorded calls. “We don’t comment on books that are utter and complete failures,” said Clinton’s press secretary, Philippe Reines.
How typical of the Clintons, attack the messenger without responding to the question.
It seems that some of our critics have developed a similar strategy to deal with our points, attack us (as self-hating or motivated by currying favor with other conservatives) rather than respond to our arguments. Indeed, a recent comment reminded me that that was how Log Cabin leaders used to respond to criticism (and suggestions for improvement) that I, other chapter presidents and even board members (when half the board was elected by the clubs) made about the national office.
Instead of addressing our points, they ascribed our motives as personal.
That is perhaps the main reason that I have been quick to praise new Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon’s manner (e.g., here) while disagreeing with his method (e.g., here). It is partially in tribute to his attitude that I’m going to the Log Cabin meeting tonight in LA when I would rather stay at home and relax.
It makes a huge difference in the morale of the organization when its leader shows understanding for the diverse viewpoints of its membership.
All that said, I still think Log Cabin would be better served if it had not run the Romney ads and if it did something to distinguish itself from HRC and the other gay groups on gay issues. At the same time, it needs develop a strategy with media fanfare similar to that of the Romney ads to show its commitment to electing Republicans — and defeating Democrats.
Back when I was involved in Log Cabin the greatest problem we club presidents had was the failure of the national office to solicit (or even consider) our viewpoints while claiming credit for successes at the local level.
Perhaps, I just wrote this post because when I blog, I put my ideas out there, hoping others will respond to them in the spirit they are offered. I had done so when I was more actively involved in Log Cabin, but too often found my ideas ignored or misrepresented and my motives attacked. I response I encounter all too often from our critics on this blog.
Our regular readers should be well aware of how much I appreciate civil discourse. And those who attack us, particularly Republicans, should be aware of how much their attitudes smack of Clintonite tactics: when faced with criticism, dodge the issue and attack the messenger.
Let us hope that the American people wake up to Mrs. Clinton’s eagerness to dodge a real discussion of her record. And that our harshest critics, many of whom spend so much time on this blog, open themselves up to our ideas.
I am more optimistic about the good sense of my fellow Americans.