Whenever I speak to other conservative bloggers (including a number of gay ones) and the topic of Log Cabin comes up, many recall that ostensibly Republican organization’s failure to endorse President Bush in the 2004 election while its then-President badmouthed his party’s nominee on national television later in that fall’s campaign. They, like many Republicans with whom I’m spoken over the years (and in the past few months), question Log Cabin’s commitment to the GOP.
And these aren’t anti-gay Republicans, many of these individuals (bloggers as well and activists) oppose a constitutional amendment defining marriage, some support gay marriage, while others think the party should lay off the gay issue and focus on those unifying ideas which helped our party win presidential elections in the 1980s and congressional elections in the 1990s.
I dare say it came as no surprise to these Republicans and conservatives when they learned yesterday that openly gay retired brigadier general Keith Kerr whom CNN flew in to participate in Wednesday’s Republican debate serves on Hillary Clinton’s “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender steering committee” while claiming to be a member of Log Cabin Republicans. This isn’t the first time this self-professed member of an ostensibly Republican organization has supported a Democratic presidential candidate. Just four years ago, he was “active in John F. Kerry’s 2004 campaign for president.”
Claiming to be a member of a Republican organization while supporting Democratic candidates for president in two successive presidential elections?!?? Some might say he is not comfortable with the direction of his party, but to sign up for a Democratic candidate for president in the current campaign before the GOP has even picked its nominee even when there is a Republican candidate with a record of accomplishment on gay issues.
This supposed Republican is not even trying to influence the direction of the party. He’s already signed up with the opposition!
Given that many question Log Cabin’s commitment to the GOP, it seems a no-brainer for Log Cabin to distance itself from this man. All the organization need do is issue a short statement, perhaps commending the general for his military service and thanking him for supporting the group in the past (he spoke at its 2004 convention), but say that while Log Cabin welcomes Republicans of diverse views, it does not welcome members who regularly support Democratic candidates, particularly partisans like Mrs. Clinton.
In the past two days, since General Kerr’s affiliation with the Clinton campaign has come to light, Log Cabin has remained silent on their member’s* support of that Democrat. Both Bruce and I contacted Log Cabin’s President Patrick Sammon, asking him to comment on this matter. He refused to to comment on the record. Nor has Log Cabin has issued a public statement on his claimed affiliation with the group.
This silence is telling. Here, Log Cabin has a chance to make clear that theirs is an organization for Republicans who seek to build a more inclusive party, but not for those who work to defeat Republican candidates. Instead of issuing a simple statement, Log Cabin went ahead with a planned press release announcing its release of yet another round of ads attacking a Republican candidate for president.
Let’s see, Log Cabin is busy attacking a Republican candidate for president while not distancing itself from a member who serves on a steering committee for a Democratic candidate.
Now you see why in our category for the organization, we keep the word “Republicans” in parentheses.
– B. Daniel Blatt (GayPatriotWest@aol.com)
*We are taking General Kerr at his word that he is a member of Log Cabin.