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Why the GOP should avoid gay issues in St. Paul

Unlike most bloggers who write on gay issues, I don’t believe we should turn to the government to address many of our concerns.  Yes, I believe we need to repeal Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell and to enact laws recognizing same-sex relationships, but beyond that, the state should leave us alone.

We are already seeing the fruits of that “neglect.”  We are increasingly being able to live openly in American society.  More and more corporations have adopted non-discrimination policies covering sexual orientation while offering benefits for same-sex domestic partnership.  Just today, I didn’t think twice when kissing the guy I’m dating good-bye on a public street or holding his hand when we walked to lunch.

Even as the Republican National Committee and the McCain campaign have done a great job in accommodating my late request for blogger credentials to the convention this week, I’m not so naif to ignore the various anti-gay voices within my party.

Some would have McCain use the issues of gay marriage and gays in the military.  But, as I said in this post that would be a bad idea.  It might galvanize social conservatives but would do so “at the expense of independent voters” while antagonizing many rank-and-file Republicans.

The issue, as I’ve said then and repeated ad nauseum since I first founded a Log Cabin chapter in the late 1990s, is that most Americans are neither pro-gay nor anti-gay, but they are by and large, anti-anti-gay. They may not like what we do in the bedroom, may find it “icky,” may even disapprove of my public smooch this afternoon, but they pretty much want to leave people like us alone. And would wonder at politicians who dwell on the issue.

I’m delighted that my notion of most voters being anti-anti-gay is getting some attention. It earned me a reference last month in the Washington Times‘ blogotics column.

But, I hope it’s not just conservative columnists who are paying attention to this notion. GOP Convention planners would also do well to take heed.  Should they dwell on gay issues in St. Paul, they’ll drown out the reform message which resonates with the Republican base as well as independent voters.

This will help not just with straight undecided voters, but also with gay voters.  When I asked a gay Hillary supporter who was leaning toward McCain whether gay issues were important to him when he cast his vote, he wrote back:

They are somewhat important, but from the “do no harm” perspective.  I don’t mind when a politician doesn’t support advancing gay rights, but I do when they attempt to take back gains already made.

Simply put, if the GOP avoids gay issues this week–and in the fall campaign–John McCain should be able to appeal to swing voters and secure a substantial share (say more than 30%) of the gay vote.

McCain-Palin: The Ticket for Reform, for Real Change

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 6:54 pm - August 31, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics,Conservative Ideas

In my previous post, I wondered why so many on the left have become so enthusiastic for Barack Obama as this agent of change when they could point to little (if any) real reform the Illinois Democrat had enacted (or help enact) in his twelve years in public life.

And then he taps as his running mate, Joe Biden, a Washington institution for nearly thirty-six years not known for his zeal for reform. Indeed, University of Pennsylvania Law Professor David Skeel, a expert on corporate law, writes that the Delaware Senator has actually blocked reform on several occasions:

As a longtime member of the Judiciary Committee, Biden has almost single-handedly thwarted a number of reform proposals that would have interfered with Delaware’s prominence as a popular destination for corporate bankruptcy filings. He has been similarly effective in protecting Delaware’s other corporate interests.

Meanwhile, John McCain has tapped as his running mate a Governor who has done more to reform her state government in 20 months in office than Biden has done to reform the federal government in his 36 years in Washington.

Even before taking the helm of the Alaskan government, Sarah Palin had stood up to entrenched interests, initiating an “ethics probe of the state’s Republican party chairman, Randy Ruedrich, involving conflicts of interest with oil companies. The probe resulted in a $12,000 fine for the party chair.” Not only did she stand up to her own state party’s corrupt leader, she also stood up to spendthrift Republicans in the state legislature, putting a halt to the GOP legislative leadership’s “spending spree

Sounds like the type of real Republican we could use in our nation’s capital.

No wonder John McCain had been considering her for some time. According to Ed Morrissey:

McCain’s selection of Palin was a deliberate effort to craft a specific message for the general election and for his Presidency, should he win. He wants to challenge his party to recall their reform roots from the Reagan Revolution and the Contract with America. He cannot expect to have that taken seriously or effectively without having a real reformer, and not just a talker, on the ticket with him.

(Via Instapundit.) A real reformer, not just a talker. Sounds like quite a contrast to Joe Biden. And Barack Obama.

As Stephen Dinan worte in analyzing McCain’s choice: “I’ll see your change’ raise you ‘shake up.’

RELATED: Let Palin be Palin.

What Justifies the Left’s Enthusiasm for Obama?

Perhaps it was fate this morning when I was scanning the comments to my posts this morning, I chanced on ILoveCapitalism’s piece taking Andrew Sullivan to task for faulting presumptive Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin for her inexperience while regularly attempting to dismiss conservative complaints about Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama’s similar inexperience.

You see, I had planned a post on how Andrew’s gushing over Obama which follows his four years of bashing George W. Bush has compromised his ability, in the words of this Corner reader, to “be taken seriously as a pundit anymore.

When I read Andrew’s commentary on Obama’s speech, I was impressed that he acknowledged his bias, but questioned his judgment as I read the conclusion:

I’ve said it before – months and months ago. I should say it again tonight. This is a remarkable man at a vital moment. America would be crazy to throw this opportunity away. America must not throw this opportunity away.

Obama is clearly an incredibly intelligent and charismatic man. He wrote a very moving memoir.

But, what makes him so deserving of the googly-eyed accolades of such supporters as Sullivan?

  • What has he accomplished besides deliver some really powerful speeches? Has he, in his twelve years in public office, enacted any major reforms, been the driving force behind any bipartisan legislation?
  • What has he done to effect this new kind of politics he describes so readily?
  • What does “postpartisanship” mean?
  • What new ideas has he put forward? Even those praising the speech saw its policy prescriptions as standard liberal fare.

Without being able to identify Obama’s accomplishments or show how the Democratic nominee’s ideas represent a break from the past, we’re left with a gaggle of gushing supporters enthralled with a politician because of the power of his personality and the eloquence of his expression.

Sullivan: Experience Only Matters for Republican Women

While I would not go as far as ILoveCapitalism does in labeling Andrew Sullivan in a comment to my most recent post, I do wonder as does he at the lengths to which this one-time thoughtful pundit goes to defend Barack Obama and trash his candidate’s adversaries.

ILC’s not the only one to point out the “twists and turns” Andrew takes to defend his man.

A reader writes in to Jonah Goldberg at the Corner:

Sullivan’s blog this weekend has been entertaining, to say the least. In one weekend, he has completed reversed his arguments on experience needed to be President, a candidate’s personal life as an appropriate subject in an election and just about any reason he had to vote for Obama in his analyses of the Palin pick. I’ve watched him twist his arguments to further his causes before, but this has been nothing short of breathtaking.

Read the whole thing.  Whoever it was who wrote into Jonah has pretty much articulated my thoughts on the decline of a blogger whose web-site was the first I checked when I first discovered the blogosphere.

Best Speech Ever by an American Woman Politician

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 4:27 am - August 31, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics

So says Democrat and Obama supporter Camille Paglia of Sarah Palin’s debut on the national stage:

We may be seeing the first woman president. As a Democrat, I am reeling. . . . That was the best political speech I have ever seen delivered by an American woman politician. Palin is as tough as nails.

I took particular note of those words because I had set aside Paglia’s Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson, a book I am reading for my dissertation, in order to prepare for my trip to the GOP Convention in St. Paul.

And while I’ve read some criticism of the Palin pick this evening, notably Amy Alkon’s hard-hitting, “Palin by Comparison,” the more I read, the more I realize that she hasn’t been called Sarah Barracuda for nothing.

Blogger Peg Kaplan at What If? links Harry Stein’s must-read post on the pick. Like Paglia, he was impressed with Palin’s speech on Friday in Dayton:

the moment she strode on stage, accompanied by her fisherman/oil worker husband and a gaggle of kids with strange names, it was apparent that she was different. No deer in the headlights, this was obviously a confident woman.