For as long as I’ve been blogging, longer even, for as long as I’ve been open about being a gay Republican, I’ve had left-wingers lecture me on how the GOP is controlled by religious zealots eager to do away with our freedom and create what some might call a “Christianist” state. When I tell such folk that I’ve been involved not just in the GOP as an openly gay man, but have also participated in various conservative organizations, they seem little interested in my experiences, as if they just didn’t happen or are aberrations.
More often than not, these self-assured individuals so convinced about the real nature of the Republican Party and American conservatism have never met more than a handful of Republicans nor even attended a meeting of a Republican committee or auxiliary. Such individuals are thus not qualified to talk about the GOP, much less address whether or not there is a place for gay people in the party.
With a prejudiced view of the GOP just like that of those individuals, Andrew Sullivan demonstrated his competence to serve on the Cato Institute panel addressing that very topic. According to my friend Rick Sincere who attended the panel, the Obama-enamored blogger lambastedd the GOP:
Sullivan went on to criticize the Republican party for accelerating its “campaign of fear” against gay people and said the GOP “is no longer a political party; it is a religious party [whose members] owe absolute obedience to the President.” The Republican Party’s “soul has been corrupted,” Sullivan said solemnly.
Maybe he needs to say this to secure his place on the left, but this description has little resemblance to the party with which I’m familiar and in which I’ve participated (not to mention countless other openly gay men and lesbians). Someone should have asked him where he derived his information. Had he walked precincts with Republican volunteers, participated in GOP committee meetings, spoken to gatherings of Republican clubs? Or had he read about it on left-wing blogs?
Andrew Sullivan was talking about a Republican Party which exists entirely in his imagination.
And while Andrew talked the conservative talk, opposing hate crimes laws, calling himself a Thatcherite, he refused to address his support for Obama’s program. When moderator David Boaz asked him:
“Can you be either a conservative or a classical liberal and still support President Obama’s vast expansion of government?”
Miffed, Sullivan said “I refuse to answer that question as irrelevant to this topic… It’s preposterous.”
Actually, Andrew, it’s more preposterous that you mouth off about a GOP with which you have little familiarity. If Andrew were true to the conservative principles to which he paid lip service, he would been leading the charge against Obama’s vast expansion of government and cheering, rather than denigrating, the Tea Party protests.
Anyway, Rick offers good coverage of the event, and I highly recommend his post, so just read the whole thing.