Over at GayConservative.org, Mark has a post on the declining fortunes of the Log Cabin Republicans. Interesting he doesn’t mention the last head of the organization, Patrick Sammon, who might have been able to save the group had his predecessor, Patrick Guerriero, not so depleted its coffer and destroyed its credibility among rank-and-file Republicans. Or maybe Guerriero had just done the honorable thing and stepped down immediately after, his best efforts notwithstanding, George W. Bush won reelection in 2004.
Mark contends that, “Guerriero is single-handedly responsible for igniting the fire currently burning down the log cabin.” Now, I don’t entirely agree, but agree he’s onto something. The rot had already begun to set in before Guerriero took over. He just made it worse. He bent over backwards to repair the damaged relations between Log Cabin and the various gay organizations.
He didn’t understand the difference between being civil with (and keeping open lines of communication to) those groups and carrying water for them. During the 2004 election, first the Democratic vice presidential nominee, then the presidential nominee himself gave Log Cabin leaders a chance to show that their non-endorsement of Bush really was a statement of neutrality in the presidential race.
When each candidate successively brought up the sexuality of then-Vice President’s daughter, instead of just chastising John Kerry and John Edwards, Guerriero’s Log Cabin devoted more space in their press release on the topic to trashing George W. Bush and Karl Rove. It’s as if they saw their mission as attacking their fellow Republicans. Why did they feel it incumbent upon themselves to trash their party in a release on the errors of the other party’s nominee?
It seems they were more eager to get media attention than to change the party. For we all know how the media loves stories about Republican division.
Mark, however, contends that a gay GOP should work from within:
The fact is, when you claim to be a Republican organization, you should be supporting Republicans – especially when you are the only Republican organization representing gays. Even when Republican gays and Republican candidates don’t see eye to eye on LGBT issues, it is far better to work for change from within the party, than by attacking the party.
There’s more to Mark’s piece and I recommend you just read the whole thing. It may well still be possible to save Log Cabin. But, they’re going to need a new leader who, like Sammon, reaches out to past (and present) critics of the organization and is committed not just to getting headlines, but also to building the GOP and electing Republican candidates to office.