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BREAKING: Ken Mehlman comes out (bumped)

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 7:55 pm - August 25, 2010.
Filed under: Gay America,Gay Conservatives (Homocons)

More as it develops.

Let’s see, he’s Jewish, he’s a Republican, he’s good-looking in a nerdy kind of way.  So, my only question is, is he single?

UPDATE:  I’ve now begun to review the story surrounding his coming out.  My greatest fear for Mehlman is that he has to go through the often tortuous process of coming out in public.  All too many on the left, the gay left most of all, will give him no quarter.  They’ll lambaste him as a self-hating hypocrite, may even try to follow him around, possibly even accosting him in public.  They will not give him the space to deal with this in private and in his own way.

That said, I bet there will be a handful of voices on the left, asking their ideological confrères to leave him alone, knowing how trying the coming out process can be.  There are decent gay lefties out there and some may let their fellow feeling trump their ideological conviction.  While I hope that they dominate the debate, I doubt that they will.

One reason I oppose “outing” is that I know from experience — and not just my own — that when coming to terms with this part of ourselves, we need to do it in at our pace and in private.

UP-UPDATE:  And as he will be tarred as a self-hater, all too many will ignore what he did try to do when in the Bush Administration and at the RNC:

Privately, in off-the-record conversations with this reporter over the years, Mehlman voiced support for civil unions and told of how, in private discussions with senior Republican officials, he beat back efforts to attack same-sex marriage. He insisted, too, that President Bush “was no homophobe.” He often wondered why gay voters never formed common cause with Republican opponents of Islamic jihad, which he called “the greatest anti-gay force in the world right now.”

He’s spot on there.  In leading the War on Terror, W was taking the fight to the real enemies of gay people, those who threaten the lives of our fellows rather than those who attempt to block the state from granting us certain privileges.

NB:  Apologies for the somewhat stilted language of this post; I wrote in his haste.  I have gone through to clean it up a bit and remove a few extra words while adding in missing ones.  Decided, however, not to change it further — and rewrite sentences that are little clunky and where I could have expressed myself a bit better.

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63 Comments

  1. Thanks SonicFrog, for the reply and the insight. I can certainly respect your reasons, even if I don’t share them. I’ll try to post when I find something interesting to say on an issue! Thanks!

    Comment by Mike — August 26, 2010 @ 11:08 pm - August 26, 2010

  2. […] in blogging about Ken Mehlman’s coming out, I wrote that there would be some “decent gay lefties” who would not go for this good man’s jugular, treating him instead him with decency […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot — August 27, 2010 @ 3:38 am - August 27, 2010

  3. […] Daniel Blatt at GayPatriot is more worried about the personal toll of a public coming out. My greatest fear for Mehlman is that he has to go through the often […]

    Pingback by A Republican Comes Out of the Closet - NYTimes.com — August 27, 2010 @ 8:27 pm - August 27, 2010

  4. Um, wait — “some [gay people] may let their fellow feeling trump their ideological conviction” and give Mehlman a break? Like you can use “fellow feeling” and Ken Mehlman in the same paragraph? Where was his “fellow-feeling” when he was throwing his fellow-feeling GLBTs under the bus, for pay? Seriously, you ought to think these things through before you write them. Luckily this is just a blog, blissfully unconcerned with formalities like a professional editor.

    Comment by Jay Spears — August 28, 2010 @ 2:11 am - August 28, 2010

  5. You paint with such a large brush, you’re using the same tactic that liberals use to try and smear the Tea Party when some idiot holds up a stupid sign, or one man, say Alan Keyes, is used to stain the rest of the Tea Party folks.

    Little reminder of what I posted, Sonic. 🙂

    Now blabber and spin your way out of that one. Your whole existence depends on unequal enforcement and double standards.

    In short, I turned his own worldview and ideology against him.

    Meanwhile, I am for getting rid of bad teachers. But in this case, I can’t help but thinking……why, if he truly was that bad, did it take so long to get rid of him?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 28, 2010 @ 4:53 pm - August 28, 2010

  6. Where was his “fellow-feeling” when he was throwing his fellow-feeling GLBTs under the bus, for pay?

    By what? Supporting the FMA, supporting state constitutional amendments, supporting workplace discrimination?

    Seriously. Mehlman’s only mistake was clearly in being a Republican. Had he been an Obama Party member, you wouldn’t have said word boo.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 28, 2010 @ 4:55 pm - August 28, 2010

  7. End hyperlink

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 28, 2010 @ 4:56 pm - August 28, 2010

  8. I wrote a longer response but then decided that you should keep up being yourself. At first I felt a little sorry for you and Mr. Mehlman but then I thought “these are smart adults who make their own decisions”… Good luck on your journey – I only feel sorry for the guy who would actually date you and deal with your “self-loathing”.

    Cheers!!!!

    Comment by j kane — August 29, 2010 @ 1:19 am - August 29, 2010

  9. j kane, please tell me just exactly how you determined I was self-loathing and provide as evidence not what people on the left say about gay conservatives but what I have said here on this blog (or with other evidence you have about my life).

    Thanks!

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — August 29, 2010 @ 1:26 am - August 29, 2010

  10. You make a lot of noxious assumptions about “gays on the left” that show how difficult it is for you to remove yourself from your own political stereotypes, with which you perpetuate negative self-reinforcing opinions of what you’re a step away from calling “The Homosexual Agenda”.

    Most gay people, as I’m sure you know, find themselves politically on the Left not out of some mysterious “agenda” on the left, but because the right has shamelessly exploited homosexuality as a wedge issue. That’s not even up for debate. It’s an acknowledged fact on both sides of the political spectrum. It’s something Mehlman himself acknowledges.

    So comments like “All too many on the left… [will] lambaste him as a self-hating hypocrite, may even try to follow him around, possibly even accosting him in public. They will not give him the space to deal with this in private and in his own way.” not only sound distorted and histrionic, but they perpetuate the same tired narrative of those on the political right who admittedly use scapegoating as a political strategy and then cry “victim!” when the worm turns.

    Most gay people want equal rights under the law and to get on with their lives, period. The political right is what is keeping us from doing it, and the right is keeping us from it for political gain. You don’t even have to be political to be opposed to that M.O.

    But nobody’s going to follow Mehlman around and disturb the delicate process of his private coming out (complete with chichi coming-out party). Mehlman is not that big a deal to liberals. He’s just another Republisexual. Another anti-gay gay Republican *yawn*.

    And though it’s kid of you to worry about the ease of his coming-out, it won’t get you invited to his party. Because it’s not a pity party. Mehlman is not a victim, and you’re not going to turn him into one. You might take a lesson from him.

    Comment by mmennonno — August 30, 2010 @ 7:54 am - August 30, 2010

  11. mmennonno, trying to figure out the point of your comment. And I don’t see how “the political” right (as you put it) is preventing us from getting on with our lives.

    That said, you refer to Mehlman as “Another anti-gay gay Republican *yawn*.” Please elaborate. Not sure how the guy is anti-gay.

    Thanks.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — August 30, 2010 @ 11:00 am - August 30, 2010

  12. You make a lot of noxious assumptions about “gays on the left” that show how difficult it is for you to remove yourself from your own political stereotypes

    Not really, when you see what passes for acceptable behavior and discourse among “gays on the left”.

    And when you consider how gays on the left endorse and support state and Federal bans on gay-sex marriage, it becomes blatantly obvious that they’re really nothing more than opportunistic hypocrites.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 30, 2010 @ 11:28 pm - August 30, 2010

  13. Gee, how perceptive of Ken Mehlman to suggest that gay Americans join with Republicans opponents of Islamic jihad. What was he trying to say? Did he even know because I’m pretty sure he hadn’t a clue. Unfortunately, his comment’s pretty typical of lots of Americans who work for our government NOT to know much about countries outside the States…much less about about the countries we invade. Oh, now I remember, Ken: y’all got rid of the Arabic linguists in the Army because they were gay. Well, since so few Americans even care to study another language or culture, we can expect more of the same ignorance from persons like you. I suggest a lot more understanding of the complexities of the Muslim world in Iran, Indonesia, Western China, and Northern Africa, and less focusing on the evangelical Islam of the Saudis, will serve as a correction to Mr. Mehlman’s stupid remark. For that matter, less attention to evangelical Christianity would serve the United States well on the home front, too. Maybe we wouldn’t presume so much. Or hate so much.

    Comment by Bryan — September 1, 2010 @ 2:40 am - September 1, 2010

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