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In Mehlman Matter, Gay Left Blogger Prefers Principle to Revenge

Twice 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 and “dignity despite disagreeing . . .  on matters political.

Due to my busy schedule these past few days, I haven’t been able to check the blogs as much as I would like so am grateful for readers like Eva Young of Lloydletta’s Nooz who alerted me to one leftie who has been relatively kind to Mehlman.  To be sure, John Aravosis, while refraining from attacking Mehlman personally (as have some of his left-of-center blogging colleagues), does spew a good deal of vitriol against the GOP (and engage in a bit of overheated rhetoric), he welcomes Mehlman’s coming out, saying he’s “more interested in equality than revenge.

Now, you all know I have trouble with that term; I’m concerned more with preserving the blessings of liberty and, as many libertarian and conservative philosophers and pundits, recognize the tension between that American ideal and the notion of equality.

That said, John sees Mehlman as a potential ally in pursuing his goals and challenges his critics, “If someone can explain to me how it advances our civil rights to spurn Mehlamn’s offer of help, I’m all ears.”

I simply want my civil rights more than I want revenge. It’s the way good politics works, I think – and it’s the way politics used to work in this country – putting the potential to move forward today ahead of your legitimate anger about yesterday.

Now, I may quibble with John about our supposed lack of civil rights.  But, he is willing to put his principles over personality.  And in my book, that should count for something. (more…)

Hollywood: Where Hard Work Doesn’t Always Yield Reward

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:31 pm - August 26, 2010.
Filed under: LA Stories,Movies/Film & TV

Yesterday, Glenn Reynolds linked Prateik Dalmia’s excellent piece at the Daily Caller on Why Hollywood Loves Democrats, quoting this insightful observation:

Hollywood stars hence feel that there is something arbitrary about their success — that their personal merit does not warrant their revered status. While they may be pleased at this outcome, they can’t help but feel that the system is unjust because their status is undeserved.

First, read the whole thing.  I may offer further thoughts later, but do agree that the success of some in Hollywood does sometimes seem quite arbitrary.  Given the amount of competition in this business, a lot of people, many quite talented, work really hard without getting any recognition — while others find success just through their contacts, being in the right place at the right time or having exactly what “they” (i.e,. the powers that be) want when they want it — and knowing how to sell it.

But, for so many in this town, it often seems that earnest effort does yield any real reward.  Hard work isn’t recognized here as readily as it is in the rest of the country.  This is not to say that some very successful people here don’t work very hard.  Many of them do.  Indeed, I would dare say, most do.  It’s just that they see others working just as hard and not getting the same recognition  — or earning the same salaries.

A number of my actor and actress friends spend thousands of dollars and devote hundreds of hours to getting head shots, perfecting their resumes, sending them out — and following up on their efforts and find that, in return, they only get a handful of auditions — with no paying parts.

Had they applied the same effort in in any other industry (well, perhaps not in this economy), they would likely have job offers out the wazoo.

NB:  Wrote the original draft of this in a Jiffy Lube while waiting to get an oil change.  Thanks to the due diligence of my readers, I caught at least one glaring typo, then proofread even more and caught even more.  My apologies.

Meg Moves Into Lead in CA Governor’s Race

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:12 pm - August 26, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,California politics

Doesn’t seem that all the ads that the (mostly) union backed California Working Families has pumped into trashing Meg Whitman (as opposed to promoting their guy) have had much effect:

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in California finds Whitman earning 48% support, while Democrat Jerry Brown picks up 40% of the vote. Six percent (6%) prefer some other candidate in the race, and six percent (6%) are undecided.

These new numbers move California from a Toss-Up to Leans GOP in the Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 Gubernatorial Scorecard.

Their last poll showed the former governor up 43% to 41%.  “When leaners are included in the new totals, Whitman posts a 51% to 43% lead over Brown.”

Looks like there’s hope for a real change in the (once and future) Golden State.

Easier to be gay in a conservative environment than to be conservative in a gay environment

In his post on Ken Mehlman’s coming out, Don Surber, while mistakenly calling me the GayPatriot (that title belongs to my co-blogger Bruce) cites some of the bile on the left and wonders at one of the smears, “If you smear a homosexual as homophobic, does that make you homophobic?

Yeah, the rhetoric from the left has been pretty heated.  They’ve even labeled us and other gay conservatives “quislings”!  What is it with these folks and their Nazi analogies?

Contrasting the left-wing vitriol with the more measured response from the right reminds us yet again of what we, as gay conservatives, have long experienced and what our reader Megan so perfectly articulated in a recent comment:

Just a personal observation from a heterosexual, middle-aged woman. I once worked at a restaurant with a number of conservative, gay customers. They told me that it was far more comfortable to be gay in a conservative environment than it was to be conservative in a gay environment.

Emphasis added.  I’ve experienced that at least since I’ve come out — and particularly since I’ve started blogging.  And my e-mail and our comments indicate that our readers have as well.

Will Ken Mehlman’s coming out lead to a more civil conversation on gay marriage?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:33 pm - August 26, 2010.
Filed under: Civil Discourse,Gay Marriage

That’s what Peter Wehner thinks:

I think, that all sides in the same-sex marriage debate need to strive for greater respect and civility, for grounding this discussion in reason and empirical facts, in what advances self-government and the common good. And regardless of whether or not one agrees with Ken’s position, he will add to, rather than subtract from, the substance of the discussion. That is more than can be said for the haters.

Unless he does a full David Brock, Ken Mehlman won’t escape the wrath of the angry gay left

My hope (and prayer) right now for Ken Mehlman is that he can count on his friends and family for the next few days until the hullabaloo about his coming out has passed. It’s never easy to have your private life become public information.

To be sure, as a public face for the Bush Administration and the GOP, he’s used by now to the bile of the left, so he should be prepared to face their taunts and attacks.  But, I wonder if he’s thinking, “If I could just show them I’m not the demon they believe me to be, maybe then, by golly, they’ll like me, they’ll really like me.”

No, Ken, no, they won’t.  We’ve all thought that.  Or at least most of us on the gay right have.  We’ve all wondered what we could do to end the animosity coming at us from certain segments of the left.  To be sure, some (many, perhaps) gay liberals will surprise you and will treat you with decency and dignity despite disagreeing with you on matters political.

All that said, unless you do a full David Brock, you won’t end the bile coming from the gay left.  And to do the full Brock, you not only have to toe the line on gay issues, but also publicly, prolifically and regularly repudiate the right.

Remember, most straight conservatives won’t treat you any differently once you’ve come out as gay.  We don’t expect ideological rigidity from our allies nor demand social conformity from our friends.

Meanwhile, many gays on the left of the political spectrum are showing no sympathy for Mehlman’s journey and tossing out terms that one reserves for one’s bitterest enemies — and tosses out when throwing a temper tantrum.  They’re not interested in Ken as a person; they just need someone on whom to project their own animosities. (more…)

“Proper Places” or “Maybe I’ll Stay In, Thanks”

Posted by Sarjex at 11:57 am - August 26, 2010.
Filed under: cartoons

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W: “Incredibly Supportive” when learning Mehlman was gay

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:26 am - August 26, 2010.
Filed under: Gay America,Gay Politics

Seems that I was right when I wrote that many of Ken Mehlman’s “former White House and GOP colleagues have been contacting him privately to offer their support.”  Well, we don’t quite yet have evidence that many have done this, we do know that at least the most important member of the Administration has.  From Mehlman’s interview with Politico:

Q. Have you talked to President Bush about this?

A. Yes, I talked to him and he was incredibly supportive.

Q. Was it this year?

A. Yes.

Q. How widely known was this before?

A. It was not known by anybody. It was known by me. That’s it.

George W. Bush? Supportive?? But, I was told he was a demon who hated gay people!

(FYI, this is not the “next post” I mentioned in my preceding post.  I was working on that one when I discovered this interview.)

In coming out, Ken Mehlman will find more support on the right than on the left

From various sources, I have learned that the reaction on most gay left blogs to the revelation of Ken Mehlman’s coming out has been as vitriolic as we could have anticipated.  I really have no interest in addressing their comments directly because it’s not worth my time to engage those who, to paraphrase Albert Camus, cannot be persuaded.

They simply believe that when working for W and helming the RNC, Mehlman was not just closeted, but also fully aware of the meaning of his feelings for men.  It’s easier for them and fits their narrative, that gay conservatives are all self-loathing.  They would rather attack the demon of their imagination than understand the individual who stands before them.

They fail to appreciate that gay conservatives are just like many of them — and often have had to struggle to come to terms with their emotional and sexual attraction to individuals of their own sex.  For some of us, it takes longer than others.  For Ken Mehlman, it apparently took 43 years.

Mehlman says he wasn’t aware of  (perhaps, it might be more accurate to say, hadn’t fully dealt with) his sexuality when he worked for the 2004 Bush campaign and chaired the RNC:

Mehlman acknowledges that if he had publicly declared his sexuality sooner, he might have played a role in keeping the party from pushing an anti-gay agenda.

“It’s a legitimate question and one I understand,” Mehlman said. “I can’t change the fact that I wasn’t in this place personally when I was in politics, and I genuinely regret that. It was very hard, personally.” He asks of those who doubt his sincerity: “If they can’t offer support, at least offer understanding.”

I believe him.  I remember what it’s like “not to be in that place personally.”  Don’t they?  Why do they refuse to take him at his word?  It must be that (R) after his name.  Or his association with the nefarious Bush regime and its chief henchman, Boba Rove. (more…)

Ken Mehlman & the Politicization of Gay Identity

In his piece on Ken Mehlman’s coming out, R.S. McCain points out the obvious, well, that is, to those who read this blog.

What has changed is that gay-rights activists have turned sexuality into an identity-politics racket, so that any gay person who doesn’t share their agenda is made to feel inauthentic, a traitor to The Cause.

More on this anon, much more.

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:   (more…)

Are MSM reporting Rauf’s Radical Statements?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 7:54 pm - August 25, 2010.
Filed under: Media Bias

Actually, the one post I had planned for the afternoon, I had begun out on the back of an envelope as I was eating my lunch.  I have pretty much stopped following the controversy over the “Ground Zero Mosque.”  It seems every time I read a critique of the opponents of the mosque, the writers are ever eager to repeat their rote assumption that all opponents must be racist.

In the process, the reveal their own prejudices rather than (except in the eyes of their fellow travelers) succeeding in vilifying those who just wish the organizer would build it elsewhere.

So, given all the media cluck-clucking about the opponents’ supposed intolerance, is anyone aware (as per my previous post) of mainstream media reports of Imam Rauf’s radical statements?  They would seem relevant to the current debate, given that he’s heading up the multi-million dollar project.

(I would be doing some googling on this, but the Mehlman story takes precedence right now and I only have limited time to devote to blogging today)

Coulter Foe Farah goes on gay-themed radio shows to fault conservatives for reaching out to gay conservatives

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 7:47 pm - August 25, 2010.
Filed under: Blogging,Ex-Conservatives,GOProud

It would happen on a day I’m going through the most tedious part of dissertation writing — doing the final edits (including drafting the “Works Cited” page) of a chapter — while having to do a pile of laundry, that all this news breaks relevant to our blog.

First, the loopy editor of World Net Daily goes on a gay-themed radio shows to “blast Ann Coulter for speaking to gay conservatives“:

Farah appeared on two radio shows that are hosted by gay talk show personalities this week to blast Ann Coulter for headlining an upcoming party sponsored by GOProud, an organization that represents gay conservatives. Farah dropped Coulter from a speaking engagement at WND’s annual conference in September because of her involvement with GOProud. Coulter retorted last week by calling Farah a “swine” and a “publicity whore.”

In response, Farah appeared on The Steve Yuhas Show Sunday and then gave an interview to host Michelangelo Signorile on Sirius’ gay themed channel, “OutQ” the next day. Farah told Signorile that he was fed up with the conservative movement, and criticized conservatives for embracing members of the gay community who share beliefs on issues like taxes, health care and the role of government.

That’s a doozy, talking to gay talk show hosts to chastise Coulter for talking to gay conservatives — while faulting the conservative movement for reaching out to their gay confrères.

The supposed right-wing publisher told the left-wing talk show host that since conservatism is always losing ground, “That’s why I don’t consider myself a conservative.”

And this also got me wondering:  Signorile has this loony-tune right-winger on his show, but does he ever invite gay conservatives on?  I mean, don’t you think he’d want to get the gay conservative perspective on this issue instead of trotting out a right-winger who’s a little extreme for most mainstream conservatives?

Does Opposing These Candidates Make You a Racist?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:41 pm - August 25, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections

Ryan Frazier – Colorado, US House

Marco Rubio – Florida, US Senate

Allen West – Florida, US House

Brian Sandoval – Nevada, Governor

Susana Martinez – New Mexico. Governor

Lou Huddleston – North Carolina, US House

Jon Barela – New Mexico, US House

Niki Haley – South Carolina, Governor

Tim Scott – South Carolina, U.S. House

Jaime Herrera – Washington, US House

So, what do all these folks have in common, well, they’re Republicans.  And they all suffer from an absence of pallor.

(H/t:  Reader V the K)

Lead Senate sponsor of Obamacare says he didn’t read bill, calling it a waste of time

Somehow I think this would be getting more news if Max Baucus were a Republican.  During “a constituents meeting in the small Montana town of Libby, as reported by the Flathead Beacon, a local newspaper”, U.S. Sen. Max Baucus was asked by a constituent, Judy Matott if he had “read the health care bill before it was passed and if not, that is the most despicable, irresponsible thing.

“I don’t think you want me to waste my time to read every page of the health care bill. You know why? It’s statutory language,” Baucus said. “We hire experts.”

We hire experts?!?!? Experts to read the legislation that you vote on?  I thought in this nation we elected legislators to craft, draft, consider and enact legislation.

Here we’ve got a citizen of a small-town showing a better sense of an elected official’s responsibility than a 30-year veteran of the United States Senate.

Kind of gets at the real divide emerging in America.  And the arrogance of those who want to enact laws and otherwise effect policies impacting the Judy Matotts of this world.

FROM THE COMMENTS:  Sonicfrog tells us that he posted on this first — and indeed he did, offering, “I for one would love to see who the ‘experts’ were that crafted this bill. Can we see that please? You know, transparency and all that?”  He’s got a point.  I mean, since they drafted the laws which will soon govern the health care system for all Americans, shouldn’t they come forward to townhall meetings like that Mr. Baucus held, take questions from citizens (who have to live under their decrees) and put themselves up for election at regular intervals?

‘Changing in Arizona” or “Costumes”

Posted by Sarjex at 11:50 am - August 25, 2010.
Filed under: cartoons

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Obamacare: Dems’ Fatal Conceit?

In the aftermath of the passage of Obamacare, the polls have not shifted in favor of the big-government program as the bill’s supporters promised they would.  We have learned how the legislation will increase the cost of individual premiums, add to the paperwork burden of small business, cause over half of employers relinquish their health care plans, force employers to cut jobs, create longer waits in emergency roomshurt the earnings of corporations and just plain increase health care costs.

No wonder Democrats aren’t running on what they billed as their signature achievement of the current Congress.  I mean, you’d think that if the “reform” they’ve been itching for for generations was such a boon for the American people, they’d make it rather than those evil, horrible, no good, very bad Republicans the theme of their fall campaigns.

As Byron York observes:

Say you’re a Democratic member of Congress. You proudly cast your vote for Obamacare, you cheered when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hailed it as the achievement of a generation and you scoffed at Republicans who vowed to repeal it. Now you’re running for re-election, and a voter asks: What is the most important thing you’ve done in the last two years?

The answer should be easy. In passing the national health care bill, you accomplished something your party dreamed of for decades. It was your most important vote, and now is the time to take credit for it.

Except it’s not.

No wonder, York adds, the incumbent “party is in retreat. The public’s disapproval of Obamacare hasn’t changed in the last five months” and many Democrats “admit hat Obamacare won’t cut costs or reduce deficits, they open themselves up to a more serious charge: they spent a year working on something that will actually cost jobs and make things worse.

Well, it looked good on paper.  And in the dreams of those who see government intervention as the answer to every problem.

In uncontested race, Marco Rubio wins more votes than both Democratic candidates combined

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 11:46 pm - August 24, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,Marco Rubio

. . . and those Democrats had a fiercely contested primary, with one man dumping millions in the race while his opponent earned the endorsement of the incumbent Democratic President and a campaign visit from the immediate past Democratic president.

With 1,053,447 votes against two nuisance candidates, Marco Rubio bested the combined vote total of Kendrick Meek (513,648) and Jeff Greene (280,326) or 793,974. And even if we add in the Democratic nuisance candidates for a total of 897,015 and exclude the Republican, Rubio still wins.

In a two-candidate race, Rubio wins with 54%.

(H/t for the idea:  Jim Geraghty.)

Charlie Crist could not be reached for comment, but we could expect him to take the 192,539 votes won by the Republican nuisance candidate and how many of defeated Democrat Jeff Greene?

Do CNN Reporters Check the Facts or Just Report their Suspicions?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 11:27 pm - August 24, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,Media Bias

Perhaps the most amusing thing about watching CNN while doing cardio is that I can show just how better informed I am than their supposedly even-handed reporters. I’m sweating on the stairmaster while they’re ensconced in studios with paid staff to help them complete their research. And still I have more facts at my disposal than they do.

Bemoaning the fate of her new favorite, right-wing laughingstock J.D. Hayworth, Jessica Yellin said that had this race been held six months earlier, the results would have been different. Would they have?

I recalled that there was a time when the race seemed close between the four-term Senator and the former Congressman, but that there never had been a time when Hayworth had been in the lead, I returned home to find this chart by typing one website (pollster.com) and two “mouse” clicks:

(Pollster.com.)

Of course this chart undermines Miss Yellin’s spin that J.D. Hayworth would have won had John McCain not dumped millions into the race.  To be sure, his money may have prevented Hayworth from securing a more sizable share of the anti-McCain vote and certainly prevented conservatives from rallying ’round him.

UPDATE:  Jim Geraghty reports that CNN has called the race for John McCain.

The second end of J.D. Hayworth’s political career

In a few short hours, Arizona Republican voters will do voters in Arizona’s Fifth Congressional District did four years ago, end the career of one of the biggest buffoons in American politics:  J.D. Hayworth.  This man comes straight from liberal central casting of what a conservative is like.  He may have the right (in our opinion) views on certain issues, but he expresses them in ways which invite ridicule.

And he just looks stupid, like the football player who took a few too many hits which impaired his cognitive abilities.

He’s like Foghorn Leghorn, but without the cunning.

That said, the folks at CNN were bending over backwards to portray in a favorable light the man who is attempting to deprive John McCain of the Republican nomination for the Arizona Senate seat.  Ol’ Jessica Yellin lamented how the Republican incumbent had described the former Congressman as a “huckster”, hinting a nasty campaign by the 2008 GOP standard bearer.  She didn’t mention how the once and future talk show host recorded infomercials where he advised people how they could get “free money” from the government.

Nor did she note how he was a champion of pork-barrel politics.  Now, I know there are many reasons for conservatives to be upset with John McCain, but, in this of all years, to have a former politician with a record to the four-term incumbent’s left on spending issues try to run as the conservative choice is really rich.  I mean, on earmarks at least, McCain has held true to conservative principles, in both rhetoric — and practice.

Well, Hayworth did get the Republican incumbent to spend $20 million to hold the seat.  Interesting.  No wonder Yellin was flacking for the right-wing buffoon.  That’s $20 million that could have helped Republicans defeat entrenched Democratic incumbents.

NB:  Tweaked the post to correct a typo and improve the flow.