It is, in large measure, because of George W. Bush that I started blogging. While I had been so incensed by his decision to back the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) in February 2004 that I wrote in Rudy Giuliani in the California primary and had, in March of that year, considered voting Libertarian in the fall election, I came around while following John Kerry’s campaign.
That Democrat seemed more interested in playing to Democratic critics of W and posturing for the media than in addressing the real security threats to our nation.
And while Bush had an imperfect record on domestic issues and intervened in an issue — amending the federal constitution — from which that charter excludes the executive, he did demonstrate a clear recognition of the need to take an aggressive stance against the enemies of the United States. By the summer of 2004, I was back to supporting his reelection.
It would seem that most gay Republicans would understand that, while disappointed with his stance on the FMA, the nation faced more pressing challenges. And John Kerry was clearly not up to those challenges. With so much at stake, Log Cabin could at least have been more diplomatic in the manner of its non-endorsement. But, they did it in a manner clearly designed to hurt George W. Bush and, with recent revelations about their funding made manifest in recent months confirming suspicion we then had, in a manner intended to help John Kerry. Not a very responsible thing for a Republican organization to do in time of war.
Thus, when I read Bruce’s post telling Log Cabin to stick it, I eagerly e-mailed him thanking him for speaking up — and later accepted his invitation to join this then-fledgling blog.
I say all this as prelude to a passage which particularly struck me in the former president’s memoir. When he asked Dick Cheney to serve as his running mate, that great and good man told the then-governor of Texas that his daughter was gay. “I could tell,” Bush wrote
. . . what he meant by the way he said it. Dick clearly loved his daughter. I felt he was gauging my tolerance. “If you have a problem with this, I’m not your man,” he was essentially saying.
I smiled at him and said, “Dick, take your time. Please talk to Lynne. And I could not care less about Mary’s orientation.
While we all may remain disappointed about the former president’s stand on FMA, we continue to accumulate evidence that popular notions of his supposed bigotry in the gay community notwithstanding, George W. Bush does not hate gay people.
It would be nice if folks in the gay community acknowledged W’s reaction to his running mate’s openness about his daughter’s sexuality — and to that vice president’s sterling record on gay issues.