The reason Log Cabin had such a problem establishing its credibility within Republican circles was that too often it gained media exposure by attacking fellow Republicans and dwelling on gay issues. For all too many years national office did not regularly take stands on the small-government agenda pushed by Reaganites or the ideas of judicial restraint long championed by Republicans.
They didn’t come around to endorsing the Contract with America until long after Congress voted on its provisions nor did Log Cabin leaders remind voters of the Republican focus on fiscal issues in 1994 and national security matters a decade later. No wonder some on the right remain skeptical of a gay conservative group, even a new one like GOProud without the baggage of Log Cabin.
One of our readers, my occasional sparring partner and friendly correspondent Lloydletta alerted me to Erick Erickson’s piece on GOProud’s participation in C-PAC. While that conservative blogger finds it “well and fine” that many on the right are willing to give this fledgling group “a seat at the table”, he remains skeptical of their goals, noting particularly their opposition to a federal amendment defining marriage, their support of DADT repeal and of legislation giving “health benefits to gay couples.”
Perhaps, Erickson has also expressed skepticism about former Vice President Cheney’s commitment to conservatism, given that he holds near identical positions to those of GOProud, particularly on same-sex marriage where he (like this new group) favors a state-by-state approach.
Finally, Erickson notes the group’s silence on a number of key conservative issues:
While they have spoken up forcefully in favor of a liberal social agenda and against traditional values, they say they are serious fiscal and national security conservatives (not just Republican, but deeply conservative on these issues) — and nevermind that the word “libertarian” might just be more apt.
Lets look at issues where GOP and conservatives have taken different approaches on fiscal and national security issues. Did GOProud weigh in on the side of conservatives?
START Renewal: silent.
Erickson seems particularly selective here, finding three issues where GOProud is silent, but does not acknowledge where they have spoken out. GOProud has expressed agreement with conservatives at least 80% of the time, having issuing a press release opposing federal funding of abortions, and including spending and judicial restraint as well as Social Security reform in its legislative agenda.
I would encourage my friends at GOProud to come out in favor of the ban on earmarks (backed by House and Senate Republicans) and againt the pro-union policies of the Obama Administration. (They can check our archives to see how we tackled these issues.)
And should they show, as I trust they will, that they support the the ban on earmarks and oppose the administration’s pro-union policies, let’s hope Erickson acknowledges the group’s commitment to conservative principles. Given Log Cabin’s record, I understand Erickson’s skepticism, but GOProud is a new group and has come out publicly on a number of key conservative issues and not just the ones I identified above. They also, for example, have stood up for our Second Amendment rights, a key plank in the conservative platform.
Some conservatives have taken notice.