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Richard Grenell, gay conservatives & the GOP

in 2004, in the decision that would (indirectly) launch my blogging career, Log Cabin passed up an opportunity that Richard Grenell yesterday seized with relish–the chance to articulate the role for gay conservatives within a party whose entire agenda we do not support.

By failing to endorse George W. Bush (and making a spectacle of their non-endorsement), they failed to show their commitment to the broad principles of the GOP, particularly those relating to national security.  The organization’s leaders could have said although we disagree with President Bush on the Federal Marriage Amendment, we support his leadership in the War on Terror and share Ronald Reagan’s view that “The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally — not a 20 percent traitor.

“Like many voters,” Grenell wrote yesterday in the Wall Street Journal, “I rarely agree with a candidate’s every position. I can support Mr. Romney for president but not agree with all of his stated policies.”  In 2004, Log Cabin could have well served gay conservatives by offering a similarly succinct statement supporting the reelection of George W. Bush.  In so doing, they would have made it a lot easier for skeptical (and non-doctrinaire) social conservatives to help us find welcome within the party’s ranks.

The good news is that the current executive director of Log Cabin, R. Clarke Cooper, (as did his immediate past predecessor) appears to share that view.  His rhetoric (alas!) may from time to time ape that of the gay left, but his commitment does seem to be finding a place for gay Republicans in the GOP.  (He has even used to his Facebook page to praise the man his organization once maligned — George W. Bush.)

It’s nice to see Log Cabin on the same page with Richard Grenell who, despite the Romney campaign’s awkward handling of his appointment, has shown a strong commitment to an imperfect GOP.  And has given greater voice to a notion we have been pushing at GayPatriot at least since Bruce launched the blog — and that I have promoting since I first joined Log Cabin in 1995.

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17 Comments

  1. I heard him on the radio a few weeks ago with Dennis Miller. The way the two of them were able to talk about SSM was as disarming a conversation as I’ve ever heard on the issue. (I say this as someone who is sort of undecided on the issue.) Basically, I get the idea that both Clarke and Dennis respect people who disagree with them on GLBT issues. I feel like I can relate to them. It’s really a great contrast to the strident, angry tone of too many who advocate SSM recognition. If groups like GOProud and LCR and SSM-marriage supporting Republicans were put in charge of advocating SSM instead of the more pugnacious groups and personalities, I think opposition to SSM would dry up much more quickly.

    Comment by Chad — May 24, 2012 @ 2:20 pm - May 24, 2012

  2. And here I thought I was the only one using the 80-20 rule. I’d rather vote for someone I agree with 80 percent of the time than someone else I agree with 20 percent of the time. And you’re right that no one will agree with any candidate all the time. If folks are worried about Mitt Romney not being conservative enough, then help the GOP take over both houses of Congress and things will go a lot better than they do now.

    Comment by Dottie Laird — May 24, 2012 @ 2:22 pm - May 24, 2012

  3. If this was the case, then what was his point of his media blitz this week. To call people “extremist” and “intolerant” (Those are actual quotes) who don’t support gay marriage? To equate the “far right” with the far left?

    Comment by Kyle — May 24, 2012 @ 6:22 pm - May 24, 2012

  4. I represent myself –
    – I don’t need Log Cabin to speak up for me in Republican politics.

    Comment by Geena — May 24, 2012 @ 8:07 pm - May 24, 2012

  5. The organization’s leaders could have said although we disagree with President Bush on the Federal Marriage Amendment, we support his leadership in the War on Terror and share Ronald Reagan’s view that “The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally — not a 20 percent traitor.”

    I think that idea is very similar to “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”. Frequently accurate and a good pragmatic rule of thumb, but not necessarily true.

    It makes the flaw of assuming that all political views a person holds are equal, that a person’s political viewpoint and thus who they should support can be boiled down to a simple equation. But it’s not that easy, a lot of the viewpoints I hold are things that I don’t feel very strongly about or are already conflicted over, and find it easy to compromise on. That’s usually where my 20% is, and why the idea holds true a lot of the time.

    But I get the feeling this idea is one to be trotted out in the unusual situation where the 20% happens to fall on ideas where one feels strongly about an issue, one where a person’s mind has already been made up and compromise is difficult or even impossible. That’s where the idea breaks down. I can find a lot of agreement with a lot of people, but there are certain issues where all of the agreement in the world cannot make up for the fact that I’ve taken a stand on those issues and cannot consider anyone who I differ with to be an ally. Some things are too important.

    This doesn’t mean I can’t work with such people with regard to areas of agreement, but there’s a difference between reaching across the aisle and finding a new ally.

    Comment by Serenity — May 24, 2012 @ 11:34 pm - May 24, 2012

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