Back in the 1990s, nearly a full year lapsed between Republican Congressman and candidates signing the Contract with America and Log Cabin endorsing that document promising government reform. The prominence Republicans gave to the Contract returning its focus to real reform and fiscal responsibility. Having gained such prominence from attacking the GOP in 1992, the then-leadership of the ostensibly Republican organization was wary of embracing the GOP, even when it was not focusing on social issues.
How thing have changed. Two days after presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney announced his selection of Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate, the current Executive Director of Log Cabin, wrote in the Daily Caller that
Congressman Paul Ryan is a strong choice for vice president, and his addition to the GOP ticket will help Republican candidates up and down the ballot. As chairman of the House Budget Committee and author of the Republican “Path to Prosperity,” nobody is more qualified to articulate a conservative economic vision to restore the American economy and stimulate job creation.
Unfortunately, Cooper used his opinion piece to make the case for statist legislation, but the fact remains that he has openly embraced the “conservative economic vision” that Ryan has promoted. He even indicated on Facebook that he “liked” Paul Ryan for VP:
Clarke’s willingness to champion Republican politicians like Ryan and real conservative reforms has served to distinguish him from some of his predecessors. And Clarke is not the only right-of-center gay leader to herald Romney’s pick. Shortly after the Republican announced his choice, GOProud’s Executive Director Jimmy LaSalvia called Ryan “a bold and inspired pick“:
Paul Ryan has been the architect of policies that would benefit all Americans, especially gay Americans.
Paul Ryan is one of the few political leaders anywhere in the country willing to tell the American people the truth about the unprecedented budget crisis we are facing, and – more importantly – willing to put forward bold plans to put this country back on the road to fiscal solvency. . . .
Like all Americans, gays and lesbians in this country are concerned with the out-of-control spending and growing mountains of unsustainable federal debt. . . . Gay Americans understand that without reforms – Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will go bankrupt. The future prosperity for all Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation, is at stake if we do not act today.
Given that many gay Americans understand the imperative for the types of reforms Ryan has championed, come November, gay centrists may well join gay conservatives and libertarians in rallying ’round Romney/Ryan.
When Republicans focus on economic issues, they stand a greater chance of appealing to “non-traditional” Republican constituencies, including gay men and lesbians. Kudos to Clarke and Jimmy for quickly and clearly making the case for conservative reforms — and their (fetching) champion.