Although I read every comment posted on OMG Blog, I don’t respond to them all that often– and I almost never respond to them on the main page. Furthermore, this isn’t really a political blog, and although I do sometimes post quasi-political stuff, I try to keep it on the absurdist side. But lately we’ve gotten a lot of comments like the following one– from commenter Rick on the post about Ken Mehlman coming out of the closet— and I disagree so strongly that I’m going to break my usual rules to elucidate. Rick writes:
I think this is a non-story. Gay people are allowed to be conservative. Maybe he believes in limited government strong military might low taxes maybe he is against abortion. That doesn’t mean he personally believes or wanted to stop gay marriage. Also, he was a manager for a campaign, a great job, maybe he was just doing it for the cash. Ultimately I’m tired of people dehumanizing gay people that don’t COMPLETELY agree with all the issues they believe in. So he was conservative? So what? He’s out and I wish him the best of luck. Just to let you know, I voted for obama and consider myself very liberal.
Well guess what? Bush’s 2004 presidential campaign– which Auntie Ken ran— capitalized on pure homophobia to bring voters to the polls. This was a deliberate strategy for winning, and the result was that anti-gay laws passed in 11 states. Mehlman is directly responsible for this.
I’m sure that, like Rick says, Mehlman was motivated more by careerism and perhaps more old-skool (read: pre-Reagan) conservative beliefs than by personal homophobia. In other words, Rick’s probably right that he was “doing it for the cash.” This is the opposite of a good excuse. Mehlman still sold his own people down the river out of pure greed. Anyone who has ever seen a children’s cartoon knows that many of the most evil people on earth are doing it for the cash.
Of course gay people have all different kinds of political beliefs. Believe it or not, I have certain beliefs that could be classified as conservative. But in 2010, the Republican party’s goals are so intertwined with pandering to their homophobic base that there’s absolutely no excuse for any gay person or even gay ally to be a Republican, and this situation is a perfect illustration of that. A Republican may claim to not personally support homophobia, but by casting their votes, money and efforts with the homophobes, they’re actively hurting the gay movement whether that’s their explicit intention or not.
And before anyone starts complaining that Obama doesn’t support gay marriage and Clinton implemented Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, etc, etc etc: well duh. It’s obvious that the Democratic Party hasn’t done much to support gay equality either. However, many individual Democrats have actively fought for justice (especially on a local level, which is important!). I would be hard pressed to think of more than a few Republicans who have done the same. Furthermore, as a party, Democrats may not be taking the stand for gay equality that we’d like them to, but at least they aren’t actively using gays as a punching bag. They may not be perfect but they happen to be the best choice.
If you want to be an idealist, join the Green Party or whatever wacky thing kids are doing these days. If you truly believe in lower taxes and small government, be a f*cking libertarian, I guess. (The Republicans haven’t stood for small government in about 30 years anyway.) But there’s absolutely no excuse for voting for or supporting Republicans. And there’s really no excuse for running the f*cking 2004 Bush campaign.
Auntie Ken is a disgrace. I’m sick of everyone whining that gays can believe whatever they want. When it comes to politics, beliefs– and in Ken Mehlman’s case, actions– have consequences.