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Don't ask whose side Log Cabin Republicans is on

The Log Cabin Republicans deserve a lot of credit for their lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military. The back and forth over a stay of the injunction of its enforcement is the legal equivalent of a Berliner chipping away at the wall. Eventually, don't ask don't tell will crumble, too. But the gay Republican group is playing a twisted game. While it is in court fighting to end don't ask don't tell, they are backing congressional Republicans who voted against ending it legislatively.

Of the 10 incumbent House Republicans endorsed by the Log Cabin Republicans, six of them voted against the amendment that would repeal don't ask don't tell. File that under "hypocrites."

Then, on Monday the organization threw its support behind Mike Fitzpatrick, the Republican in a close race against Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.), the Iraq War vet who masterfully guided the repeal bill to passage. They did this despite Fitzpatrick's opposition to Murphy's bill -- and despite the organization's own extensive efforts to secure passage of Murphy's amendment. And another thing: I always thought Republicans were opposed to judges "legislating" from the bench. Don't ask don't tell is an act of Congress and it will take an act of Congress to get rid of it.

"Given that it is a LCR lawsuit that is chipping away at the statute," I asked Log Cabin spokesperson Melissa Kennedy in an email this morning, "how does the organization square those endorsements? Also, by its actions, is LCR telegraphing that it is better for the courts to dictate military policy than Congress (in concert with the Executive)?" Kennedy finally responded moments ago saying via email.

"Log Cabin Republicans is firmly committed to ending the failed 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy through whatever means necessary," Kennedy wrote. "We are aggressively lobbying Republican members of Congress to secure their support for legislative repeal, while serving in consultation with the Pentagon and the Hamm-Johnson Commission on the implementation of open service."

With regard to Log Cabin's endorsements, Kennedy writes, "While we may not agree on every issue with a candidate we endorse, we have a continued dialogue with these Members in our efforts to secure further Republican support for legislation that benefits gay and lesbian Americans." She went on to write, "As Republicans are poised to retake control of Congress, it is absolutely necessary that gays and lesbians have advocates who will seek out leaders in both parties to make the case for individual liberty." The two-paragraph statement also attacked President Obama for appealing Judge Virginia Phillips's decision that the military policy is unconstitutional.

Over the years I've frustrated many gay men and lesbians for not being confounded by the "concept" of gay Republicans. When one comes out, he or she is not automatically endowed with witty banter, a love of brunch/shopping/Miami, liberal views or membership in the Democratic Party. And that's a good thing. I want gay Republicans talking to Republicans in power about equality and helping to secure their votes on legislation that matters. But what Log Cabin has done in this episode with don't ask don't tell is the height of hypocrisy. If the group wants to know why many gay folks view it with suspicion this is a prime example why.

By Jonathan Capehart  | October 21, 2010; 4:51 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

No one should have to "tell." http://chicagosnob.blogspot.com/2010/10/dont-ask-if-you-dont-want-to-know.html

Posted by: ChicagoSnob | October 21, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

I would like to see political variety among gays and lesbians, but Log Cabin Republicans has a dangerous pattern of one issue support for legislators and candidates that ignores their other unjust words and actions. We should be willing to do anything legal and moral to repeal DADT, anything but lend support to those that would trample the rights and freedoms of others be they immigrants, women, latinos, vets, the disabled, non military gays, prospective adoptive parents, or any of our fellows. Thanks Capehart for this balanced and thoughtful piece. I angst over criticizing LCR but they make it too easy.

Posted by: CulturedAnarchy | October 21, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

"As Republicans are poised to retake control of Congress, it is absolutely necessary that gays and lesbians have advocates who will seek out leaders in both parties to make the case for individual liberty."

I don't get it. How does this statement square with the group's endorsement of Mike Fitzpatrick over Rep.Patrick Murphy, among others? Do they think they have a better chance of repealing DADT in a Republican-majority Congress?

Like Ken Mehlman, these people clearly put their fealty to party over their personal freedoms. What a bunch of hypocrites!

Posted by: sambam | October 21, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

"Don't ask don't tell is an act of Congress and it will take an act of Congress to get rid of it."

Not so, it may be overruled by the judicial branch, if found to be in breach of the U.S. constitution.

Posted by: makh55 | October 22, 2010 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Re: "Like Ken Mehlman, these people clearly put their fealty to party over their personal freedoms. What a bunch of hypocrites!"

Close, but not quite. These LCRs are like Jewish businessmen in 1933 Germany. They want capitalism and on-time trains but don't yet see the self-sabotage in voting for Hitler [and he was voted into power, lest we forget].

Posted by: marcluxjd | October 22, 2010 1:29 AM | Report abuse

The GOP has a big tent, Capehart has a small mind.

Posted by: Jmacaco4 | October 22, 2010 4:21 AM | Report abuse

Jonathan Capehart is correct in accusing LCR of hypocrisy when they support anti-gay candidates. However, he consistently defends Obama's abysmal record on equal rights and Valerie Jarrett's offensive and anachronistic reference to gay people's "lifestly choice". And that, itself, is "the height of hypocrisy".

Posted by: JPJones1 | October 22, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

The big monied interests can buy a big tent but the GOP can't fill it pandering only to white racists and nutcakes...

Posted by: Lincoln74 | October 22, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

The Republican Party IS NOT a "big tent".

Thinking a bit deeper into the situation, it is not the gays that need the Republican Party, but the Republican Party that needs the Gays. LCR's are subsidized by the Republican Party.

The Republican Party infiltrates other groups, and then when the time for voting on Legislation comes around, Republicans will be Republicans,...and when Endorsement time comes around LCRs pick Fitzpatrick over Murphy. Well I say that one must back up their words. There has been some quit-pro-quo going on. If the LCRs are going to VOTE against the interests of Gays, which is the proverbial "proof of the pudding", then they are not on my side.

Posted by: customartist1500 | October 22, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Republicans foresee the turning tide of public opinion, and they do not want to be categorically on the wrong side of history in relation to Gay Rights.

The DADT lawsuit is just a way for the Republicans to be able to look back and say "you see?...Republicans were on the frorefront of the Gay Rights!"

Posted by: customartist1500 | October 22, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Regarding many of the positions of LCR: How do you spell 'useful idiots'?

Posted by: AMviennaVA | October 22, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

So when you belong to an interest group, you have to support only candidates that support that one interest? Maybe as republicans they are sick of the spending. Maybe in the Murphy case, the see him as most in the 8th do- as a liar in terms of calling himself a "blue dog"! Who voted for Nancy Pelosi 97% of the time. Who tells his district he just "had to vote for three trillion in spending because he is a fiscal conservative"! Gays always say their sexuality does not define them, that it's only one part of them...Maybe its you guys who are hypocrites!

Posted by: paswingvoter2010 | October 22, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

paswingvoter2010 @ October 22, 2010 3:45 PM wrote "So when you belong to an interest group, you have to support only candidates that support that one interest?"

No. But when you support individuals who consider your very essence and existence an abomination, I have to wonder about your sanity and of course motivation.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | October 22, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

"...we have a continued dialogue with these Members in our efforts to secure further Republican support for legislation that benefits gay and lesbian Americans."

The above statement is alarming to me because the military's sole purpose is national security. Since when is special interest for individuals more important than national security for Americans? In the military, there should never be any attention to diversity - only soldiers. In the military, there should never be any special interest groups acknowledged by legislation or funding to divert from the mission of national security. The passion to end DADT quickly overlooks this. Either you are for a strong America or not. Sex partners and acts should remain in your private time - like all other ethnic/religious/social affiliation. The right to engage- on your private time - with that social affiliation is the only guarantee in the Constitution. Don't believe me? Just review case of the 1000 Mormons jailed for having multiple wives and almost costing Utah entrance into the United States.

Posted by: dlhcommunity | October 22, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

"efforts to secure further Republican support for legislation that benefits gay and lesbian Americans."

I am alarm regarding the above statement because it showcases a group which proudly announces an agenda to put special interests over NATIONAL SECURITY for America. Only soldiers should be in the military. This is no place for diversity. The Constitution provides the individual the right to engage in any social/religious/ethnic/political affiliation on their private time; but not at the expense of American national security. The Constitution didn't protect a group of Mormons wanting to have multiple wives (1000 men were jailed and almost cost Utah their statehood). The Constitution should not be rewritten or interpreted to support the agenda of a special interest group over national security. Military is for soldiers only.

Posted by: dlhcommunity | October 22, 2010 11:49 PM | Report abuse

This is actually typical of republican constituents..that is...they tend to vote against their own interest. The LCR is no different. LCR needs to decide if they are republicans who happen to be gay or gay people who vote republican.

Posted by: SteelWheel25 | October 23, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Blacks should take a page from their book. If your group votes for the same party every time, and in overwhelming numbers, guess what? You will have no influence or say in any matter. No one writing legislation will care what you think.

As for the gays, they probably think that few of them feel a strong urge to engage the enemy in Afghanistan, and that this is not really a big issue to them. On the other hand, many of them are high earners with their own businesses whom the Democrats want to tax to death.

Posted by: vinyl1 | October 23, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Republicans humiliate homosexuals like they are sub-human. "it is like alcpholism" says one intelligent senator to be. Still log cabin repulicans continue to be Republicans & vote for them. Are they stupid or what!
Pathetic are black republicans, most pathetic are log cabin republicans. I didn't know homosexuality affects their intelligence.

Posted by: sarvenk63 | October 23, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

LCR, as explained to me by a quaklified source, is a form of self-loathing. Apparently, some feel so much angst over being gay, they overcompensate by supporting candidates that do a great deal to thwart gay participation in many phases of American life (can't adopt or teach in public school). It is a modified equivalent of a Jew voting for a Nazi (as right wing columnists love the "equivalent" argument).

Posted by: mrtimmaulden | October 23, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

LCR, as explained to me by a quaklified source, is a form of self-loathing. Apparently, some feel so much angst over being gay, they overcompensate by supporting candidates that do a great deal to thwart gay participation in many phases of American life (can't adopt or teach in public school). It is a modified equivalent of a Jew voting for a Nazi (as right wing columnists love the "equivalent" argument).

Posted by: mrtimmaulden | October 23, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

As Jonathan notes, gay people are not necessarily born witty, well-dressed, or in South Beach.

Neither are they born Republicans. Unlike their sexual orientation, their party affiliation is a choice.

So if they have decided to back candidates despite those candidates' opposition to DADT repeal (and a host of other gay-related issues), it is fair to ask, "then why are you a Republican? What other Republican positions do you consider more important to your life and to the country's welfare? Is your personal freedom and dignity less important than a slightly lower income tax rate?"

The question, after all, is not why do Republicans support Republicans. It is, why are YOU are Republican?

Posted by: Meridian1 | October 23, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

As Jonathan notes, gay people are not necessarily born witty, well-dressed, or in South Beach.

Neither are they born Republicans. Unlike their sexual orientation, their party affiliation is a choice.

So if they have decided to back candidates despite those candidates' opposition to DADT repeal (and a host of other gay-related issues), it is fair to ask, "then why are you a Republican? What other Republican positions do you consider more important to your life and to the country's welfare? Is your personal freedom and dignity less important than a slightly lower income tax rate?"

The question, after all, is not why do Republicans support Republicans. It is, why are YOU are Republican?

Posted by: Meridian1 | October 23, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

if george w bush had given Wall Street and Big Business a 800 billion dollar blank check, if he had sent 100,000 troops to Afghanistan, if he had taken over the health insurance sector, if, if,

barrack o bama is george w bush,

except he golfs more, and campaigns more, and fundraises more.

I just wish he was a better liar then bush.

Posted by: simonsays1 | October 23, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Obama said he'd bring a new tone to Washington, he did, things got worse.

Posted by: Jmacaco4 | October 24, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the LCR wonder why Patrick Murphy dropped his non-discrimination language from the 'repeal' and allowed Nancy Pelosi to further strip the bill, making repeal dependent upon the flawed Pentagon survey and report back from the Joint Chiefs.

Murphy capitulated at exactly the wrong time: he had the votes to pass repeal, and he caved to leadership's demands to align his bill with what Obama's GOP DoD wanted.

Perhaps the LCR see Murphy rightly as a fair-weather friends who is willing to sell out LGBT when leadership tells him to. Perhaps they'd rather have a member of the majority whose election they helped make happen, someone they can talk to and convince.

Posted by: TeddySanFran | October 24, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

It is not hypocritical to agree with the left wing on one issue but otherwise ally with the right (or vice versa).

There is no reason at all why we must all agree with one party or the other on every issue. When that happens, something is wrong - we have become robots or something.

The parties are supposed to represent us - not the other way around.

Posted by: skir | October 24, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

It's a sad day for America, and an even sorrier day for the Democratic Party, when the greatest progress towards the end of Don't Ask, Don't Tell comes from Republicans, albeit Republicans who have been shunned by the heartless of the party.

Of course it's really important that politicians from both parties become aware of the issues affecting GLBT people. However, you don't need the thumbs of a single hand to count the number of Republican senators willing to vote for the end of DADT, even if it means also voting against improved health care and access to VA services for soldiers injured in combat, against better housing, EVEN against more money for grossly expensive toys. When opposition to openly gay men and women serving overcomes support for defense contractors, you KNOW that there is a major uphill climb.

Posted by: edallan | October 25, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

I'll say it again: Gay Republicans would sell their mothers into prostitution for a tax cut. They don't care about gay civil rights.

Posted by: B-rod | October 25, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Its obvious that Capehart was never in the military.His lack of discipline is evident in his poor search of the facts. Protesting against the military Capehart, does NOT give you the expertise to claim you know what's best for the military. A typical liberal problem that creeps up more and more lately. I don't have a problem with gays serving in the military. I do have a problem when they can't control their urges just as I have a problem with straight soldiers who can't control their urges. The military is not the place for grand social experiments.

Posted by: elcigaro1 | October 25, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure too many Americans care one way or another about the "don't ask don't tell" policy. Pretty much the same with gay marriages. For the public, they are mostly non-issues. Extremist in either end of the spectrum continue to bang the drums loudly but lets face it, most of us simply aren't that concerned about those issues, i.e., they are non-issues.
The abortion issue fits into that category as well. In both cases the public thinks the individuals directly involved should be able to make whatever decisions they want to. They aren't government problems. Politicians, on the other hand, know a good soap box issue when they see one and are quick to jump on it to denounce or renounce whatever popular opinion dictates. Then the media follows suit. It's a tradegy to waste a good story. Problem is, they're only good stories to the politicians and the media. For us, the little people, we'd like to hear about good economic plans like reducing spending and waste in government. Not the prolific lying and spin that we hear now while the economy is going further down the tubes (which they'll tell us about after mid-term elections). Anyway, to sum it up. We're sick of all the BS the liberal media and the politicians throw at us. Not sure November 2nd will bring change we can believe in, but if it isn't any better than that last round of change we could believe in we better buckle our seat belts.

Posted by: avatar666 | October 25, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure too many Americans care one way or another about the "don't ask don't tell" policy. Pretty much the same with gay marriages. For the public, they are mostly non-issues. Extremist in either end of the spectrum continue to bang the drums loudly but lets face it, most of us simply aren't that concerned about those issues, i.e., they are non-issues.
The abortion issue fits into that category as well. In both cases the public thinks the individuals directly involved should be able to make whatever decisions they want to. They aren't government problems. Politicians, on the other hand, know a good soap box issue when they see one and are quick to jump on it to denounce or renounce whatever popular opinion dictates. Then the media follows suit. It's a tradegy to waste a good story. Problem is, they're only good stories to the politicians and the media. For us, the little people, we'd like to hear about good economic plans like reducing spending and waste in government. Not the prolific lying and spin that we hear now while the economy is going further down the tubes (which they'll tell us about after mid-term elections). Anyway, to sum it up. We're sick of all the BS the liberal media and the politicians throw at us. Not sure November 2nd will bring change we can believe in, but if it isn't any better than that last round of change we could believe in we better buckle our seat belts.

Posted by: avatar666 | October 25, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure too many Americans care one way or another about the "don't ask don't tell" policy. Pretty much the same with gay marriages. For the public, they are mostly non-issues. Extremist in either end of the spectrum continue to bang the drums loudly but lets face it, most of us simply aren't that concerned about those issues, i.e., they are non-issues.
The abortion issue fits into that category as well. In both cases the public thinks the individuals directly involved should be able to make whatever decisions they want to. They aren't government problems. Politicians, on the other hand, know a good soap box issue when they see one and are quick to jump on it to denounce or renounce whatever popular opinion dictates. Then the media follows suit. It's a tradegy to waste a good story. Problem is, they're only good stories to the politicians and the media. For us, the little people, we'd like to hear about good economic plans like reducing spending and waste in government. Not the prolific lying and spin that we hear now while the economy is going further down the tubes (which they'll tell us about after mid-term elections). Anyway, to sum it up. We're sick of all the BS the liberal media and the politicians throw at us. Not sure November 2nd will bring change we can believe in, but if it isn't any better than that last round of change we could believe in we better buckle our seat belts.

Posted by: avatar666 | October 25, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

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