Republicans Painted Themselves Into Gay Corner

When the Karl Roves and Andrea Laffertys of the world decided that the best way to get out the vote was to fire up the masses about gay rights, they never considered that some of their own were gay too. It’s kind of like forgetting that some Republicans are black, and one or two are poor. Easy to do, but a mistake nonetheless.

Houston Chronicle: “A party that harps on sexual orientation, as the Republicans now do, forces many of its own into furtive, destructive behaviors”

When reality intrudes into their rhetoric, the dissonance stings — hard. The Houston Chronicle notes the consquences for a party, “which since the 1980s has, culturally and legislatively, demonized gay men and women.”

By preoccupying the party with homosexuality…Republican strategists have helped force out or into hiding numerous lawmakers who served the party well. Instead of disclosing their orientation and getting on with their work, gay or bisexual Republicans typically have felt compelled to choose between personal integrity and political survival.

Yet heterosexuality is hardly a bedrock Lincolnesque value. [Sen. Larry] Craig’s own constituents happily re-elected him for years — despite rumors about his orientation — before he began opining on others’ sexuality.

An even better example of this dynamic is the successful career of former U.S. Rep. Steve Gunderson, a Wisconsin Republican who told voters he was gay while still in office. Then he continued working diligently for the causes they cared about most.

…Gunderson backed the balanced budget amendment. He supported President Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts, approved the first Gulf War and promoted the dairy industry. Rural, conservative voters re-elected him eight times in a row for his conservative values before he chose not to run again in 1996…Gunderson never betrayed voters or himself.

In contrast, since 1980 the Republican Party has lost at least three once-closeted House members to scandals…But the scandals were at least partly fueled by each congressman’s need to deny his sexuality. Craig, now frantically trying to deny his guilty plea, may be the latest on the list.

…a party that harps on sexual orientation, as the Republicans now do, forces many of its own into furtive, destructive behaviors.

So while those caught are passing around blame — in Craig’s case to newspapers, lying cops, and wide stances — they should examine their own willingness to jump on the hate train, and partake of the payoff at the end of the line.


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  • Medusa
    August 31, 2007 - 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Neocons hate men, really because all gays are men, then there are those homosexual lesbians-who are female. This whole problem is simply a symptom of their hostility towards men in general, hehe.

  • Kimberley
    August 31, 2007 - 7:09 pm | Permalink

    The Republicans need to become aware of the unintended consequences of their holier than thou scare tactics. My Southern Baptist mama voted for Bush in 2000, a decision she has come to regret.
    She is now fervently praying daily for the reform, and when not possible (she’s a loving soul) the removal of these stinking people, by any means the Good Lord deems necessary. With the outing and/or resignation of every one of these corrupt hypocrites (Haggard, Rumsfeld, Rove, Gonzales, now Craig, and all the others on the long list who for whatever reason leave or are forced out) she laughingly says “got myself another one!”. These right-wing kooks should know they don’t have the red-state religious folks all lined up obediently in their pew. They’re now being actively prayed at, by former Republicans who have gotten disgusted and bailed on them.

  • Paul Winkelmann
    August 31, 2007 - 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t it ironic how quick the GOP is to get rid of one of their own when he is involved a minor offense with a gay theme to it but when a suppossedly heterosexual scumbag like Tom Delay is up to his ears in every kind of fraud and criminal abuse of power, you can’t get the GOP to quit slobbering on his knob. In conclusion, you can commit any crime you want as long it isn’t gay related. What a scared little boys club they are running.

  • TMKent
    September 2, 2007 - 5:18 am | Permalink

    “Methinks he doth protest too much”. Guess Will Shakespear had it right. Show me someone who vigorously denies something (or attacks someone) and I’ll show you someone who probably has a dirty dark secret in their “closet”.

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