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Old 10-13-2006, 02:35 PM   #1
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to be gay, and a Republican, in Washington DC

very interesting article in the New Republic. don't know how much there might be to comment on, other than perhaps the politics of outing, or what it is like to be a member of an oppressed minority and to be considered, within that minority, part of the oppressive majority (in gay terms, you'd be called, somewhat jokingly, an "Auntie Tom"). but, nonetheless, an interesting window onto an interesting group of people:

[q]Crossfire
by Michael Crowley
Post date 10.13.06 | Issue date 10.23.06

In the bars and clubs frequented by Washington's gay men, a new character has recently cropped up: the hammered gay Republican. Until recently, says one gay Republican lobbyist, his counterparts on the Hill "had reached a point where you come to your work, you do a good job, you don't cause problems for your boss, and you go home." But then along came the Mark Foley scandal, with its rightwing anti-gay moralizing, liberal snickers about closeted hypocrisy, and a merciless wave of Internet gossip and "outings." The lobbyist says he assumes every gay Republican staffer is "terrified right now." And that has been enough to drive some of them to the bottle. One gay Washingtonian recalls running into an aide to a senior House Republican at a gay bar soon after FoleyGate broke: "He went out to get shitfaced, because he was so stressed out." Chris Crain, a blogger and former editor of the Washington Blade, a gay weekly in Washington, D.C., also says such encounters have become typical. "This weekend, I noticed that the gay Republicans I saw were notably more inebriated than usual. I think they were self-medicating--and I can't blame them."

Not at all. You'd probably drink hard, too, were you in such a socially and politically impossible position. For the dozens of gay Republicans on Capitol Hill--including senior aides to some of the most powerful and moralistic members of the House and Senate--the past few weeks have been a nightmare. On the right, gay Republicans face the likes of Tony Perkins and Pat Buchanan implying that the so-called "velvet mafia" enabled Foley's depredations and claiming linkage between pedophilia and homosexuality. On the left, meanwhile, are gay liberals furious over the Bush-era GOP's gay-baiting and increasingly willing to "out" the Republican regime's closeted enablers--with the help of their tell-all blogs. (Gay political circles have recently been abuzz with talk about "The List," a roster of allegedly gay GOP staffers that has circulated among political journalists and activists.) "These people feel under siege in their own party and also under siege in the gay community," says Crain. The Foley story will blow over eventually, but, given the de facto left-right alliance against them, gay Republicans might be knocking them back for a while to come.

Not that gay Republicans have ever had it easy, of course. For decades, they tended to be closeted entirely--some in the tragically warped model of Joseph McCarthy's henchman, Roy Cohn, who bashed deviants by day and slept with them at night. Or Terry Dolan, co-founder of the vituperative National Conservative Political Action Committee, who, like Cohn, died of aids. By the 1990s, gay Republicans had evolved into a defined party interest group, complete with their own lobbying arm in the Log Cabin Republicans. But the GOP establishment was slow to accept the change. In 1995, Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole actually returned a $1,000 contribution to his campaign from the Log Cabin Republicans. During a debate over gay marriage the following year, then-Representative (and now Senator) Tom Coburn of Oklahoma seemed to speak for his party's religious-conservative wing when he said that homosexuality is "immoral ... based on perversion ... based on lust."

[...]

After a lull, the liberal outing machine sprang back into action a couple of years ago, as the Bush-DeLay GOP whipped its base into a frenzy over the specter of gay marriage. By then, the outing technology had surpassed dumping drinks on an offender's head; one gay activist with a blog could single-handedly out dozens of Republicans. That's just what a D.C.-based blogger named Michael Rogers began doing around the time of the 2004 congressional gay marriage debate. One early casualty was Virginia GOP Representative Ed Schrock, a rock-ribbed Navy veteran who had co-sponsored the Federal Marriage Amendment. Days after Rogers, working from his apartment in Washington's gay-friendly Adams Morgan neighborhood, posted messages allegedly recorded on a gay phone-sex line by the representative, Schrock retired. Rogers also targeted a slew of congressional staffers, including Robert Traynham, communications director to Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who had bizarrely lumped gay marriage with "man-on-dog" sex. Santorum was ultimately forced to release a statement saying he stands by Traynham, whom he described as a target of partisan-based bigotry.

[...]

But gay Republicans are hardly off the hook. In the private sphere, their lives are more perilous than ever. For pure vitriol, it would be hard to top an episode that occurred late last month at a Washington dinner party. The gathering included both well-connected Bush administration and congressional GOP staffers and several Democrats--all gay. Inevitably, politics came up. One Democrat in attendance, a former Clinton White House aide, couldn't contain his revulsion at the gay men working in the service of the enemy. "I ripped into this one guy" who works for the Bush administration, the Democrat says. "I said, 'What you do for a living is hurting me, and my family, and my daughter I have with two lesbians. I personally view Bush as the most corrupt, vile politician in the world, and if you're working for him, to me you're one and the same.' People were horrified." But, he adds, "I refuse to be cordial or friendly or polite to these people. I think they are our mortal enemy. They ask the gay community to indulge them when they want a social life, but when they punch the clock they are trying to tear apart our families. They want it both ways." Even a few weeks later, says another gay Washingtonian who was not present at the dinner, the former Clinton aide's "little screed is legendary."

And there are still lone liberal gunmen like Michael Rogers. His goal is to touch off an internal war within the GOP that ultimately brings down the party. He has vowed to out several more GOP staffers between now and Election Day, and says at least one influential conservative leader has cheered him on via e-mail. When I spoke to him this week, he boasted that he had just gotten off the phone with an official at a leading conservative organization, one of whose other senior officials he was about to out. "I think the Foley story ultimately brings to light the fact that the far right wing in America has been duped by the leadership of the GOP," he says, noting that he's communicated directly on the subject with some Christian conservative leaders. With bizarre bedfellows like that, you can't blame a gay Capitol Hill Republican for hitting the bars--and making it a double.
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Old 10-13-2006, 02:58 PM   #2
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also, and i know this isn't representative of mainstream Republican thought, but please read this piece -- and replace the word "gays" with "Jews." and see what you think, and see if you can't see that anti-Semitism and homophobia operate from essentially the same blueprint.

[q]At this point in the scandal, the issue is not whether there was such a network, but how big it is. CBS Evening News correspondent Gloria Borger reported the emerging belief that "a group of high-level gay Republican staffers were protecting" Foley. A New York Times story by Mark Leibovich confirmed that gay Republicans have occupied "crucial staff positions" in Congress and "have played decisive roles in passing legislation, running campaigns and advancing careers."

The mystery man at the center of the scandal, Jeff Trandahl, is supposed to be a "lifelong Republican" who is gay. But Trandahl, who supervised the congressional page program as House clerk and knew about the controversial Foley emails many years ago, has a strange way of showing his Republicanism. A search of Federal Election Commission (FEC) records over the last six years shows no financial contributions to the Republican Party or Republican candidates. Instead, Trandahl in 2000 gave $1,200 to the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, which gives over 80 percent of its political campaign money to Democrats.

Trandahl is so much of a Republican that he joined the board of the Human Rights Campaign Fund, another gay political action committee that commits most of its funds to electing Democrats. Its latest list of "winning candidates" is all Democrats, except for Republican Senator Lincoln Chafee, who admits not voting for President Bush in 2004.

If you are getting the idea that gay Republicans may be closeted Democrats, then you are beginning to understand how the Mark Foley scandal could have been a Democratic Party dirty trick.

In response to the scandal, a representative of the Log Cabin Republicans, a homosexual activist group, has been on cable channels like CNN and MSNBC expressing the fear that the Foley scandal will be used to root out homosexual influence in the Republican Party. But the Log Cabin Republicans are so Republican that its board voted 22-2 against endorsing President Bush in 2004 because of his stand against homosexual marriage.

So if the gay Republicans are not really Republicans, what are they? One veteran observer of this network told AIM that the Foley scandal should make it crystal clear that the gay Republicans are in reality "liberal activists" who want to use the party to advance the same homosexual agenda embraced by the Democrats.[/q]
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