Monday, March 04, 2013

Rebranding-- Republicans And The LGBT Community


Will Lindsey be at CPAC to talk about Benghazi & cruise for college studs?

So far the GOP rebranding effort has fallen flat on its face. Their war on women seems as endless as it is pointless and, although 87 Republicans, most of whom hail from competitive non-Confederate districts, voted with Democrats for the Violence Against Women Act, most congressional Republicans-- including virtually all of the party leaders-- still support violence against women. Their war against immigrants in general and Latinos in particular is one hot mess with conflicting messages clogging up the airwaves, some of which are shockingly racist. As for Bobby Jindal's plea to his fellow Republicans to stop being the "stupid party," no one even ever gave that a second thought. If they stopped being the stupid party, they lose almost their entire base. And then there's the far right jihad against the LGBT community. Sure, a handful of high-profile, mostly non-electoral Republicans from non-Southern states, like Clint Eastwood, are pro-LGBT equality, but the Republican Party remains the biggest impediment to equality in the country.

Last week, when Long Island Republican Congressman Peter King said "If Republicans had any brains they'd stay away from CPAC," he didn't have CPAC's anti-gay agenda in mind. But that agenda is certainly part of the GOP civil war that's tearing the party apart. This week's big conservative conclave in DC has already been tainted because of the exclusion of GOProud, a very right wing-- way more so than the more mainstream GOP Log Cabin Republicans, for example-- part of the crackpot far right fringe. But, apparently not fringe enough-- at least not when it comes to one issue.
The decision to exclude GOProud for the second year in a row has triggered a schism between conservatives who plan to boycott the conference until GOProud is invited and those who believe the group goes against social conservative values.

S.E. Cupp, a conservative commentator on MSNBC, is refusing to attend CPAC without GOProud. Other well-known conservatives have backed up her decision and condemned CPAC’s intolerance. The National Review published an editorial today noting that the exclusion of GOProud has had “a greater downside for CPAC than its past of GOProud ever did”:
Conservative opinion on the intersection of homosexuality and politics is not monolithic, especially among the college-aged set that makes up the better part of CPAC attendees. And a gathering that hopes to speak for the conservative movement will be better equipped to do so if it represents the overlapping gamut of views included in it.
CPAC Chairman Al Cardenas denies that GOProud was uninvited because gay people are unwelcome at CPAC, but rather because they “did not act properly as guests” last time. Cardenas said the group held press conferences attacking CPAC board members, which led to board members voting against them. Though Cardenas now insists that gay conservatives are welcome, his own wife said in 2011 that GOProud was banned because homosexuality “is a threat to society” and “not nature’s way.”

This year, according to notoriously right-wing columnist Jennifer Rubin, a CPAC sponsor employee blamed CPAC’s reluctance to “cross groups that are big sponsors that have said they’d leave if GOProud is ‘in the building.’” Indeed, several major sponsors including the Family Research Council refused to attend CPAC in 2011 when GOProud was participating.

This latest clash over conservative exclusion reflects the Republican Party’s new anxiety over outreach to minorities, women, young people and gay voters, all demographics that voted overwhelmingly for Democrats in the 2012 election. Still, even GOProud’s defenders have avoided opening debate on real policy shifts. Rubin argued, “No one is asking CPAC to endorse gay marriage or any other policy… merely to let gays into the room.” The National Review also reassured CPAC that including GOProud would “not now…imply its endorsement of any particular policies regarding gays.”
Many Republicans outside the religionist lunatic corners of the party don't care one way or the other about people being gay or straight-- as long as they keep it quiet and forget that whole "proud" thing and as long as no one in Malaya is paying them under the table to take part in a McCarthyite smear campaign. To those kinds of Republicans, the only good gay is a gay in the closet-- even if its the closeted gay with the severe emotional and psychological problems. Just look how willing Republicans are to accept horribly flawed gay officials in their midst as long as they keep their closet doors tightly shut-- like Miss McConnell (R-KY), Dave Camp (R-MI), Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Patrick McHenry (R-NC)-- or even just mostly shut tight like Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Aaron Schock (R-IL). As Peter King said, "If Republicans had any brains they'd stay away from CPAC." But then... what would the rest of us do for entertainment this coming week? Well... we could read Mac Blumenthal's delightful book, Republican Gomorrah, where you can find all sorts of useful information on the subject, like this:

In 1996, Henry Adams, Lester Wright and Bethany Lohr, psychiatrists and researchers at the University of Georgia, investigated the link between homophobia and repressed homosexuality, surveying over fifty self-declared heterosexual males on their opinions of gays. The subjects were then separated into two groups: homophobic and nonhomophobic. Both groups were shown gay male pornography and were monitored for signs of sexual arousal. (The results appeared in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association.) The study revealed that by an overwhelming margin, the subjects who registered the largest increase in penis circumference-- those most aroused by gay pornography-- also held the most homophobic opinions. The remarkable finds of this experiment suggest a clue to why the modern radical right, the most homophobic political movement in American history, has become a sanctuary for repressed gay men.

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At 9:13 PM, Anonymous me said...

Many Republicans outside the religionist lunatic corners of the party...

There aren't "many".


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