Bil Browning

Upon which I say something nice about the Log Cabin Republicans

Filed By Bil Browning | November 25, 2008 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: LCR, Log Cabin Republicans, Mark Sanford, Maryland, Michael Steele, Pete Sessions, South Carolina, Texas

Most contributors use TBP to call out the Log Cabin Republicans for their idiotic support of anti-gay candidates. That's a valid critique (even if it is funny to see Alex used in their fundraising materials as an example of a big bad blogger picking on the poor group of rich white guys) since the LCR tries to support socially moderate candidates.

But the one thing I've always understood about LCR's purpose is that they are a necessary part of our community. There are gay-friendly Republicans just like there are unfriendly Democrats - and someone needs to be working in the Republican Party to build support for our community. Relying on one party to have a majority of seats in the legislature and all of those seats to be held by gay-friendly politician is absurd.

Today's LCR e-mail blast listed three specific instances of pro-gay Republican news bites. In the interest of fairness, it only seems appropriate to share them since they hadn't been mentioned in any of our other political posts.

Check 'em out after the break. See if you can muster up a "Good job, guys!" for them. After all, I intend to mark today on the calendar. It's been a while since there's been something positive to report!

It remains to be seen whether our Party will learn the right lessons from the GOP's defeat. Not surprisingly, social conservatives want to push the GOP further into the ditch. But there's good news--more and more leading Republicans understand we need to build a Party of the future, not a Party of the past.

  • Last weekend, one of the new Republican leaders in the House outlined a positive path forward focused on what unites us not what divides us. Congressman Pete Sessions from Texas spoke at the annual Grand 'Ol Party hosted by Log Cabin--Dallas. Sessions is the newly elected Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC). As head of the powerful and important NRCC, he'll lead candidate recruitment and election strategy for House Republicans in 2010. Hearing his speech to our members in Dallas and speaking with Congressman Sessions, I am encouraged by his message. He understands more of the same is a recipe for defeat. At last Saturday's Log Cabin event, Sessions said, "Our Party needs new focus, new energy, and new ideas. For the Republican Party, it's been real easy to get elected...just run on the things you already know about: guns, God, gays, get elected! The bottom line is that our Party can no longer successfully do that, and should that."
  • Even Republicans from a conservative state like South Carolina get the message. GOP governor Mark Sanford told his colleagues at last week's Republican Governors Association meeting that the GOP must do better reaching young voters (66% voted for Obama compared with the 59% support Reagan received from young voters in 1984). Gov. Sanford specifically cited the party's intolerance on gay issues as one big reason why so many young voters are supporting Democrats.
  • Former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele is gaining momentum in his effort to become Chairman of the Republican National Committee. The leader of the RNC will be the most important person in shaping the Party's future. Steele believes in a big tent GOP. He has worked closely with Log Cabin ally Christine Todd Whitman at the Republican Leadership Council. In an interview with NPR this week, he specifically mentioned the importance of reaching out to Log Cabin and other mainstream GOP groups as the Party looks to chart a future course.

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While we're at it... thanks Bil for doing the outreach between HRC and Trans* communities. I've already posted at length why I think HRC needs to change before this effort can be successful, but the point is, someone has to try, and keep trying. It's a thankless and discouraging task, so please accept my thanks and encouragement.

I should have said this before now. So please take it as read, now and in future, Ok?

Pshaw, Zoe. I'm not doing outreach on behalf of HRC. I'm not even a member! I'm just trying to keep all of our eyes on the prize - real equality for all of us.

If the Log Cabin can help their party see the light, the GOP could realistically be pulling close to 50% of the moderate G&L vote. Good work LCR.

I've never actually voted for a Republican for President, unless you count independent candidate John Anderson in 1980 -- my first election. Mine was a family of moderate Republicans, and my military father embraced the idea of public service. I came to believe that with wealth came obligation -- noblesse oblige, not greed. Faced with Reagan's "voodoo economics" and the rise of the Moral Majority and intolerant Republicans, I became a Democrat to this day.

There's a lot to be said for the old-fashioned Republican values, the principled ones of Lincoln and the trust-busting ones of Roosevelt among others. If the GOP can refocus on things other than narrow-minded prejudices and invocations of self-centered opportunism, maybe it will recover.

As someone who was active in the Party during the last major rise of the RR, and only grudgingly shifted to independent *this year*, um...

no. Sorry, can't do it. It would be giving them credit for something they didn't do.

Al of those things are stuff one should laud the GOP for, since it looks and sounds like the very first steps towards moving away from "God's Own Party" and back to the grand old party that holds the Constitution as the heart and soul of what is "traditional", especially that one part about "all men are created equal".

Blinks to make sure im on the right blog? Nice things about any stripe of Republican???See thats what I have been trying to tell you we need not be all of the same stripe to want the same goal maybe just diffeent ways to get to it.Bil you are correct the new DNC is not all liberals there is a resergence of the Blue Dogs who may or may not be open minded to what we as a whole want.So look to those who in the GOP are willing to stick there necks out to supporrt us and you may just find some odd friends on certain issues.

Hey Cathy, I live in Indiana. I know Blue Dog Democrats.


C R A S H !!!!!! (minor earthquake)

(rustling noises, crack of smelling salts)

(waking up at the ER) Aaarrghhhh! What happened? I could swear I'd read Bil saying something positive about the LCR. No way!

I'm sure there will be some movement afloat to retake the GOP from the religious reich. I don't expect it to be successful, at least not in the states that are still ruled by GOP fist. But the GOP will have to change to win back the Federal government. And I don't think, at least in my state, it's capable of changing. It is, like it or not, the party that is for, by, and about the knuckle-dragging bible thumping 'necks.

The most intriguing statistic I read this year was from a survey of delegates to the RNC.

49% of delegates believed that either same-sex marriage or civil unions should be recognized. Only 6% approved of marriage, 43% civil unions.

Think about that.

This indicates that Republicans who are considered to be leaders within their party are individually more comfortable with legal recognition of same-sex partnerships than they are as a party.

I don't understand the mentality that leads a gay person to identify with the Republican Party, but I'm glad the LCRs exist, as long as they continue to dialog not only with themselves but with other Republicans. They can play a vital role in helping to guide their party to understand that scapegoating and demonizing gay people is a losing strategy.