Roundabout Republicans

I'm always impressed with the insights of Mark Crispin Miller, and this interview Mark gives to Buzzflash is no exception:BuzzFlash: Many Democrats are afraid to touch the Gannon/Guckert affair because he's gay, and they feel guilty about being critical of gays. But three of the main sites that are leading the story are run by openly gay men who find homophobe gays like Gannon/Guckert abhorrent. In fact, the Bush administration, like the Reagan administration, has many gays in senior positions including Ken Mehlman, head of the Republican National Committee. Drudge himself is gay. Some of the most rabid homophobe GOP congressmen have been outed as gay. What is this gay GOP homophobe thing all about when there is obviously a gay bunny patch going on at the highest level of the Republican Party?

Mark Crispin Miller: Those liberals who refuse to speak out on this issue just don't get it. They think they're being politically correct concerning gays, when all they're really doing is covering for the sickest homophobes. It was much the same thing with those Democrats who wouldn't make an issue of Bill Frist and his family making major profits off abortion. The Frists own a chain of hospitals that do abortions. That's astonishing hypocrisy, and ought to have been named as such, but it was not, because of Democratic shyness about saying anything that might sound anti-choice.

But the sanctity of reproductive rights was not the issue there. The issue was the insincerity and greed of those Republicans who moralize about abortion even as they make a big fat buck from it. This fact would have appalled some on the right, alienating them from Frist & Co. Other, less scrupulous rightists would have been hard-pressed to defend Frist's practices, and that would have enabled a rhetorical victory in the eyes of the majority. That's how you play to win. And it would ultimately have been much better for the policy of reproductive freedom, as it would have weakened some of the leading players in the anti-choice propaganda war.

It's much the same with this issue. The point of going after Gannon/Guckert for his day job--and outing all his rightist clients--is not an anti-gay move. Rather, it's a way to demonstrate the bad faith of the homophobes, and, still more important, the psychological impossibility of their position. To note that this whole gay-baiting movement is itself the work of closet cases is to illuminate the pathological dimension of that movement.

I hadn't even known about that with Frist. Given that the Bushes nuked the Reagan standard (speak no ill of fellow Republicans-- especially if you are the frontrunner) for GOP Presidential candidates, I'm looking forward to that coming out of the Republican intra-battle.

Tags: Blogosphere (all tags)

Comments

20 Comments

Frist
That was news to me as well, and I follow reproductive rights issues very closely. I'm sure Jeb will use that in 2008 to good effect.

The one argument against Miller's point about Frist, though, is that if Dems had made it an issue, Frist's family might have changed policy at all the hospitals so that they would no longer perform abortions. So we would have scored a one-news-cycle story against Frist, but the effect would have been to further reduce access to abortion services for women in many cities.

by desmoinesdem 2005-02-23 12:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Frist
It's a big of a Trojan horse. Frist calls himself a surgeon but they guy's family owns hospitals that were restructured financially to be viable. The big kicker would be if he calls for a restructing of Medicare or Medicare such that recipients would receive a yearly stipend to spend. In some places, a facility owned by the Frist family is the only option for medical care.

The way I see it, if the Dems are the one to implement universal single payer local and state governments may increase healthcare facilities to take advantage of federal spending. If the Republicans do it, the government will just issue stipends at contracted rates and the big winners will be Kaiser, HealthSouth, Tenet, etc, etc because they will still own all the doctors, the high tech machinery, the pharmacies, and the hospitals. It's a choice between general welfare and corporate welfare.

by risenmessiah 2005-02-23 02:57PM | 0 recs
Revealing the dishonsest pattern ...
Gannon's escapades at press conferences are fueling curiosity, but check out the breaking story at Raw Story: the Frank Lunz Playbook of systemic distortions.  Is there a pattern here?  Where does integrity and truthfulness fit into this worldview?  Lunz's recommendations need detailed analysis, and comparison with actual statements made using such deceptions...
by CuriosityKilledTheCat 2005-02-23 01:23PM | 0 recs
ken
is Ken Mehlman really gay?
by ypsilanti 2005-02-23 01:57PM | 0 recs
Re: ken
If the Washington Blade [big gay weekly in DC is to be believed] queer as a three dollar bill. I am told that if you venture into the gay bars in DC it can be a who's who of the Republican Party. This isn't to say there are not gay Democrats or that every GOPer is gay. Rather in particular gay Republicans favor the bar scene to meet others because it's low-key and there's the guilt-by-association factor outing them.
by risenmessiah 2005-02-23 03:02PM | 0 recs
Re: ken
I have not one problem with gay people. I've known gay people all my life and I see no reason why they should be denied rights.

I'm sure there are probably gay democratic politicians. what i find so striking about the fact that Ken Mehlman 'might' be gay is GWB's strong opposition to gay rights. I mean Ken is the chairman of the GOP! The party of (ex)clusion!

I did some searches on the web earlier and found that many of these Ken Mehlman rumors dwell mostly in the left-wing blogosphere, so I don't want to go around yelling "He's gay!". by doing that I stoop to the level of the GOP...God forbid.

by ypsilanti 2005-02-23 04:40PM | 0 recs
Re: ken
I have gay relatives, colleagues, and even long lost friends who prefer the same sex. I too think this is a tremendous non-issue but the hypocrisy is very annoying.

I mean Rush Limbaugh used to rip into Barney Frank and Tip O'Neill being partners "that way". I think that heterosexuals should not force marriage onto people who are gay...but that if there is consenus we should not deny them that right.

The humour for me is seeing how once gay rumors start about Republican politicans the Party backs away. Already I've seen pressure on Mehlman to come out by the Blade, I've seen reports that Scott McClellan is gay, and then David Dreier and Mark Foley are also apparently "confirmed bachelors". Add in the strange homoerotic writings of Lynne Cheney, the straight-on lesbianism of Mary Cheney...Alan Keyes' daughter...and that GOP closet is mighty big.

by risenmessiah 2005-02-23 06:12PM | 0 recs
I think the confirmed bachelor thing is so funny
I ran into someone in a church in DC who turned out to have been an alum of my high school.  He had a lot of school spirit.

I asked him about his family, and he told me that he was a bachelor "not that he didn't like women, mind you."  Anyway before that it never occured to me before that point to think that someone was gay just because he was a bachelor.  Naive of me,  I guess.  It's all very silly.

by Abby 2005-02-24 06:43AM | 0 recs
Re: I think the confirmed bachelor thing
The term "confirmed bachelor" actually is old newspeak for gay men. If you go back before say 1995 you can basically tell who is and who isn't by looking for "the phrase that pays".

It's not the only one out there, but I forget the other ones.

by risenmessiah 2005-02-24 12:46PM | 0 recs
It strikes me as bizarre that the GOPers are so..
uptight about the gay people in stable relationships who want to formally 'marry'.

From what I can see, they are the ones who are most likely to add positively to their communities.. they are stable, often have children, etc. (We have MUCH larger problems that we should be thinking about.. Like the huge deficit.. increasing by a million dollars- a minute.. no no no!)

Or maybe that is exatly why they are pretending to feel so threatened by them? They want scapegoats, any scapegoats. Anybody they can blame their mess on..

Perhaps the GOP is trying to make gay people take the role of Europe's Jews in some kind of neofascism scenario? If so, I don't think Americans are that stupid.

You know, this whole thing is so pathetic..so transparent..

With such a destructive hidden agenda, its clear the right sees its need for distractions to be serious.. Its like they are looking at all the totalitarian regimes in the world and trying to emulate this from one, that from another, all the while keeping up a shrill barrage of criticisms to try to confuse those who would try to figure out their next idiotic move..

My bets are on a war.. the quickest way to steal lots of money under minimum supervision...

They are clearly trying to manufacture 'issue' after issue, often when none really existed before, to distract us from their real agenda..which seems to be destroying our democracy and the American middle class... Biy, they are really blowing it, though.. But watch out because they WILL use whatever powers they have to change the arena when they fail in one or two...

What's my suggestion? Lets be really subversive by joining together in peace and candor and laughter (satire?) and rejecting these  extremists of all kinds.. and celebrating the real America, an America that joins together (but not blindly) when attacked..

Unfortunately, this time the attack is coming from  within..

And its based on raw, ugly greed.

by ultraworld 2005-02-23 02:33PM | 0 recs
I didn't know Drudge is gay
Are all Republicans in the closet, or what?  This is actually starting to get old.
by Geotpf 2005-02-23 02:59PM | 0 recs
Re: I didn't know Drudge is gay
and Jewish...just like Ken Mehlman. But notice that doesn't exactly raise eyebrows around here since liberals tend to be a heterogenuous bunch.

Now the better question is, if Drudge is gay...and he hangs out a lot with unmarried Ann Coulter...could it be that....nah....that would be too good to be true.

by risenmessiah 2005-02-23 03:20PM | 0 recs
Re: I didn't know Drudge is gay
oh, go ahead and say it. "She's" a cross dresser. What else could explain it?
by SF Bay 2005-02-23 03:26PM | 0 recs
Re: I didn't know Drudge is gay
I was thinking perhaps the blond hair is a wig and Ann really favors a "butch".

 Though apparently all comments to Gay South Beach aside...many of the Repundits have homes in Florida for tax "purposes" since they claim it as their state of residence and have to pay no income tax.

I wonder who else has a house down there...I know Rush do...John Fund? Bob Novak? Sean Hannity?

by risenmessiah 2005-02-23 06:18PM | 0 recs
roundabout republicans/on knowing how to press
One of the most curious aspects of the Gannon phenomenon is, indeed, the hesitancy of some progressive people to see the line of the attack.  We opine that the "gay hooker" portion is secondary in the mistaken belief that to mention or stress the hypocrisy plus of this White House somehow amounts to attack on gay lifestyle.  Sorry ... but, giving a pass in a situation where the protagonist is trading sex for money (and, possibly, trading information from high government levels as well)is worse than naive.  More than the fascinating expose of this White House's use of reporters and/or shills is the very real potential for security slips when sex-for-hire mixes with high political levels.  (When I was a child, I seem to recall that the British government suffered a major scandal and resignations as a result of the implications of mixing call girls with a cabinet minister.  It was termed The Profumo Affair.)  When we all get beyond political-correctness twinges, I believe that we will finally spell out a narrative that the public will understand.
by christinep 2005-02-23 04:00PM | 0 recs
Re: roundabout republicans/on knowing how to press
The Bush White House used taxpayer money to hire a gay hooker.

The perfect comeback to any Republican "but Clinton..." line.

by wayward 2005-02-27 04:57AM | 0 recs
Stop Buying The Media's Product
What we need to do are two things:

  1. When possible patronize Dem media outlets; and
  2. Stop buying products that advertise on media outlets like Fox, etc.

No matter how right wing they are, they want to make a buck and if they think that is in danger, they will start changing their tune. Remember Sinclair and its pulling of the anti-Kerry story.
by mrgavel 2005-02-24 01:57AM | 0 recs
The GOP should be skewered alive!
For this ambling gay party scene to even be associated with the most homophobic views in the western world is at best comical, and at worst a sign of just how pathetic and duped most Americans are.

Democrats need to start calling the GOP on their shit.

The gay thing is just one of their most offensive.  But, it hardly ends the other hypocrisies of the GOP, such as their Small Government-Spendspendspend platform.  Their reform means selling the government to CEOs platform.

Come on.  The gay issue is a great way to kick open the door on all this bullshit.

by jcjcjc 2005-02-24 07:07AM | 0 recs
Snivelling Cowards
Dems are snivelling cowards. Stop being so nice! You are letting us all down.
by mysteve 2005-02-24 12:34PM | 0 recs
Democrats let Republicans get away with hypocrisy
Republicans routinely lie to get votes. They care about big business, low taxes, and maintaining the military-industrial complex. Everything else is negotiable. Pretty much everything else is to get votes. However, the Democrats have been hesistant to attack this hypocrisy because they use the Republicans' exaggerated stance to energize their own base.

For example, for all of Bush's rhetoric, his actions and his Texas record show that he doesn't give a damn about abortion one way or the other. As long as the judges favor coporate rights over consumer rights, that's ok with him. However, he needs the votes of abortion opponents to win. So he talks like he's going to end it when he probably has no intention of doing any of this.  Meanwhile, the Democrats let this blatant hypocrisy slide because they want to scare pro-choice voters into voting Democrat. Their hypocrisy is never called into account, so they can continue to keep the issue hot an can win votes.

The gay issue is similar. Most Republicans don't care one way or another about it. But they know their red state base does. So they propose grand, sweeping, and unnecessary, Constitutional Amendments that have no chance in hell of passing (or in the case of state Amendments, are preventing something that was probably not going happen anytime soon anyway) in order to satisfy their base. Meanwhile, the Democratic party does not call them out on this because they want the votes of gay rights supporters.

The Democrats let the Republicans talk out of both sides of their mouth, then wonder why they keep losing elections. Calling the GOP out on abortion would have probably won over enough Catholics to carry Ohio. Yet it never happened.

by wayward 2005-02-27 04:56AM | 0 recs

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