Civil Rights

Cleaning out the Republican Closet

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Over at the Volokh Conspiracy, Dale Carpenter ponders how the Republicans can stop worrying and start to openly love the many closeted gays in their ranks:

How to end [the GOP's private acceptance of gays and its public rejection of same]? The private acceptance will continue and, I predict, become even more prevalent as young conservatives comfortable around gay people take over. There will be no purging the party of gays. There is no practical way to purge them, and even if there were, most Republicans would be personally repulsed by such an effort.

These closeted politicians, staffers, and party functionaries will occasionally be found out one way or another and again will come the shock, the pledges to go into rehab, the investigations, the charges of hypocrisy, the schadenfreude from Democrats and libertines, the sense of betrayal from the party's religious conservatives….

The only practical way out of this for the GOP is to come to the point where its homosexuals no longer feel the need to hide. And that won't happen until the party's public philosophy is more closely aligned with its private one. That will be the day when the GOP greets its gay supporters the way Larry Craig, with unintended irony, greeted reporters yesterday at his news conference: "Thank you all very much for coming out today."

More here.

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  1. Is there an issue like this that the Democrats have to deal with? I mean, there are no phenomenon like closeted opponents of abortion in the Democratic party (that I know of).

  2. Would racism, e.g., more people like Byrd?

    or would the targets be more along the lines of “how can you claim to be for the ‘working man’ when you have [list of possessions]”

    (granted, that makes them targets from the outside, but the eleventh commandment probably shields the G(ay)OPers somewhat… or?)

  3. Syloson of Samos,

    Guns?

  4. the GOP’s private acceptance of gays … The only practical way out of this for the GOP is to come to the point where its homosexuals no longer feel the need to hide.

    SHENANIGANS! There are no such populations. Most Republicans not only believe all homosexuals will burn in hell, they want to push them in the pit and watch them burn. Even more ridiculous is the suggestion that there are enough gay Republicans to fill a bus.

  5. VM,

    I can’t think of a Democrat (in my lifetime) who was “outed” for anything like being gay. Now some have been caught in corruption, etc. scandals, but that seems a bit different.

    Anyway, even if a Democratic politician were found to be member of the KKK both teams would hound him or her for that.

  6. Pro Libertate,

    Nah. There are openly pro-gun rights Democrats and openly anti-abortion Democrats.

  7. sure. but you were asking for analogous situations, or?

  8. VM,

    Yeah, but I cannot think of anything so entirely specific to the Democratic party that it wouldn’t get a person “in trouble” in the Republican party.

  9. Remember that the Republican party consists basically of a bunch of people who believe the same things while the Democratic party consists of a lot of people who disagree with each other but disagree with the Republicans more.

  10. What DanT said.

    That’s probably why.

    but some sort of bigotry might be a good place to start.

  11. …more ridiculous is the suggestion that there are enough gay Republicans to fill a bus.

    I would have thought so, too. But remember, 2 gay republicans got elected to Congress. And anotehr one worked on her dad’s Veep re-elcetion campaign.

  12. Ugh. Appy polly loggies for the misspellings. That was brutal.

  13. The only practical way out of this for the GOP is to come to the point where its homosexuals no longer feel the need to hide. And that won’t happen until the party’s public philosophy is more closely aligned with its private one.

    Not quite. It won’t happen until a majority of everyday Republican citizens accepts homosexuality and their elected representatives can then officially and safely pander to them as deftly and reliably as the Democrats. I don’t believe American Republicans are at that point just yet, but they are getting closer.

  14. Creationists? Capitalists? Anti-abortion? Pro-Bush? Opposed to public education?

    I think both the GOP and the Democratic parties have far, far larger tents than people realize. What’s interesting is that partisans on either side view the other side as, more or less, monolithic. Of course, from the libertarian side, both parties combined are monolithic. And, funny thing is, we’re right 🙂

  15. Warren, one could fill a bus with gay Republican staffers from almost any floor in a House office building. The policy is “don’t ask, don’t tell.” but who is gay and who isn’t it pretty well known around the Hill. If Foley and Craig(and Bob “The Gentleman from Maryland” Bauman) had just kept it private, the leadership would have no problem. It’s when they do something embarrassing, that all hell breaks loose.

  16. The problem is that the Republicans want the Religious Right despite getting their asses kicked in the culture wars. So, to keep the Bible thumpers happy, the Republicans have to do, among any number of things, trash gays and lesbians. And frankly, there is not some huge groundswell of hardcore Republicans ready to take over the party and make it gay friendly. Having pissed away any street cred on fiscal conservatism, all the Republican’s have left is the “family friendly” sales pitch… which takes an ass whipping every time another Republican gets caught doing something bad.

  17. That closet is too big to clean.

    “”””Remember that the Republican party consists basically of a bunch of people who believe the same things”””

    Like what? Limited government, fiscal responsibility, gun control, the Constitution? The Republicans can’t figure out what kind of president candidate they want because they don’t believe in the same thing. Rudy is a pro-gun control as they get. They only reason they ever appeared to is because Tom Delay would have whipped them back in line.

  18. Republicans are secretive and closeted about everthing. Ur tell’n me that if a republican father’s 15 y.o. daughter got pregnant by a black dude…they wouldn’t secretly have an abortion….please.

  19. Oceania is at war with Eurasia. Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia.

  20. I can’t think of a Democrat (in my lifetime) who was “outed” for anything like being gay.

    You’re too young to remember Jim McGreevy?

    Anyway, even if a Democratic politician were found to be member of the KKK both teams would hound him or her for that.

    Both teams are hounding Robert Byrd?

  21. Robert Byrd denounced the Klan and apologized for associating with it before any of the people who endlessly repeat that point were even born.

  22. It won’t happen until a majority of everyday Republican citizens accepts homosexuality and their elected representatives can then officially and safely pander to them as deftly and reliably as the Democrats.

    Exactly. The GOP is currently full of stuffy old men whose notion of “gay” is about 50 years out-of-date. They might prefer sucking cock to sleeping with their wives but no way are they gay. Gays wear dresses and high heels, have limp wrists and speak with a lisp.

  23. Robert Byrd denounced the Klan and apologized for associating with it before any of the people who endlessly repeat that point were even born.

    Larry Craig renounced homosexuality and apologized for associating with it.

  24. Did you really intend to equate being gay with being in the Klan?

  25. Remember that the Republican party consists basically of a bunch of people who believe the same things

    Dan T., are you seriously impling that the social conservative wing, the economic conservative wing, and the libertarian wing of the Republican party all believe the same thing? That budget-busting, big government socially conservative Dixiecrats are essentially the same as Ron Paul?

    The problem that Republicans face is that, due to the partisan primary system, if you’re an economic conservative but socially liberal, you’re gonna have a very hard time advancing to the general election if you’re honest about your views. So a lot of pandering occurs, and things are said that the politician doesn’t believe at all, in order to get the votes of these highly disparate groups of voters.

    Same deal with Democrats, just different issues on which to pander and lie.

  26. Dan T., are you seriously impling that the social conservative wing, the economic conservative wing, and the libertarian wing of the Republican party all believe the same thing? That budget-busting, big government socially conservative Dixiecrats are essentially the same as Ron Paul?

    I don’t mean to say that all Republicans agree on all issues, only that they generally consist of one large group while Democrats consist of a number of smaller, more specialized interest groups. So I think that libertarian Republicans and social conservative Republicans have a lot more in common than black Democrats and the unions do.

    This is why Democrats are more likely to be stuck with the “flip-flop” label. They have to tell a lot of different people a lot of different things.

  27. How about the Gay Klan?

  28. Dan T.,

    I don’t think that’s true at all. Both parties are so huge that they have people with almost impossibly disparate views within them. Do you realize how many millions of people you’re cramming under one value system?

  29. Social Republicans r a bunch of hypocrates…and they prove it over and over and over again.

    They want to create policies that they themselves couldn’t honestly live with.

    The reason the speed limit is 55 miles per hour is b-cause the lawyers, judges, cops, and their family are pretty much exempt.

    Perhaps they felt the same way with the foot tapping urinal sex thing.

  30. So I think that libertarian Republicans and social conservative Republicans have a lot more in common than black Democrats and the unions do.

    Dan T. — libertarian Republicans have almost nothing in common with social conservatives, and the few things they seem to agree on, they agree on for wildly disparate reasons. For example, a libertarian Republican might oppose gay marriage because he or she thinks that government has no business arbitrating who is married to whom — they would like government to quit recognizing straights marriages also; while a social conservative opposes gay marriage bedause they hate gays (even if they suck their johnsons in the occasional public bathroom).

    But, plenty of black Democrats are members of unions. In fact, I daresay blacks are disproportionately represented in unions compared to their frequency in the general population.

  31. It’ll never happen. Homophobia is one of the major timbers propping up the GOP these days, and they’ll never give it up until the number of votes to be gained by embracing gay rights outweighs the number of votes they get this way.

    Same thing with Black voters. The GOP doesn’t want to chase them away, but it won’t go after them, either. It would take an extraordinary effort to woo Black voters en masse, and in the process they might lose stalwart GOP supporters.

  32. Did you really intend to equate being gay with being in the Klan?

    No. I intended to point out the irrelevance of Byrd’s apologies and renouncings. You have a far easier time forgiving a Democrat for belonging to a terrorist racist organization (which he begged to join) than you do forgiving a gay Republican for voting for DOMA.

  33. Abdul,

    Actually, if Craig denounced his DOMA vote and the homophobic politics that went with it, I would find it much easier to forgive him than Robert Byrd.

    But you see, unlike Byrd, he hasn’t. He still stands up there proclaiming how terrible gay people are, and how we need to persecute them to protect society from their evil. Unlile Byrd.

    It’s easier to forgive someone who admits he was wrong and askes for forgiveness than someone who insists he’s not backing down. That’s the difference – Byrd isn’t a Klansman, and hasn’t been for decades. Craig is still a gay-basher.

  34. forgiving a Democrat for belonging to a terrorist racist organization

    Democrats are a terrorist racist organization.

  35. for george w:

    “When Clinton Lied, Nobody Died”

    for teddy k:

    “When Craig Went Down, Nobody Drowned”

  36. It’s easier to forgive someone who admits he was wrong and askes for forgiveness than someone who insists he’s not backing down.

    And that, joe, is why you’re the pinata at H&R.

  37. plus we’ve got this influx of conservatarians and you guys play asshole racketball back and forth for our amusement.

    don’t let us down!

    Even more ridiculous is the suggestion that there are enough gay Republicans to fill a bus.

    what if it was the oscar meyer weinermobile, but conservatively dressed?

    get it?

    cause it’s shaped like a penis!

    but they’re conservatives!

    so it has to be modest!

  38. What the Republicans need to be is socially LIBERTARIAN and explain it as “live and let live” policies. Which means people can associate and live with who they want without worrying about government interference. The Democrats want to force people together and make sure we all engage in the mandatory group hug. Republicans worry if someone is committing sodomy in their bedroom. In short Republicans should be against hate crimes (and related foolish legislation) and for civil unions.

  39. Byrd joined the KKK when he was twenty something without fulling understanding what it was about, attended a few meetings, realized it was stupid, and quit. This was fifty or sixty years ago.

  40. Byrd joined the KKK when he was twenty something without fulling understanding what it was about, attended a few meetings, realized it was stupid, and quit. This was fifty or sixty years ago.

    Wrong!

    Byrd was an enthusiastic and active member of the Klan. He was even elected Exalted Cyclops of his local group.

    He wrote to Senator Theodore Bilbo, of Mississippi, regarding integration of the Armed Forces:

    Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.

    He went on to lead the filibuster against the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    Although he later acknowledged his background and apologized for it, he was a member of the Klan for over ten years. This was not a passing fad engaged in in the innocence of youth.

    You perhaps have him confused with Harry S Truman who joined the Klan as a young politician. As a Democrat in Missouri joining the Klan was pretty much the same as a Republican joining the Rotary Club in Connecticut. When he found out the Klan was Anti-Catholic too he quit and returned his $20 dues. It seemed that he represented a heavily Irish district of Kansas City and as such was dependent on the Catholic vote.

    Of course, Truman went on to integrate the Armed Forces. Which just goes to show that even an ignorant, corrupt hack can rise to the occasion and do something decent.

  41. What is the difference between Republicans and Democrats?
    *** Republicans Do It In The Closet ***

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