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    June 19, 2008

    LCR gets McCain endorsement jitters?

    Posted by: Chris

    There appears to be some hope that the Log Cabin Republicans are having second thoughts -- or at least giving some thought -- to whether they should endorse John McCain, who opposes absolutely any and every form of gay civil rights protection. Marc Ambinder reports:

    The Log Cabin Republicans aren't sure whether they plan to endorse John McCain, or whether extending a presidential endorsement is even necessary. … When I last checked with the group and with the McCain, they were working to find a mutually convenient time for McCain to meet with the LCR board.

    He also attached a copy of an email sent to LCR members asking for their input on the question:

    Lcrpoll_2

    However the LCR board may feel, the national staff led by Patrick Sammon appears clearly leaning toward a McCain nod. Hopefully Log Cabin members will educate themselves about McCain's real record and pressure the board to withhold endorsement unless McCain backs away from at least his most extreme anti-gay positions.

    This "inclusive leader," as LCR calls him, is night and day on gay issues as compared with Barack Obama; more so even than the differences between George W. Bush and John Kerry four years ago. Let's break it down just on the issue of relationship recognition:

    John McCain:

    • OPPOSES repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits federal recognition of valid state same-sex marriages, and allows anti-gay states to refuse recognition of gay marriages from other states;
    • OPPOSES civil unions and even domestic partnerships;
    • OPPOSES federal recognition of civil unions or DPs;
    • FAVORS state constitutional amendments banning gays from marrying and recognizing gay marriages from other states;
    • FAVORS state constitutional amendments banning civil unions and domestic partnerships;
    • FAVORS state constitutional amendments that ban public agencies, universities, hospitals, etc from even offering D.P. benefits;
    • OPPOSES judicial authority to strike down state laws that ban gays from marrying;
    • OPPOSES immigration rights for gay Americans to sponsor non-American partners for residence and citizenship;
    • opposes a federal marriage amendment but has said he would change his mind on that if some very open criteria are met.

    Barack Obama:

    • FAVORS civil unions issued by states AND federal recognition of those civil unions the same as marriages;
    • FAVORS full repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act;
    • OPPOSES state constitutional amendments blocking gay marriage, civil unions, domestic partnerships or DP benefits;
    • SUPPORTS judicial authority to strike down state laws that ban gays from marrying;
    • FAVORS immigration rights for gay Americans to sponsor non-American partners for residence and citizenship;
    • OPPOSES a federal marriage amendment under any circumstances.

    The only thing these two have in common on the issue is opposition in principle to the idea of gay marriage itself, an issue both agree that states -- not Congress or the president -- should be deciding anyway. While they both voted against a federal marriage amendment, McCain has of late conditioned his opposition in major ways -- a major flip-flop that LCR has to-date refused even to publicly acknowledge much less criticize.

    LCR is right that the endorsement decision is "crucial" -- crucial to the organization's credibility as committed to gay civil rights.

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    Comments

    1. Matt on Jun 19, 2008 1:49:28 PM:

      It was only fairly recently under Patrick Guerriero that Log Cabin billed itself as "gay first, Republican second." There are plenty of leftist gay groups out there to jerk their knees in the Democrats' direction, and plenty of reasons for Log Cabin to take different tacks and differentiate themselves from said groups. (Their support of private investment in Social Security was an excellent example because of its close nexus with gay rights -- i.e., the ability to bequeath that private investment to a non-spouse.)

      It's unfair to characterize this as "jitters." Although I'd imagine most members were OK with the decision not to endorse Bush in 2004, there was a good amount of criticism that the Board should have done more to reach out to members, that the non-endorsement had a "smoke-filled room" feel to it. No matter what they end up doing this year, they deserve kudos for the outreach.

      It really is kind of amazing how far in the tank you are for Obama. You of all people should realize how important it is not to go soft on Islamofascism, and how that is every bit a "gay issue" as the ones you list, perhaps even more centrally so. Some of us take a broader picture into account when casting our ballots.

      But if happy talk on "gay issues" as the Left narrowly defines them, and the likelihood of more broken promises, are all you're concerned about as a voter, then by all means, Obama is definitely your man.

    1. Joel Owens on Jun 19, 2008 2:33:53 PM:

      How many gay republicans are there? Aren't these people just a fringe group? Is who they endorse going to make a difference to anyone? Why do we keep talking about them as if they're some kind of important barometer of anything?

    1. Lucrece on Jun 19, 2008 2:47:40 PM:

      One quarter of gays voted for Bush. Fringe group, perhaps, but still a somewhat influential one.

      I do agree that we shouldn't be bothering with this. It should be obvious by now that stopping gay Republicans from trying to spin McCain as "inclusive"-- where it would be a better strategy for them to just emphasize that McCain is better for them in OTHER issues (although this would defeat the purpose of being a gay-themed organization)-- is a futile task.

    1. Pomo on Jun 19, 2008 3:10:47 PM:

      Well Joel, thanks for discounting a whole segment of the population... So much for being considerate of the minority. Or does that only apply to gay democrats?

      On the matter of endorsements, none of them really matter. Dems are going to vote for Obama and Repubs are going to vote for McCain. With a few rogue voters here and there. So I could care less of Log Cabin endorses him or not. If they do, its not on his gay rights stance. It's on his other issues. Which is why they would vote for him over Obama in the first place. So back to my original point, it really makes no difference.

      I for one, have no problem saying that I prefer repub candidates over Dem because of the other issues. Of course I'm not going to agree with the repub party on gay issues. And so Log Cabin is on the inside trying to work for change. Its a slow process but I would HOPE that we would have support from our brothers on the other side of the isle rather than being critisized and labeled "fringe"

    1. Joel Owens on Jun 19, 2008 3:11:15 PM:

      Thanks for the statistic on gays for Bush, Lucrece. I should have done my research.

    1. Colin on Jun 19, 2008 3:42:49 PM:

      Matt, I was interested to see you bring this up:

      "You of all people should realize how important it is not to go soft on Islamofascism, and how that is every bit a 'gay issue' as the ones you list, perhaps even more centrally so."

      I would wholeheartedly agree with you that this is a huge looming issue. So then the discussion becomes, "Which candidate is poised to most combat/diffuse Islamofascism?" To me, the answer is pretty clearly Barack Obama. What is it that stokes the fires of Islamofascism? I would argue that it is our unwanted presence in Islamic communities. I think more muslim people hate us now than before the Iraq War started, and I think the longer we stay there, the worse it will get. I truly think withdrawing (in a smart manner) actually diffuses the Islamofascist threat to America better than any neocon muscular display of military strength.

      You may say that, "Then the terrorists win!" To which I say, "No, then the terrorists will start to lose as day-to-day life in the Muslim world returns to normal, whatever that means." Long term, I believe it is only through diplomacy and non-violent interactions that we will ever undo the Islamofascist habit of violently repressing women, gays, and every other type of religious undesirable.

      By the way, the invasion of Afghanistan was wholly appropriate, and I don't think it significantly hurt us in the Muslim world the way Iraq has.

    1. Lucrece on Jun 19, 2008 4:33:43 PM:

      LCR is not criticized for trying to change the Republican party. It is criticized for trying--and failing rather miserably-- to fool people into thinking that McCain is just as good as Obama on the gay rights perspective.

      For goodness's sake, save yourself the humiliation of being debunked. If you want to argue for McCain, do so on other points.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Jun 19, 2008 6:53:03 PM:

      Long term, I believe it is only through diplomacy and non-violent interactions that we will ever undo the Islamofascist habit of violently repressing women, gays, and every other type of religious undesirable.

      Yes, because, as we know, the Clinton administration's policy of both did such an admirable job of a) getting rid of the Taliban and b) stopping Osama bin Laden.

      The problem is, Colin, that you are convinced that people like bin Laden and the Taliban have a rational and valid reason for hating the United States and that, if we would only do what they say, they would stop blowing themselves and other people up.

      That, though, is sort of precluded by the fact that bin Laden and al-Qaeda have threatened and carried out terrorist actions against, not just the US, but against observant Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt.

      In short, it has nothing to do with our presence; we are merely the convenient pretexts for a group of psychopaths to kill people. The problem is that both you and Barack Obama, steeped in the belief that the United States is always wrong, continue to insist that these psychopaths are justified in their actions.

    1. Hawyer on Jun 19, 2008 7:13:10 PM:

      I'm intrigued at the references to "Islamo-fascists" self-defined as the bogeyman that would send us en mass voting for McCain. Huh???

      Who are these Islamo-fascists? Is there any organized entity that goes by that name? Are they the ones we are "fightin' over there" so we don't have to "fight 'em over here?"

      Someone has been listening to Rush Limbaugh and his scripted Republican oxycontin-induced talking points too much. It's just this sort of jingoistic hokum that provided political cover to invade and occupy Iraq after being attacked on 9/11 by Saudi nationals ... a criminal decision which has to date cost us 4,101 American lives and 30,000 wounded ... while seven years later Osama bin Laden is still on the loose ... the entire Arab street is inflamed ... and Iran and Iraq are united under a pan-shi'ite caliphate. Uhh .. great job on whuping them Islamo-Fascists, "W" ... damn I hope McCain keeps the heat on 'em.

      Come on guys - I don't expect you all to tow a uniform ideological line, but I do expect a little free thinking.


    1. North Dallas Thirty on Jun 19, 2008 7:40:12 PM:

      a criminal decision which has to date cost us 4,101 American lives and 30,000 wounded

      Versus merely perpetuating Saddam Hussein in power, which had already cost the lives of over half a million Iraqi children alone, not to mention the genocide, ecocide, and outright ethnic cleansing directed at hundreds of thousands more, while doing little more than pumping billions of dollars in illicit oil kickbacks into the pockets of UN and European bureaucrats.

      To put that in contrast, NATO went to war over Slobodan Milosevic's ethnic cleansing that cost approximately 10,000 lives.

      Add to that the obvious fact that Saddam was funding terrorism and that Osama bin Laden was citing US sanctions against Iraq as part of his justifications for action, and it should be evident that Saddam needed to go, and promptly.

      and Iran and Iraq are united under a pan-shi'ite caliphate

      You'd better go tell them, because it would be news to them.

    1. TJ on Jun 20, 2008 12:28:29 AM:

      Here's something interesting I just discovered, if you google the term "defend marriage", the sponsored ad that comes up is for John McCain's campaign. (go ahead, try it, and then click the ad, it costs McCain's campaign money when you do). So some right wing whack job in the McCain campaign specifically created a google ad campaign to run for "defend marriage"...yup the LCRs should be tripping over themselves to endorse him now!

      Ahh..yes, McCain...the man who divorced his crippled wife to marry a beautiful heiress= defend marriage

    1. fnln on Jun 20, 2008 4:54:24 AM:

      The homocons say that LCR is trying to change its party from within, so instead of LCR offering an endorsement about which nobody cares anyway, LCR should continue its attempt to change its party from within. Good luck with that. LOL.

    1. Matt on Jun 20, 2008 2:40:20 PM:

      Colin said:

      So then the discussion becomes, "Which candidate is poised to most combat/diffuse Islamofascism?" To me, the answer is pretty clearly Barack Obama. What is it that stokes the fires of Islamofascism? I would argue that it is our unwanted presence in Islamic communities.

      In 1998, Osama bin Laden declared war on the United States because of our presence in Saudi Arabia. We left Saudi Arabia.

      So much for your theory about how to deal with terrorism.

    1. Charlie on Jun 21, 2008 12:43:57 PM:

      I doubt anyone's arguing that Saddam Hussein was a cool guy, just misunderstood, never forgot to send his mom flowers on mother's day. I think we'd all agree that it's great that he's not in power anymore, anywhere on this planet. The point is WHY was it out responsibility to sacrifice thousands of our own lives to remove him? Well, we were told it was because he posed an imminent threat .. except he didn't. Honest mistake, right? Actually, no the mistake wasn't honest... the administration knew precisely what they were doing. There is simply no getting around that fact. Arguing that the war has been successful is like saying, "yes, I snuck into your bedroom and stole money from your wallet, but look, I used it to buy you something cool."

      I think LCR's attempt to "change the party from within" is cute. Misguided, considering the more conservative of our two parties has unfortunately been hijacked by social conservatives so rabid they are practically reactionary. You know, the Christofascists who are not above resorting to their own terroristic behavior. This element, alive and breathing in our own country, is absolutely no better than the Islamofascists we've been told are the boogeymen, only better in that they haven't quite claimed as many lives yet. Religious fanaticism is religious fanaticism, period, and it's never something a civilized country wants to support... except the Republican party in its current configuration takes their money and pushes their issues. The Republican party needs to be reinvented, but neither McCain (ass kisser that he's become) or the LCR (again, cute in their powerlessness here) are going to be the ones to do it.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Jun 21, 2008 6:21:18 PM:

      The point is WHY was it out responsibility to sacrifice thousands of our own lives to remove him?

      Um, because we happened to think what he was doing was appalling?

      Well, we were told it was because he posed an imminent threat

      Indeed you were.

      “There is no doubt that … Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies.” Letter to President Bush, Signed by: — Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), and others, Dec 5, 2001

      “We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and th! e means of delivering them.” — Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI), Sept. 19, 2002

      “We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country.” — Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

      “Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.” — Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

      “We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction.” — Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002

      “The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons…” — Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002

      “I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force — if necessary — to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security.” — Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002

      “There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years … We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction.” — Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002

      “He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do” — Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002

      “In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members … It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.” — Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

      “We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction.” — Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), Dec. 8, 2002

      “Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime … He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation … And now he is miscalculating America’s response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction … So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real…” — Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003

      Now, rather than say these Democrats were lying, I would say that they, like the Bush administration, made what is a completely logical determination and a praiseworthy deduction that the United States should act. In the process, they removed one of, if not THE worst, of the world's brutal dictators, collapsing a regime under which millions of people had been imprisoned, tortured, and murdered for no crime greater than religious faith or political dissidence, and whose recklessness towards its own people was such that it let half a million children starve while paying billions of dollars in illegal kickbacks to UN and European bureaucrats.

      You know, the Christofascists who are not above resorting to their own terroristic behavior.

      Oh really? Such as?

    1. Charlie on Jun 22, 2008 2:00:13 PM:

      Zzzzz... you didn't just really quote a bunch of democrats at me and pretend it was an argument, did you?

    1. Kris Jones on Jun 23, 2008 11:20:28 PM:

      I'm supporting McCain. America comes first and McCain is a living hero, and has almost a lifetime of experience. Those in our community who are supporting the coward Obama are selfish, they are putting LGBT issues over whats best for our country. The Democrats in Congress haven't done anything for our community. Where is the new age of enlightment. The Democrats have once again given us the worst candidate they could put forward. Sen. Obama is the most inexperienced and unqualified president candidate in the history of our nation. If Obama wins I'm going to beg Queen Elizabeth to take me back to the Motherland, we would have had about a 270 year run at it in American.

      VOTE FOR MCCAIN AN AMERICAN HERO NOT A "0"BAMA
      OBAMA HATES GAYS HE WONT LET US GET MARRIED
      GROW SOME BALLS STOP WRITTING CHECKS YOUR ASS CANT CASH

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