Some Inconvenient Truths About GOProud

With some high profile center-right bloggers outraged by the American Conservative Union’s decision not to continue gay Republican group GOProud’s sponsorship of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, it’s worth listing a few points about GOProud and CPAC the finger wavers should think about:
  1. GOProud’s position on marriage: “Opposing any anti-gay federal marriage amendment.  Marriage should be a question for the states.  A federal constitutional amendment on marriage would be an unprecedented federal power grab from the states.” Deferring marriage policy to the states is a respectable (albeit mistaken, in my view) conservative position; referring to the marriage amendment as “anti-gay” is not.
  2. GOProud’s stated support for marriage federalism is highly misleading. The organization wants to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, falsely suggesting the law interferes with the right of the states to set marriage policy. DOMA is not a federal same-sex marriage ban, but merely a federal guarantee that individual states won’t be forced to recognize or adopt the marriage definitions of other states. What good is it for GOProud to say they support states’ rights on the issue if they want to leave the states defenseless against activist judges?
  3. GOProud doesn’t merely ignore social issues; they also actively demand that the rest of the conservative coalition abandons social issues too. In doing so they misrepresent how many Tea Partiers they speak for and denigrate the movement’s most conservative, loyal and long-standing members as “Washington insiders and special interest groups.”
  4. GOProud supported the repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. But as those following the issue know, policymakers ignored the concerns of many servicemen and military officers in deciding what to do about DADT. Can any organization that doesn’t take seriously the military’s judgment in such matters truly call itself conservative?
  5. GOProud supports ending taxpayer funding for abortion, but punts on the main issue. It turns out GOProud president Chris Barron worked for Planned Parenthood as director of pro-choice outreach to Republicans. Barron says his time with PP was the “worst 2 months of my life,” yet it apparently wasn’t significant enough to change his position all that much: “he stopped supporting the Roe v Wade decision in early 2006, after this experience, ‘but beyond that don’t have strong feelings on abortion – not really involved in the process.’”
  6. Barron has also smeared longtime conservative activists Tony Perkins (Family Research Council president) and Cleta Mitchell (ACU board member) as “bigots,” and ridiculed those boycotting CPAC over GOProud’s involvement, including Sen. Jim DeMint and Concerned Women for America, as living on “the Island of Political Misfit Toys.” Barron did apologize to Mitchell, but not to the others. Not only has Barron shown his capacity for demonization, but he lacks the common sense and the humility to recognize that a newcomer to the Right, especially one with all the baggage listed above, doesn’t quite have the standing to pass judgment on the political relevance of the movement’s veterans.
  7. Barron isn’t the only GOProud bigwig with behavioral problems. In response to the National Organization for Marriage’s perfectly reasonable press release stating, “We welcome everyone’s right to participate in the democratic process, but we have a message for GOProud on marriage: If you try to elect pro-gay-marriage Republicans, we will Dede Scozzafava them,” LaSalvia threw a temper tantrum: “I just have a question for them: Who’s the pansy at CPAC? What wusses. Just come over. Don’t play nice if you’re not going to be nice.”
  8. Some critics have asked why the ACU is throwing out GOProud, but not Grover Norquist and Suhail Khan, both of whom are disturbingly cozy with radical Islamists. That’s an excellent question, and the ACU should be confronted on it. Y’know what else is an excellent question? Why the people raising the question don’t notice that Norquist is also on GOProud’s advisory board. Are we to believe Norquist impairs the ACU’s reliability on national security and foreign policy, but not GOProud’s?
Everyone makes mistakes now and then, and prudent allies should be able to forgive one or two transgressions for the sake of their shared priorities. But with no less than eight serious marks against GOProud, it’s entirely reasonable to doubt the organization’s intentions and conservative credibility. CPAC made the right decision.

This article is cross-posted at RedState.com.

What a Surprise

On December 31, I wrote:

At this point, GOProud’s trustworthiness is in doubt. Their true intention seems to be to drive the Right socially leftward. Here’s another simple test that would reveal a great deal about their real values and priorities. GOProud is in favor of repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. So they should answer this question: do you believe Congress gave sufficient consideration to the judgment of American servicemen and military leaders prior to repeal?

On January 12, I decided to pose that question to GOProud. I both emailed and left in the comments of their (then) most recent relevant post the following:

Hello,

I am interested in GOProud’s position on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney has written that “nearly 1200 retired flag and general officers” have “written their own open letter opposing repeal of the ban on homosexuals in the military.” (BigPeace.com, Dec. 17) Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, made the following observations from the survey website:

“[T]he Working Group conceded, ‘Our sense is that the majority of views expressed were against repeal.’’ (p. 49) Not only were these opinions disrespected, Adm. Mike Mullen has already stated more than once that anyone who disagrees with the LGBT law no longer will be welcome to serve.

“In addition to involuntary personnel losses due to Adm. Mullen’s ‘zero tolerance’ of dissent, cross-tabbed data displayed on the 2010 DADT Survey website indicate that among Army combat arms personnel, 21.4% would leave sooner than planned, and 14.6% would think about leaving–a total potential loss of more than a third (36%) of those valuable troops. (DADT Survey Appendix J, p. 53)

“Marine combat arms would be weakened even more, with 32% of Marines saying they would leave sooner than planned, and 16.2% considering an early end to their careers, totaling almost half. (DADT Survey Appendix L, p. 47) The gradual loss of so many combat troops and what the report described as ‘only 12%’ of families likely to decline re-enlistment could put remaining troops in greater danger, and break the All-Volunteer Force. (CRWG Report, p. 4)”

(BigPeace.com, Dec. 19)

That said, my question is: Does GOProud believe Congress gave sufficient consideration to the judgment of American servicemen, military leaders, and defense experts prior to enacting repeal?

Answer? Crickets. Just be careful whether or not you dare mention it – Andrew Breitbart might get “offended.”

New on NewsReal – Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’s Repeal Reminds Us That Joe Lieberman’s Still a Leftist

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

With the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell finally coming to pass, the long-disgruntled gay Left finally has something to show for their support of Barack Obama. But right now the spotlight and accolades are going to a different Democrat with an estranged relationship to the Left. At the Daily Beast, Howard Kurtz sits down with Sen. Joe Lieberman to discuss his leadership on the issue, and whether or not it makes up for his heresy on the War on Terror:

Andrew Sullivan, the gay Atlantic blogger who has championed repeal of DADT, dubbed Lieberman a “civil rights hero.” But Alex Pareene, a liberal blogger for Salon, declared that “it’s still OK to hate Joe Lieberman”—the “single most annoying man in the United States Senate”—because he remains a “sanctimonious troll.”

Lieberman says he doesn’t know whether the battle will help him politically, and his relationship with home-state Democrats may have deteriorated beyond repair. A Quinnipiac poll last January gave him a 27 percent approval rating among Democrats, and several Dems are weighing a primary challenge for 2012.

I have no principled objection to political parties and movements establishing litmus tests—even single-issue litmus tests—for their candidates. That’s their prerogative. But it is telling that left-wing Lieberman haters have chosen national security of all issues with which to divide allies and enemies. Once upon a time, Americans on both sides of the aisle believed that politics stopped at the water’s edge; the Left has since fallen so far from that ideal that today, no cause, principle, or value is safe from partisan venom or opportunism.

Speaking of those principles, Lieberman’s critics also suffer from fatal tunnel vision. Sure, he agrees with conservatives on several foreign policy issues, but on just about everything else, he’s a true-blue leftist.

Read the rest at NewsRealBlog.