the A few weeks ago, I saw a newspaper photo of Karl Rove and Ken Mehlman that almost implicitly branded them as gay lovers: they were in such close proximity to themselves one could have been butt fucking the other one; they were arms 'round shoulders each, and they were sharing some sort of private moment that left no doubt their secret was a private glee over something or other. Knowing Rove had marital problems, I entertained for a moment the thought that perhaps they were both gay. And then I recalled Mehlman's role in the spread of DOMA legislation and Rove's notorious campaign dirty tricks while engineering George W. Bush's rise to power first as governor of Texas, then as a presidential candidate.

In Texas, Rove would "leak" information about rival candidates to the effect that they'd had secret gay relationships and were hiding their homosexuality from the press and public. This is just about the most cynical, deceitful, cruel, and bigoted act we might imagine. So what in the world were Karl and Mehlman acting like butt buddies? Actually, Mehlman has long been rumored to be a closet queen, but anyone at that level of the Republican Party either stays in the closet or, like David Brock, is quickly made to feel a persona non grata in a party whose base includes the radical religious right: people like the Rev. James Dodson and Tony (the PAC man, not the actor) Perkins: people who so despise gays they seem at times on the verge of advocating their stoning (a la Leviticus) at worst and voluntary reorientation therapy (a la the "Exodus" program) at best.

It did not particularly surprise me when Mehlman came out gay in the last couple of days: he'd been baited constantly by bloggers, and as he himself said, it took him the better part of forty years just to admit to himself that he was himself. What surprises me is that he already has his apologists, people who claim he acted bravely in going public with details of his essential nature. Considering what happened to Brock, author of the coming out GOP gay tell all book, "Blinded by the Right," Mehlman had a tough decision. He now must learn that the party he represented so faithfully throughout the Bush years -- and even now as Rove's partner in a behind the scenes GOP fundraising group -- has as little use for the sexual minorities as it does for President Obama.

Others, like gay blogger Mike Rogers, feel as I do, that Mehlman's going public, while laudable, is too little, too late. That is because Mehlman simply cannot apologize for the pain he has caused untold numbers of people, especially (and this makes me weep) adolescent and teenaged Americans who get called queer, faggot, cocksucker and worse at school, and who've been shown four times more likely to become teenage suicides, so difficult it is to navigate what is already a dangerous time in the life of any man or woman. Mehlman can apologize for being the vocal bigot he was (though he's shown no willingness to do so), but there are some things you cannot apologize for. Not that he is the only GOP activist who is gay: Matt Drudge was outed by Brock, who said the man actually made passes at him, and so is Andrew Breitbart, the Acorn-blaster and Shirley Sherrod video editor.

Still, the whole point of gay-bashing by party spokespersons was to curry the favor of the hysterical evangelical movement. Why are these particular people so anti-gay? I am reminded of the Sunday school song we had to learn and sing, "The Bible Tells Me So," which has that ridiculous line -- so blatantly circular in its logic -- that goes, "Yes, Jesus loves me/The Bible tells me so." Bible fundamentalists as all of us justify all of their conservative social positions on scripture. They point to Leviticus's condemnation of those who lie with their own kind as "abominations unto the Lord." In fact, the Booble, as much as patriotism, turns out to be the last refuge of the scoundrel. In fact, it is also the first. While I am glad Mr. Mehlman finally got around to telling us the truth about himself, he needn't apologize. It won't do him any good at this point. If he had done it when it really mattered, he would have gotten the boot. Now, it is simply meaningless. What a coward!

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The sheer hypocrisy of engaging in gay bashing professionally while hiding in the closet is forever lost on gay conservatives; it is as if the right to hypocrisy is part and parcel of their sense of entitlement.

One should never assume that conservative politicians would not likely be involved in any particular activity because it would contradict their public positions - we have seen so many blatant examples of such behavior that it is clear that they consider themselves to be somehow superior as to exempt themselves from the moral standards they would impose on others.

When he was asked about his professional gay bashing while he remained in the closet, Mehlman simply kept repeating that he "wasn't ready" to come out at that point. Well, doesn't it ever occur to the man that the question being asked was not about closets; it was about the hypocrisy of his professional gay bashing - and the lack of integrity it implies. That question was entirely lost on him, as far as I can see.

I have little more respect for him now than I did when he and Karl Rove (another suspected closet case) were all buddy-buddy while bashing gays for a living. Yes, it took courage for Mehlman to come out of the closet. But it takes integrity to not engage in gay bashing while still in there with the door closed. And that integrity was not much in evidence.
Shrewd analysis Scott. Same syndrome when they appear to apologize for some remark, such as that bitch Dr. Laura (who used to bash gays) using the N word about six times to a black caller trying to get advice on the bigotry of her husband's family. She never really apologized for using the N word, she just went off the air. I had a friend once who was (is) a gay Repub. These people do not give a flying flick about gay rights. This guy had made a million (millions?) in the fast food business. It's like pulling up the life raft once they get aboard the boat, leaving all the rest of us to fend off the sharks and stormy weather.
Some philosopher whose name I cannot recall suggested that conservatism "is the search for a moral justification for selfishness." As time goes on, I become ever more convinced of the accuracy of that assessment.

Indeed, when one looks closely at the philosophy promulgated by that High Priestess of conservatism, Ayn Rand, what one sees is a very elegantly constructed justification for and even promotion of selfishness, a fact about which she had absolutely zero shame. It is elegantly summarized by John Galt's famous oath - "I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for the sake of mine."

When one appreciates the full sociopathy of such a position, it is not a surprise that many conservatives, regardless of their sanctimonious moral pronouncements, see nothing wrong with hypocrisy, self-service and a complete lack of integrity in their dealings with others. All the values that we may hold dear - which enable us to build societies in which we live side by side with each other in peace and harmony - are undermined by such a value. But the very fact that Ayn Rand is becoming so popular, is evidence that they see in her what they have long sought - a moral justification for selfishness. And that, Mr. Martin, is why conservatives are quite happy and guiltless about pulling the lifeboat aboard the rescue boat and allow you to swim in the ocean and face the sharks and storms quite alone. I got mine. F**k you. For them, it is all the same, whether they are straight, gay, closeted or not.
I once permitted a visit by a fellow who was traveling from state to state visiting folks who "met" on a mailing list of gay men willing to put up travelers for a night or two when they arranged to stop over for a night or two. (This was years before the internet.) He sure brought a lot of baggage to my house in South Texas. Not only did he criticize my record collection, commenting on a recording of "Lohengrin," "Oh, that's just a terrible recording of Wagner's opera," he also tried to boss me around in my own house. He played a lot of control freak games, thinking I was some sort of willing masochist to his sadist and so forth. After he'd been here a night or two, he learned that the film version of "The Fountainhead" was going to be on TV that night. Reminding him that I was a film buff who had seen almost everything ever filmed, I told him it better be good, as I would be missing a movie I loved on another channel. He said, "It's the best movie ever made. After all, it's from an Ayn Rand novel!" (He had already told me how highly he thought of Ms. Rand's philosophy of "enlightened selfishness." He was a real fan and devotee.)

I watched the film -- at least Patricia Neal's performance was good -- but kept groaning about missing my movie since, after about two reels (20 mins.), I had had enough. I said, "I get her point but why bother?" The movie was inept. After the End credits had rolled, I said, "Get up and get out. Pack your shit and split." He did, very surprised at my reaction. I told him as he left, "I understand Ms. Rand's philosophy very well, thank you. But she and all of her followers are anything BUT enlightened. You're just plain selfish."
The quote is of John Kenneth Galbraith

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.
When I lived in my motorhome and was camping out on public land, I once ran into a retired philosophy professor from the Esalen Institute. He and I became close friends, and visited each other quite often.

One day, in discussing conservatism, he suggested to me that if you want to understand conservatives, you have to understand that "for them it is all about control."

I have thought a lot about that over the years, and I have concluded that for the most part, he was right. I would modify that to say that the impulse to control is a result of the selfishness - it is an outgrowth of the sense of entitlement that the selfishness gives rise to. Combined with the sense of moral superiority, which is a part of the mindset, it creates a sense of *natural* right - as was so eloquently defended in Leo Strauss' magnum opus, "Natural Right and History." If you are morally superior (and your self-entitlement exempts you from the rules of morality you would expect others to obey), and you are naturally entitled to be the master of all you survey, why shouldn't you control it?

This is the only way I can rationalize the mindset of the Karl Roves, Dick Cheneys and George W. Bushs of the world. And of course, Ken Mehlman.
I honestly don't know whether I'm conservative or liberal. Both groups have castigated me, and the diatribes of both groups have left me feeling alienated. I suspect if there is a Kinsey scale for the false dichotomy of conserv/lib with 0 being Rove and 10 being Boxer, I'm probably about an 8. I probably do belong more on the liberal side, but in the end, these categories seem to obscure critical thinking.

Regardless, Mehlman was a big factor in the demonization of LGBTQ people in his era, just as Reagan was in his era. I have no idea whether he's self hating - I doubt it, and suspect he's more of a narcissist. What Rove was expert at was Macchiavellian manipulation of the masses using whatever it took, and the knee-jerk homophobia during the Bush II elections was just what the spin-doctor ordered.

Some "mainstream" Repub/conservatives seem to be "over" the antigay thing now, at least for the moment. Their "deal with satan" to use homophobia to garner votes had an expiration date, and it is past it. Washington examiner. "
Ken Mehlman is gay? Most right-leaning political junkies probably responded by asking, ‘Who is Ken Mehlman?’ or ‘Yeah, but who cares?’ Conservative bloggers either ignored the topic or pointed out that conservatives aren’t necessarily surprised or outraged by the news."

"Ken Mehlman, who was the head of the RNC from 2005 through 2007, said, "It's taken me 43 years to get comfortable with this part of my life," but his detractors will only take note of the timing: Ken Mehlman is campaigning to raise funds for American Foundation for Equal Rights, which is fighting against Prop 8; legislation for which Melhman himself helped pave the way." here.

Talking about fucking old news - Bill Maher outs Ken Maher in 2006

"A lot of the people who run the Republican party are gay". I'm so ashamed. I'm so very, very ashamed.
Interesting you bring that up, Rigbyt. When I sat around the dinner table at night, when we had our common meal, all I heard with reference to gay people was "that queer." I thought these people must be special so I started calling neighborhood fathers "queer." Needless to say, I was severely punished and in open view of the neighbors, as my father was fond of a willow tree that grew tall and majestic just outside our front door. I knew its lash more than a few times. If this was not child abuse I do not know of it. I forgave him as well as my mother, who, Oedipally I think, passed punishment of me for every miscreant deed to my father, trying to make me hate him. I think she had read Freud.

But your argument annoys those who choose nurture over nature in the perennial argument as to which "explains" homosexuality. (I am rather certain that it doesn't make a farthing's difference how we explain LGBT people.) I think of it as something akin to alcoholism, but only in the biological sense; alcoholism is passed on genetically and reinforced by adaptation in one's environment.

The key term you use here, "regardless of the penalties," is interesting to say the least. Now that the evangelicals are spewing hatred of the sexual minorities in backward third world African countries, and monster tyrants like Ahmadinejad in Iran are urging repetition of history because he learned nothing from it, the penalties for being queer (I demand the right to use that instead of "gay") remain death in many countries of the world. I think we may see a new frontier in international civil rights organizations, what with severe punishment throughout Africa, the Mideast and parts of the Levant.

What on earth are these people thinking? Well, when you submit to Allah, you give your mind away to 7th and 8th century superstition.




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