GAY GROUP BRAGS ABOUT WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH BUSH, ASHCROFT
LOG CABIN REPUBLICANS
April 24, 2002
"The only thing more comical than the gay Left's oft-predicted demise of Log Cabin Republicans is that they keep using the same headlines year after year -- and we're still here. Over the past six or seven years it has been the Advocate or Out or a gay newspaper which has run a piece talking about LCR's imminent "collapse" -- in fact, it was even said in 1996 that Log Cabin was "collapsing on Rich Tafel's head," and another was called "Cabin Fever" in 2000, which was counting the hours until we'd vanish.
This time it is an Out Magazine reporter who now works at a mainstream magazine, The New Republic (TNR). Recently, there have been a number of articles talking about the fact that TNR is bleeding deficits -- and talent -- each year. In fact, the only time the magazine made money was when Andrew Sullivan was it's editor-in-chief. In their wisdom, they drove him away, too. In fact, just in today's edition of the New York Sun, it is reported that TNR's annual losses are "somewhere in the low-seven-figures" and layoffs hit the magazine in the second week of December and the editorial staff took 10% pay cuts to stem the damage. We have some other cuts we can suggest...
In an article entitled "The Collapse of Log Cabin Republicans--Cabin Fever" (very original) Sarah Wildman predicts that the organization is, you guessed it, about to go under. She quotes the same disgruntled LCR former employee that the Advocate also relied on for a couple of its pieces over the years, who now sits on HRC's board of governors and has criticized LCR, sometimes simultaneously, for being too supportive of Republicans and for not being supportive enough of Republicans.
Wildman's thesis is that LCR isn't "useful" (her word) to her left wing agenda anymore. She could tolerate LCR if we were fighting within our Party, but now she's mad because we are working with the Bush Administration and we're accepted in the GOP. Wildman wrote a cartoonish piece in Out Magazine many years ago, slamming our members and our mission and predicting similar doom and gloom.
The gay left has always had three arguments against LCR. The old one was the GOP was so horrible that we could never change it. We would always be on the outside looking in. We were 'kidding ourselves' for even trying, one HRC executive director said at the time. The second argument is LCR is selling out the community by claiming the GOP is becoming more inclusive, which anyone can plainly see that it is. The only tolerable role for LCR from her perspective is to be in fights within the GOP. When that isn't the case, she attacks.
The third argument against LCR is a twist on the original one. Yes, Log Cabin may have had success working within the GOP, but they aren't effective, or they aren't real players in the GOP. Wildman uses all three at different times in her piece.
To make the case that we are sell outs, she points to our support of Tom Coburn as co-chair of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. Coburn as you know is someone we worked closely with, and someone who has built alliances with many in the HIV/AIDS advocacy community. She fails to mention that HRC publicly praised Coburn's appointment as well. Have they sold out to the right as well?
She also lambasts us for supporting the Attorney General. Did she miss HRC and NGLTF's press releases praising John Aschcroft for doing what Janet Reno refused to do in the case of prosecuting the hate criminal who murdered two lesbians in Virginia over 6 years ago? By Wildman's logic has HRC and NGLTF joined our right-wing conspiracy (welcome aboard, friends...).
Wildman quotes an HRC board member concerning LCR's PAC giving. Did Wildman care to note that LCR spent $500,000 in the fall of 2000 on GOP campaigns alone, in a print and radio campaign widely covered in the media? (Don't tell me the gay Left has amnesia about those ads they were so apoplectic about at the time...) Nope, she missed it. And she never bothered to ask us about it either. She also wasn't interested in the fact that we were holding our national convention only days after her piece ran, and raised over $60,000 in hard money contributions for Republican candidates.
And Wildman won't win any journalist awards by quoting unnamed sources to make her own points. We all know that the TNR is in trouble. But is it so financially insoluable that they can only afford former Out magazine writers?
Let's do the editor of the The New Republic a favor and alert him about Wildman's piece. Send an email to TNR's editor Peter Beinart at email@example.com. Send him the URL of www.lcr.org where he can see the release and photos of LCR's White House briefing, Congressional Briefing, Senatoral Briefings and our Black Tie dinner where we raised $50,000 for LCR PAC's federal account in one evening.
Remember -- if the gay left is mad, we must be doing something right. " [Emphasis added]