Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ken Mehlman Outs How Republicans Used Hatred of Gays to Get Bush Reelected

     Ken Mehlman, former manager of the Bush/Cheney 2004 campaign and former chairman of the Republican National Committee in 2006, has come out of the closet.  This is no big news.

     What's so tragic about Mehlman's news is that while he was in a position of Republican power, he lead the successful charge for anti-gay marriage rights amendments in eleven states.  He now admits that he and the Bush/Cheney campaign stoked homophobia and inspired hatred for gays as a strategy to bring out the conservative vote and get Bush reelected.  

     It's no wonder that Republicans are gathering in Washington DC today to reclaim the civil rights movement from minorities, protesting Muslim American's right to worship in Manhattan, and trying to remove Iowa's supreme court justices.  The midterm elections are months away.  Hate sells and it gets Republicans elected.  Dog bless America.

     The Advocate recently interviewed Mehlman about his role in anti-gay rights politics under Bush.  Here's a snippet:
     There’s a lot of gays and lesbians and other people who are still angry about the 2004 election and the fact that that those 11 amendments were on the ballot. Is there anything that you would like to say about that in particular?
     Look, I have a lot of friends who ask questions and who are angry about it. I understand that folks are angry, I don’t know that you can change the past. As I’ve said, one thing I regret a lot is the fact that I wasn’t in the position I am today where I was comfortable with this part of my life, where I was able to be an advocate against that [strategy] and able to be someone who argued against it. I can’t change that – it is something I wish I could and I can only try to be helpful in the future.
     Mehlman is an example of what is so tragic about the movement for LGBT civil rights: the shame and self-loathing of closeted gays, especially those in politics and religion, is often used as a motivation to attack honest LGBT persons, their families, and their civil rights.  I agree with Dan Savage (see the embedded video below).  Mehlman needs to do more than one gay-friendly fundraiser to make up for the damage of his past homophobia.  His hateful legacy lives on in eleven states and Bush's reelection.

     Here's Keith Olbermann's report on Mehlman's admission that Christian Republican's strategy in election time is to inspire hatred towards certain groups in order to bring out the conservative vote, including the winning of Ohio, and thus the presidency,  in 2004.