Crocodile Tears for Gay Conservatives

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Jason Kuznicki

Jason Kuznicki is a research fellow at the Cato Institute and contributor of Cato Unbound. He's on twitter as JasonKuznicki. His interests include political theory and history.

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  1. Avatar Tod Kelly
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    says:

    Bullseye.  Well done.Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Tod Kelly
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      says:

      It’s well known that gay conservatives have often been driven to suicide because of the nasty, nasty things that mean old Dan Savage said to them on the playground.

      I particularly liked that bit.Report

      • Avatar Pinky in reply to Patrick Cahalan
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        says:

        So, that’s the standard we’re using now for political discourse?  You can say anything about your opponent, as long as it doesn’t drive him to commit suicide?Report

        • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Pinky
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          says:

          The point is that children and adolescents are emotionally fragile in ways that adults just aren’t.

          As a result, the very same things will have different effects when said or done to teenagers as compared to adults.  Any comparison between the two will have to consider this (I’d thought obvious) fact.  Particularly if said comparison is one of facile equivalence.

          Further, no one’s forcing gay conservatives to be politically active.  As a result, if they don’t like the criticisms — of a type, by the way, leveled at pretty much everyone who is politically active — they have options.  They can change their politics.  They can be quiet about it.  They can just man up a bit — again, in a way that children definitionally cannot.  Or they can fight fire with fire, which in my experience works pretty well.

          Lastly, I am not celebrating or normalizing the fact that insult is a part of politics.  I’m only being a realist about it.  If you have a master plan to restore civility — or, hey, just to implement it — I’d love to see what you’ve got.  So would we all.Report

          • Avatar James Vonder Haar in reply to Jason Kuznicki
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            says:

            One starting point for implementing civility would be to rhetorically support efforts to implement it, instead of telling those subjected to incivility to change their politics, be quiet about their political views, man up, or be equally uncivil.

             

            You’re correct to point out that the false equivalence between bullied kids and gay conservatives is unwarranted, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a real problem with the way the gay community treats their log cabin brethren.  Attitudes like Savage’s are pretty common, and I think the political engagement of the gay community would be markedly improved if liberalism and support of the democratic party were not widely considered shibboleths for authentic gay identity.Report

      • Avatar Bruce Majors in reply to Patrick Cahalan
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        says:

        Actually the relevant question would be:  how many teens commit suicide because of the lesbian and gay invisibility perpetrated by the Democratic Party gays, as people like Donna Brazille, Barbara Mikulski, Hillary Rosen etc etc, who pretend to be heterosexual to get votes or when on TV, although everyone they work with in DC or Baltimore etc know that they are gay and have met their lovers.

        Ms. Brazile even went to the lengths last year on ABC’s This Week of going on and on about what a fine looking man Rick Perry was.  When she was finally about to discuss her need for a fresh panty shield the other female panelist told her to shut up, as we would not like it if someone discussed a female politician in the same way.Report

        • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Bruce Majors
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          says:

          IIRC, there are four openly gay members of Congress, all Democrats (David Cicilline of RI, Barney Frank, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Jared Polis of Colorado).  There are no openly gay GOP members of Congress.

          Far be it for me to demand that anyone make their sexual lifestyle a defining characteristic of their political persona.  Is this what you’re suggesting?Report

  2. Avatar Chris
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    says:

    I particularly like the last paragraph. What I would add that, those social conservatives are likely to send similarly nasty hate mail to De Pasquale, if they know she’s out there. Savage doesn’t like that De Pasquale is conservative. Social conservatives don’t like that De Pasquale or Savage exist. There’s a difference.Report

    • Avatar Mike in reply to Chris
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      says:

      And that is why De Pasquale’s approach is rather like a Hasidic Jew trying to join the Aryan Brotherhood, or Bill Cosby trying to sign up for the KKK. Downright stupid at best, suicidal at worst.Report

      • Avatar An Imprisoned Psychotic in reply to Mike
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        says:

        Why should one’s sexual orientation automatically mean they support tough gun laws, be pro-choice, against capital punishment, pro-unions, against Afghan war, global warming, desegregation, Affirmative Action und so weiter….

        What am I missing? What does sex have to do with it? Why should they monolithically and reflexively support just about every Liberal cause?

        Why don’t plumbers, electricians, roofers, mechanics, stock brokers, physicians, architects, engineers, yes, why don’t they think so uniformly and monolithically? Does homosexuality completely govern, from head to toe, their political positions on everything?Report

        • Avatar Mike in reply to An Imprisoned Psychotic
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          says:

          Should someone’s support of looser gun laws mean they should in good conscience support a party that wants to make them second class citizens or worse?

          Should someone’s “pro-life” views mean they ought to support the party closest to insisting they should be denied the rights every other living American takes for granted?

          Should someone’s resistance to capital punishment mean they ought to support a party that would rather they had not been born?

          When one party wants to make you a second class citizen, without the right to serve in the military, without the right to marry the adult who loves you, without the right to give them survivors’ benefits and the right to visit you in the hospital if you’re sick, without the right to be a legal parent to your spouse’s kids, without the right to adopt kids that even an unmarried straight person has… what kind of a fucking moron do you have to be to support them, no matter WHAT else you agree with them on?Report

  3. Avatar North
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    says:

    Well they have to do pay some kind of lip service to their gay conservatives otherwise one of them might leave and then it’d be gay conservative.Report

  4. Avatar BlaiseP
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    says:

    I never quite worked this one out:  if sexuality is a facet of a personality, wouldn’t political preference be much the same?   All things considered, being both gay and conservative doesn’t imply anything in particular, any more than being of a particular race would dictate a person’s politics.

    Since when did Conservative == Bigot?   Dan Savage might think these guys are Useful Idiots but even he must admit they are awfully Useful.   The Conservatives will never be swayed on the issues of LGBT rights from outside their own fold.

    It’s like everything else when it comes to bigotry.   The Israelis have a term for it, the My Neighbor Hassan Effect. The logjam starts to break when the bigot says “Oh well, the [insert target of bigotry] are generally awful people but not my neighbor Hassan.  He’s a great guy and our kids are always playing in each others’ houses.   But all the rest of ’em, they’re terrorist swine, I tell you!   I wish all of them were like Hassan!Report

    • Avatar North in reply to BlaiseP
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      says:

      I’m pretty sure the conservatives have been pretty much written off. There really aren’t enough homosexuals to attempt to sway two parties, they can barely get one of them to listen to them.

      Bush the lesser was reputedly quite friendly to gays individually even as he was just fine with writing policy against them. Veep Dick has a gay daughter for goodness sakes. One of the things about homosexuality is that you don’t necessarily have to do outreach. Gay relatives pop up among the ranks of conservatives all on their own in a way that Muslim relatives are very unlikely to do. And of course the history remains that those very gay relatives were generally driven onto the streets by their families to wash up in the major cities and found the refuges from which the gay communities and gay movement formed.

      No, the sad writing on the wall appears to be that we’re going to have to let the current spine of anti-gay sentiment shuffle off this mortal coil and that their moderated children and downright libertine grandchildren will temper the conservatives all on their own.Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to North
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        says:

        Well, you seem to have undermined your own excellent argument when you observe Outreach isn’t necessary.   The bigots need Outreach, if only to allay their fears.   There’s a line in The King and I about prejudice “You have to be carefully taught.”

        Islamic cultures have always wrestled with homosexuality and pederasty.   There’s a surprising amount of it, especially within Persian and Afghan culture:  the bacha bazi children.   Girls are for making babies, boys are for fun.

        I wonder if we can outlive the old bigots.   If racial prejudice is any clue, maybe not.   From what I’ve seen of the prison and gang systems, racism is still alive and well.   Maybe not out in the world we live in, we’re all so cool and laid back about that stuff, racism and discrimination are for oldsters and hillbillies.   We may be deluding ourselves about human nature.

        Robert Frost said:

        Some say the world will end in fire,
        Some say in ice.
        From what I’ve tasted of desire
        I hold with those who favor fire.
        But if it had to perish twice,
        I think I know enough of hate
        To say that for destruction ice
        Is also great
        And would suffice.Report

        • Avatar kenB in reply to BlaiseP
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          says:

          “You’ve Got to be Carefully Taught” is a song from South Pacific.  (Sorry for being a pedant, but it’s just a facet of my personality.)Report

        • Avatar North in reply to BlaiseP
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          says:

          Yes, I certainly didn’t intent to suggest that outreach is pointless. But I would submit that while outreach is definitly advisable empowering the conservatives like GOProud goes over far.Report

          • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to North
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            says:

            Yeah, so stipulated.  My thinking about LGBT rights goes along these lines, the same as my beliefs about any civil or constitutional rights movement:  let the aggrieved make their own case.   Sure, we who support their cause ought to support them, march alongside them if need be, but let a man fight his own battles.

            As I understand it, GOProud specifically avoids gay rights issues, focussing on standard Conservative talking points.   The social issues the GOProud-ers leave to the Log Cabin Republicans.

            Perhaps you have more insight into GOProud and its objectives, but from what I’ve seen, it’s not such a terrible strategic position to take.   As a Liberal, I always hate getting into a tussle over enforced equality.   Every time I get into one of those debates, the Conservatives damned near disembowel me.   Maybe I’m not the Liberal I think I am:   if you want a seat at the table, you can’t demand a place be set for you, just because you want one.Report

            • Avatar North in reply to BlaiseP
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              says:

              Oh I think we’re on the same page for enforced equality. My issue with GOProud is more of precisely what you point out. The say “Well other than the fact that they think that people like us are moral and social cancers the GOP has good policies and deserves our financial and electoral support.” Well other than the shooting Mrs. Lincoln how was the play?Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to North
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                says:

                Though I have no clear insight into their motives, the GOProuders might be playing their hands rather better than the Log Cabin Republicans.

                Consider it along these lines:  as with the N Word, if the GOProuders set up their little tables at the GOP gatherings, who’s going to dare to tell them to leave?   The rhetoric of bigotry never ages well.   The rhetoric of common cause obliges the bigots to shut up: be they ever so obstreperous among their fellow bigots, bigots are cowards unless they’ve formed up a mob.   Bigotry depends on ginning up fear of the unknown.

                By their mere presence among the bigots, the GOProuders are recapitulating what black conservatives such as Clarence Thomas and Thomas Sowell did all those decades ago.   It just might work, North.

                 Report

              • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                Consider it along these lines:  as with the N Word, if the GOProuders set up their little tables at the GOP gatherings, who’s going to dare to tell them to leave?  

                They were told to leave.  When GOProud insisted on attending CPAC anyway, several major conservative organizations boycotted the conference, including the Heritage Foundation.

                Of course, GOProud may yet win, but it’s far from clear they will.  More likely I think is the permanent division of the question along political lines — if you’re a conservative, then gays only belong in the closet or in therapy.  If you’re a liberal, you’ll support full legal equality.

                People will decide the justice of the matter as they do with all other small political matters:  They will look to the people they get their opinions from, and they will nod in agreement with whatever these people say.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Jason Kuznicki
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                says:

                You’re right.  I sorta meant to go back and clean up that paragraph.  Notice how CPAC said the GOProuders were welcome as individuals, just not as an organization.

                In any event, GOProud is forcing the hand of Heritage and the rest of those Bible Banging Bigots.   GOProud has set the fulcrum against which it can push the lever down and thereby move the world.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                 

                If they are BlaiseP then I’d say it could work and good on em. Also inasmuch as they don’t really harm other gay organizations elsewhere or divert resources from them (I’d say currently they don’t) then they’re probably a good thing indeed. It’s when, however, they start appealing to gay voters and saying “overlook what the GOP says and does to you and vote for ‘em anyhow” that I feel my hackles bristle. As an advocacy group from gays reaching out to the GOP I think I’m all for em. But as useful idiots reaching from the GOP out to try and bamboozle gay or gay sympathetic voters I really am wary. But hell, there’s little danger of the latter scenario for the most part (though it’s also why Log Cabiners and GOProuds are generally viewed like beaten wives by other organizations and people) so I’m willing to be an optimist and hope they do well.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                It will be interesting to see how it plays out as November approaches. If, as you say, they’re overlooking this hypocrisy and that nasty bigotry in the ranks of the GOP, perhaps we shouldn’t put words in their mouths with quote marks.

                One thing’s for sure, whether or not it’s intended, they’ve fractured the old bonds between the Religious and the Right.   Which can’t be anything but good from where I sit.

                 Report

              • Avatar James Vonder Haar in reply to North
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                says:

                I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect that a minority group’s voting be entirely based on issues that affect their minority group.  So straights are allowed to base their votes on strategic considerations and a ranking of priorities, but gays gotta vote straight party tickets to avoid betraying their community?  There’s a ton that goes into choosing to vote for a party or a candidate, and I’m not one to gainsay the way other queers navigate the intersection of their sexuality and politics.

                It is particularly odious when straight blue teamers attempt to navigate that terrain for me and my loved ones (I cannot be sure of your orientation, obviously, so I can’t say for certain whether that’s happening here, but I can testify that it does happen).Report

              • Avatar Mike in reply to James Vonder Haar
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                says:

                To paraphrase my great-grandfather slightly, “sure, you had the right to vote for the National Socialists. But that meant you voted to have your vote taken away and your family sent to the working camps, where Arbeit Macht Frei.”

                 Report

            • Avatar Mike in reply to BlaiseP
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              says:

              if you want a seat at the table, you can’t demand a place be set for you, just because you want one.

              Except that’s not the issue – the issue is that they are citizens, voters, adults who are guaranteed by the Constitution certain rights. If not for a bunch of cult-member assholes who call themselves “conservatives”, they wouldn’t even have to be fighting for the rights they constitutionally are supposed to have.

              And it’s even more humorous that the conservatives, who claim to “revere the constitution”, are the ones trying to deny others their constitutional rights!Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Mike
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                says:

                I was a scholarship boy.  Lots of Christian schools have set-asides for missionary’s kids and pastor’s kids.  I never had the nice things the rich boys had.   I never felt as if I was their equal and that sentiment was returned, oh, to be sure, they never said much to my face about it, but I wasn’t invited to certain parties.   I didn’t have the money to go down with the rich kids to get pizza on a Friday night.

                Worse, there was no use whining about it.  One sign of weakness and they’d eat me alive.   I saw it happen to other kids.   About half the reason I joined the Army was to get off the path prepared for me, to learn how to be ordinary, to be just another face in the crowd.   Best thing that ever happened to me, the Army.   It was such a relief to be just another soldier.

                The problem with Rights is how they’re enforced.   I wouldn’t presume to put words in your mouth, but I’ve read what Clarence Thomas had to say about climbing the ladder erected for him by Affirmative Action.   The quota system might have been necessary.   But don’t ask its beneficiaries to feel better about being thus seated at the table.Report

              • Avatar Mike in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                Again, you’re missing the point, which is that blacks SHOULD always have had a seat at the table, but were denied it. Women SHOULD always have had a seat at the table, but were denied it. Gays SHOULD always have had a seat at the table, but were denied it.

                And even after each group GOT their seat at the table, the die-hard bigots of the “Conservative” movement seek to deligitimize them, to insult them, and to insinuate that they don’t deserve the same seat at the table entrusted by the Constitution to every human being.

                Spaghetti monster forfend that we treat all humans with equality under the law, that we actually respect the inalienable rights from the Declaration of Independence, that we secure the Blessings of Liberty for ALL people of the US not just those who happen to be possessed of white skin, a penis, and a propensity for sticking it in the occasional vagina!Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to Mike
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                says:

                And, after gaining those second-class seats, those folks are often expected to be beholden for what they were given, as if rights are something that can be given.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BSK
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                says:

                Oh, that’s only scratching the surface of these Second Class Seats.   Consider the frauds perpetuated on the public at large by some of these Minority Owned Businesses, many of which feature some poor Minority Schnook on the filing paperwork, fronting some scamulous grifter organization.   He doesn’t control anything.  He’s a cutout.

                I’m not against the idea of minority owned businesses getting a break, far from it.   What offends me is the idea that the system can be so easily gamed.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Mike
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                says:

                The table?   Whose table?  If anyone wants a seat at the tables of power, he has to muscle his way into a chair and that might mean a big old tussle involving money and political influence.

                Equality is a stupid myth, a sop to the rubes, a fig leaf around condescending crapola of the worst sort.  Though everyone’s born equal we don’t end up equal.

                Now I don’t want to see anyone discriminated against in law but I’m not sure we ought to reserve a seat at the table for these Protected Persons like the Prophet Elijah at the Seder Table just because we feel sorry about how their forefathers got treated by our forefathers.   I will not be guilted into concessions on this front, Liberal that I am.

                The Declaration of Independence isn’t the law.   It was a rehash of Rousseau, a very wicked man who for all his fine talk about Equality was little more than a two-bit rabble rouser for the Jacobin contingent, banging his spoon against the bottom of his empty saucepan.   A flattering worm was Rousseau, who had the temerity to write about the raising and education of children, having dropped his own off at the orphanage.

                Rousseau would in time become the prophet of the blood-spattered mob howling for more heads at the Place de la Concorde.   And so, for that matter, were those who drafted that Declaration of Independence, knowing full well what Rousseau had to say about men born in chains, for they owned those men.

                When it comes to white penises and those who lack them, let those with grievances repair to the nearest EEOC field office to file a complaint, then call the Bar Association where any of a dozen attorneys will grow most exceeding joyful upon the prospects of bringing such a case to court.Report

              • Avatar Mike in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                When it comes to white penises and those who lack them, let those with grievances repair to the nearest EEOC field office to file a complaint, then call the Bar Association where any of a dozen attorneys will grow most exceeding joyful upon the prospects of bringing such a case to court.

                Each lawyer of which will with 99% certainty be one of those possessors of an aforementioned white penis, and who will make far more money from the case than the aggrieved party ever will.

                And which, of course, begs the very necessary question why, long after the passage of laws requiring that prejudice on the basis of gender or race not be tolerated in hiring and employment decisions, there is an almost constant requirement that one subject themselves to years of litigation, almost certain ruin in fields where pretext will be found to refuse to hire anyone who has previously asserted their rights under such laws in court, and of course the snide comments of personages like yourself who will insist that the ONLY logical reason to sue in such an event is that they were “unqualified” for the job otherwise?

                And that’s even before we get to the problems of a single individual’s trying to get justice in a system whereby justice is far more often given to the highest bidder, going up against corporations with far more resources and the ability to keep an entire team of lawyers on retainer to run the clock, ruin the accuser in the media, and generally make such a lawsuit as untenable as possible even before we find out that the company’s head lawyer is the judge’s weekend golfing buddy while the lawyer representing the plaintiff has no such connections since civil rights lawyers are ostracized, pro forma, from the rest of the legal world.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                Don’t anyone light a match, that line of argument is so full of combustible gas it’ll go up like the Hindenburg.   Oh the humanity!

                Any Catbert type HR dude getting a nastygram from EEOC will break out in a rash of assholes and do everything in his power to keep that complaint from getting a court date.

                 Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                The Declaration of Independence isn’t the law. It was a rehash of Rousseau, a very wicked man who for all his fine talk about Equality was little more than a two-bit rabble rouser for the Jacobin contingent, banging his spoon against the bottom of his empty saucepan.

                No, it isn’t law, but it is a supremely important political act. And Rousseau was indeed in his personal and political life a class-A sonofabitch. Nevertheless despite his personal failings he did articulate the best theory of political legitimacy yet devised. In that sense there are more than a few similarities with Thomas Jefferson.

                We need not endorse Rousseau the man to treasure the articulations of his best work by Jefferson (and others) in the organic document of our nation.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP
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                says:

                The problem with Rousseau, as Madison grasped pretty early on, was this business of substituting The People for His Majesty.   Madison understood the tyranny of the majority was no less a tyranny than that of kings and gave The People their organ of government, the House of Representatives.

                Hayek, for all my ranting about him, sorted this all this out into British and French Liberalism.   I suppose, over time, we’ve become accustomed to conflating the Declaration of Independence with the Constitution but the latter is almost a complete repudiation of the former.Report

        • Avatar Jon Rowe in reply to BlaiseP
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          says:

          “Islamic cultures have always wrestled with homosexuality and pederasty.   There’s a surprising amount of it, especially within Persian and Afghan culture:  the bacha bazi children.   Girls are for making babies, boys are for fun.”

          Ha.  I do wonder about the connection between patriarchal polygamy (polygamy wherever practiced seems always to be one man more than one woman, not the reverse), combined with the sequestering of women (in Vietnam there were tons of Amerasian babies — one of whom is my partner — but virtually NONE in the Iraq/Afghanistan conflicts) that leaves no available women for lots of horny men to have fun with.  And what’s the closest substitute for a woman?  A convincing tranny or a male hovering around the age of puberty.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to BlaiseP
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      says:

      Except that the Israelis want peace, by and large. far more dovish than AIPAC.

      The entire PR department of the Republicans in Washington is gay, closeted or otherwise.

      I liken the offensiveness of Log Cabin Republicans to Jews for Jesus. Perhaps to a lesser degree, neh? But what do I know? I’m not gay.Report

    • Avatar Mike in reply to BlaiseP
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      says:

      Since when did Conservative == Bigot?

      Pretty much since those assholes came up with the 3/5 Compromise.

      And let’s see, then there was Jim Crow. Add in the ever-toughening of laws designed to make felons of as many minorities as they could, to deny them voting rights – the difference between “crack” and “cocaine” in federal mandatory sentencing being one strong example. Today, the reemergence of poll taxes and asinine “ID Requirements” on the basis of a nonexistent epidemic of voter fraud which is obviously designed to do one thing: disenfranchise voters that the GOP doesn’t like.

      Need more? GOP opposition to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.

      Need still more? I could waste all day and clog up the spam filter with the ridiculous lengths the GOP goes to in ostracizing and demonizing gays, but we’ll just take the latest example, “Brokeback Moron” Rick Perry announcing that it is a greater “crime” against the military to be gay and serve honorably anyways, than it is to unzip and desecrate the bodies of dead soldiers from the other side.

      Conservative == Bigot, absolutely.Report

      • Avatar Pinky in reply to Mike
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        says:

        Mike, you’re confusing “conservative” and “Democrat”.Report

        • Avatar Sam in reply to Pinky
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          says:

          Pinky,

          Everybody at this point understands that conflating the modern Democrats with the historical Democrats isn’t an entirely accurate comparison. Parties and labels change their meanings. Pretending as if Democrats today are the direct spawn of Southern Democrats from the first 70 years of the 20th Century is silly.Report

        • Avatar Mike in reply to Pinky
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          says:

          How so?

          Rick Perry is a “consurvative republicun”, or so he claims to be.
          The Senators who filibustered the Lilly Ledbetter Equal Pay Act in 2007, and tried to do so in 2009, and have done the same to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, are all “consurvative republicuns.”
          The Voter ID crap is all coming from the GOP, home of the “consurvative” base.
          Jim Crow was the province of the “Dixiecrats”, who if you know your history, you’ll know were the CONSERVATIVE group in the South who eventually got “fed up” with the progressive Democrats and ran off… into the waiting arms of the racist assholes who today call themselves the “Grand Old Party.”
          The 3/5 Compromise was the work of “conservatives” at the congressional convention, who were unable to follow what the liberal groups wanted to do and get rid of slavery as the abomination it was right from the start.

          I’m not confused about anything there. If you think I am, provide proof.

           Report

          • Avatar Bruce Majors in reply to Mike
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            says:

            This is a tired meme that ignorant people are duped into repeating.

            If you had grown up in the South in the 70s or 80s and if you went back now you would know that a great many of the people in the south voting Republican today are refugees from New Jersey taxes, Detroit unemployment, and Latin American political violence.

            And those horrible racists who supported Jim Crow in the 40s and 50s are all dead.  And in Atlanta and Nashville, unlike Chicago, they don’t vote.Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Mike
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        says:

        Look, what’s the point of saying such things?   Can today’s Conservatives change for the better?   Of course they can.  But they won’t be persuaded by yet another recitation of the Litany of Grievances.

        Here’s the problem as I see it.   Liberals have failed to present a world view with meaningful goals.   We do have some think tanks, CAP and others, but this never seems to translate into progress.  Sad but true.   I’m a Liberal, I wish it were different, but America isn’t buying our soap.   Something’s wrong with our message.

        If the Liberals were ever to make a meaningful overture to Conservatives, they’d take their rhetoric about, say, Law ‘n Order and beat them with their own shillelaghs.   Clearly the prisons are full to bursting with a generation of black men.   We could prevent some of these crimes by changing a few variables in the lives of those young men before they enter the justice system.   The Conservatives are always hollering about the Welfare State, but the Prison State is awfully expensive too. A Liberal solution might work, and be justified on a cost basis.

        As North points out, at a personal level, the Conservatives seem to get along fine with LGBT people.   If they entertain some level of prejudice against them, for crissakes, they’re Conservatives, they want to keep things as they are.   I’m old enough to remember when Divorce was reason enough to expel a person from church membership.   Then the 1970s arrived and too many people were getting divorced to enforce that rule anymore, including many of the same people who were most opposed to divorcees in church.   Single parents, same story.   Now it’s time to beat down the barriers against gays.   These genuinely Conservative types still have issues with women pastors, but that barrier is coming down, too.

        If the GOP is fanning the flames of homophobia, and they are, they should hearken back to their youths, when their pastors and other authority figures were dead set against divorced people in church.  Remember Trent Lott trying to say a few nice things about Strom Thurmond?   Even Strom was embarrassed by it.  That bizarre episode cost Trent Lott dearly.   It’s best to let the Conservatives evolve away from their hypocrisies and bigotry.

        Martin Luther King said America is never more segregated than it is on Sunday morning.    That’s still true.   For all the hard work and blood shed on behalf of civil rights in this country, we’ve gone back to self-segregation.

        Never forget, your opponent, for all his faults and fears and petty bigotries, is still a human being, capable of human kindness and decency.   Appeal to his better nature and you might be surprised at the response you’ll get.Report

        • Avatar Mike in reply to BlaiseP
          Ignored
          says:

          Never forget, your opponent, for all his faults and fears and petty bigotries, is still a human being, capable of human kindness and decency.

          There’s where you’re wrong. I have yet to meet a self-professed Conservative capable of human kindness and decency, of treating others as human first rather than a label.

          Conservatives are about shoving as many as they can out of society. You’re a single mother? Obviously you’re “morally impure.” You’re a homosexual? “Morally impure.” You’re poor, by whatever incidence happened to make you poor? You’re “not pulling your own weight.” And on and on and on.

          Show me a “Conservative” who is capable of human kindness and decency, and I’ll show you a RINO.Report

          • Avatar Liberty60 in reply to Mike
            Ignored
            says:

            While I don’t accept that all conservatives are selfish jerks, I will add that the conservative culture (as defined by Limbaugh/ AM talk radio and  Redstate/ conservative bloggers) DOES make a lot of effort to be chest poundingly macho, militaristic, with premium paid to curled lip toughness about bootstraps and self-reliance.

            Which at the ground level can often be hard to distinguish from selfish jerkiness.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Mike
            Ignored
            says:

            Conservative maps to “Republican” about as well as Liberal maps to “Democrat”.

            To find someone who is legitimately conservative and then to complain that they wouldn’t make for a *REAL* Republican is… well. It’s obtuse.Report

          • Avatar Jon Rowe in reply to Mike
            Ignored
            says:

            I don’t think folks choose to be homosexual like they do single parenthood.  I think a better analogy to single parenthood is the homosexual who has promiscuous unsafe sex.  These are generally speaking not responsible things to do.

            I don’t have an issue with single parents who pay for their children and don’t go on public support.

            That said, I do recognize human nature is broken; people make mistakes and should be shown compassion when they get themselves in trouble.  And I also understand that there are institutional forces (banks, casinos, pay day lenders, drug dealers) who exist to prey on peoples’ irresponsibilities and problems.  I don’t like what they do.  But I’d rather an irresponsible person go to a pay day lender than Tony Soprano.  In part this is why I want to legalize drugs.  Crack is whack.  But I’d rather see folks in the legal system than in a crack den.Report

          • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Mike
            Ignored
            says:

            You might start with a few of our Conservatives, hereabouts.  Some of them exhibit human kindness and decency.

             Report

          • Avatar An Imprisoned Psychotic in reply to Mike
            Ignored
            says:

            Mike, have you forgotten, DOMA?  A very considerable number of Democrats in both House and Senate supported this law and it was signed into law by none other than Bill Clinton.

            I don’t remember the House numbers, but the Senate was 85 yays, 15 nays. How does this fit into your rather shaky narrative? Would you support a law making it illegal for anyone to participate in the Republican Party?

            If there is any truth to your outrageous charges and allegations, we’re talking serious, Constitutional, violations here. For starters, Equal Protection and Due Process. Oh dear, are we on the precipice of a Liberal Beer Hall Putsch?Report

            • Avatar BSK in reply to An Imprisoned Psychotic
              Ignored
              says:

              All Senate Nay’s were D; all but 2 House Nay’s were D. Many did vote in favor but what opposition did exist was nearly entirely D, fwiw.Report

            • Avatar Mike in reply to An Imprisoned Psychotic
              Ignored
              says:

              Ah yes, DOMA. From the right wing, “this is how we stop gay marriage from being made into nationwide law if one tiny New England state decides to create gay marraiges”, while from the left wing, “we should leave this up to the states without any federal entanglements, that way when Massachusetts creates Gay Marriage and doesn’t fall into the ocean, the right wing will see they were wrong.”

              And on top of it all, the rousing levels of bigotry and the clarion mating calls of the Great Jebus Cultist, about how they “believe marriage is between one man and one woman because the bible is superior to the constitution.”

              And of course, the Republicans pushed it forth in an election cycle, confident that they could attack anyone foolish enough to vote against it as “un-American” for supporting equal rights.

              The actual vote was 85-14, with one not present. 14 Democrats opposed, 31 for. None of the Republicans voted against.

              And of course the current President, in determining the DOMA to be unconstitutional, has fulfilled his Oath of Office to defend the Constitution and declared that DOMA will not be further defended by his administration… to the howls of right wing bigots everywhere.Report

        • Avatar Jon Rowe in reply to BlaiseP
          Ignored
          says:

          “If the Liberals were ever to make a meaningful overture to Conservatives, they’d take their rhetoric about, say, Law ‘n Order and beat them with their own shillelaghs.   Clearly the prisons are full to bursting with a generation of black men.   We could prevent some of these crimes by changing a few variables in the lives of those young men before they enter the justice system.   The Conservatives are always hollering about the Welfare State, but the Prison State is awfully expensive too.  A Liberal solution might work, and be justified on a cost basis.”

          One problem I have here is you have to play a chess match, or be aware of chemical interactions (I’m searching for the right analogy) when you match your social policies up.  It’s like when Milton Friedman noted he supported open borders, but only if you abolished the welfare state.  Open borders + a welfare state (and especially socialized medicine and a Hypocratic oath/emergency room care) isn’t workable but leads to too many folks on a sinking liferaft.

          As expensive as it is to lock folks up, social science from figures like James Q. Wilson or Rudy Guliani’s NYC experiment shows it’s worth it to keep certain folks — a small but significant % of incorrible types — restrained from offending.  The violent thugs.

          So I support legalizing all drugs as a way of reducing the prison population and reducing the numbers and percentages of black men in prison.  But I think it may need to be combined with a more authoritarian, Singaporian/Giuliani type approach towards violent offenders.  OR, at least, we better get ready and prepared to enact such a policy if (and I’m not sure) legal buying selling and using of drugs may push marginal folks towards violent criminal behavior.  I’m not sure if legalized drugs would in fact lead to more addicts, more disorderiness, more folks who won’t work and want to commit violent crime.  But in this trade off, we need to sent a message to folks like Singapore does:  Don’t you dare.Report

          • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Jon Rowe
            Ignored
            says:

            It’s my observation the opponents of the “Welfare State” are not as mean-spirited as they appear.   Look, anything worth doing is worth doing right, and one measure of Rightness is transparency.   How much is getting done, how much does it cost and where’s the payoff.

            In the case of actually preventing crime in an 18 year old, it might involve front-loading the cost of the problem to when he’s three or four years old.   Get him into a decent situation where he’s being socialized appropriately, read him some books, improve his school, hell, take him around to the local businesses and show him men at work.   He’s going to join a gang because he doesn’t have a father figure in his life.   The chess game resolves to developing your pieces in the first eight moves.   Screw that up and you’re going to lose the game.

            I’m not making excuses for these crooks, far from it.   We know what goes wrong in these situations, we’ve got a great big pool of experimental data sitting on their asses in prison this instant, ask any criminologist, he’ll tell you everything you need to know.   We need to figure out how to change what’s going wrong and by God, America  could do it.   But it won’t happen while Liberals go on whimpering and wringing their hands and the Joe Arpaios just go on locking up these damaged kids who never had a statistical chance of making it, anyway.Report

            • Avatar Jon Rowe in reply to BlaiseP
              Ignored
              says:

              “The chess game resolves to developing your pieces in the first eight moves.   Screw that up and you’re going to lose the game.”

              I agree and think that’s where the problem is.  I’m not sure what to do when large numbers of young unwed underaged girls have babies without getting married and before they graduate high school.

              I don’t think throwing more $ at the public schools works.  I support vouchers.  Even though I’m not conventionally religious I think Old School mean Catholic nuns are too mean spirited for my personal taste, I think they would do a better job than govt. social workers.  I also support military like schools (schools taught by retired, predominantly male) DIs not nice guy softy professors like me) for children on the margins.  Other than that, I’m not sure.  On a personal level, I don’t have the heart to “cut someone off” from a safety net.  But I’m a softie.Report

              • Avatar Jon Rowe in reply to Jon Rowe
                Ignored
                says:

                [Forgive me I’m simultaneously posting on the Volokh Conspiracy where I’m in the habit of writing a first draft, hitting post, and then using their edit buttons and editing.  I’d like to reedit the grammar and typos in my comments here but can’t.]Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to BlaiseP
              Ignored
              says:

              I woudn’t go so far as to conservatives generally aren’t mean-spirited about welfare and poverty. There are exceptions. Personally, I think reducing poverty to individual laziness, or to a ‘culture of dependence’ conspiracy which serves Democrats electoral interests is mean spirited. Newt saying he’d tell African Americans to ‘demand paychecks’ rather than welfare checks is also mean spirited.

              There is one conservative argument against welfare that makes some sense to me and it’s that keeping people on welfare is a self-perpetuating cycle. But since conservatives don’t have any solutions to the problem other than bootstraps and ‘demanding a job’, even that argument – insofar as it’s directed at Democrats or the poor themselves – is mean spirited.

               Report

              • Avatar Mike in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                But since conservatives don’t have any solutions to the problem other than bootstraps and ‘demanding a job’, even that argument – insofar as it’s directed at Democrats or the poor themselves – is mean spirited.

                When unemployment is at 4% or less? Maybe “Bootstraps” and “demand a job” makes some kind of sense.

                When the Retardicans have run the economy into the toilet? Not so much. I’ll give you an anecdotal example. A buddy of mine is an electrician. Prior to 2008, he was an apprentice, taking the courses he needed and getting the hours on the job required so that he could sit for the Journeyman’s exam. The month before he got enough hours, he was laid off. Company policy at the time was that they’d pay for his classes and if he passed, reimburse his Journeyman’s test too, BUT he had to take the test within 6 months of finishing the classes.

                Fast forward 7 months, he’s unemployed because the field is overfull. Everywhere he goes, he gets the same story – “if only you had your Journeyman’s creds, we have so many applicants we made that a job requirement now.” And the asshole Retardican company bosses who laid him off? They send him a letter demanding he PAY THEM BACK for the courses he took, because he “failed to take his Journeyman’s exam on time” when they laid him off full well knowing he needed 2 weeks on the job for the minimum hours to qualify to take it.

                Fast forward to late 2010, he finally finds work. In the meantime, he worked odd jobs, he scraped for anything part-time he could find, he scoured and scoured looking for work in his field while his family let him stay at home rent-free.

                “Bootstraps” this and “demand a job” that… fine. I demand a job taking bootstraps, wrapping them around boots, and shoving the result straight up the asses of heartless Republicans.Report

              • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Mike
                Ignored
                says:

                Welcome aboard Mike. I trust you’ll be commenting often and boldly representing the stereotypical librul. We need a powerful left-progressivist voice like yours here at the League.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to Robert Cheeks
                Ignored
                says:

                Weren’t we just talking about how we treat newcomers? I guess we can’t expect much from Bob, who seemingly gets a pass because of being performance art or whatever.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to BSK
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s because he’s been here long enough for some of us to see past his stereotypical behavior and get the odd glimpse at the real person hiding underneath.

                (If asked, I’d rather deal with folks who interact the way that Bob tends to than the folks who interact the way that Mike tends to.)Report

              • Avatar Mike in reply to BSK
                Ignored
                says:

                You may color me unsurprised, given that your posterior is one of those in need of the insertion of a size 18 boot.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to BSK
                Ignored
                says:

                There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot inserted into a human posterior — forever.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to BSK
                Ignored
                says:

                JB- I don’t know Mike well enough to defend or despise him. But Bob’s “commie pinko socialist Dem” rhetoric seems exactly the type of stuff that would get others chased away. While my hunch is that Bob does indeed do it for effct, other tacts including snark, sacrasm, and less-than-full-courteousness which are also used for effect are being considered grounds for expulsion or being ignored. I guess I’m wondering what makes Bob special. I don’t think it is ideological (no accusation of conservative bias) but I’m not sure what it is.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to BSK
                Ignored
                says:

                BSK – Try this, then – sometimes it’s better to be trolled in a neighborly drawl than to be screamed at by someone repeatedly.

                Many of Bob’s beliefs are icky to me (sorry Bob, but since I know it goes both ways I know ye won’t be cryin’ too hard) and most of the kinds of issues Mike supports are ones that I passionately back and support.  But after X number of times of having him scream “RETARDICAN” over and over at me every time I write in favor of stuff he supports because he can’t bring himself to read a fishing post he bitches about to save his live, it’s hard not to prefer a quick “Commie Dem” and then getting a nice note that Bob & the misses will be praying for me.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to BSK
                Ignored
                says:

                Tod- I don’t mean to imply a preference between the two. I’m just trying to understand the difference, which you and JB are helping to illuminate. There seems to be somthing to it, though I can’t put mynfinger on it. Onve identified and understood, I can weigh in with a stronger feeling on the matter.Report

              • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to BSK
                Ignored
                says:

                Why do we keep Bob around?  I’ll answer the best I know how.

                Bob represents the apogee of American conservative thought — its height, and, one might even say, its logical conclusion.  I don’t think there exists a more perfect conservative than Bob.

                Also, there really needs to be a punctuation mark that indicates inclining the head and raising the eyebrow knowingly.  The English language would be much richer for its existence.Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to BSK
                Ignored
                says:

                He does kind of have his own lingo, I’d say.
                Gets endearing after awhile, like a crotchety uncle.Report

      • Avatar Will H. in reply to Mike
        Ignored
        says:

        Nit:
        The fact that crack is treated differently under law was the work of Tip O’Neill. He wanted a drug bill after some college basketball player dropped dead on the court.Report

  5. Avatar Burt Likko
    Ignored
    says:

    To be “conservative” these days means what, exactly?

    This would seem to point to a particular constellation of beliefs about politics, human nature, and the advisability of particular political policies. It seems to me that it’s well within the realm of possibility that one can construct an answer to that question that does not involve being “bigoted towards homosexuals” or taking particularly strong stances on the high-profile “gay issues” like same-sex marriage or ENDA.

    Homosexuals are, well, homosexual. That fact doesn’t tell us much more about them than their sexual preference. I don’t understand why one has to be in favor of, say, health care reform, simply because one prefers tab A to slot B.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Burt Likko
      Ignored
      says:

      For the same reason that if you’re pro-life you have to favor the death penalty.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Burt Likko
      Ignored
      says:

      This is undoubtedly true. However, political identity isn’t just about which side agrees with you on the most issues.

      For the most part, southern black people are socially conservative. However, in the past, they were much more likely to identify with and vote for political candidates and parties that were more socially progressive, because those were the parties and politicians who were less likely to think it was OK to hang them without trial for looking at a white woman too long.Report

      • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Chris
        Ignored
        says:

        Yes, that’s why MLK was a registered Republican.Report

        • Avatar Mike in reply to Robert Cheeks
          Ignored
          says:

          MLK Senior, yes.In an era when the Republicans had not yet become the Retardicans they are today, when the Dixiecrats had not folded in under their wing, and when allegiance to the northern Republicans was part-and-parcel the grand bargain for the results of the election of one Abraham Lincoln and the following dissolution of the institution of slavery.

          Meanwhile, MLK Junior, the one whose name you are trying to steal in some fit of Retardican pique, had already noticed the travels of the Dixiecrats into the Republican party, refused to support either party politically, and said the following:

          Actually, the Negro has been betrayed by both the Republican and the Democratic party. The Democrats have betrayed him by capitulating to the whims and caprices of the Southern Dixiecrats. The Republicans have betrayed him by capitulating to the blatant hypocrisy of reactionary right wing northern Republicans. And this coalition of southern Dixiecrats and right wing reactionary northern Republicans defeats every bill and every move towards liberal legislation in the area of civil rights.

          In conclusion: Just stop lying.Report

        • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Robert Cheeks
          Ignored
          says:

          Actually Bob, MLK is sort of famously known for refusing to join any political party.Report

    • Avatar Sam in reply to Burt Likko
      Ignored
      says:

      Respectfully, it seems odd to most people that somebody would say, “I care so deeply about the federal budget deficit that I am willing to support a political party that views me as a subhuman creature unworthy of even the common courtesy we’d be willing to extend to most other human beings.”Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Burt Likko
      Ignored
      says:

      To be “conservative” these days means what, exactly?

      A person who self-identifies as conservative can justify the label on a number of grounds. One can be economically conservative (I guess that means smallish government trending towards classical liberalism), one can be socially conservative (that means respect for embedded traditions and (increasingly) ‘Christian values’ determined by prominent churches), or one can be politically conservative (and that primarily means opposing liberal goals and rolling back liberal successes).

      If one is a political conservative, then almost definitionally, that person will be opposed to gay marriage, and so on with other touchstone issues. I think one big reason conservatism has gone off the rails in this country is that people who identify as conservative are for the most part politically conservative – that is, they merely oppose liberals for purely political reasons.Report

  6. Avatar Renee
    Ignored
    says:

    Certainly, Ms. DePasquale’s article is one of self pity, but I don’t think she sets up the kind of false equivalence that you claim she does.  The point isn’t that slurs against conservative gays is as bad as bullying kids — the point is the phrase of the campaign:  “It Gets Better.”  Presumably a major part of the campaign is that as you move forward in life, you can find people who are supportive of your sexual preference and that, well, things will get better.  DePasquale is saying — that isn’t so much the case for people who are gay and conservative.  Not that adult gay conservatives should be coddled, but that the gay community should extend support to all gay people.

    You are right to point out that people who engage in the political realm should be ready to be mocked, yelled at, and sometimes (regrettably) threatened.  But, she has a right to ask the gay community to take a look at itself and its language and wonder if they couldn’t be more supportive of gay people who have a conservative outlook. Perhaps her tone is too defensive, but I don’t think the point is invalid.

     Report

    • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Renee
      Ignored
      says:

      If it doesn’t get better for gay conservatives… then it is as bad as the bullying that drove those kids to suicide.  You’ve refuted yourself, I’m afraid.Report

      • Avatar Renee in reply to Jason Kuznicki
        Ignored
        says:

        Ha ha, logically you got me — fair enough.  Of course, we are hanging different emphases on better.  I presume that the notion “better’ emphasized in the campaign is that as you go on in life society will treat you better.  In other words you will be treated better.  But, I think, we all agree that it is “better” to insult and use inflammatory language with adults who have thought out their positions than it is to use such bullying techniques against angst-ridden teens.  In other words, it is you that must become stronger and better — as a gay conservative, you will will still have to weather the same broadsides.  If it is ‘better’ it is because you are an adult.

        An opinion writer sees something happening in the world (the It Gets Better Campaign) and uses it as a timely way to sneak in their own favorite opinion topic (the gay community is too rough on the conservative subset).  I don’t think the article was particularly well written, but seems pretty standard for the genre.  I simply never got the sense that she conflated her plight with that of gay teens.  Which is what it seems you are hitting her for.Report

  7. Avatar Bruce Majors
    Ignored
    says:

    “Dan Savage” aka Keenan Hollahan’s and other so called “liberals” who support rounding up kids and selling them to the educrat cartels for campaign donations to the Democratic Party is, besides being the most heinously racist institution in the country, the source of anti-gay bullying.

    Even homophobic parents would take thier kids and their tuition dollars to another school if their kids came home beaten and suicidal — if they had school choice.

    http://bighomocon.blogspot.com/2012/01/gay-bullying-i-dan-savage-kills-more.html

     

     Report

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