August 31, 2010

Why Ken Mehman Deserves Nothing

In case you hadn't heard, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee decided to come out last week. Not in any interesting way, alas: just that he's what most folks either suspected or knew.

In his interview with the Atlantic Monthly, Mehlman tried to gain sympathy by talking about how long it took him to "get comfortable" with being gay - 43 years, apparently. For those of you keeping track, that's his entire life. So I guess he wasn't one of those "converted" types we so often hear about from the more paranoid branches of the conservative tree...

So why is he coming out now? Because in September he's going to be a speaker at a fund raiser for the American Foundation for Equal Rights. That would be the folks who worked against California's infamous Proposition 8, banning gay marriage.

Funny story: while Mehlman was the chairman of the RNC, Republican strategist Karl Rove made sure that anti-gay referenda and initiatives were on the ballots in 2004 and 2006 as a scare tactic to get conservative voters to the polls.

"I can't change the fact that I wasn't in this place personally when I was in politics, and I genuinely regret that[...]If they can't offer support, at least offer understanding."

Gosh, and who can argue with that? Let's see...

Well, how about everyone who's not gay and has argued in favour of gay rights? In fact, how about everyone who has ever worked for the rights of any minority that they weren't a part of? Think they might have something to say, Ken?

You didn't have to be black to abolish slavery.

You didn't have to be native to demand action of residential schools.

You didn't have to be a woman to support the Equal Rights Amendment (in fact, it failed because a woman worked hard against it).

And you don't have to be homosexual to support gay rights.

You didn't even have to come out when you were "in politics", Ken: you could simply have opposed the decision to use gay people as bugbears to panic social conservatives and herd them to the polls. You could have objected to the hysteria that was actively encouraged by your party.

But then, you were also confused why so few gay people supported Republicans against "Islamic jihad", so maybe it is that you're simply not that bright. (Here's a hint: Democrats don't support "Islamic jihad" either. And of the two political parties in the United States, only one of them has openly compared homosexuality to atheism or acceptance of gays to encouraging bestiality, paedophilia, and incest.)

If you're going to ask people to forgive your past transgressions when you were in a position of power to do so, it's going to take some time. Opposing Prop 8 is a good start - but now you've got another 22 states in which specifically anti-gay initiatives were put onto the ballot at the insistence of the RNC while you were in power.

Good luck with that!

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posted by Thursday at 3:31 pm


Anonymous Olac Fuentes Zueck said...

I completely agree with you. I'm glad that he has finally accepted who he is and decided to speak out about it.

However his decision to remain quiet about this issue and to play along Karl Rove and the rest of the Republican party, is nothing short of disgusting and reeks of cowardice.

12:24 am  

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