On May 9, 2012, President Obama made public his support of same-sex marriage.
In multiple venues, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney subsequently affirmed his opposition to both same-sex marriage and civil unions.
R. Clarke Cooper, Executive Director of the Log Cabin Republicans, then issued a press release, in which he said this:
“Governor Mitt Romney’s statement in opposition to not just marriage but civil unions jeopardizes his ability to win moderates, women and younger voters, especially as a large majority of Americans favor some form of relationship recognition for their LGBT friends and neighbors. Ultimately, the response of the Republican candidates this election cycle will determine not just endorsements by Log Cabin Republicans, but the votes of millions of Americans who are simply tired of the culture wars.”
Notice: Cooper drew a line in the sand over Romney’s opposition to same-sex civil unions.
And, he did not say that the Log Cabin Republicans’ endorsements “might” be determined by Republican candidates’ responses to Romney’s opposition to same-sex civil unions.
Cooper said that Republican candidates’ responses “will determine” the Log Cabin Republicans’ endorsements.
Having issued that specific warning over opposition to same-sex civil unions, but then having gotten no concession from Romney on civil unions, Cooper and his Log Cabin Republicans went ahead and endorsed Romney anyway.
What this shows, is that Cooper and his Log Cabin Republicans have no LGBT-rights-related leverage of power whatsoever with Mitt Romney.
Romney does not have to do anything LGBT-rights-related for them — not even when they issue a political ultimatum to him and his party — for him and his party to be able to count on their political support.
Mitt Romney has a long history of opposition to same-sex civil unions, so it should not have been any surprise to Cooper when Romney reiterated his opposition this past May.
If Cooper now wants to claim that with his press release, he meant that all other Republican candidates, but not Mitt Romney, would only receive the LCR’s endorsement if they did not oppose same-sex civil unions, that would be an additional sign of political ineptitude on LGBT rights.
If you are specifically a gay-interest political group affiliated with a party, and draw a line in the sand on an issue for your party’s candidates, but not for your party’s presidential candidate, all other candidates’ will laugh at you, because without the party standard bearer on your side of the issue, your drawing of a line in the sand over that issue is utterly meaningless to their campaigns.
The Log Cabin Republicans have comported themselves like Mitt Romney’s lapdogs, not like LGBT rights negotiators.
They made a failed, disingenuous attempt to save their public face — after their craven and cowardly cave-in on civil unions — by alleging to have accomplished something with Romney on ENDA. Their public statements about it are an obvious and ridiculous P.R. ploy that did not accurately reflect the fact that they had accomplished nothing with Mitt Romney on ENDA. Cooper’s self-serving and self-promoting reports of a private discussion with Romney on LGBT anti-discrimination matters are utterly void of specifics. Anything that Romney and Cooper can not say jointly to the public about their alleged common ground on LGBT rights is totally meaningless. Cooper strengthened his business connections to the Romney network while accomplishing nothing for gay rights.
In this context, it is worth recalling that Cooper was part of Bush administration efforts to role back environmental protections put in place by the Clinton administration. Cooper turned an April, 2012 article about Earth Day celebrations in Texas into an opportunity to lavish praise on former first lady Laura Bush and the Republican party. He had the nerve to credit only Republicans for the Endangered Species Act. Meanwhile in documented reality, the Bush administration, of which Cooper was at times a part, eliminated independent scientific review of endangered-species-related matters, and otherwise gutted the law, as Republicans had been attempting to do for over a decade.
So there is a discernable pattern of Cooper publicly flattering powerful Republican figures while betraying the underlying cause at issue that he is pretending to champion.
Cooper has endorsed Romney for personal advancement, not for the advancement of LGBT rights.
In the nightmare event of a Romney presidency, LGBT Americans could only expect for the Log Cabin Republicans to accomplish less than nothing for gay rights with a Romney administration.
Image: R. Clarke Cooper with Mitt Romney
New York City-based novelist and freelance writer Scott Rose’s LGBT-interest by-line has appeared on Advocate.com, PoliticusUSA.com, The New York Blade, Queerty.com, Girlfriends and in numerous additional venues. Among his other interests are the arts, boating and yachting, wine and food, travel, poker and dogs. His “Mr. David Cooper’s Happy Suicide” is about a New York City advertising executive assigned to a condom account.
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