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In CPAC’s Conservative Circus, Are Gays The High-Wire Act?

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Last week was the perfect storm of Conservative carnival cacophony.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, Children of All Ages….” should have been the rallying cry, starting on Valentine’s Day, when homophobe Tucker Carlson did a spot with Clayton Morris of “Fox And Friends,” discussing a new right-wing “study.” It went like this:

Carlson: “College students are more liberal… on certain social issues, gay marriage, abortion, capitalism… College students become more liberal after four years of college — we know that.”

Morris: “And so, what is the answer, how do we fix this, if degrees are making graduates more likely to support same-sex marriage, abortion… How do you fix this?”

How do you “fix” the fact that facts makes people smarter and less ignorant? I don’t know. How do you take back smart and install stupid?

Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody!

Then, on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. the Cato Institute, that self-described libertarian think-tank that is funded by billionaire Progressive (?) George Soros, yet boasts Fox’s Tucker Carlson as a Senior Fellow, hosted an event called, “Is There a Place for Gay People in Conservatism and Conservative Politics?” It featured a debate which pitted Andrew Sullivan against Maggie Gallagher (though, not long enough!) and a speech by gay British MP Nick Herbert (also not long enough.)

Herbert, a Conservative, actually shared that in British politics, gay has become OK, and boasted that their conservative party will have more openly-gay elected officials than their liberal party. (Anyone feel like moving?)

But the “really big shew,” the “big top” (although certainly not a “big tent,” as the Log Cabin Republicans thought was coming) was CPAC — the 37th annual Conservative Political Action Conference. And boy, did they put on a show.

From homophobe Jason Mattera, who mocked the halls of liberal educational institutions, proclaiming a “feminist new black man” is “a crossover between RuPaul and Barney Frank,” to homophobe (and domestic-violence restraining order recipient) Ryan Sorba, the man who for years has been claiming to be writing a book titled after his lecture, the “Born Gay Hoax,” who denounced the entire conference for allowing a gay Republican group to co-sponsor the event (and was booed!) to homophobe Rep. Mike Pence’s call for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, to homophobe Rep. Steve King, who has tried to repeal his state of Iowa’s same-sex marriage law, and who actually included not only (the expected) “Liberals and Progressives” as the “enemies of America,” but “Che Gueverians, Castroites, Socialists, Trotskyites, Maoists, Stalinists, Leninists,” and, wait for it… yes, Marxists too, the call rang out loud and clear: if you’re queer, get out of here.

But the promise of hate speech like that — unsurprising from the CPAC crowd — didn’t stop GOProud, Jimmy LaSalvia’s new gay Republican group, from showing up. Although months ago Liberty Counsel threatened to pull out if GOProud pulled into town, they stayed.

Gay blogger “Gay Patriot,” was at CPAC too. He claimed he was welcomed with open arms (Ryan Sorba, Mike Pence, Tucker Carlson, Jason Mattera, Steve King, Tom Tancredo, et al, not withstanding) by the CPAC conference.

Now, I’m sure GayPatriot thinks he was welcomed, just as I’m sure Jimmy LaSalvia thinks he was welcomed. And I’m sure the more libertarian attendees there did welcome them. But they’re not the CPAC base. This is the CPAC base. Tell me who among the list of co-sponsors or exhibitors would support us, support repeal of DOMA and DADT, support passage of ENDA? Pretty much nobody.

It’s clear the majority of America’s right-wing hates the LGBTQ community. So what do we do? I, for one, have been calling them out on their lies, hatred, and disgusting accusations full-time for well over a year now.

To be honest, I have a hard time with the idea of anyone in our community supporting that part of America — in this case, CPAC — that hates the LGBTQ community. And I’m very comfortable classifying their overall treatment of the LGBTQ community as “hate.” I’m also very comfortable classifying their treatment of the LGBTQ community as “oppression.”

(Let’s not forget, David Mixner calls the federal government’s treatment of the LGBTQ community “Gay Apartheid.”)

As a matter of fact, turns out, gays do think Republicans hate us. Just a few weeks ago in the wake of the Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll which found, for instance, that 77% of Republicans think same-sex couples should not be allowed to marry, I took a poll. 47% of respondents believe “Republicans hate us,” while an additional 41% said, “hate is too strong a word, but essentially, yes.”

So, while the Democratic party hasn’t lived up to its obligation or promises, we certainly have more to gain selectively supporting Democratic politicians than Republican ones. (And let’s not forget the 39 steps the Obama administration and the DNC have taken against the LGBTQ community!)

But what do you do when “they” are actually “us?”

Many of us have been struggling with our relationship with gay Republicans for some time now. I’ve given it a lot of thought and have decided this.

First, there’s enough evidence to suggest that, just as people are born, not made, gay or straight or bi or trans, so are Republican and Democrats. Yes, biology plays a large role in which way we lean, from a political standpoint. So, it’s equally unfair to ridicule someone for being gay as it is for someone being Republican. And I suppose it could be very hard being a gay Republican.

On Twitter, I had a productive conversation with blogger and CPAC attendee GayPatriot. Here’s an excerpt:

davidbadash: .@GayPatriot How you can support the very organization that thinks who you are is a threat to the American family is beyond me.

GayPatriot: @davidbadash There is no one here at CPAC trying to write me out of the Constitution. They are being open, kind & friendly.

davidbadash: .@GayPatriot So, a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage is friendly?

GayPatriot: @davidbadash I’m getting a better reception at CPAC than I EVER have with my gay friends or at gay-centric events. TRUTH.

Perhaps. Though what some say to your face and then behind yor back can often be different, as Jimmy LaSalvia found with NOM.

But I believe it’s critical that the LGBTQ community does not take the wrong stance, or think that the tide has turned, and that CPAC, the GOP, the RNC, or Republicans or Conservatives in general support us.

Here’s what happens when we make that mistake.

Jimmy LaSalvia and his GOProud group strongly endorsed then-candidate for Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. On February 5, just days after taking office, McDonnell slashed gays out of that state’s anti-discrimination policy.

So, did we gain anything by GOProud and GayPatriot (and other gay bloggers, like Chris Geidner) being at CPAC? Well, I don’t know.

Geidner, who blogs at Law Dork, and now writes for D.C.’s MetroWeekly, this week, in, “A Gay New Yorker in the CPAC Court,” quoted Craig Held, an openly-gay New York City college student who went to CPAC:

”…I think the reaction to GOProud has been good. I think the Republican Party is definitely going in a more open direction. I think they’ve realized they need to stop alienating people,” he said, ”Being gay doesn’t mean you can’t be a Republican. True conservatism is for individual rights; it has nothing to do with gay marriage – with not allowing gay marriage.

”I think that’s the direction the Party need to go in. And, I think it’s slowly getting there. Baby steps.”

Bruce Carroll writing at Bretibart calls this year’s CPAC a “Milestone Weekend for Gays,” and says,

“Last week at CPAC we saw the many years of work by dedicated conservative gays and lesbians standing up for their values and the principles of freedom and liberty finally pay off. There was a tipping point for gays in America last week at CPAC. It happened because they have been coming out to their parents, friends and relatives over time… as American conservatives who just happen to be gay.”

I’m not so sure. There’s too much hate there for me to agree. Maybe that’s starting to slowly change. Only 1% of CPAC straw poll voters chose “stopping gay marriage” as their top political issue. But those voters were mostly the 18-25 set, only 2395 of CPAC’s reported 10,000 attendees, and they’re also the ones who gave Ron Paul the landslide win as their choice to be the next Republican presidential nominee.

But here’s what I do know.

On the road to full equality, there are many vehicles. Maybe which ever arrives first is the right one, but we have no idea which will be the one that brings us into the future. Maybe, collectively, we need to ride them all. If gay Republicans want to hang out with other Republicans, maybe, just maybe, it will help us change hearts and minds a little. We can’t afford to eliminate anyone who might help us win equality. (Not sending them money until they start voting for us, however, is the right thing to do!)

There are many roads to reach our success. I will not fight anyone for trying. I will for not.


Note: This piece was first published in The Bilerico Project.

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Speaker Johnson on Why He Thinks Hunter Biden’s Conviction Is Valid but Donald Trump’s Is Not

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Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, who could gain tremendous power if Donald Trump is elected president in November, explained to reporters his belief that Tuesday’s jury conviction of Hunter Biden on three federal felony gun charges was absolutely legitimate while Donald Trump’s conviction on 34 state felony charges was not.

“Every case is different,” Johnson told CNN’s Manu Raju (video below) when asked if “the president’s son being convicted on three counts” undercuts the Republican Speaker’s claims of a “two tier system of justice.”

Johnson added, “clearly the evidence was overwhelming” in the Hunter Biden prosecution, one which some legal experts said should not have been brought and at least one member of the jury who spoke to CNN said was a waste of the taxpayers’ dime.

“I don’t think that’s the case in the Trump trials, and all the charges that have been brought” against Trump “have been obviously brought for political purposes. Hunter Biden is a separate instance.”

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U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) issued a strong response to the Johnson’s claims.

“We should be very very worried that Republicans are so brazen in their belief that convictions of Democrats are fine but convictions of Republicans are illegitimate. This is a political party TELLING US OUT LOUD that they plan to use the justice system to persecute opponents.”

Speaker Johnson and Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and members from both their GOP conferences will be meeting with Donald Trump on Thursday, reportedly to create a gameplay to pass major right-wing legislation if the convicted ex-president wins back the White House on November, NBC News reports.

Watch below or at this link.

 

 

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Trump Insists No Mandatory Military Draft Advisers Have Been Planning

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Presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump slapped down a report revealing his top advisors, including former high-ranking administration officials working on Project 2025, want to reinstate the mandatory military draft.

“Influential figures in Donald Trump’s orbit, including his former acting defense secretary, have proposed making military service mandatory,” The Washington Post reported Tuesday in a morning brief. “Christopher Miller, the former acting secretary of the Defense Department, shared his pitch for a national service mandate in Project 2025, the outline for a second Trump term prepared by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.”

In an expanded report, The Washington Post revealed if Trump is elected and if Miller becomes his Secretary of Defense, high school students across the country could be required to take a military assessment, “the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, a standardized test developed by the Defense Department decades ago to help the military funnel recruits into occupations that match their skills and intellect.”

In an interview with the Post, Miller “detailed his vision for the ASVAB and a range of other changes as part of Project 2025, the conservative Heritage Foundation’s aspirational government-wide game plan should the presumptive Republican nominee return to the White House. Though Trump has not publicly endorsed its policy proposals, Miller is among a cluster of influential former administration officials and GOP lawmakers who have mused aloud about a national service mandate and other measures to remedy what they see as a ‘crisis’ facing the all-volunteer military.”

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“Miller said a national service requirement should be ‘strongly considered.’ He described the concept as a common ‘rite of passage,’ one that would create a sense of ‘shared sacrifice’ among America’s youth.”

Despite the facts, Trump blasted The Washington Post and its report.

“The Fake News Washington Post came up with the ridiculous idea that Donald J. Trump will call for Mandatory Military Service,” the ex-president and now convicted felon wrote on his Truth Social platform. “This is only a continuation of their EIGHT YEAR failed attempt to damage me with the Voters. The Story is completely untrue. In fact, I never even thought of that idea. Only a degenerate former Newspaper, which has lost 50% of its Readers, would fabricate such a tale. Just another Fake Story, one of many, made up by the DEAD Washington Compost!”

It’s unclear if by “DEAD” Trump was referring to The Post’s official slogan, “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” instituted the same year he became president.

The concept of “national service” is far from new, but the United States has not ever had mandatory military service, where everyone of a certain age was required to serve. Up until 1973 America still had the draft, before transitioning to an all-volunteer military.

President Barack Obama expanded opportunities for Americans to serve in non-military agencies, including AmeriCorps, FEMA Corps, and School Turnaround AmeriCorps.

Trump has kept his distance publicly away from Agenda 2025, but some experts believe should he be elected in November, that massive project, including its 920 manual, could easily become the national policy of the Trump administration.

The Biden administration has been campaigning against Project 2025.

Watch the video below or at this link.

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‘False’ and ‘Irresponsible’: DOJ Smacks Down Jim Jordan’s ‘Conspiracy’ in Sharp Letter

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Calling Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan’s allegations “speculation,” “conspiratorial speculation,” “unfounded,” “baseless,” “irresponsible,” and “false,” the U.S. Dept. of Justice in a strongly-worded and trenchant letter smacked down the House Republican’s suggestion the New York State criminal prosecution of Donald Trump was a project of the Biden administration.

Assistant Attorney General Carlos Felipe Uriarte from the DOJ Office of Legislative Affairs writes that Jordan’s Judiciary Committee “has demanded information from the Department because of what you describe as a ‘perception that the Justice Department is’ behind the District Attorney’s so-called ‘politicized prosecution’ and a ‘perception that the Biden Justice Department is politicized and weaponized’ to that end.” [Italicized words original to DOJ document.]

“The Department does not generally make extensive efforts to rebut conspiratorial speculation, including to avoid the risk of lending it credibility. However, consistent with the Attorney General’s commitment to transparency, the Department has taken extraordinary steps to confirm what was already clear: there is no basis for these false claims.”

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Describing their “comprehensive search for email communications … between any officials in Department leadership, including all political appointees in those offices, and the District Attorney’s office regarding any investigation or prosecution of the former President,” Uriarte says:

“We found none. This is unsurprising. The District Attorney’s office is a separate entity from the Department. The
Department does not supervise the work of the District Attorney’s office, does not approve its charging decisions, and does not try its cases. The Department has no control over the District Attorney, just as the District Attorney has no control over the Department. The Committee knows this.”

Continuing his remarks, Uriarte also notes that despite finding no emails Jordan demanded, “information-sharing between a U.S. Attorney’s Office and local prosecutors is standard and happens every day all over the country.”

And he issues a warning:

“The self-justifying ‘perception’ asserted by the Committee is completely baseless, but the Committee continues to traffic it widely. As the Attorney General stated at his hearing, the conspiracy theory that the recent jury verdict in New York state court was somehow controlled by the Department is not only false, it is irresponsible. Indeed, accusations of wrongdoing made without—and in fact contrary to—evidence undermine confidence in the justice system and have contributed to increased threats of violence and attacks on career law enforcement officials and prosecutors.”

“Our extraordinary efforts to respond to your speculation should put it to rest.”

ABC News adds that “last week, Attorney General Merrick Garland repeatedly rebuked the allegations as baseless and dangerous, pointing to an uptick in threats department officials have seen directly stemming from such conspiracy theories.”

READ MORE: Many Republicans Don’t Believe Trump Was Indicted or Aren’t Sure – But Say He’s Not Guilty

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