Former Bush Aide: There Were 70 Closeted Gay White House Staffers Working For W
Former staffer Stephen Levine says at least 70 gay Republicans, most or all closeted, were in the White House working for former PresidentÂ George W. Bush.
Politico is out with a story this afternoon about gay RepublicanÂ Stephen Levine, a former Bush staffer who claims that there were at least 70 gay staffers — all men except for two women — working in the George W. Bush White House.Â
Given that practically if not every state ban on same-sex marriage was the result of George W. Bush, “the architect” Karl Rove, and gay Republican Ken Mehlman, this is a huge bombshell. Imagine if those state bans had not been there — would marriage equality have come faster?
In the Politico piece, Levine describes how he felt when he first heard Bush voice his anti-gay beliefs to the public.
“It was a slap in the face.â€ Steven Levine is remembering that day in 2006 when President George W. Bush took the stage in a small-town school gym in Indiana. It was October 28, right before the midterm elections, and Levine was a 22-year-old White House advance aide. Heâ€™d been camped out in Sellersburg all week, working to get the details just right for Bushâ€™s campaign rally. The flags hung just so, the big presidential seal on the podium. Then Bush started talking, his standard stump speech about taxes and supporting the troops. But a new applause line took Levine by surprise. â€œJust this week in New Jersey,â€ the president said, â€œanother activist court issued a ruling that raises doubt about the institution of marriage. We believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman, and should be defended. I will continue to appoint judges who strictly interpret the law and not legislate from the bench.â€
The crowd loved it.
Levine was crushed.
Unsurprisingly, Levine stayed with Bush until the very end. His one act of “protest”? “Telling his bosses he refused to work advance for future campaign events.”
Back in Washington, Levine says, â€œI told the folks in the [White House] advance office that I couldnâ€™t do that anymore. â€¦ I told them why. These are my friends.â€
The article, as Right Wing Watch and Dan Savage’s Slog point out, tries to re-write history.
“George W. Bush started out as perhaps the most gay-friendly Republican president ever,” Politico claims.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. It’s doubtful he actually was, given his born-again Christian evangelical claims.
But then, there’s this revelation — of just how ridiculously in denial Bush’s gay staffers really were.
Although former staffers say they never believed Bush personally had anything against gay people, many still experienced episodes of cognitive dissonance, especially when the president went into campaign modeâ€”and all of sudden started pushing for the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
Jeff Berkowitz was in his RNC office in February 2004 when Bush first backed the amendment during a White HouseÂ speech. â€œThis was something I didnâ€™t agree with and didnâ€™t know was coming,â€ he says now. He sat at his desk for what felt like an hour thinking: â€œWhat do I do? Do I resign in protest? What was the point? I wasnâ€™t on the reelect because I thought Bush was good on marriage equality. It was because he was going to kill terrorists and was good on economic issues.â€ Besides, Berkowitz believed Bushâ€™s Democratic rival John Kerry, who did not, in fact, support gay marriage in that campaign, was no better on gay rights.
Berkowitz was wrong.
John Kerry in 1996 voted for ENDA and against DOMA. In 2000 and 2002 he voted for hate crimes legislation. And later, in 2006, he voted against a bill outlawing same-sex marriage. He also voted to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and in 2102 to re-authorize the Violence Against Women Act, which included protections for LGBT people.
Ken Mehlman at some point apologized for supporting and enabling the anti-gay marriage amendments and bans.Â
Will anyone other gay Republicans apologize? How about President Bush?
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Trump Desperate to Keep Any Possible Criminal Evidence From Supreme Court: Legal Expert
Donald Trump’s decision to allow one of his lawyers to speak before a grand jury on Friday morning, instead of appealing all the way to the Supreme Court, may have been made out of fear of what the justices on the nation’s highest court might see if they reviewed the case.
According to MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Rubin, under normal circumstances, the former president would have dragged out a legal fight over attorney-client privilege that would have kept attorney Evan Corcoran from testifying under oath about Trump’s possession of government documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort that led to the FBI showing up with a warrant.
As Rubin notes, the fact that Trump let Corcoran testify over three hours raised eyebrows.
“For one, yes, it is indeed unusual, if not unheard of, for a lawyer to be litigating against a party one day and then testifying under court-ordered examination by that same party the next one,” she wrote before suggesting Trump and his legal team were looking at the long game when he might need the predominantly conservative Supreme Court to lend him a helping hand.
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Writing, “Trump has made clear he believes this Supreme Court — controlled by conservative justices, three of whom he appointed — owes him one,” she added, “My hunch is that Trump’s team let Corcoran’s testimony happen because of what’s likely involved in any request to pause, much less, review a crime-fraud-related ruling: the evidence.”
“Put another way, if Trump had petitioned the Supreme Court to stay Corcoran’s testimony and document production, the justices would have seen some, if not all, of what Judge Howell and the three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit have already reviewed: proof that Trump misled Corcoran and engaged in criminal conduct,” she elaborated.
Rubin went on to note that Trump would likely appeal any conviction to the Supreme Court, writing, “And for someone whose one last hope, if he is ultimately charged or tried by any of the multiple entities now investigating him, is that same Supreme Court, letting the justices see evidence of his alleged crimes now would be a bridge too far.”
“Trump can’t afford to lose the Supreme Court yet,” she suggested.
You can read more here.
No TX Congressional Republican Will Say If They’re Attending Trump’s Rally in Waco – Will He Have Trouble Filling Seats?
Donald Trump‘s Saturday campaign rally in Waco, Texas, falls during the 30th anniversary of the 51-day siege that community is known for, when 86 people died after a failed ATF raid on an anti-government religious cult suspected of illegally stockpiling firearms amid allegations of sexual abuse, statutory rape, and polygamy.
Experts have been warning for a week that Trump’s choice of Waco, synonymous with violent anti-government extremism, was no accident. His rhetoric this week, including most recently Friday when he warned of “potential death & destruction” should he be indicted, has been seen as encouraging violence.
NCRM was among the first news outlets to report experts’ concerns over Trump’s choice to hold a rally in Waco during the 30th anniversary of the deadly siege.
Not a single congressional Republican from Texas will say they are attending, nor has the town’s GOP mayor, according to a report from Insider, which contacted over two dozen Republican lawmakers and other elected officials.
“None of the 30 Texas Republicans Insider contacted about the event said they were going,” Insider reveals.
“Most of the 30 GOP members contacted about Donald Trump’s inaugural visit to the site of a 30-year-old standoff between cult leader David Koresh and federal authorities did not respond to requests for comment about whether they intended to rally with the scandal-plagued candidate and perhaps say a few kind words,” Insider reports.
“Rep. Pete Sessions, a Waco native who now represents the surrounding 17th congressional district, praised Trump for shining a light on his hometown but said he’d have to miss the spectacle,” Insider adds. “Aides to Rep. Troy Nehls, one of the four House Republicans from Texas who have formally backed Trump’s 2024 run, told Insider he wouldn’t be heading to Waco because of a prior commitment in Washington, DC, this weekend.”
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Meanwhile, in addition to guest list challenges – the campaign refused to tell Insider who the guest speakers will be – Trump may have trouble filling seats.
Mary Trump, the ex-president’s niece who opposes him, has been running a campaign to get anti-Trump Americans to “sign up” for tickets to the Saturday rally, in the hopes of being able to turn away supporters.
Let’s fill this venue with empty seats.https://t.co/3tGSfan5iw
— Mary L Trump (@MaryLTrump) March 24, 2023
“Donald has a rally in Waco this Saturday,” she also said via Twitter. “It’s a ploy to remind his cult of the infamous Waco siege of 1993, where an anti-government cult battled the FBI. Scores of people died. He wants the same violent chaos to rescue him from justice.”
“But we can stop him. If we book the 50,000+ venue, we can make sure most of the seats are empty when the traitor takes the stage,” she said. “We can no longer fail to hold powerful men accountable for their crimes against our country.”
Image via Shutterstock
‘Utter Cowardice’: Jim Jordan Blasted for Telling Reporter He Can’t Read Trump’s Violence-Threatening Post Without Glasses
Countless GOP lawmakers over the years have professed ignorance over Donald Trump’s tweets as reporters ask them to respond, often claiming they hadn’t read them, but House Republican Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan took that performance to a whole new level Friday afternoon.
NBC News senior national political reporter Sahil Kapur asked the Ohio Republican congressman to weigh in on Trump’s social media post threatening “potential death & destruction” if he gets indicted.
“Jordan said he hasn’t seen Trump’s post,” Kapur said via Twitter. “When I showed [it] to him on my phone, he said he can’t read well without his glasses.”
“He added he’s reviewing DA Bragg’s letter,” Kapur added.
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Jordan, who didn’t need glasses to appear on Fox Business just two days ago (photo) is getting blowback.
VICE News Deputy DC Bureau Chief Todd Zwillich explained the progression.
“The stages of ignoring incitement,” he tweeted. “2016: I don’t respond to tweets —> 2018: I havent seen the tweet —-> 2023: I literally can’t see the tweet.”
“Utter cowardice,” declared former GOP Congressman Joe Walsh. “Not at all the @Jim_Jordan I knew & served with in Congress 10 yrs ago. Or…maybe it is.”
“The sheer dishonesty and cowardice of these people,” lamented MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan, echoing Walsh’s remarks.
Government watchdog group Citizens for Ethics said the “extent to which Trump’s backers in Congress are going to not condemn [his] calls for violence are ludicrous.”
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Some tied Jordan’s inability to see the post to his apparent inability to see or remember all the Ohio State wrestlers who say they complained to Jordan when he was their assistant coach, about being sexually harassed or assaulted by the team doctor. To this day despite numerous reports and people publicly coming forward, Jordan denied it ever happened.
“Apparently, Jim Jordan is unable to see wrestlers being sexually abused or Donald Trump social media posts,” attorney and Republican turned Democrat Ron Filipkowski tweeted.
“Well, @Jim_Jordan has shown before that he has trouble seeing threats right in front of his nose, so this checks out,” tweeted historian Kevin M. Kruse.
But Jordan’s Democratic colleagues on the Judiciary Committee may have served up the best response: “Why do you need your glasses to condemn violence @Jim_Jordan?”
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