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    She looks like she washes with Comet

    Apparently, someone is a hypocritical bitch who needs to stop criticizing others for slamming people without substantiation. I just which I could figure out whether it’s Wynken, Blynken, or Nod. Since Michael’s a friend and we haven’t gotten into a good argument lately, I will say that he’d make a better case for himself if he produced at least one example of Gay Patriot’s coming down on the side of spinmeistering and partisanship rather than principle.

    The issue beneath the sniping is an interesting one. What brought it all on was the announcement that Patrick Guerriero is leaving Log Cabin Republicans. I’ve often wondered just what LCR’s priorities are in practice, as opposed to on its mission statement; and I’ve disagreed with choices it’s made. (Not that it should be laboring to satisfy a non-member such as me.) But prioritizing among principles when real life requires compromise isn’t an easy thing, and I don’t know that harshing on people who make a good-faith effort but don’t get it right is always the best response.

    I don’t think it’s unfair to ask the guys at Gay Patriot, “Look, just how far would you be willing to go in sacrificing gay issues for the sake of party loyalty?” I go to Gay Patriot infrequently, but I generally read up on everything posted since my last visit, and I don’t think I’ve really seen that addressed. It’s not an unreasonable question, especially since the blog’s original proprietor was only too happy to use the novelty of his gayness + conservatism to seek attention when he started out.

    I’ve met plenty of gays who style themselves independents but are, on principles and issues, pretty much conservative down the line. They fear that, despite the “big tent” rhetoric, being a Republican in practical terms means buying into a culture of Red State reverse-snobbery and constantly conceding that now is not the time–close election coming up, social fabric still recovering from the 60s, more important to deal with Social Security, et c.–to push for explicitly gay-friendly policy. The war made the last presidential election a no-brainer for most of them, but there are plenty of future elections to worry about. (When I left New York for Tokyo, I re-registered at my parents’ address in Pennsylvania, so I’ll be able to join in the Santorum-Casey fun this year.) LCR made serious misjudgments two years ago in the run-up to the election. If its new leadership proves to be more savvy and consistent, who knows? It might get existing gay Republicans interested again and help reassure those who’ve balked at joining up until now.

    3 Responses to “She looks like she washes with Comet”

    1. Toby says:

      It’s an interesting point you raise, after having cut through the difficult logic twists (not yours) and the tiresome comment sniping in the BfT-GP debate. Both of BfT and GP are publicity hounds when it suits them (BfT more though), I concede.

      All of this RINO stuff etc smacks a lot of leftist ideological purity drives. Do you think part of what we are seeing is a leftist triumph in discourse? Old style conservatives would probably not care too much about ideological rigour – but with the great take-over of the right in the 70s and 80s by neo-cons on the secular side and Christo-cons on the religious side, we began to see a leftist argument about utopian ideational matters, usually anathema to conservatives, to whom actions tend to speak louder than words. This naturally leads to accusations of want of faith, both by the religious and the lay, traditionally not part of conservative discourse.

      Politics is sordid and traduces all ideological purity in the end. That is its strength, since it dilutes the heady brew of utopianism of both the left and the right to potable levels.

    2. Sean Kinsell says:

      Hmmm. I don’t know, Toby. I think it’s hard to draw the distinctions you’re trying to draw without ending up right back at purity issues. What qualifies as “old-style conservative” to you seems like what I think most of us would call maybe “conservative by temperament” as opposed to strictly “politically conservative.” That’s fine, but it leaves open the issue of whether someone who supports XYZ policy can be said to be “conservative.” Is one aberration enough to disqualify you? Or is it three strikes and you’re out? It’s tiresome, but I guess people who want to be able to use words with some confidence that their audience will know what they’re referring to may have to get into debates over definitions. It would be nice if they could do it without smugness or rancor, but things never seem to work out that way.

    3. Toby says:

      Thought provoking point – but like that obscenity judge, I know conservatism when I see it! (this also ties in with your point about semantic clarity) Seriously, though, I think it rally was the 1970s, not the 1960s, that were the pivotal turning point – or the bottom of the cycle (choose your metaphor). Have you read Frum’s The 1970s? A rather good book.

      The real point, though, is that if you want to be pure and righteous, stay out of politics (a truth the US Founding Fathers knew all too well).

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