Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A seat at the table: GOProud and Ann Coulter

When I was more involved with HRC, I would frequently get angry at how HRC is little more than an arm of the Democratic Party. Whether it's refusing to reach out to Republican candidates, signing on to left wing agenda items like pro-choice initiatives and Obamacare, or pre-emptively endorsing Obama before the GOP even has a candidate, there is plenty to be frustrated with HRC. Many members don't even pretend anymore - they are happy HRC is locked in with the Democrats' agenda.

I was ready to cut off all ties from HRC when a good friend of mine pointed out, it's hard to make change or even be part of the discussion if you don't have a seat at the table. She observed, if I left HRC, there would be no one locally to point out the shortcomings of the group. Nobody to advocate for less partisan events and initiatives that conservatives and liberals alike can work on for the benefit of the GLBT community. To effect change in the local HRC group, I had to have a seat at their table - so I could work from within. Likewise, HRC clearly does have a seat at both the President's and DNC's tables. They are effective at reaching out to Democrats and pushing their issues.

I thought about this - and this seemed to fit with my ideas about the GOP. There is a lot to like about the Republicans, but there's also a lot to get angry about. Some in the party clearly show their hypocrisy when advocating "small government" then completely ignoring that foundational tenet when it doesn't suit them on social issues. Still, even with the indifference, ignorance, or in some cases (many fewer than liberals would have you believe) animosity towards gays in the GOP, it's still my party. And it's my job to stay involved, promote it's fundamental positions, and make it better. I want to promote limited government, free markets, strong national defense, etc. To do this I need to stay involved in the GOP - keeping my seat at the table.

The sad thing is, national LGBT groups like HRC are either unwilling or incapable (both?) at finding a seat at the GOPs table. They spend their time villainizing Republicans as a whole, name calling conservatives, and all the while congratulating the Democrat's for doing very little. This is counter-productive. We need GOP votes for things like gay marriage and other priorities. Yet HRC seems more interested in maintaining enemies than making friends and changing minds.

Enter GOProud. This group has assembled an all-star cast of conservatives on its advisory board. It's building relationships with many Republicans in congress. It' establishing a rapport with the policymakers and the populous alike. Yet it gets slammed for doing this! Ann Coulter has agreed to be on its advisory board - a huge deal! While I don't agree with Ms. Coulter on many things - she's an important, forceful, and incredibly visible figure in the conservative movement. By agreeing to the advisory position at GOProud, Ann Coulter is publicly defending and announcing the right for gays to have a seat the conservative's table. Now that we have that seat - it's time to use it and make a change. While HRC's contempt for Republicans has made it impossible for them to change the hearts and mind of the party, GOProud has effectively made visible the place for gays in the GOP.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, August 5, 2010

It has been awhile - Cheers to Prop 8

I haven't been keeping up on my blog posts lately - and I apologize. Hopefully I will be more consistent in the future.

But for now, lets celebrate the ruling on Prop 8!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Political Capital

With the Obama administration pushing ahead with the health care reform bill, it is using up much of its political capital. Opposition hovering at ~50%, as more details of the bill, Manager's amendment, and behind closed doors political maneuvering are revealed, it is likely this opposition will go even higher.

Predictions for the 2010 elections are not good for the Democrats. As Kim Strassel writes in the WSJ: Consider North Dakota. A recent Zogby poll showed 28% (you read that right) of state voters support "reform." A full 40% said they'd be less likely to vote for Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan next year if he supports a bill. In a theoretical matchup with Republican Gov. John Hoeven (who has yet to announce), Mr. Hoeven wins 55% to 36%. Mr. Dorgan has been in the Senate 17 years; he won his last election with 68% of the vote. This should not be happening.

So the Democrats are likely to lose their filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, and lose a lot of ground in the house. The President's approval rating is now below 50% as well. What does this mean for LGBT issues?

Well, even with our "Fierce Advocate" we've seen no action on DADT, something that could be stopped with an executive order. We've likewise seen no movement on DOMA. And, in addition, the Obama administration has defied a judge's order to allow benefits for a same-sex couple.

First, its clear that the adminstration is not a "Fierce Advocate" as both Obama, HRC, or much of the elite gay community would like you to believe. Repealing DADT would have been a much easier task than health care reform, with a majority supporting armed service members to serve openly. In addition, even military supported studies have shown no effect on LGBT service members as affecting cohesiveness.

Second, by not acting quickly and forcefully on this "low hanging fruit" Obama has risked gaining any ground on LGBT issues. With elections coming up in 2010, Democrats will be mainly focusing on countering the political fallout from the health care bill. They will not even touch mildly controversial topics, and will likely shy away from any LGBT related bills until after the elections.

After the elections however, the democratic majority will be no more, and Republicans will likely be back in control. Democrats and Obama will then cry foul, blaming the Republicans for no progress on repealing DADT. I do find it unlikely that the Republicans will help move forward any LGBT legislation, but they were never the ones claiming to fight for us. Its a hard choice to choose between a party that promises much and delivers nothing, or a party that promises nothing and delivers just that.

I have more faith in GOProud making progress at CPAC than in this administrations commitment to LGBT issues.

Obama has squandered his political capital on one of the most unpopular and expensive social reforms in history. No matter how eloquently he describes his attempts to help the LGBT community, he no longer has the muscle to enact it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Carrie Prejean - Please Don't Compare Yourself to Sarah Palin

Ms. Prejean,

On your Larry King interview, you said you were "Palin-ized" because you were being attacked for your conservative beliefs. Don't insult Sarah Palin like that. You may share a belief against gay marriage with Mrs. Palin. And yes, you were treated unfairly by the media. But unlike Mrs. Palin you do not have strong conservative credentials, political savvy, nor experience.

Sarah Palin was the govenor of a state. She ran as the republican candidate for Vice President. Sarah Palin has come out forcefully on free market economic policies, energy independence, health care reform. She has energized the conservative base, and helped the party refocus their priorities. She has at times come across as silly or misinformed on the issues, but overall has accurately articulated what is a "conservative woman."

You on the other hand made one inarticulate remark regarding gay marriage in a beauty pageant. Now you are involved in a sex tape controversy. Hardly accomplishment enough to compare yourself to Sarah Palin.

Anti-gay marriage sentiment is not a litmus test for conservatism. It may be correlated and a part of conservatism in some peoples mind. But the main issues of today are economic ones.

So Ms. Prejean, stop reaching for fame and fortune from this controversy and allow true conservative women to take the spotlight.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Its time to rebuild the Republican Party.

1. Make a small government. We need the government to provide infrastructure, law enforcement, military protection, and other areas that the private sector cannot effectively do (ex. curiosity based research). The federal government should not be trying to solve everyones problems.

2. Focus on the economy and support the free market. Embrace globalization, even with the hardship of outsourcing. It will be best for the workers in the long run when new jobs are created, and cheaper products can be bought. Resist raising the minimum wage even with accusations of being heartless - it causes jobs to be loss, hurting more than it helps.

3. Be adamant in federalism. The states have rights. Lets not take them away. Why give the states power, yet take it away when the party disagrees with states decisions? Perfect example, let state courts and legislature decide on gay marriage. When they allow it, don't get angry and push for a nationwide ban. Encourage state and local activism.

4. Reduce both taxes and spending. Don't do one without the other. The last 8 years have not been managed correctly.

5. Stay pro-life. But don't alienate those who disagree.

6. Support the military. R&D for the military helps the private sector. But when decreasing government spending, make sure to include the military when looking for inefficiencies.

7. Fix healthcare. Offer a plan that rejects government sponsored healthcare for a market driven solution. We don't want to lose the scientific breakthroughs that are made because of competition in the market. We are the leaders in the biomedical sciences for a reason.

8. Learn science. Become educated. Ex: 1) Stem cells do not come from aborted fetuses. They come from unused embryos in IVF. Big difference. 2) Fruit fly research is not a pet project. A little education will go a long way in policy.

9. Expand the base. Don't let liberals claim whole groups. Gays, women, minorities, and the poor do not belong to them. We need to embrace them, and explain why specific policies (ex: equal wages for equal work) would be more symbolic than actually helping them.

10. Bring back intellectualism. William Buckley Jr. shouldn't be the only one. We need to foster conservative intellectualism - more than just the WSJ and the National Review. Bashing liberal academics doesn't make our ideas any better. Fund research and institutions that will revisit the academic roots of the party. Don't sacrifice academic integrity to reach out to the everyday man. That said, don't be arrogant either.

There are many more things to do, but this is a good start. Let's not lose hope. We've got 4 more years and then another try!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


John McCain called for the debates to be postponed until the economic crisis was fixed.

Barack Obama rejected this idea, saying that the debate must go on. He said, "part of the president’s job is to deal with more than one thing at once. In my mind it’s more important than ever.”

I want a president who can prioritize. One who will not spread himself too thin, and focus on the main problems of the day.

And this is supported by the many scientific studies showing that multitasking decreases performance and increases errors.

Don't dismiss this as showing that McCain can't handle the job. I'd say its wisdom in knowing ones limits. As much as Obama likes to think he can, no man can do eveything.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

White Privilege

Pam's House Blend has posted quotes from Tim Wise of AWARE, a group based out of Nashville , TN. With liberals so bent on understanding nuance and the many shades of gray in this world, I particularly enjoyed this quote.

'And finally, white privilege is the only thing that could possibly allow someone to become president when he has voted with George W. Bush 90 percent of the time, even as unemployment is skyrocketing, people are losing their homes, inflation is rising, and the U.S. is increasingly isolated from world opinion, just because white voters aren't sure about that whole "change" thing. Ya know, it's just too vague and ill-defined, unlike, say, four more years of the same, which is very concrete and certain.'

This analysis is so very insightful. I am glad we have reduced the personalities and issues in this campaign to the issue of white privilege.

First, I acknowledge that the Presidency has a unique role in guiding this country. However, with an approval rating of only 20% for Congress, something is clearly going wrong. To claim that Bush has the majority of responsibility for unemployment, housing, and inflation is ridiculous. There is fault from congress, the president, and the market in general. It is not the government's job to protect people and corporations from stupidity and bad investments. There should be regulation, yes, but a huge oversight committee would not have avoided this crisis.

Second, he claims that America is isolated from world opinion. This is a blanket statement which is in itself neither good nor bad. I think America should listen to the opinions other nations, but itself remain independent. Every decision aligned with world opinion is not necessarily good, and decisions that are at odds with the world decision are not necessarily bad.

The claim that it is only white privilege guiding this election is sickening. Disregard beliefs in a free market, globalization, promoting life and reducing abortion, and promoting innovation. Completely ignore disdain for 'progressive tax codes' which support wealth redistribution, for government intrusion into our work, our bank accounts, choices for health care, our choices of schools.

And Tim Wise while pointing out 'hypocracy' in the 'preferential' treatment of Sarah Palin and John McCain, he is mocking each of them with the same attacks he accuses whites of committing against minorities.

Lastly, he is mocking the claim that change is too ill defined. That anything has to be better than what we have now. The liberal platform is largely anti the Bush administration. It requires and is defined by the 'other.' It does not stand on its own, but is based on being against the platform of conservatives. As such it is required to consistently tear down the other platform. The country thought Bush was leading us wrong, but did not run to Kerry, because there wasn't a platform to run towards. This seems to be happening again. Change is defined by what it is not. Not on its own foundations.

To the liberals, I want to remind you that burning down your neighbors house doesn't make yours look any better.