Ken Mehlman: “I Apologize To Them And Tell Them I’m Sorry”

Jim Burroway

March 2nd, 2012

In a conversation with Salon’s Thomas Schaller, former Republican National Committee Chair Ken Mehlman apologized for the first time for the harm that was done to gays while campaign manager for President Bush in 2004. That was the race in marriage amendment propositions were placed on ballots in key states drive social conservatives to the polls. That campaign also saw aggressively anti-gay flyers being mailed out in West Virginia and other states which said that electing Sen. John Kerry president would result in gay marriages and a ban on the Bible.

In reflecting on his role in the Republican party’s use of anti-gay themes in 2004, Mehlman told Schaller:

“At a personal level, I wish I had spoken out against the effort,” he says. “As I’ve been involved in the fight for marriage equality, one of the things I’ve learned is how many people were harmed by the campaigns in which I was involved. I apologize to them and tell them I am sorry. While there have been recent victories, this could still be a long struggle in which there will be setbacks, and I’ll do my part to be helpful.”

When Mehlman came out in 2010, he acknowledged that if he had not been closeted while working in the 2004 and 2006 campaigns, he might have fought to keep the party from deploying an anti-gay agenda during those campaigns. Since then, he has worked actively in lobbying for marriage equality in New York and elsewhere, and he lobbied Republican U.S. Senators in the effort to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Raybob

March 2nd, 2012

Quisling

Ben in Oakland

March 2nd, 2012

And Yet, he just did or will do a fundraiser forthe Orange Man, who has committed 1.5 million and counting to defend the otherwise indefensible.

Quisling is not a bad word.

dn

March 2nd, 2012

Ok, Ken, how about you meet with some widowers whose finances have been destroyed because their would-have-been spouses were denied the opportunity to sign onto the other would-have-been spouse’s health care? Or a widower who lost his home because he couldn’t afford to pay tax on it after his would-have-been spouse died?

Maybe you can cram that multi million dollar chelsea condo of yours up your ass instead?

This is a first step in mehlman’s atonement but I for one am *nowhere* ready to forgive his sickening profiteering at the expense of his fellow Americans.

tristram

March 2nd, 2012

Yeah – Mehlman is in a difficult position that is largely of his own making. I have real problems with his active fund-raising for Boehner. On the other hand, I have to think his social conservative/christianist former allies refer to him as a quisling, a judas and all their other terms of endearment.

Lindoro Almaviva

March 2nd, 2012

baby steps, Melboy, baby steps.

MattNYC

March 2nd, 2012

Maybe after sackcloth and ashes and a vow of poverty–or at least to use his ill-gotten gains to help those he hurt…

But it is a step…

Soren456

March 2nd, 2012

If your epiphany has occurred and your behavior stays unchanged (Boehner? Really?), then nothing you say is ever the truth.

Kevin

March 2nd, 2012

I believe in repentance and conversion, and change in people’s lives. I want to see Mr. Mehlman get on FOX News, though, and lay into what Christianists have done to destroy gays in this country. Then, get back to me.

Jay Jonson

March 3rd, 2012

How can he reconcile his supposed remorse for his anti-gay actions in 2004, while he contributes money to anti-gay candidates in 2012.

blue-heron

March 3rd, 2012

It is always the sideliners, like Melman, Cindy McCain, Laura Bush and Daughter, who are making “supportive” statements about LGBT’s, not actual GOP Legislators, as elections come around.

I am not fooled into voting for them though.

Embarcadero

March 4th, 2012

He’ll be forgiven when I see that he gives equal time and energy to repairing the damage he’s done. I like the idea that he should give up some significant amount of money to the widows and widowers whose finances have been ruined, or the bi-national couples whose lives have been disrupted.

I want to see a meaningful apology. Not a self-serving epiphany.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required)
(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

 

Latest Posts

Today's Agenda Is Brought To You By...

Today In History, 1646: Execution in New Netherlands Colony

Today In History, 1741: An Early Ex-Gay Testimony

Today In History, 1962: Supreme Court Rules Physique Magazines Are Not Pornographic

Today In History, 1972: United Church of Christ Ordains First Gay Minister

Today In History, 1978: Rainbow Flag Debuts

Born On This Day, 1935: Larry Kramer

Born On This Day, 1963: George Michael

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.