Barney Frank, the ultimate partisan hack.

A Commentary

Timothy Kincaid

September 11th, 2012

Barney Frank has supported some of the goals of our community.

While I cannot think of a single pro-gay bill that he has written or introduced, and while I cannot recall any real expenditure of effort on any pro-gay legislation, and while I know that he has campaigned for watering down some legislation, I also am aware that he has added his name to the list of co-sponsors on a number of supportive bills. And maybe he has really worked for some of them. Maybe he was the unseen, unheard, driving force.

And though when such bills arise, it seems to me that Frank uses the media to advance first his own image and second that of his party, he truly has advocated in the media for pro-gay positions. And that is, without question, a good thing.

I am fully aware of Uncle Barney’s role in raising the visibility of gay people. I am delighted with his decision to marry his long-time partner, James Ready, and do so while still in office.

Would I have preferred that the visible role not be the irascible, cantankerous, and generally unpleasant person that is Barney Frank? Yes. Would I have preferred that the face of gay politics be Tammy Baldwin or Jared Polis? Absolutely! But would I have been ready to overlook that in the name of community unity and advancement? You bet.

However, I simply cannot overlook the fact that Barney Frank is the worst kind of politician, a partisan hack. I can forgive hypocrisy, personal failure, even slick polished empty suits. But I have little use for a politician who tries to broker my community for his personal advancement or that of his party.

I have not been a fan of Mr. Frank since, in the 1990 Massachusetts gubernatorial race, he endorsed supported raging homophobe John Silber over Bill Weld*. That was a jaw-dropping, mind-numbing act of partisan absurdity. I’ve seen no reason to rejoin his fan club since. In fact, now that his career is ending, it seems that he has taken on a new role: throwing a wrench into any possible bipartisan movement that can be achieved on gay rights.

And that pisses me off.

Earlier this year I shrugged off Barney’s trashing of Massachusetts congressional candidate Richard Tisei, a gay Republican as just being “typical Barney Frank”. But now I’m seeing it as a part of a pattern. He loves the partisan divide: pro-gay Democrats and anti-gay Republicans, and he’ll do anything he can to weaken any Republican that supports our community.

Barney’s latest is his new mantra that Log Cabin Republicans are “Uncle Toms”. He tossed that one out on Michelangelo Singorelli’s radio show and gave an encore at the Democratic Party Convention.

But it seems not to have gotten the standing O that he expected. In fact, several organizations politely stated that they didn’t agree with the Congressman. Rather than nod adoringly at anything Uncle Barney says, they put the goals of our community over Barney’s party-first hate speech.

Well, Barney isn’t going to let that stand, so he’s now trotted out an “explanation” of just why it is that Log Cabin Republicans are the moral equivalent of slaves defending and empowering slavery. Sadly, he seems to be a bit factually deficient in his statement, so I’ll give him a little help:

I am not surprised that members of the Log Cabin Republicans are offended by my comparing them to Uncle Tom. They are no more offended than I am by their campaigning in the name of LGBT rights to elect the candidate and party who diametrically oppose our rights against a President who has forcefully and effectively supported our rights. [Little problem, Barney, Log Cabin hasn’t been “campaigning in the name of LGBT rights to elect” Mitt Romney. Nor have they been “campaigning in the name of LGBT rights to elect” the Republican Party. In fact, as best I can tell, they’ve been very circumspect about their campaigning this season, limiting it to those few Republicans that they see as allies.]

That is the first reason for my admittedly very harsh criticism. [No, it’s not criticism. It’s a slur.] This election is clearly one in which there is an extremely stark contrast between the two parties on LGBT rights. The Democratic President and platform fully embrace all of the legal issues we are seeking to resolve in favor of equality. The Republican candidate for President and the platform on which he runs vehemently oppose us in all cases. [On this we agree.] On the face of this, for a group of largely LGBT people to work for our strong opponent against our greatest ally is a betrayal of any supposed commitment to our legal equality. [But, there you go again with your objection to something that simply seems not to exist. Are you senile, Barney? Or perhaps you are so ignorant that you are unaware that Log Cabin hasn’t been “working for” Romney and too lazy to look it up? Or maybe it’s just that you are lying.]

But my use of “Uncle Tom” was based not simply on this awful fact that they have chosen to be actively on the wrong side of an election that will have an enormous impact on our right to equality, both in fact and in the public perception of the popularity of that cause. [Have you stopped beating your husband, Barney? God, I hate politicians who believe that if they repeat the same heinous lie over and over then it makes them right.] If the Log Cabin Republicans – or their even more outlandish cousins, the oddly-named GOProud -were honestly to acknowledge that they let their own economic interests, or their opposition to strong environmental policies, or their belief that we need to be spending far more on the military or some other reason ahead of any commitment to LGBT equality, and on that ground have decided to prefer the anti-LGBT candidate to the supportive one, I would disagree with the values expressed, but would have no complaint about their logic.

[Ummmm… okay, once more with the COMPLETE AND TOTAL IGNORANCE attempt. GOProud does exactly that. They acknowledge that Romney is worse on gay issues but they have other priorities (though the phrasing of your examples suggests that you would most definitely complain). It’s one of several reasons I have no respect for GOProud.]

The damaging aspect of the Log Cabin argument, to repeat the most important point, is that they may mislead people who do not share their view that tax cuts for the wealthy are more important than LGBT rights into thinking that they are somehow helping the latter by supporting Mitt Romney and his Rick Santorum platform.

[Sure, Barney, Log Cabin supports the Rick Santorum platform. Even you can’t be so “misled” as to believe that, you obnoxious blowhard. And of course, those are the two choices: ‘tax cuts for the wealthy’ and ‘LGBT rights’. And of course Log Cabin has the “view that tax cuts for the wealthy are more important than LGBT rights.”

Yep, exactly what one expects from a partisan hack that sees things only in blue or red. And I’m supposed to take anything you say as credible again, Uncle Hatebag?

But you keep trotting out that utter bullshit about how Log Cabin is misleading people. Maybe John Silber would agree. I hear he hates gay Republicans, too.]

It is a good thing for Republicans to try to influence other Republicans to be supportive of LGBT rights. The problem is when they pretend to be successful when they haven’t been, and urge people to join them in rewarding the Republicans when they have in fact continued their anti-LGBT stance. [Speaking of urging, I urge you to pretend for a moment that you have intellectual honesty. That’s the fourth time you’ve pushed that lie.] I have been hearing the Log Cabin Republicans proclaim for years that they were improving the view of that party towards our legal equality. In fact, over the past 20 years, things have gotten worse, not better. [Really!?! You honestly think ANYONE will fall for that? No, Uncle Absurdity, the number of supportive Republicans has increased over the past 20 years. Not to the extent of Democrats, but better than they were – much better.] Most recently, on DOMA, when the House Republicans offered an amendment to reaffirm it, they voted 98% in favor of it, while Democrats voted more than 90% against the amendment. And it is not surprising that they have not been successful. Giving strong political support to people who are maintaining their anti-LGBT stance is hardly an effective strategy for getting them to change it. [Sure, If anyone were fucking doing that, Uncle Calumny.]

The argument Mr. Cooper and the others in the Log Cabin Republicans have put forward in their defense is that they have succeeded in getting the Republicans to reduce the extent to which they denounce us, and, in Mr. Cooper’s phrase, the fact that Paul Ryan is “willing to engage” with gay Republicans. That is where Uncle Tom comes to mind. They are urging people to vote for the anti-LGBT candidate [in your bloated delusional mind] over the most supportive LGBT candidate and platform imaginable because the “antis” are calling us fewer names and are willing to talk to some of us. It is this willingness to acquiesce in a subordinate status as long as the masters are kinder in tone, although in substance, that emulates Uncle Tom. [I take it you’ve never actually read the book. Just like you’ve never read a word written by LCR.]

I note Mr. Cooper points to a couple of Republicans as reasons for supporting that party and helping advance its anti-LGBT crusade. [That’s a really foul lie. To accuse LCR of “helping advance its anti-LGBT crusade” is as hateful as anything I’ve seen from Linda Harvey.] As to Representative Ryan, in addition to his “willingness to engage with them,” Mr. Cooper cites his vote for the Employment Nondiscrimination Act. In fact, Paul Ryan has an overwhelmingly anti-LGBT voting record, including opposition to the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and a transgender-inclusive hate crimes bill [I wonder if that’s similar to lobbying to make ENDA trangender-non-inclusive?], and support for a constitutional amendment not just to ban future same-sex marriages but to dissolve existing ones. It is true that on one occasion he voted for ENDA, but he did so only after voting minutes before for a Republican procedural maneuver – a motion to recommit the bill – which falsely invoked the specter that passage of ENDA would compel same-sex marriage and which, if it had passed, would have killed the bill. In other words, Paul Ryan has always voted against us, except for one occasion when he voted for us only after first trying to make the bill he theoretically supported inoperative.

[Yep, Paul Ryan is not a good guy. He is one good reason why Log Cabin should not endorse the Republican ticket… something that, so far anyway, they haven’t done. And if they do, I’ll criticize them on those terms.]

Mr. Cooper also cites Susan Collins. She was very good on the question of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” But the argument that supporting Susan Collins advances LGBT rights ignores the fact that Senator Collins has twice defeated Democrats who were far more supportive of our issues than she was. [Did you really just make the argument that Log Cabin Republicans shouldn’t support Sue Collins because she’s not as supportive as would be a Democrat? You partisan walrus!] And an example of that is the current referendum in the state of Maine on marriage. We have a very good chance of winning in Maine, and winning a referendum is important both for the substantive rights of the people in Maine and for the political point that it demonstrates. Unlike the two Democratic Representatives from Maine, Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud, Susan Collins has been stubbornly silent. That is, in a state where marriage is on the ballot, and in a year in which she is not up for reelection, Senator Collins is withholding her support from us, unlike any Democrat who would have run against her. And remember, these are the best that the Log Cabin Republicans can cite.

[No, the best they can cite is that while the Democrats played games with DADT and basically killed the repeal, Sue Collins and Joe Liebermann resurrected the repeal and are deserving of the credit. She wasn’t “very good” on DADT, she was essential. But I guess one of those “more supportive” Democrats would have been better than Collins. The fact is, Uncle Tammany, you clearly see your job as pushing party and party only. In fact, you are so partisan in your thinking that you cannot comprehend that LCR might not be doing everything that they can to get homophobic Republicans elected. After all, you did everything you could to get a homophobic Democrat elected – so putting ideals over party is just natural. Of course that’s what LCR does, your befuddled brain tells you, it’s what any unprincipled person like you would do.]

Some have complained that in comparing the Log Cabin Republicans to Uncle Tom, I was ignoring the fact that they are nice. [Nope, nary a soul. Not one person. No one on the face of the planet said that you were ignoring that they are “nice”. That’s just a lie you are using to set up what you think is the rhetorical zinger.] I accept the fact that many of them are nice – so was Uncle Tom – but in both cases, they’ve been nice to the wrong people. [And that, Barney, is a fault that no one has ever accused you of doing. Excessively nice is not your vice.]


Recent headlines in the Washington Blade make the point as clearly as I did. In the August 10th issue, a headline proclaims that the “Log Cabin seeks to purge anti-gay language from Republican [platform] document.” In the August 31st issue, another headline states that “Republicans affirm anti-gay views in platform, speeches.” In the September 7th issue, a third headline reports that “Democrats embrace marriage; hundreds of LGBT delegates take part.”

[Oddly enough, your addendum proves my point. Your objection to LCR is not that they are endorsing homophobes (and I hope they continue not to), your objection to LCR is that they are Republicans.]

Yep, I’m still over Uncle Partisan Hack.


R. Clark Cooper, Executive Director of Log Cabin Republicans was decidedly more civil than me in his response to Barney Frank:

Congressman Frank, of all people, should understand the importance of perseverance when working within a party to achieve change – after all, it was not so long ago his party was indifferent at best when it came to respecting gay families. Leaders committed to LGBT equality know that every victory our community has achieved has required bipartisan advocacy and bipartisan votes, and winning support from Republicans will only be more important in the days ahead. Come January, Republicans will maintain a majority in the House and likely secure a majority in the Senate. Without Log Cabin Republicans working with fellow conservatives, LGBT Americans would be left without a credible voice within the GOP. Barney Frank’s denial of Log Cabin Republicans success, particularly on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal and the freedom to marry in New York, is sad but unsurprising. It is time for him to pass on the baton to leaders better suited to a world where equality is not a partisan issue.

* This endorsement is my recollection from the time, and that of others. However, as I cannot find a 1990 newspaper reference to an actual endorsement, I’ll restrict my commentary to “supported”. As the full Democratic leadership supported Silber over Weld, and as Frank was a very visible presence in that leadership, and as I recall being furious with his doing so, I am comfortable asserting that Frank supported Silber. And if Frank were to in any way express the notion that Weld was preferable to Silber it would have been front page news (as it likely would have been had he remained silent on the matter). But I’ll leave it to the reader whether or not to rely on my recollection.


September 11th, 2012

Too fuckin’ bad LCR and GOPround; you are Uncle Toms and good from Franks to call you out on it.


September 11th, 2012

“Without Log Cabin Republicans working with fellow conservatives, LGBT Americans would be left without a credible voice within the GOP.”

It would appear that the GOP ignores the voices of gay conservatives when it comes to any lgbt issues. Again, you had members of LCR in the same room when the platform was drafted and you have some of the worst anti-gay ideas and vitriol in the GOP national platform.

“Come January, Republicans will maintain a majority in the House and likely secure a majority in the Senate.”

God, I hope not. I don’t think we can take another two years, at least, of tax cuts are the magical cure for everything.

Scooter J

September 11th, 2012

What a rambling and bizarre post.

Next time you “help” with “factual deficiencies” you might want to tone down the name-calling and conjecture and support your opinion with at least some facts of your own.

Adding the words “a commentary” to the beginning of your post does not excuse you from being at least miminally civil.

We get it, you don’t care for Barney Frank, many of us don’t either. . . but “obnoxious blowhard”, “Uncle Hatebag”, “partisan walrus”??? You sound like an elementary school bully.


September 11th, 2012

Ummm no sorry. Not only are the Log Cabin Republicans “Uncles Tom”, they also clearly suffer from Stockholm Syndrome and delusions of grandeur.

“Come January, Republicans will maintain a majority in the House and likely secure a majority in the Senate. Without Log Cabin Republicans working with fellow conservatives, LGBT Americans would be left without a credible voice within the GOP.”

OR how about working from inside the GOP to sabotage as many campaigns as possible to prevent them from getting elected? That at least would make you useful for something. The ONLY reason the GOP even pretends to tolerate you is so they can say “See? We aren’t hateful! We have a bunch of gay dummies, err we mean ‘Log Cabin Republicans’ in our party.”


September 11th, 2012

As a gay man, my life and my ability to share it with my partner is paramount to any economic policy. What good does all of those things do me if my life is constitutionally banned?

The LCR obviously think economic policy is more important. While I may not agree with all of the things the Democratic party professes, they do accept me as a full citizen and that *does* matter.

You can try to change the economic policies of the Democrats just as you can try to change the Social policies of the republicans. Priorities.


September 11th, 2012

I’ll admit that Barney isn’t very likeable, and shallow guy that I am, his lisp pisses me off and embarrasses me as stereotypical. Still, I find it reasonably convenient to divide the world pretty much as he does: “Democrat” means likely pretty much on my side, and “Republican” means likely pretty much against my interests as I understand them.


September 11th, 2012

As a long time reader, this post was very upsetting. The bitterness and self delusion radiating from it is just so powerfully repulsive.

Let’s examine what LCR said when Ryan was selected:

“Ryan’s 2007 vote in favor of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act and his consistent willingness to engage with Log Cabin on a range of issues speaks to his record as a fair-minded policymaker. Overall, while Log Cabin Republicans have not completed the endorsement process for the 2012 presidential election, this is a choice that all Republicans can be excited about, and which sends a good message about…the kind of president Governor Romney wants to be.”

Clearly the message they are trying to convey is that Ryan supports ENDA, which is not true; single procedural vote aside, Ryan does not support any ENDA legislation as written and, as a matter of principal does not believe that the law should protect LGBT people from discrimination. The press release is titled “Ryan Strengthens the GOP Ticket” clearly meant to give readers a positive impression.

They take the mendacity a step further, implying that “the kind of President” Mitt Romney wants to be is one that will be fair to LGBT people, particularly on the issue of discrimination which *IS JUST NOT TRUE*. This is what Frank is talking about; they pretend to be successful when, by any real metric, they are not. Clearly, this statement is intended to give pro-LGBT voters the idea that the Romney ticket is pro-LGBT when they are not.


September 11th, 2012

I also want to add that political parties court voters not the other way around. It is not incumbent on LGBT Americans, as a community of voters, to pro-actively try to engage hostile politicians. If they want our votes, they should come courting them, NOT the other way around.


September 11th, 2012

Now honestly, Timothy has said things that have pissed me off before but I think he’s right here. Barney Frank is a terrible politician. I really don’t think he has done that much to advance lgbt rights. As I recall he didn’t even come out, he was outed and his electorate simply didn’t care enough to vote him out of office.

Calling the LCR Uncle Toms is hyperbolic. I would never vote Republican because of their positions on my rights, but LCR’s response to Frank was right on. Democrats weren’t that great on gay rights just a few short years ago. Its not a bad idea to try and change the Republican party if you are a gay republican. If it can happen to the democratic party it can happen to the republican party.


September 11th, 2012

“If it can happen to the democratic party it can happen to the republican party.”

Yeah anyday now the GOP is going to abandon their anti-gay rhetoric and stop exploiting homophobia to win elections.

Just like they stopped exploiting racism to win elections…

Seriously though PhilDC is right on. Their absurd, half-true defense of Paul Ryan is what destroyed any resect I had for the LCR.


September 11th, 2012

Barney has always been a partison hack and sketchy ethically. He once again fails to take the high road and does more harm than good.

The LCR is positioning itself when the time goes with the Religious Right will implode. And its starting to happen. More and more Republicans are asking themselves why this is even an issue anymore. And let us not forget that it was the LCR that pushed the DADT issue while the HRC was polishing the china in their expensive HQ.

Calling the LCR “uncle toms” just tells me that you are shallow and one dimensional. Try leaving your gay gettos for ten minutes and actually experience the real world for a change.


September 11th, 2012

“I have not been a fan of Mr. Frank since, in the 1990 Massachusetts gubernatorial race, he endorsed raging homophobe John Silber over Bill Weld.”

Yet somehow you’re able to vigorously defend LCR’s endorsements of anti-gay Republicans over pro-gay Democrats… Wow.


September 11th, 2012

“The LCR is positioning itself when the time goes with the Religious Right will implode. And its starting to happen. More and more Republicans are asking themselves why this is even an issue anymore.”

This is the logical fallacy of special pleading. We shouldn’t mind that the GOP platform calls for permanent second class citizenship for gays through a constitutional amendment, the purge of all gay soldiers from the military and praises the plans of African countries to put us to death. Instead, we should just assume that, someday in the future, fundamentalist homophobes will lost their influence on the GOP even though the currently have it in an iron grip. There is not empirical evidence from polling, congressional votes, or the party platform that the GOP is trending in a more pro-gay direction other than occasional concessions to more polite verbiage for the same hateful ideas.

Oh, and also, Barney Frank is fat! He’s FAT!!!

I guess I just don’t live in the “real world”.


September 11th, 2012

I’ll take Barney Frank and the party that supports lgtb people any day over the people and party that fought to stop the condemnation of the “kill the gays” bill in Uganda any day.

Barney may have a “mouth” on him, but it takes people with a “mouth” to get things done. Sitting by meekly and begging your opponent to be nicer to you has never worked in this world.

With the fundamentalists Christians in firm control of the R’s, hell will freeze over before they drop their anti-gay positions. Change, if it comes at all, will be decades in the making. While you may be fine with that, the vast majority of us want to see our freedom before we die.

You don’t have to like the man or some of the things he says or does. I certainly don’t like some of the things he does or says. But your juvenile name calling toward Barney is pretty low. Our opponents love to see us tear each other apart, and they will love (and use ) your comments tearing Barney down.

You’ve written some pretty interesting things over the last few years, but this is beyond reasonable. So I’m voting with my fingers and not clicking on your site any more. If enough people do it, maybe you’ll get the message.


September 11th, 2012

The Democrats haven’t been gung-ho for gay rights until recently? Well nobody really was pro-gay until the late 90s, early 2000s. At least the Democratic Party wasn’t openly hostile to gay equality.

And please before anybody whines about Bill Clinton enacting DADT and DOMA: he didn’t propose those; he had to compromise. Don’t forget, the vast majority of the public in 1996 was opposed to ANY legal recognition of same-sex couples. If Clinton had vetoed it, the Republican Congress probably would have pushed for a Constitutional Amendment instead (which he couldn’t veto and would have been ratified at the time).


September 11th, 2012

I can tell Timothy Kincaid is really overwrought in his post. There’s a lot to be said at times for sitting on such a post for a day or so and then looking it over.

Striking while the iron is hot can lead to burnt hands, and rhetoric can easily overtake rationality for any of us, because of the discrimination we have faced and the struggles to be accepted in our lives.

There’s a difference between being thin-skinned when an arrow hits too close to home, and speaking from the heart about something one cares too much about to be able to speak from the mind.

But others don’t always perceive that, and it can leave you looking desperate rather than actually convincing anyone of your points.

Anyhow, it’s time for my Ovaltine.


September 11th, 2012

Barney Frank’s comments were hyperbolic, partisan and unnecessarily demeaning. Timothy’s were all that, tripled.

The acid test for the LCRs will be whether they endorse Romney/Ryan. Given the composition of the national Republican Party and the position on social issues of the Republican congressmen and senators, supporting R/R will be tantamount to endorsing the GOP platform, including the parts Tony Perkins claims to have authored.


September 12th, 2012


LCR have endorsed Scott Brown. “Log Cabin Republicans are proud to endorse pro-equality Republican Senator Scott Brown for reelection.”

Think Progress outlines some of his positions.

Really? This is who you wish to defend?

With Friends like these….

Gene in L.A.

September 12th, 2012

“… and he’ll do anything he can to weaken any Republican that supports our community.”
Evidence, please. After this screed I can’t just take your word for it.


September 12th, 2012

Wait, so Barney Frank is a partisan hack, but the very LCR people, including Cooper, who condemned Obama’s marriage endorsement as cold and calculating, and a bitter pill for Carolinians, are not partisan hacks?

Somebody wants their Republican party transofrmation dreams to happen, really bad; to the point that it seems to mess with his grasp on reality.


September 12th, 2012

I’m willing to give some amount of credit to LCR (they were the ones whose lawsuit got DADT done away with before Congress did), but I still think they make things worse for gays whenever they endorse anti-gay politicians, and, to their credit, they did not and have not yet endorsed the most recent Republican presidential candidates. So good for them, I guess?

But saying “well at least they haven’t yet endorsed the guy who wants to dissolve existing marriages,” is the coldest of cold comfort. And it doesn’t have to be cold comfort because there is a choice in every election. And that was Barney Frank’s point. OK great, Romney hasn’t called us “faggots” in public – does that mean he’s strong on gay rights?

He has said specifically that he does indeed oppose “most” rights for civilly married gay couples (but has not specified which rights we don’t deserve). And now look at the other choice: the hands-down best president in history for gay rights. And I say that as a cynic who fully expected Obama to throw gays under the bus by February 2009. I was wrong – I’ve been proven wrong – and I’ve never been *happier* to be wrong.

You’re right, Timothy (and Frank is right too), it’s important to have representation in both parties. And R Clark Cooper has been a decent spokesperson. But at some point, everybody has to ask themselves which party is working in their interests and on their behalf. Looking at the two parties’ platforms since 2004, the answer is 100% obvious. Ever since the president of the United States used the constitutionally-mandated State of the Union address to denigrate gay couples, the choice has been obvious.

Republicans have had (and still have) every chance to embrace gay rights. But they choose not to. That is a very conscious, deliberate choice. They make that choice because they believe they can get ahead further politically by being the anti-faggot party. Then there’s the Democratic party, who has (finally) made the opposite calculation.

The choice is clear.

Richard Rush

September 12th, 2012

Given the apparent fact that some gay people simply cannot help themselves in feeling they must be aligned with the Republican Party (for whatever reasons), I think we all benefit more by LCR existing than not existing.


September 12th, 2012

LCR have endorsed Scott Brown. “Log Cabin Republicans are proud to endorse pro-equality Republican Senator Scott Brown for reelection.”

Think Progress outlines some of his positions.

Really? This is who you wish to defend?

With Friends like these….

Wow. Just wow. they’re happy to endorse a bigot who thinks we shouldn’t be allowed to marry because we’re ‘not normal’ and who bables about ‘states rights’, a justificiation used for seemingly every bigorted law in American history, to justify keeping it legal to discriminate against us.

I deserve to be able to marry. I deserve to be able to hold a job without constant fear of being discovered and fired. If the LCR is going to endorse candidates who support discmination, while sending out BS press releases that make no mention of these disgustingly bigoted stances while desperately trying to paint him as a friend of the LBGT community, then Barney Frank was completely right.


September 12th, 2012

If Barney is a partisan hack, what does that make Timothy who is forever crawling up the Republican’s ass?


September 12th, 2012

Tim, you are absolutely shameless. You go on a diatribe, calling Barney Frank all the names you decry when he calls other people them, and then, you go totally batshit crazy with no regards to your language.

I have to say, since the very first post of yours that I read was one about you supposedly having concern for the type of language you use against anti-gay people. You talked about needing to have more compassion, and all that jazz (stuff I actually believe in) and then you go off on this hate filled screed. I’m embarrassed for you, almost as much as you should be for yourself.

You wring your hands about how you should address real live individual in FRC and FOTF and NOM, but you but you let loose a vile nasty profane screed against a real live human being.

You lost any hope of having the moral highground the moment you called him Uncle barney, and started using profanity. You decry his “partisan hackery” but I have seen nothing less from you. You are a dolt and a hypocrite, and I am shamed for having defended ANYTHING you have posted in the past. This article taints everything you supposedly stand for, and taints us all who have at times defended you.


David Waite

September 12th, 2012

Thank you for this reminder of how logically bankrupt and stupidly projective conservatives are when they’re too angry to remember to pretend to be civil and reasonable. What the responses to this tell me about our pitiful lack of expectations of fairness and ordinary corrective research when conservatives rant, is equally illuminating. You began with a nasty title. The first sentences of your actual column show up in a hover-over of that title on my home page:

“Barney Frank has supported some of the goals of our community. While I cannot think of a single pro-gay bill that he has written or introduced, and while I cannot recall any real expenditure of effort..”

Had a liberal begun a rant by admitting his selective loss of memory concerning an enemy’s actual record, and then failed to immediately add something like “so I looked his record up,” other liberals would have stopped reading his rant right there. They would have viewed their colleague as temporarily unhinged, and best temporarily ignored until recovered.

Had a progressive written it without stating he looked the record up to correct or confirm his recollection, other progressives would have thrown pages of links at him and asked witheringly if he’d seen a doctor over his memory loss.

No one seems to hold conservatives to that standard of minimal pretense at integrity when they fulminate about someone or something. Those low or null expectations of adult and scholarly conduct by conservatives on the part of the rest of us is a sad reflection on the conservative movement.

One of the results is that it is very easy to ignore the good-point nuggets well buried in the ‘half-truths’ [ergo, lies; half truths is an oxymoron] and distortions you gifted us with here. That is a further pity, because there are several things wrong with what Representative Frank had to say, starting with how he said it.

Instead of cogently pointing to those errors, you managed to make Representative Frank seem less partisanly hacktacious by outnastying and outlying him in this fulminant, vitriolic and vicious response. Congratulations, Mr Kincaid; you managed to become part of the problem while pretending to be the solution, and you seem to show us that this is effortless for a fact-free conservatism movement.


September 12th, 2012

timothy, gotta tell you that your screed about Frank is more of an indictment of you than of him.

LCR has promoted and defended people like Ryan and others who would see the LGBT community dissolved if not criminalized.

LCR supported Romney in his past election runs. Then they went so far as to run an ad in Iowa saying he was not “conservative” enough, they still endorsed him.

the DC chapter has come right out and endorsed Romney.

No matter how much your personal hatred for Frank is over him not supporting a candidate YOU wanted him too, you cannot deny that the primary goal of LCR and GOProud is to put their monetary interests over all of our Societal Interests.

they will pander to what ever candidate they think will make them richer.

That makes me ill.


September 12th, 2012

And I really have to ask, do you think you do your audience any good by telling them to get out of their gay gettos? Also, you make false comparrisons in regards to past and present LCR activity. In the past they have indeed endorsed anti-gay candidates, anyone recall McCain Palin??? Barney Frank was talking about ALL of the activities of the LCR and you pretend they only now just started endorsing candidates, uggh.

I’m unsure if you stopped taking your medication. If not, maybe you need to adjust the doasage. (see, even your readers can do the “when did you stop beating your spouse” crud).


September 12th, 2012

Wow, seldom have I seen a post on this site with which I have disagreed so thoroughly. Man—Kincaid, you’ve lost it; you are so totally off-base on this that I don’t know what to say….

Joe Beckmann

September 12th, 2012

In days long gone by, when Elaine Noble wore her furs riding the bus with black kids at the peak of Boston Busing, Barney worked for the then Mayor. Even later, as a member of the House, he ran in the closet. Yet he was never as duplicitous as the Log Cabiners.

At issue are concerns that underlie all civil rights: economics, social and cultural values, and the nature of change. No election has been as polarized as this one, at least since McKinley! And it is finally obvious that there is no room in the Republican Party for a queer cause. Defending Log Cabin Republicans is like arguing for the nicer Nazi’s. The rest of their party is out to kill you, to steal whatever you’ve got left, and to keep it in their own pockets. It really is that simple. Just because you share their greed will not protect you from their hands or legislation, and stealing is still…theft.

Given that polarity, Barney’s style is as raggedy as it was when he was in city government, his blame-game as simplified, and his politics as nuanced. Yet we’re not talking John Silber any more (even long John is no longer at even BU). Nor do sychophantic Tisei Republicans play well with others, and even a crooked opponent beats another vote for their greed over our compassion.

This most certainly does not excuse Obama from accountability, but it relegates that accountability to a different forum – from within our own side, AFTER beating Romney.

You seem to forget that Romney ran in Barney’s turf, and Barney knows what Romney brings. Mitt was as opportunistic a governor as he is a candidate, and likely to support anybody who’ll keep him in office, from the Wehrmacht to their bankers. There is no more play left, and, until the Log Cabin recognizes the dead end to which they’ve been led, they are most surely Uncle Toms, piping the tune on their march to the furnace!

Priya Lynn

September 12th, 2012

Mikenola said “No matter how much your personal hatred for Frank is over him not supporting a candidate YOU wanted him too, you cannot deny that the primary goal of LCR and GOProud is to put their monetary interests over all of our Societal Interests.”

The crazy thing is that despite the common assumption that the Republicans are the party for people primarily concerned about maximizing their money they are in fact the worst party for the vast majority of people’s monetary interests. The “go to” policies of the Republicans are to cut taxes and government. During the time when the tax rate has been lowest its benefited the rich and increased their wealth but the average american has seen their share of the overall wealth drop or remain flat. Lowering the tax rate has only seen the gap between the ultra rich and the average American grow. Under Republican administrations, and allowing a one-year lag to provide for time for policies to have effect, unemployment has increased, while gross national product decreased. The opposite has occurred under Democratic control of the White House. This reflects the basic divergence in policy objectives of the two parties:

Unemployment soared after Reagan’s 1981 tax cuts.

Regan tripled the budget deficit. Unemployment jumped to 10.8% after Reagan enacted his much-touted tax cut, and it took years for the rate to get back down to its previous level. Meanwhile, income inequality exploded. Despite the myth that Reagan presided over an era of unmatched economic boom for all Americans, Reagan disporportionately taxed the poor and middle class, but the economic growth of the 1980′s did little to help them. “Since 1980, median household income has risen only 30 percent, adjusted for inflation, while average incomes at the top have tripled or quadrupled,” the New York Times’ David Leonhardt noted. Another irony is that although Republicans talk a big show about decreasing the size of the government, the size of the government grew under both Reagan and George Bush (3.7%) and has shrunk under Obama.

I’m quite confident in saying none of the Log Cabin Republicans are amongst the top 1% of income earners so not only are they voting against their own rights, ironically they’re voting against their own financial interests as well. It is truly amazing that for so many decades Republicans have been able to con close to half of the United States into voting against their own economic interests.


September 12th, 2012

Tim: It’s time for another break. You’ve lost perspective again.

Yes, Frank’s comments were over the top and impolitic, but he’s retiring from office, so he’s feeling to free to shoot his mouth off on a few things he’s held back on over the years.

Yes, LCR’s DADT lawsuit was effective and commendable. Yes, there should be open gays working behind Republican lines, working for change when possible.

But yes, LCR does have a history of endorsing ant-gay politicians over their pro-gay rivals, not just for in one Massachusetts election, for whatever misguided strategic reason, but over and over again, for decades.

And frankly the LCR are Uncle Toms and will be until the day they take a principled enough stand to say something like “While we are working with and on behalf of a number of congressional Republicans who have taken a reasonable stand on core gay rights issues, we cannot endorse the Romney/Ryan ticket this year, given their history on the issues and the party platform as passed in Tampa.”

Compare the LCR to the Tea Party: The Tea Party will burn even candidates who are their friends if they step out of line on a single issue. The LCR has a history of endorsing candidates who openly work against them on core gay issues.

But Timothy, you meant to discredit Frank for going overboard with his rhetoric–something a balanced, well-reasoned post might have done effectively. However by raising the level of your vitriol and personal name-calling to several orders of magnitude above his, you’ve made him look like the reasonable one and made the LCR’s own response look wimpy.

And frankly, you’ve played into Barney Frank’s hands. He knew his words were incendiary. He may have a big mouth, but he’s dumb like a fox. By going big, getting this into the news cycle, getting it reported and getting pushback from across the political spectrum BEFORE LCR has decided whether to endorse Romney-Ryan, he has made it harder for them to do so. If they decide to endorse Romney-Ryan, they may try to spin it with “We’re not going to let Barney Frank push us around,” and that might make a few of their own members feel good about themselves, but everyone else will be thinking “You really are Uncle Toms,” and all the goodwill they earned with their DADT efforts will be erased.

Once again, you have let your wounded gay conservative ego put self-righteous fury ahead of being effective.


September 12th, 2012

“It is time for him to pass on the baton to leaders better suited to a world where equality is not a partisan issue.”

Wrong! The time to pass the baton to leaders better suited to a world where equality is not a partisan issue will come when we actually live in a world where equality is not a partisan issue. But we don’t live in that world. We live in the world where his party just doubled down on their anti-equality agenda with anti-gay language in their platform (written by Tony Perkins). He knows all this. Copper’s comment is offensively disingenuous and dishonest.


September 12th, 2012

Shorter version: Timothy has just managed to turn Barney Frank in Bugs in “Wabbit Season” by taking the Daffy role for himself:


September 12th, 2012

I’ll take a hundred Barney Franks to one Log Cabinite. Every time. A thousand Barney Franks to one GOProud quisling.


September 12th, 2012

Quick legit question and a couple of comments.

Because it’s so far in the past, it’s been difficult for me to find any reference to the Silber campaign. I remember the campaign itself well, but not Frank’s endorsement. I can’t find any references confirming this, probably because it’s long time past. Can you direct me to a resource that confirms that? Given Silber’s record on gay rights and Weld’s gay-heavy staffing, it seems worth confirming independently.

Additional comments: every LCR member I know talks about being gay second to being Republican. That might have been an option during the Clinton era, but only a moron with a compulsive need to be contrarian and feel special occupies that space these days.

Lastly, Frank has been outspoken on our community’s behalf – longer and louder – than just about anyone. He deserves credit there.

Almost lastly: one last swipe – I spent nearly 20 years as a Republican (though never an LCR). I’m no more enamored of partisan hacks than anyone else. But the lines are now drawn in a way they never were before. We’ve moved virtually into a parliamentary system where the outcome is determined by the number of seats, not the mind of the legislator. We can no longer afford to vote for Republicans, because when we do, we bring in all the trash that comes with them – our few Republican allies are easily drowned out (and drubbed out) by the onslaught of conservative leadership… so all we’re doing is handing the haters more parliamentary seats. We need look no further than Scott Brown for precisely that kind of effect. He’s talked moderate, but he’s lent his numerical advantage to the GOP again and again… and when they hit 51 seats (as they are expected to do this November), he becomes irrelevant – they have control of the agenda. And when the GOP controls both houses of Congress *and* the White House, and they start seating the next conservative justices on the Supreme Court based on Brown’s party-line vote… then you can come back to me and complain about partisan hackery.

Cuz in the meantime, it’s just that you don’t like this one guy.

Timothy Kincaid

September 12th, 2012


It’s partly from personal recollection that I know Frank endorsed Silber. It’s the sort of thing that stands out. But here is at least one verification from a source that is decidedly more fond of Frank.

Jimmy Mac

September 12th, 2012

Political parties will come courting the LGBT communities if (1) they think there is enough possibility of significant votes coming available and (2) they can count on $$$$.


September 12th, 2012

@Andrew – anent your ‘one last swipe’ in general and Scott Brown (and Richard Tisei, though you didn’t mention him) in particular: BINGO !!

While both men have said some commendable things, hold some reasonable positions (the thinkprogress article linked in an comment above has to dig pretty far back and stretch and bend to make SB an all-out villain) and have the potential to ‘bridge’ the party gap, right now it’s a bridge to nowhere.

If elected, both will line up with the GOP in organizing the legislature. If the GOP gets a majority in both houses, the TP crowd will see it as a mandate to push their legislative agenda (which from all actual evidence is more socially than fiscally conservative), and the Senate committees will be staffed and run by Senators from Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and so on. Brown and Tisei will effectively vanish.

John D

September 12th, 2012

Okay, wait a minute. Timothy, in your comment, you link to a Queerty piece (“The Importance of Being Frank: Why We’ll Miss Barney”) that in turns links to a Village Voice piece. John Gallagher (Queerty) offers as substantiation of the claim that Barney Frank stumped for John Silber a piece that never mentions Barney Frank. Not once.

I lived in Massachusetts during that time (Weld was the last Republican to get my vote). I don’t remember Frank stumping for Silber.

Gallagher also cites the well debunked claim that Steve Gobie ran an escort service out of Barney Frank’s house. Certainly, from what Frank himself has said, when he found that Gobie was escorting (still), he kicked him out. Gobie later sought to write a tell-all book for cash.

Congress did censure Frank for fixing Gobie’s parking tickets. Not quite the same thing. The only source for the “ran an escort agency” is Gobie himself, who was shown to be willing to make things up.

Wikipedia has this quotation from the report: Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, Page 37 -“In numerous instances where an assertion made by Mr. Gobie (either publicly or during his Committee deposition) was investigated for accuracy, the assertion was contradicted by third-party sworn testimony or other evidence of Mr. Gobie himself.”


September 13th, 2012

The partisan hacks are out in full force proving Timothy’s point.


September 13th, 2012

First – Tim, thanks for tracking that down. It didn’t seem right, but there it is in black and white. Kudo’s for having that at your fingertips (one more notable difference between you and conservative hacks – the article they would have referenced would have be also authored by themselves… just saying). But it’s important – with the current environment of “facts up for grabs”, having hard currency like that ensures you stand out as one of the good ones.

As to the rest – I wish I weren’t right about the devolution of our current political structure… most of the best solutions have come when compromise forced parties to bring their bases to the table. In the interim, however, one party has made proudly deriding science, fact, and reason the cornerstone of their ideology. It ain’t your grand-daddy’s GOP anymore.


September 13th, 2012

I have to agree with John D, the link to queerty to support the claim that Frank endorsed Silber is pretty weak sauce. It’s just another unsourced and unsupported assertion. (In fact, it’s an even stronger claim: that Frank *stumped for* Silber, as opposed to merely signing a pro forma endorsement of a Democratic candidate.) As far as I can tell the Village Voice link only serves to illustrate that Silber is, in fact, anti-gay.

Furthermore, I have a suspicion about where queerty might’ve picked up the notion that Frank endorsed Silber:

Now it’s entirely plausible that Frank did endorse, or even stumped for, Silber in 1990, but since the question’s been asked I’d like to see a more convincing response.


September 13th, 2012

The best thing is to just skip anything Timothy writes. It’s true that it got better after his hiatus, but lately he clearly lost it again and it’s become as bad as before, if not worse.

Timothy Kincaid

September 13th, 2012


To comment at Box Turtle Bulletin, you need to use a valid email address.


September 13th, 2012

So what now? Tim is checking the validity of any email address that disagrees with his statements? Sounds like a republican. And one with issues.


September 13th, 2012

I’ve spent the last hour and a half scouring all articles from the Boston Globe and have found no indication that Frank Endorsed Silber. I did find numerous reports that the entire Democratic Establishment endorsed Francis X. Bellotti, which would mean Frank was included in that endorsement.

I did find that Frank threw his support to Clapprood for Lt. Governor. It is quite possible he stumped for her. The one link Tim provided claims Frank stumpped for Silber but links to a piece that provides no back up. It is possible that by stumpping for the Lt Governor, he had to also stump for her Partner on the ticket, as one can not elect one without the other…

But in the era of 1990, I don’t find it odd that a Democrat endorsed or stumpped for a democrat, even a nasty piece of work like Silber. And one can hardly look at an election 22 years ago through the lens of our politics now. And I will stand for the founder of National Stonewall Democrats any day.

And I really have to reitterate that looking at the Politics of the past through the lens of current politics is entirerly disengenous, and lends itself to shoddy opinions and reporting.

One must look at te politics of the times through the eyes of the times, otherwise it’s all a bunch of hooey.

Donny D.

September 13th, 2012

I think your post stands up well for what it is. Most people here seem to be criticizing it based not on factual disagreements, but political ones. You make your points well, and as far as I can tell, you stick to the facts as you know them.

In general, I think a critic is often a more incisive reviewer than is one in general agreement with the original author, and I think you acted here as such a reviewer of what Frank had to say about the LCR.

Okay, no, I mostly don’t feel the way you do about Barney Frank, and I tend not to share your general political preferences beyond LGBT issues, but that really shouldn’t matter.

I do think that your post falls down as a Box Turtle Bulletin article. Looking at BTB’s statement of mission and principles,
I think it fails to reflect principle #3, We Are Civil.

I think that, if it was more measured, it would have been a more useful contribution to the LGBT community’s consideration of the whole Barney Frank/LCR/Uncle Tom affair.

Having said all that, more than anything else the emotion I pick up from your post is frustration. If I’m wrong about that, okay, I’m wrong.

Timothy Kincaid

September 13th, 2012

Donny D

I agree that I was decidedly less civil than I could have been.

I have already decided that this experiment in mean-spiritedness did not go well. It allowed for the focus to shift onto the words I used rather than the words Frank used and I agree that if more measured it could have have greater effect.


September 13th, 2012

I think it’s less than two months until a major election. And it seems to me that both Barney Frank and Timothy Kinkaid are engaging in pre-election partisanship.

John D

September 14th, 2012

Oh, what a bunch of partisan hacks we are, looking for substantiation. Damn us!

Once again, I pointed out that Timothy Kincaid has not given us any proof that Frank endorsed Silber. The page he linked to contained the same claim, but did not substantiate it. The Queerty post also contained the likely false claims by Steve Gobie (or to put it another way, of two claims made by the Queerty piece, one was unsubstantiated, the other was false).

Look, I’m sure that Barney isn’t the gay Jewish left-handed Messiah, but if you want to claim that he endorsed Silber (a quick Google search shows that Kincaid has claimed it multiple times), than you need some proof.

To make claims without proof is pure hackery.

You’re free to dislike Barney Frank. Feel free to refute his statements about the Log Cabin Republicans (who have long been seen as ineffectual). I’d like to see them wield some power in their party, but it just isn’t happening. In the meantime, I’d suggest they find the most gay-positive Republicans, stand with them, and state that the other are betraying the soul of the Republican party.

Let’s just be done with unsubstantiated attacks.

Timothy Kincaid

September 14th, 2012

John D

As I stated above, my mention of Frank supporting Silber over Weld is a personal recollection. A number of others share that recollection and I’ve never encountered anyone with a recollection that Frank did anything other than encourage the election of Silber over Weld.

It was 1990 and the Internet was not there to record and dissect every word. While I’ve found a few of the personal recollection sort of mentions, I too have not found record of a formal press conference endorsement.

But I also have found no indication that Frank muttered a single passing comment in opposition to Silber in the General election And had he done so it would have been the front page headlines.

While my recollection is endorsement, going forward I’ll limit my terminology to “supported Silber over Weld”. I have had far to much confirmation over the years of that fact.

If you simply must believe that Barney Frank either supported Weld or was silent on the election – be free to do so. If you have some recollection of that, state it.

But otherwise I’ve addressed this as far as I’m going to. And I have no inclination to limit my recollections to your standard of proof.


September 14th, 2012

Wow, Timothy must be pretty embarrassed of himself. And reading his replies to comments throughout the thread, very short and succinct, just goes to show what kind of person he is. Dish it out, and then since you can’t defend what you said, just don’t say anything else at all… right?

How embarrassing… Anti-Gay is something you become from your body of work. Log Cabin Republicans, Gay Republicans, they can try and say whatever they want to defend themselves, but the proof is in the pudding. If you do anti-gay things, then you are anti-gay. It’s like holding a “God Hates Fags” sign, but saying to people “I love everyone.” It just doesn’t jive.

Priya Lynn

September 14th, 2012

Timothy said “And I have no inclination to limit my recollections to your standard of proof.”.

If the shoe was on the other foot you’d be demanding proof beyond someone else’s recollections. Don’t have a lower standard for yourself then you do for the rest of us.

Timothy Kincaid

September 14th, 2012


fair enough. I’ll footnote that it is my recollection and that of others.

Priya Lynn

September 14th, 2012


Neon Genesis

September 26th, 2012

Timothy, I think it’s a bit of a double standard for you to bash Barney Frank for insulting the LCR but then fill your entire commentary with nothing but derogatory insults towards Barney Frank. I think there are lots of reasons to criticize Barney Frank for, such as his watering down of ENDA and some of his ignorant statements about the trans community, but this isn’t one of those issues. An Uncle Tom is someone who defends a bigot at the expense of their own rights for the sake of appeasement and in this regards, gay Republican groups like the LCR and GoProud fit that description perfectly.

You talk about Barney Frank being a partisan hack and call on us to support Republican gay candidates, but for the life of me, I cannot for the life of me think of a single instance where the LCR supported a gay-friendly Democrat over a homophobic Republican. While I respect the LCR for their role in repealing DADT, for the vast majority of their history, the LCR have almost always put economic issues over human rights. While I agree we need more gay-friendly voices in the GOP, voting for a candidate solely because of their sexual orientation is nothing but identity politics and a form of partisanship in itself. I’m not going to vote for a candidate just because they’re a Democrat if they don’t support human rights. Likewise, I’m not going to vote for a Republican just because they’re gay if I don’t agree with the policies they support. If we truly believe that a person’s sexual orientation doesn’t matter, then we should vote for candidates because we believe in the policies they support, not because of what gender they love and that’s what true bipartisanship is.

Neon Genesis

September 26th, 2012

I think it would be more productive for gay conservatives to support third parties like the Libertarian Party instead of the GOP. While I don’t agree with libertarians on most economic issues, they’re at least consistent when it comes to gay rights and are more gay friendly. The GOP is a sinking ship and third party is the future.

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