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LCR: No Deal On ENDA (Updated)

Jim Burroway

October 24th, 2012

Ben Adler at The Nation wrote earlier today that the Log Cabin Republicans endorsed Gov. Mitt Romney for President in exchange for a Romney’s support for ENDA — or at least a nod that Romney would support ENDA without saying publicly that he would support ENDA so that he doesn’t piss off his ultra-conservative supporters. Now Chris Geidner at BuzzFeed has the insta-flop to the mini-flip:

The head of Log Cabin Republicans Tuesday night denied reports that his organization’s late endorsement of Mitt Romney came as part of a secret deal in which the Republican presidential candidate agreed to sign the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

Cooper acknowledged that he “discussed legislative vehicles and executive actions with Romney regarding workplace non-discrimination, including ENDA.” But he insisted the endorsement did not come in response to a Romney campaign pledge to sign ENDA — noting, “I did not say Romney would sign the current form of ENDA.”

I gotta say, the more I learn about this, the angrier I get. We’re supposed to believe that there was some kind of vague understanding aof a hint of a promise — or no, maybe not a promise; maybe just an understanding — from a candidate who has had absolutely no compunction about changing his stand depending on who happens to be standing in front of him at the time. And that, as flimsy as it is, is enough for Log Cabin Republicans to endorse a candidate whose policies for the LGBT community are no better than a previous sitting president who they declined to support in 2004?

Look, I get that Log Cabin Republicans are, well, Republicans, and I absolutely appreciate the difficult role that they play in advocating on behalf of gay Republicans in a party that, broadly speaking, would rather not have them around. But when they withheld their support for Bush in 2004, LCR demonstrated that there were limits to how far they would be pushed around. And when they endorsed McCain in 2008, they explicitly referred to their principled stand in 2004 to applaud McCain for opposing the Federal Marriage Amendment. In 2012, LCR abandoned those principles when they endorsed Romney with nothing in return. Nothing, except some gossamer-thin suggestion that somebody on his staff might have said something kinda positive, depending on you you look at it, and depending on what time of the day it is. So what LCR ends up doing is they are rewarding a candidate whose policies will directly and adversely effect the very constituency that LCR claims to represent. And pretend that this is some kind of victory. That’s not advocacy. That’s a sell-out.

Update: By the way, from a year ago:

The Republican National Committee has named a prominent gay Republican to its finance committee, marking an important fundraising outreach effort to a constituency long ceded by the party.

R. Clarke Cooper, who is executive director of the gay group Log Cabin Republicans, will help the RNC’s fundraising efforts for the 2012 cycle. Cooper is one of the first openly gay members of the party to serve in such a prominent role, and his appointment is a signal that RNC Chairman Reince Priebus is willing to reach out to communities that have traditionally been neglected by the party.

“I am honored to be a part of the Republican National Committee’s effort to advance a pro-growth, pro-free enterprise agenda, especially while working to elect and reelect pro-equality Republicans to office all across the country,” Cooper said in a statement. “Chairman Priebus has demonstrated that he believes inclusion wins and that our party is strongest when we reach every community. I look forward to working within the party to help ensure we are victorious next [sic] November.”

Stroke a few egos, invite someone on a prestegious board, and suddenly the LCR is endorsing someone they never would have endorsed eight years ago. The LCR now has its constituencies crossed. It is not an advocacy group on behalf of LGBT Republicans. It is an advocacy group on behalf of the Republican Party to LGBT Republicans.

Comments

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Ryan
October 24th, 2012 | LINK

Yesterday, Bryan Fischer was very angry at the possibility that Romney might support ENDA. Thankfully, his good buddy Cooper was able the immediately rush forward and allay any of his concerns. Phew! That was a close one! Romney would’ve had to rehire and then refire Richard Grenel again just to placate ol’ Bryan.

Snowman
October 24th, 2012 | LINK

The lack of principles displayed in this election cycle make me ashamed to have ever considered myself a Conservative or a Republican.

tristram
October 24th, 2012 | LINK

Cooper/LCR – “I did not say Romney would sign the current form of ENDA.”

“The current form.” I will take the liberty of plagiarizing my comment from the previous thread. (feel free to delete the comment if this is verboten):

This sounds like the perfect ploy for Romney and the christianist House. He backs a watered down, non-exclusive version of ENDA which has no chance of passing because 95 percent of the House Republicans won’t vote for it. The GOP reps from moderate districts get to vote for it and burnish their reputations for being tolerant and ‘non-partisan,’ all the while knowing it will never become law. And the House Democrats and the “lgbt community” implode again.

Timothy Kincaid
October 24th, 2012 | LINK

From Bryan Fischer:

“Ben Adler of the Nation called me at quitting time today. Said he had been given assurances by Log Cabin Republicans that Romney’s camp has privately promised them he will support ENDA after he’s elected…

It’s always fascinating to watch the far left and the far right buddy up to accomplish their shared goal of discrediting those who are neither.

Jim Burroway
October 24th, 2012 | LINK

Update: By the way, from a year ago:

The Republican National Committee has named a prominent gay Republican to its finance committee, marking an important fundraising outreach effort to a constituency long ceded by the party.

R. Clarke Cooper, who is executive director of the gay group Log Cabin Republicans, will help the RNC’s fundraising efforts for the 2012 cycle. Cooper is one of the first openly gay members of the party to serve in such a prominent role, and his appointment is a signal that RNC Chairman Reince Priebus is willing to reach out to communities that have traditionally been neglected by the party.

“I am honored to be a part of the Republican National Committee’s effort to advance a pro-growth, pro-free enterprise agenda, especially while working to elect and reelect pro-equality Republicans to office all across the country,” Cooper said in a statement. “Chairman Priebus has demonstrated that he believes inclusion wins and that our party is strongest when we reach every community. I look forward to working within the party to help ensure we are victorious next [sic] November.”

Stroke a few egos, invite someone on a prestegious board, and suddenly the LCR is endorsing someone they never would have endorsed eight years ago. The LCR now has its constituencies crossed. It is not an advocacy group on behalf of LGBT Republicans. It is an advocacy group on behalf of the Republican Party to LGBT Republicans.

Ben in Oakland
October 24th, 2012 | LINK

No fooling.

Power trumps politics trumps principle– every single time.

Ryan
October 24th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy, you don’t believe that Romney is part of the far right?

Neon Genesis
October 28th, 2012 | LINK

So why did LCR completely ignore Fred Karger who was an actual gay Republican running for president?

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