Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What's a "gay conservative"? Do gay liberals ask for too much "attention" from political candidates?


Today, Gay Patriot has a blog entry “Gay Conservative Voters Don’t Need Gay-Specific Appeals.” It goes on to lead to the libertarian position” believe that if the government just leaves us alone, private institutions will effect the changes we need.”

I reflected on that sentiment in my first book, where I used “gay conservative” in the title, and find that many people find that combination of words an oxymoron. But Andrew Sullivan has developed a great deal of public “notability” (as Wikipedia defines it) as a “gay conservative” or specifically and simply conservative in the sense that is close to libertarianism, but still pragmatic, somewhat along the lines of the Cato Institute. He tells Metro Weekly “I'm a small government, low taxes, strong foreign policy, individual liberty kind of guy. I'm not [for a] big government, moralizing religious right.” What’s important for conservatives is to address some of the more existential challenges to freedom (even beyond religious hegemony) that look toward some abstract and sustainable idea of “justice”, and Giuliani mentioned this in the debates before he dropped out. Sullivan’s treatise on all this was “The Conservative Soul: How We Lost It, How to Get It Back" (Harper Collins, 2006) ISBN 0060188774. I’ve felt it necessary to dissect these existential problems in some long previous entries on this and on my main blog.

Gay Patriot takes us to an America Blog entry by John Aravosis, “Hillary’s Gay Problem.” OK, Hillary doesn’t mention gay issues as often as Barack Obama. Maybe. I haven’t really noticed. Obama seems a little bit further to the left, and some of his proposals could accidentally hurt gay people. For example, expanding Medicaid’s reach could accidentally drag more childless people into states future efforts to enforce filial responsibility laws.

The AmericaBlog entry offers a five-minute YouTube / Logo interview by Jason Bellini of Hillary Clinton offered before Super Tuesday. She talks a little about mowing down the Marriage Amendment, but the most interesting part of the interview deals with the prospect of repealing “don’t ask don’t tell.” She gives a pretty good answer, first pointing out that most of our major allies have done it with no problems (most recently, Britain, our most important partner in Iraq). She reminds the audience that as president she cannot do this by herself. Congress passed the 1993 law in a “veto-proof” environment, she says. She says we need to build a broad political coalition to lift the ban. That makes it sound difficult at the outset. One place to start is to ask more members of Congress and (beyond refreshing their minds on Marty Meehan's bill) to go back and read the detailed 1993 Rand Corporation report on just how to do it, commissioned by the Clinton Administration (Les Aspin) itself then. The book is "Sexual Orientation and U.S. Military Personnel Policy: Options and Assessment" and it’s on Amazon, but expensive.

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