Boy, when the claws come out among queer politicians they aim straight for the jugular. Following an interview in which Barney Frank blasted Log Cabin Republicans as “Uncle Toms,” the LCRs have taken out their weaves, flicked off their nails and are ready to throw down.
At the Democratic National Convention, Frank spoke with the Huffington Post and he had a few choice words for the Log Cabinites:
“Frankly I’ve been appalled to see the Log Cabin club, in the face of this worse and worse record on public policy by Republicans on our issues,” Frank said. “Mr. Cooper [LCR executive director R. Clarke Cooper] said, ‘Well at least they’re not saying bad things about us.’ That’s just extraordinary. Again, 30 years ago when we were emerging from the vice of prejudice, I understood that. But no, we shouldn’t be accepting a kind of second class citizenship, [and saying], ‘You can treat us badly as long you don’t yell at us.’
“They’re accepted on [the GOP's] terms,” he continued. “They’re willing to be accepted with no rights — no right to marry, no right to serve in the military, no right to be protected against hate crimes, no right to be protected in employment. I’ll be honest: For 20 years now I’ve heard how the Log Cabins are going to make Republicans better, but they’ve only gotten worse. I now understand why they call themselves Log Cabin: their role model is Uncle Tom.”
That’s basically the political equivalent of a drive-by bitch-slapping. Well, Cooper wasn’t going to take that lying down so he put on his reading glasses and attempted to tear Frank a new one in a press release defending LCR’s record on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the Employee Non-Discrimination Act and marriage equality:
“As far as Log Cabin Republicans are concerned, it’s a badge of honor to be attacked by a partisan hack like Barney Frank. We understand that Barney has earned his protected place within the Democrat Party by being their attack dog on gay rights issues, demonizing Republicans and undermining efforts at bipartisanship that would actually improve LGBT Americans lives. We expect this kind of bile from Barney, especially when it plays into the Obama campaign’s efforts to divide, distract and deceive the American people.
“Frank calls us ‘Uncle Toms’ and pretends that Log Cabin hasn’t been on the front lines of the fight for equality. The truth is, by speaking conservative to conservative about gay rights, Log Cabin Republicans are doing some of the hardest work in the movement, work that liberals like Barney are unwilling to do and couldn’t do if they tried.”
Cooper points out that the recall of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was facilitated by Republican Senator Susan Collins, that Democrats held up the passing of ENDA by “dismissing the support of conservatives like Congressman Paul Ryan,” and that Log Cabin was responsible for getting Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen to be the first Republican to sign on to the repeal of DOMA, thus helping to pass gay marriage in New York’s GOP-led state senate.
Cooper then finishes off his diatribe with a warm and fuzzy conclusion about inclusiveness:
“It has not been the Republican National Committee trying to silence Log Cabin – our voice is indeed welcome within our party, and while we may not win every debate, we are secure in our place at the table. Gay liberals like Barney, however, are trying to silence us, calling us names and ganging up like schoolyard bullies. It doesn’t matter. While Barney bashes his fellow LGBT Americans, we’ll continue our work building a stronger, more inclusive GOP – and someday soon, we’ll win, because inclusion always wins.”
Meanwhile, no one’s going to win from all of this petty name-calling bull since it does nothing to help either party or the LGBT community. If Frank and Cooper — and Democrats and Republicans in general — spent half as much time trying to work together rather than throwing shade at each other, maybe this country could actually pull its act together. So till that hypothetical day, if you kids can’t say anything nice…put it in a press release.
Photos: Wikipedia/Blog Cabin