R. Clarke Cooper, the Log Cabin Republicans’ recent top hire, would love to go on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC program to talk about things like Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. After all, it was his organization that brought the lawsuit which just had a judge rule the policy is unconstitutional. And yet, no invitation?
“I’m a little dumbfounded, quite honestly, by why she hasn’t had us on,” Cooper tells Mediate. (MSNBC responds by saying a lot of people try to get on her show, and they can’t accommodate everyone.)
Cooper has talked DADT with other MSNBC hosts [Ed: See here] and has also talked to Fox and CNN. Since taking over the group in May, he’s talked about the military rule banning gay servicemembers with National Public Radio, the BBC, and on conservative talk radio.
“I can get on conservative talk radio and it has been very good at getting us on the air,” Cooper said. “I thought we’d be a natural for the [Rachel Maddow's] show, but nothing.”
In addition to being the head of the Log Cabin Republicans, he also has a compelling story. Despite being an activist against DADT, he is a combat veteran from the Iraq campaign and remains a captain in the Army Reserves. He refuses to appear in uniform before the media because it violates the Uniform Code of Military Justice. He was a political appointee during the entire George W. Bush administration where he served as a diplomat including a posting as an alternative representative to United Nations Security Council. And he was openly gay the entire time.
And let us now rejoin the debate as to whether Maddow invites enough conservative voices — who, unlike Cooper in this instance, don’t always agree with her — on the program.