Neo-conservative ideologues deperate to block Hagel's nomination are trying to create the appearance of united Republican opposition while also providing Democrats with an excuse to vote against Hagel while pretending that the issue is something other than foreign policy. Hagel has already publicly committed himself to implementing repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Every other major gay organization has applauded this commitment and asked only that it be made absolutely clear in Hagel's confirmation hearings. Hagel has also apologized to Ambassador Hormel for offensive comments he made about Hormel's nomination in 1998 to be our country's first gay ambassador. Hormel has not only accepted that apology but also endorsed Hagel's nomination.
By keeping this non-issue alive, and by joining in the attack on a Republican veteran and former Senator who's publicly committed himself to gay equality in the armed forces, Log Cabin has undermined its credibility and is frustrating what should be its fundamental goal—getting fellow Republicans to embrace gay equality. Log Cabin has no business taking sides on non gay issues that divide Republicans, like the battle between neoconservatives and traditional realists over foreign policy.
Until Log Cabin -- and GOP groups more generally -- is led by someone who respects disagreements of principle on the Right, they’ll never succeed in building a more inclusive party. If they don't focus on issues gay conservatives can agree on, they'll remain -- like so many other GOP establishment groups today -- just another pawn of ideologues who would sacrifice everything, including gay rights and gay soldiers, on the altar of "national greatness."
For more information, read "Hagel Critics' Disingenuous Anti-Gay Charge" in Real Clear World.
- Log Cabin Republicans
1) Stop attacking Chuck Hagel with the specious charge that he's anti-gay. Log Cabin is being used by neo-conservative ideologues desperate to block Hagel's nomination as Secretary of Defense because they reject his calls for a more humble foreign policy.
2) Focus on issues that Republicans agree on—and remember that your organization's overriding goal should be to encourage Republicans to improve their position on gay issues, precisely as Hagel has done.
3) Disclose the identity of donors who funded two full-page attack ads Log Cabin ran slurring Hagel as anti-gay.
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