Ken Mehlman to Step Down from RNC Post

Mehlman_1RNC Spokesman Brian Jones told news outlets that an announcement about RNC Chair Ken Mehlman’s future would be made in the days ahead, while sources close to the Associated Press said that Mehlman would be stepping down from his post in January.

According to AmericaBlog, John King of CNN actually said “He’s been on the gerbil wheel, as one of his close friends put it, for well in excess of six years now and he’s tired.”

The gerbil wheel??? Doesn’t King know that associating gays and gerbils is just wrong.

A freudian slip poor choice of words for someone just outed on Larry King Live.

Oh wait, that never happened.

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  1. Crixi Van Cheek says

    “When fisting, you must first hold your hand thusly, being ever mindful to tuck the pinky behind the fourth finger…Then lube said digits with a Haliburton based lubricant and with swift boatlike action shove said hand into the puckered anus of one said ‘Architect’.”

  2. patrick nyc says

    Mehlman is one evil lying prick, whether he is gay or not. If he is gay it just makes it all the worse. He sunk to a new low with his half assed commnets about not being able to take off and condemn the Harold Ford ad in TN. There is no way that ad was approved without the green light from him and Rove.

  3. Leland says

    Before anyone bleats about how this is because the poor, wouldn’t hurt a fly guy was outed, and, therefore, proves that outing is wrong, just wrong, note that the only reason this is happening, regardless of whether or not he runs with the gerbils, is for the same reason it happens to all head coaches after their team loses the big game, or, in this case, several big games all at the same time: the House, the Senate, some governorships, control of some state legislatures, momentum for the 2008 Presidential election, ad hosanna in the highest—he fucked up big time. If the Repugs had won, it would have taken truck loads of inappropriate messages to Congressional pages and video of Ted Haggard sitting on Mehlman’s face singing “Nearer My Ass to Thee” to oust him.

    As for your pout, Charlie—we find it amusing that you share the same name as the second husband in a single year [2004]of you know who before you know who got dumped again. What you call spewing venom, I call cutting through his crap. In any case, apparently you haven’t been adequate reverential attention to your hero or you would know that he conveniently already provided the connection to this [and stories yet to come] himself when he recently announced to a starving world, and, apparently, the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary, the coining of a new verb: “to lance; to reveal that a public figure is gay.” So, don’t blame me. Bill Maher “lanced” Ken Mehlman.

    Connection #2: Some venomous people might wonder why after the term’s namesake announced at The Abbey in a nationally televised interview that, because this election was so important, we would definitely be seeing him on the campaign trail, the only place he and his personal, live-in Samuel Johnson [“Johnson”] were only seen whistle stopping across the country to pimp you know who’s book when they weren’t once again working still more of their version of the yellow brick road—the red carpet.

    Well, that broken promise aside, why blame him when the folks at the Human Rights Champagne fund told them that “visibility” was enough. And, a month later, it’s obvious that Sir Lancelot’s promise then, to work every day to deserve his HRC award, only referred to more of the same.

  4. vince says

    Why would gay Republican’s vote against gay issues? Hating ones self is the greatest love of all….

  5. says

    Leland, I don’t like Reichen either and I thought his attempt to start a new phrase (Paris: “That’s hot!”) was sort of pitiful. But I always feel said when I read your rants…they paint the picture of an angry, bitter man with a perpetually pinched facial expression. So Reichen is superficial…who cares? What is there to be so angry about? Reichen isn’t a positive gay role model…but there are plenty of good ones around. Personally I don’t enjoy watching bloodthirty hyenas ripping apart a carcass, and I especially hate watching my fellow gay brothers tearing up one another. I can appreciate it when someone uncovers a phony, but your missives are NASTY. And yeah, yeah, I know there are a lot of guys on here that enjoy that type of thing…I’m sure you are popular with a type. I’m just not one of them.

  6. anon says

    National committee chairman rarely survive more than a couple of election cycles, but by losing so much, Ken had no backers to stay either. That’s politics.

  7. Leland says

    Charlie, I agree that there are a lot of actual gay heroes around which is why high on the list of my reasons to continue to magnify Reichen’s not actually being one of them is because he keeps insisting he is, and by getting people to believe it he “sucks all the air out of the room” which could otherwise be used to spotlight the real heroes and the issues.

    Mainstream attention he’s gotten, such as from “Access Hollywood” and its many lookalike mind-rotting shows, is probably immutable for it’s the business of promoting the superficial. But his award from HRC, which I will bitch about until the day I die [or he changes], and the less well-known award and perp walk through the California Assembly chamber by the Assembly LGBT caucus [which was really only about gay Assemblyman Mark Leno’s sexual fantasies], along with longtime authentic heroes such as Jim Hormel, lead young gays away from knowledge of, respect for, and, most importantly, emulation of real gay activists, past and present. And, again, that was never more shamefully manifested than when he, the flavor of the moment, was asked to speak at that HRC dinner and pioneer, icon, hero Frank Kameny was reduced to what Reichen usually does: wave. The video salute to Kameny shown was no substitute, even if it had not been anemic and shallow and shorter that the time set aside for Reichen to pose for a statue on stage.

    As sick-making as she is to me, too, one can suffer through the attention the world pays to Ms. Hilton [Whom, BTW, Reichen has publicly stated he thinks is fabulous and wanted to do “Amazing Race All Stars” with] because enough nongays of substance also get attention, even from “Access,” et al. But except for George Michael’s or Boy George’s latest arrest or Elton John’s latest hissy fit, it’s All Reichen All the Time. To whom I say, shut up; shut up; shut up; shut up; and all, go away.

    If he had any real concern for advancing gay rights—that doesn’t include simply posing for pictures—he could easily use his celebrity to bring attention to those who know what they’re talking about [his book only documents his abysmal ignorance in many gay movement areas]. But attention to himself alone is his raison d’etre, and, nasty or not, I will not sit quietly by while he repeatedly pisses away his opportunity to walk the talk. Because he COULD actually accomplish a great deal, I would genuinely love to see him change. But instead, it’s just more Narcissism Souffle, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

    We NEED heroes, and we need to make room for them.

  8. JT says

    I’m pretty much isolated from the various media that are out there…aside from a walk on the Towleroad, a few visits to BBC News on the internet, NPR and the News Hour. I didn’t even know what the Amazing Race was or who Reichen was until a year after he and Mr. Arndt won the damn thing. I have to say, though, that such ignorance has given me a peculiar perspective. I would have thought that such (eh-hmm) photogenic gay men would have taken advantage of their newfound wealth and status as media darlings to evangelize, to spread the word that two gay men can love and be loved; can make contributions to society; can be agents for change; blah, blah, blah. Instead, Mr. L. dumped Mr. A. Mr. A. went on to be an agent for change and to do good. Mr. L. looks good. I don’t know anything about either, but I have to say Mr. L. is low on my list of esteemed gay people. Hell, I think Jim McGreevey is more estimable than Mr. L. At least the former Gov. is trying to change some things (and sell a book or two).

    There are some things that Leland rants about that I haven’t got a clue about (HRC being one of them…I really don’t know enough about the organization or it’s goings on). I’ve picked up on Reichen because of Towleroad and some of the other blogs…and People magazine while waiting to get my eyes checked…to see what a truly vacuous life he’s living. When his obituary is written his profession will list that most truly American vocation: celebrity.

    Never forget that the lowest circle of hell is populated by those who’ve betrayed their friends (I do like both Dante and Angel, the third season). Reichen’s led a pretty treacherous life, from all indications.

    Oh, Leland, a little of my special face cream will take out all the pinches.

  9. Alec says

    Leland, don’t you be ensnared by that JT. I’ve always secretly adored you from afar, but was to shy to say so until now.;)

  10. Leland says

    JT, now Alec, gee willikers! Thanks. [Not paying them folks, honest!] Everybody say, “Menage!!!”

    It’s challenging, but I’ll try to be as brief as possible. For JT and others who don’t know, HRC was originally called the Human Rights Campaign Fund. Conceived in 1980 primarily to raise money for gay-friendly congressional candidates, it expanded into a gay rights lobby group, primarily but not exclusively on the federal level. It was the idea of a long-forgotten REAL gay hero I casually knew named Steve Endean. Originally an activist in Minnesota, he had moved onto the “national” movement stage and become head of GRNL, the Gay Rights National Lobby, which itself had been the unintended consequence of an effort by the then owner of “The Advocate,” David Goodstein, also deceased, to essentially take over the movement himself. The attendees at his invitation-only conference turned on him and created an organization more democratic and less dependent on his millions.

    For a variety of reasons, it had limited success and viability, and Endean worked to create HRCF. Among its gay cofounders were the philanthropist and eventual Clinton-appointed ambassador James Hormel, a REAL hero who still gives huge sums to the movement [every time you eat Hormel chili, even Spam, you’re indirectly helping fund gay rights :-) ] and Dallas Coors whose beer-bottling family is still pouring money into antigay causes. One of the less well-known historical fun facts is that a young Sean Strub, eventual creator of “POZ” magazine and REAL gay hero, playfully seduced a soused Tennessee Williams into signing their first fundraising letter [Williams was barely officially out at the time. Though willing to do more for the cause, he left with the precious signature after only a little good-natured flirting.]

    There was already a national gay group, the National Gay Task Force, which eventually would add Lesbian to its title, initially existing as a foundation in 1973. I casually knew its first director, REAL hero Bruce Voeller. It had many early successes including playing a role in changing the official positions of the American Psychiatric Association, American Bar Association, and the Civil Service Commission. But a combination of bad changes-in-leadership choices and conflicts among movement personalities that plague all causes led to the perception of a vacuum that Endean and others thought HRCF could fill.

    Their current $25-30 million annual budget is more than the next three biggest gay groups combined. They own their own 6-story building in Washington, DC. As I recall they have around 100 paid employees. They claim 600,000 members. Their Website is huge and intricately layered. They do a daily “news Webcast.” The current executive director has his own XM Satellite radio show. Based on his predecessor’s 2002 salary and benefits [Elizabeth Birch who recreated HRC as a money eating machine], his unquestionably surpass $200,000 a year They have both a humongous online store and some brick & mortar stores, including high end real estate in the Castro. So why, with all that, after 25 years and several real accomplishments, has it become such a target for criticism? Ironically, while they dropped “Fund” from their name, many, including myself, believe that somehow raising money became the end rather than a means to an end. And attempting to facilitate that was a seemingly transparent attempt, reflected in their ever-broadening mission statement, to supplant virtually every other national gay group. In short: “Give to US!”

    Of course, their attempt to become a monopoly would only be praised were there evidence of success proportionate to their empire. But the failure to get any gay rights federal legislation passed [some of it predating their existence] and the disastrous 2004 election results demonstrated just the opposite. In the crossroads year that saw 11 states constitutionally ban gay marriage, HRC didn’t even spend 10% of their annual budget on state issues. Thus, their 2005 New York City banquet was picketed by not nobodies like me but, among others, playwright and GMHC-founder Larry Kramer. One sign said it all, however inelegantly: “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING WITH ALL OF THAT MONEY?” He wrote, “I do not know what place [HRC] has in the community. I do not know what it does.”

    According to a 2005 article in “The Advocate,” “Tough Times at HRC,” there may be an answer to Kramer’s question. “Charity Navigator, a New Jersey-based watchdog group, says that in 2003 HRC’s 501(c)(3), known as the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, spent 41% of its money on fund-raising and just 48% on programs, giving the group a zero rating for efficiency.” The same article reported that, “the lobbying arm, which accounts for 79% of HRC’s total expenditures, reported more than $3 million spent in 2004 on ‘membership education and services’”–including the group’s magazine and other mailings.” In other words, they spent $3 million, $1.3 million more than they spent on state-related election issues and candidates, not on lobbying Congress or state legislatures but on lobbying their own members, read: “preaching to the choir” and then passing the donation plate.

    The name they gave their much-criticized 2006 awards to a professional celebrity and his just-out and allergic-to-“crazy gay activists” boyfriend might suggest that rather than heeding other informed observations in the article, HRC chose to thumb their noses at them. ” ‘It’s not that visibility isn’t central or important’, says Suzanna Danuta Waiters, the author of ‘All the Rage: The Story of Gay Visibility in America’. She warns against concluding ‘that cultural visibility is synonymous with profound cultural shifts’. Craig Rimmerman, professor of political science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, agrees. ‘I think in the short term, visibility is a form of success, but that can’t take the place of serious and important policy accomplishments that improve LGBT lives’.”
    It’s easy to say that the organization bestowing the awards seems to have come to resemble their most controversial recipient: form over substance; assertion over accomplishment. But one must acknowledge that, in fact, while he produces virtually nothing, they have produced a lot. The question remains, how efficiently? Does it take millions of dollars to generate updates to simple reports merely documenting the latest number of companies supporting gay rights; to track pro or anti gay votes, etc., etc.? How much of what they’re paying for duplicates what other groups are doing? While I’m sure they’d be quick to claim credit for stopping the Federal Marriage Amendment, is there any proof that their role was significant. While they’re currently trumpeting on their site that they “spent more than $5 million in election-related activities,” is it unfair to ask what they did with the balance of their non-profit wealth, estimated at 4 to 5 times that?

    Until I see hard evidence, not just self-congratulatory press releases, proving that, in Kramer’s words, “it would make one bit of difference if they disappeared tomorrow,” I will continue to direct my own donations to other groups, and encourage others to do the same.

  11. bjorn says

    I hope this is a warning to all rightwing faggot hypocrites. Either come clean or go really deep in the closet and pray you don’t self destruct.

  12. pdz says

    Not only were Mehlman’s tactics turncoat and two-faced but they are also behind the times. Gay marriage is gaining acceptance everywhere in the world. In the US however we’ve taken several steps back thanks to his exploitation of fears and prejudice for political gain.

    While there is plenty of blame to go around for GOP stagnation, Mehlman and the rest of the party failed to keep up with a changing world and exasperated US voters. So went the dinosaurs…