2012 Election | Dick Cheney | Frank Rich | Ken Mehlman | News | Rachel Maddow | Republican Party

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Rachel Maddow Talks to Frank Rich About the Silent Hypocrisy of Pro-Gay Republican Power Players: VIDEO

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Frank Rich sat down with Rachel Maddow last night to discuss why pro-gay Republican power players like Paul Singer and Dick Cheney (rumored to have lobbied behind the scenes for marraige equality in Maryland) - and gay Republicans like Ken Mehlman refuse to speak out and condemn the radical anti-gay platform of every single GOP candidate for President.

RichSays Rich:

"There's a complete disconnect. I guess it's just a kind of desperate, craven relationship to the base of that party. We now have a base of the Republican party that is so radical that they can be pandered to by calls for elimination of public education...the hypocrisy...someone like Ken Mehlman is in a long tradition, I hate to say it, of Republicans who were closeted homosexuals in power, actually enabling homophobic policies and in some cases the real demonization of gay people. And then as soon as they're away from it...then he comes out and does the right thing. Comes out as gay, but also comes out of those policies. But where was he when it really mattered within his own party?...There's a real pathological disconnect and they've really got to be called on it."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

And here's Rich's latest article on marriage equality.

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Comments

  1. same goes for the "socially liberal but fiscally conservative" folks who nonetheless give their votes to the GOP.

    now, i know this is a hard thing for some of you boys to swallow - when you've been telling yourselves that when your family votes GOP they're not voting against you (no, they're voting against "unfair taxes", right? *eyeroll*) but this aint reality.

    when one says "i don't agree with that anti-gay stuff, but i'm going to vote for them anyway" they are telling you, straight up, that they don't really have a problem with anti-gay bigotry. it doesn't bother them. they don't mind that you're demonized, vilified, and continue to have discriminatory law and policy in effect that exists solely to promote bias against LGBT people.

    "gay stuff" just isn't a "priority" for them, they say.

    like Catholics who use birth control, "non-bigoted" Republicans are a seemingly invisible group - we know they exist, yet they have an alarming inability to stand up to be counted, and to actually have the integrity and back bone to say "enough is enough"

    the GOP wont' change unless registered republicans give them a REASON to change.

    hey, Moderate Republicans - vote Obama in the next election. there will be no greater wake up call to your preferred party than for you to jump ship, vote Dem, and prove to them that pandering to the plebeian right-wing social morality nonsense fringe groups will not benefit them

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Feb 28, 2012 11:37:02 AM


  2. The GOP is ridiculous and apparently without shame on this issue. One comment though regarding Clinton... I think he was cornered on the DOMA thing. Now it is 2012, he has said he supports marriage equality. Frank Rich believes he is embarrassed over DOMA (and well he should be). The way to make amends is to actively campaign and lobby. He could do quite a bit of good and help sway some votes.

    Posted by: MikeH | Feb 28, 2012 12:01:25 PM


  3. On Principle:
    The GOP hasn't a principled bone in their corporate body. While i will always be skeptical of all politicians - shout out to you Bill Clinton - I can't fathom the cynicism of the GOP baiting their voting base with homophobia

    please

    Posted by: tim | Feb 28, 2012 12:19:44 PM


  4. I must have lost my last post...

    This guy has a point ken did a lot of harm then went home as a gay man. I have a hard time getting over that but if he helps now great. He's just someone I would never be friends with

    This goes for dems to, if they are hidden eff them and they need to be called out hard and fast.

    Cheney IMO is a D-ck but he has always been for SSM. He helped in Maryland, thank you!! I hope he does more

    Kiwi I hear ya on voting. I'm going round and round with my brother about him voting for mittens knowing how this man feels about ME. I think it's a slap

    Posted by: GeorgeM | Feb 28, 2012 12:41:02 PM


  5. Little Kenny Mehlman has NEVER apologized. NEVER. If he did that, it might go a long way toward the animosity directed at him. Until that time - Eff him.

    Posted by: RG | Feb 28, 2012 12:47:48 PM


  6. it *is* a slap, George. My family has had the "tense awkward conversations" with our extended family members about this issue - the fact that people are, truly, voting AGAINST members of their own family.

    "oh, you know i don't hate gay people like Santorum does.."

    prove it. vote for Obama. the GOP will keep producing bigoted anti-gay candidates as long as people keep voting for them.

    it's a harsh reality a lot of us have to face - the people we know and love, who claim to love "us", who nevertheless are responsible for perpetuating the culture of prejudice and bias that is responsible for the Closet Culture we were all born into.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Feb 28, 2012 12:55:59 PM


  7. These pathetic gay GOPer has gotten on their collectives knees and unzipped the pants of hateful regressive inbreds and creepy religious imbeciles and gone to town to keep them happy.

    What does that say about who you are as a man? That's a rhetorical question, we all know what it says. I can't imagine selling my my soul to the hateful bigots and vile creeps for a bag of silver and then having to spend every waking moment concocting some skewed, through-the-looking glass justification for my own self-hatred and loathing. That must be hard to endure for anyone even when it's a self-inflicted wound.

    Posted by: Bart | Feb 28, 2012 1:03:02 PM


  8. While everyone is free to express an opinion and dabble in our politics, why is a Canadian blogger telling us how to vote? Your country of residence has a conservative bible-thumper as P.M., no? Shouldn't you be doing your part to re-energize the progressive forces in the land of Birdseye, as a few drag queens lovingly refer to our northern neighbor (the land of frozen fruits if you need a clue).

    Posted by: Contrarian | Feb 28, 2012 1:09:17 PM


  9. @Little Kiwi,

    once again...I agree with you. The problem is that old Bill Clinton thing: It's the economy, stupid.

    Whenever the economy of the US sucks hard, people switch parties--bad or good. Right now, Obama's seeming inability to create a positive economic upswing would trump any other issue. When people have no jobs or money in the bank they just don't care about other people. It's that whole Maslow's hierarchy issue.

    I know Republicans who now miss Bill Clinton because he knew how to make things happen economically. Had Obama's administration seen great economic turnaround, Republicans (moderate) and Independents would be voting for him.

    Posted by: Rin | Feb 28, 2012 1:19:25 PM


  10. I wish Rachel would have talked about what Frank Rich's article is actually about, which is historical liberal homophobia. IMO Frank's article has no real meaningful point. I would have liked to have seen him challenged, or at least elaborate on the relevance of his article in today's political climate.

    Yea, historically elected and appointed "liberals" in politics did in many instances stand with conservatives in their opposition to gay rights. But is that a surprise? Has anyone suggested otherwise? Yep, DOMA, DADT, AIDS crisis fear mongering, the womens rights movement, the racial rights movements...all serve as examples where homophobia occurred in liberal demographics.

    But, lets not forget, it was the liberal bastions of culture that spurred gay rights movements in cities like Los Angeles and new york as early as 70 years ago.

    I think what is missing in Frank's article is a sense of relative comparison between so-called liberals and the conservatives of the time. Yea, elected liberals in the 1960 would be conservative today with regards to gay rights. But compared to what conservatives of the 1960 thought of the gay community, there's no comparison. Yea, liberals of the 1990s supported DADT and DOMA, while conservatives supported outright bans on gays in the military and federal and state bans on gay marriage.

    To say as Frank said about forgetting historical liberal homophobia "To forget this particular history is to minimize or erase the struggles of gay men and lesbians whose lives and fundamental rights were trampled routinely for decades in America, with cruel and sometimes deadly results." I think is a far reach.

    Posted by: anony6 | Feb 28, 2012 1:23:20 PM


  11. thing is, RIN, if these people care about "the economy" then they shouldn't vote Republican.

    the GOP has no plan for the economy, or job creation, that actually benefits anyone but the top wealthiest people.

    the GOP will not bring about "economic turnaround" - and THEY know it - that's why they're waging war on gays, women's vaginas and unions.

    and "Contrarian" - that's exactly what's happening in Canada: for the first time in the history of my country the NDP has become the official Opposition Party: enough people were tired of the meandering Liberal Party and voted NDP: it sent a massive wake up call not only to the Liberal Party and NDP base but to the Conservatives who are seeing that true Liberal Progressivism is moving to the forefront of Candians hearts and minds, and is being reflected in their voting. It's rather inspiring.

    now, you could always explain with logic and reason why you vote the way you do, but i know you won't. ;-)

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Feb 28, 2012 1:29:07 PM


  12. When, several years ago, I read Andrew Sullivan's Virtually Normal, his insistance on the lack of homophobia among the conservative Republican Party stalwarts rang pretty dang hollow. Sullivan let their personal comfort with him delude him into thinking they could actually be working to eliminate the barriers to normalization, eventually, when they got around to it, if it was convenient some day other than today. The day Republicans (other than the occasional freak) work on anything other than anti-gay attacks continues to be other than today.

    Posted by: Glenn I | Feb 28, 2012 1:47:16 PM


  13. it leads one to wonder why Gay Republicans haven't noticed that "their way of doing things" hasn't worked. at all.

    enough GOP "leaders" say "i know gay people, i have gay friends" - well, then those Gay Republicans are indeed to blame for the bigotry of the GOP as, clearly, Who and What they are as Gay People is so abhorrent that knowing them and "being their friend" leads Republicans to think that gay people are less than equal.

    no way around it. clearly Gay Republicans haven't been able to prove their chosen allies that they're worthy and deserving of the same basic rights, freedoms and liberties as everyone else.

    gay liberals can't be to blame. gay liberals aren't "friends" with these anti-gay Republicans. Gay Conservatives are. And clearly those gay conservatives are so lacking in character that they've changed no hearts and minds.

    if Gay Republicans spent as much time actually working to show that LGBT Equality will not negatively affect the lives of Conservative Minded People then progress would have been made by now.

    alas, it seems all gay Republicans do is run around like ninnies telling people that they're "not like those leftist liberal stereotypical gays"

    you know, the ones who don't apologize for being gay and actually demand Equality.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Feb 28, 2012 1:55:42 PM


  14. Contrarian: who is the "Canadian blogger telling us how to vote?" According to Wikipedia, Andy was born in Chicago (last I checked, that was in the US). Or Frank Rich? He was born in DC. Regardless, what's the problem with people from other countries commenting on our political process, especially when they live here? And no one tells me how to vote; I decide that all by myself.

    Posted by: Robert | Feb 28, 2012 2:01:07 PM


  15. And what is Ken Mehlman doing supporting Boehner? Despicable.

    Posted by: Robert in NYC | Feb 28, 2012 2:03:04 PM


  16. GLENN I:

    What is it about Andrew Sullivan that he keeps coming back as a pundit on this or that topic. Sullivan was one of the biggest supporters of the invasion of Iraq (I personally believe he was benefitting from Karl Rove's largesse at the time)... and completely wrong about gay Republicans. He's really sort of an idiot and has gotten everything wrong... but because the rest of us have better paying jobs and aren't inclined to his kind of patronized work, I guess he's a default pundit for the various 24/7 cable outlets and some print media. Ugh!

    Posted by: Dan Cobb | Feb 28, 2012 2:03:26 PM


  17. @Little Kiwi,

    again...totally agree with you. No President can control the economy. Obama is no different, but the average voter just...votes the opposite.

    I used to be very active in politics, but now...I have no idea what to do anymore. America is so polarized and whipped up into this frenzy of...of...well, I don't know how to explain it. I watch John Stewart and he talks on this issue of false fronts, demonizing, hysteria, etc.

    He just doesn't have solutions. He tried with his rally, but most people didn't even get what he was trying to get across. Many times I will say something...just to provide a counter-weight. I'm not sure I totally support what I say, but I am too afraid of a momentum or widening of this gap so I will try to explain the opposing side's POV to help sort matters. It never seems to work...nothing does.

    Ultimately, I think the problem is that we are no longer a culture with any respect for kindness.

    Homophobia...misogyny...racism...all of these are a result of this mean spirit that we all seem to have caught.

    Posted by: Rin | Feb 28, 2012 2:37:43 PM


  18. GOP to their rich white base: vote for us and you can save tens of millions!

    GOP to their poor white base: vote for us and we'll stop the gays and brown people from giving your kids AIDS in church!

    GOP to their poor non-white base: don'tcha just HATE non-Christians? vote for us and we'll make sure Jesus remembers!

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Feb 28, 2012 2:45:29 PM


  19. "There's a real pathological disconnect and they've really got to be called on it."

    AMEN.

    And I have the same awkward conversations with my family regarding their support of the Catholic church and Republican candidates and how it comes into conflict with their support of their gay son. I live in hope that one day they will wake-up and take a stand.

    Posted by: Giuseppe | Feb 28, 2012 10:37:07 PM


  20. Frank Rich speaks in long, never-ending run-on sentences and he gets boring, even if what he is saying is interesting and significant. He should learn to be a better guest. People watch the Rachel Maddow show for Rachel Maddow mostly, and her guests a little less.

    Posted by: Joe De Hoyos | Feb 29, 2012 11:13:53 PM


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