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04/19/2007


Colin Powell Defends Hagel, Chides Racist Republicans: VIDEO

Powellmtp

Colin Powell, the former Secretary of State, defended Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel on Meet the Press today.

Asked about Hagel's past remarks about gay people being unfit to represent the United States abroad, and whether those remarks would impact the continued implementation of Don't Ask, Don't Tell's repeal, Powell said, "I think that what Sen. Hagel will do — as he has said, and as he will certainly testify at the confirmation hearing — is that he will fully implement 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' [repeal]."

There are still issues that have to be resolved, but, I think, he will go after these issues in a way that will be very consistent with the administration’s position, with the law and with the aspirations of our gay and lesbian men and women in the military. He is now responsible for them, he is now responsible for them having a proper environment in which to do their jobs. And that will include making sure that 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' and the elimination of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is fully implemented.

Powell also said Hagel is "superbly qualified" for the post and described him as a "strong supporter" of Israel, a commitment Hagel's opponents on both sides of the aisle have questioned.

In addition to addressing Hagel's nomination, Powell, a registered though moderate Republican, accused his party peers of sustaining a race-based "dark veil of intolerance," particularly their use of racially-loaded terms when discussing the president and his policies.

Via ThinkProgress:

There's also a dark — a dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the party. What do I mean by that? I mean by that that they still sort of look down on minorities. How can I evidence that?

When I see a former governor [Sarah Palin] say that the President is "shuckin' and jivin'," that’s racial era slave term. When I see another former governor [John Sununu] after the president’s first debate where he didn't do very well, says that the president was lazy. He didn't say he was slow. He was tired. He didn't do well. He said he was lazy.

Now, it may not mean anything to most Americans, but to those of us who are African Americans, the second word is shiftless and then there’s a third word that goes along with that. The birther, the whole birther movement. Why do senior Republican leaders tolerate this kind of discussion within the party?

Watch video of Powell's comments on racism within the Republican Party and on Hagel AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Colin Powell Defends Hagel, Chides Racist Republicans: VIDEO" »


Log Cabin Head Tries To Explain Hagel Opposition On Fox News: VIDEO

AngeloFoxNews

Another day, another story about Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel. Today's tale, or the first one of today, there will probably be more, is about interim Log Cabin Republican leader Gregory T. Angelo discussing the group's opposition with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly.

So, why does the gay GOP group oppose Hagel? "Because we're Republican," says Angelo, as if there's an unspoken rule all Republicans must agree on all things at all times.

O'Reilly also asked Angelo whether a potential cabinet official who opposes homosexuality for religious reasons should be disqualified, to which Angelo responded, "We don't have a litmus test." He also talked up his group's new advertisement in The Hill.

Meanwhile, JK Trotter at The Atlantic Wire wrote a story called "Chuck Hagel's Evolution on Gay Rights Is Tearing the Log Cabin Republicans Apart," and it goes a little something like this: "Of the many reactions to Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel's comments about an ambassador nominee being 'aggressively gay'... by far the most vexing, and internally divisive, stem from the Log Cabin Republicans." If there's one lesson to be learned from this whole Hagel thing it is that opportunism is alive and well in America.

Watch O'Reilly and Angelo talk Hagel and homosexuality AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Log Cabin Head Tries To Explain Hagel Opposition On Fox News: VIDEO" »


Signorile: Log Cabin's Hagel Attacks Are 'Pathetic' And 'Laughable'

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Gay radio host Michelangelo Signorile finds the Log Cabin Republicans' sudden, mysterious attacks on potential Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel "laughable". From his latest piece at The Huffington Post:

Certainly, the way Hagel is being attacked by neocons and even smeared as an "anti-Semite" is ugly and reckless. It's also pathetic (and laughable) that the Log Cabin Republicans and some other gay conservatives are coming out against Hagel on the gay issue, clearly just allowing themselves to be used by the neocons. Having endorsed Mitt Romney and many other antigay Republicans, they have little credibility.

But that doesn't mean that Hagel's comments about Hormel, his voting record, and the insufficient apology are not a concern for many LGBT activists, and for many progressives. If Hagel and the White House want their support, they're going have to say and do a lot more.

President Obama told NBC News' David Gregory that he believes Hagel's apology shows a "positive change," but pointed out that he has not yet made a decision on who he will nominate to replace Leon Panetta as head of the Pentagon.


R. Clarke Cooper Writes To Andrew Sullivan About Chuck Hagel

CooperOutgoing Log Cabin Republican leader R. Clarke Cooper is getting pretty tired of all the raised eyebrows and lingering question marks over his group's sudden, surprising attack on potential Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel and the former senator's stance on gay people, Israel and Iran. So, he wrote a long letter to journalist Andrew Sullivan all about it.

Apparently the LCR's New York Times ad is all part of a much larger plan that is just as mysterious as the donors who helped fund it.

LCR has a long history of showing support for our ally Israel and questioning those who would be soft on Iran. While it may surprise some to see LCR taking out a major ad in the New York Times, it's part of a broader communications strategy that LCR and its board have been developing over the last year. The next couple of years will be critical with regard to helping the Republican Party change its position on a number of LGBT issues and we as an organization have made strategic decisions to dramatically increase the sophistication and profile of our communications efforts.

With regard to specific comments Hagel made about gay people in 1998 - that Ambassador James Hormel, then being considered to represent the States abroad, was unfit because he's gay - Cooper says that while LCR appreciate's Hagel's apology, again, they doubt its sincerity.


More From The Log Cabin Republicans On Chuck Hagel's 'Sincerity'

LCRHagel

Some are wondering why the Log Cabin Republicans suddenly decided yesterday to run a full-page ad taking on potential Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel.

After all, it was only two weeks ago that LCR's outgoing executive director, R. Clarke Cooper, told Andy Humm at Gay City News that despite the criticism of Hagel's 1998 comments about Ambassador James Hormel being "aggressively gay," his foreign policy and combat experience made him a good candidate for Leon Panetta's position.

"It is well worth noting that Senator Hagel is a combat veteran who has hands-on experience in the field. The battlefield is not just theory for him," Cooper said at the time. Though he was speaking for himself and not for LCR, it sounded like something of an endorsement from the gay Republican group. Yesterday's ad made clear that's not the case.

While Cooper would explain why his comments are so strikingly different, he told Humm yesterday that this ad "was not just about an old confirmation hearing."

"Chuck Hagel’s weak record on preventing nuclear proliferation in Iran, lack of confidence in our ally Israel as well as an aggressive history against the LGBT community is a negative combination for a secretary of defense nominee," he said in an email. "While he may have recently apologized for his anti-gay comments to save his possible nomination, Hagel cannot walk away from his consistent record against economic sanctions to try to change the behavior of the Islamist radical regime in Tehran."

Meanwhile, asked by BuzzFeed about Hormel's initial assessment of Hagel's apology, that it was done with political expediency, not healing, in mind, Cooper remarked, "Log Cabin Republicans concur with Ambassador Hormel's original assessment of Chuck Hagel's current position on gay rights. We question the sincerity of it."


Log Cabin Republicans Hit Chuck Hagel In 'NY Times' Ad: PHOTO

Logcabinhagel

The Log Cabin Republicans took out a full-age ad in the New York Times today to criticize potential Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel for his comments about gay people not upholding American values and his positions on Iran and Israel, another sign that President Obama's plan to replace Leon Panetta with the former GOP senator may be a non-starter.

Check out the full-page ad AFTER THE JUMP.

[via CNN]

Continue reading "Log Cabin Republicans Hit Chuck Hagel In 'NY Times' Ad: PHOTO" »


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