It’s confirmation that even a weak deviation from the anti-gay agenda is enough to earn the Romney campaign and the LCR a slap-back from the far-right hand of Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association.
In the wake of the LCR endorsement of Mitt Romney, which had a different iteration on the group’s web site than what was sent out in its press release, it was reported that the gay Republican group’s “qualified” endorsement came with an agreement for Mittens to support and sign the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Ben Adler at The Nation:
Cooper asserted repeatedly that, “with a President Romney we’re confident we can work with him [on ENDA].” But when asked why, Cooper offered only reasons that Romney should work with them: that discrimination is a form of economic inefficiency and impediment to job growth. But you could make the same argument to any president. The question is what Romney has said that gives them such confidence. Cooper says, “Romney been clear in his opposition to workplace discrimination.” As I’ve written before, Romney has spoken of his personal preference not to practice discrimination, but he has not actually publicly called for outlawing workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Cooper said he would e-mail me Romney quotes I may have missed that do call for such legislation, but as of this writing he had not done so.
As I continued to press this point, Cooper blurted out, “Have you met with Romney’s domestic policy team?” And therein lies the answer to how Romney secured LCR’s endorsement. His advisers have privately assured LCR that Romney supports ENDA, even though he so fears the wrath of the religious right that he will not adopt this position in public.
And the Religious Right wasted no time. Bryan Fischer of the AFA:
Last night, the LCR clarified what it meant, as if Fischer had picked up the MittPhone and ordered the smackdown.
Cooper acknowledged that he “discussed legislative vehicles and executive actions with Romney regarding workplace non-discrimination, including ENDA.” But he insisted the endorsement did not come in response to a Romney campaign pledge to sign ENDA — noting, “I did not say Romney would sign the current form of ENDA.”
For his part, the author of the original report discussing the alleged deal had edited the article to clarify that Cooper had not explicitly said there was such a deal. “I’d say it was the unambiguous implication of what he said,” The Nation‘s Ben Adlertweeted Tuesday evening.
As if the LCR should trust anything Romney says or promises, no matter how feeble. My guess is that the LCR members decided being fully under the bigoted tent of the GOP as a professional “pro-gay” organization (as opposed to sitting out endorsing Romney, which it could have done) would have reduced support and any pitiful clout it perceives it has in that party. It’s really disappointing since the organization had been so explicitly critical of Mittens in the past; to see this turnaround backflip of support diminishes its credibility. But apparently that place in the tent is critical for its survival and the LCR is willing to take the public hit for looking like doormats in comparison to Bryan Fischer and his ilk.
Rep. Barney Frank:
When I read that the Log Cabin Republicans had fallen in line with their right-wing party and endorsed the anti-LGBT Mitt Romney, I was prepared to congratulate them for at least showing some intellectual honesty. Their endorsement makes it clear that they are supporting Romney on grounds of party loyalty and because other issues are more important to them than LGBT rights. People who give a higher priority than Log Cabin Republicans to our effort to win legal equality can take note of this in deciding how to cast their own votes.
But I was surprised by the second part of the statement, which reached a new level of partisan acrobatics by asserting that they believe that Romney would roll the LBGT ball forward – contrary to everything he has been saying on the subject for years – because he is better than previous Republican Presidents. It is true that political spinners sometimes lower the bar to justify their choices, but finding hope in a Romney Presidency for LGBT equality on the grounds that he will not be the third in a string of anti-LGBT Republican Presidents who preceded him, is not simply lowering the bar – it’s burying it under several feet of concrete.
Frank’s office noted that the recently released Human Rights Campaign Congressional Scorecard shows that 211 Republican House Members of the 112th Congress received 0% ratings. Those Republicans receiving 0% ratings constitute nearly 88% of all Republican House Members. Analysis of the data for both the House and Senate, along with additional data can be found here.