Thursday, August 26, 2010

Does Mehlman Deserve Our Understanding?

Sure, Mehlman deserves our understanding. And I think we understand him very well.

Ken Mehlman, former chair of the Republican National Committee, wasn't averse to screwing gay men and lesbians when he was making a (big) buck doing so.

He chaired the RNC under George W. Bush, and raised the funds that enabled Bush and Rove to pump toxic waste on the nation about what it means to be homosexual, and enabled numerous Republicans to be elected to office nationwide, and install dozens of anti-gay constitutional amendments. Mehlman was chief rainmaker for the Party of Hate, the party that drags out gays or immigrants or Muslims at election time, stokes the worst fears of the most insecure Americans, and makes second-class citizens of gay folk.

Today he says that he wasn't at a place then where he could come out. I admit, the irony makes me smile. I'm told that he means he hadn't come to terms with, or entirely recognized, or fully understood his homosexuality then. I bet he understood it enough to get laid, though. I bet there wasnt the first glimmer of a doubt in his mind, then. And that's where the rubber meets the road.

Mehlman got it prety well when it suited his personal agenda. He didn't get it at all when it suited yours and mine.

There's no honor in coming out now. He missed the honor barge when he chose to defame us and harm us publicly while languishing privately in the arms of his gay lovers.

Honor is having the guts to reconcile your inside with your outside even when it's not really all that profitable, or safe, or convenient for you. I don't think Ken Mehlman knows much about that. And I'm betting his priorities will remain what they've always been: Ken, Ken, and Ken.

If he turns out to be as brilliant a civil rights activist for us as he was our tormenter, maybe one day I can swallow hard and congratulate him. That won't happen as long as he remains a Republican, and I'm not expecting him to take up our cause now. I just don't think he'll be bothered to put down his cocktail long enough to do anything useful.

Besides, wouldn't it have been a lot easier to have come out then, or at least resigned, than to actively build the wall of bias he'll now face with the rest of us?

Better late than never? I don't know. I guess it depends.