This information about Ken Mehlman being gay was well known to most progressives since 2004 and maybe earlier. I believe it was Bill Maher and many bloggers who knew this clown was gay a few years ago.
His egregious acts against gays in the form of planning and supporting anti-gay legislation and his treatment minorities at voting polls and the phone jamming scandal is simply despicable, in my view. I am most definitely not, nor will I ever be a fan of such an evil, manipulative person.
Ken Mehlman, President Bush’s campaign manager in 2004 and a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, has told family and associates that he is gay. [...]
Mehlman is the most powerful Republican in history to identify as gay.
Because his tenure as RNC chairman and his time at the center of the Bush political machine coincided with the Republican Party’s attempts to exploit anti-gay prejudices and cement the allegiance of social conservatives, his declaration to the world is at once a personal act and an act of political speech.
“I wish I was where I am today 20 years ago. The process of not being able to say who I am in public life was very difficult. No one else knew this except me. My family didn’t know. My friends didn’t know. Anyone who watched me knew I was a guy who was clearly uncomfortable with the topic,” he said.
I can only imagine what it is like to feel compelled to have to hide one’s sexual orientation. It can’t be pretty. Even uglier, I would think, is being gay and a high ranking member of a political party that actively pursued (and still does) an anti-gay agenda.
Mehlman said at the time that he could not, as an individual Republican, go against the party consensus. He was aware that Karl Rove, President Bush’s chief strategic adviser, had been working with Republicans to make sure that anti-gay initiatives and referenda would appear on November ballots in 2004 and 2006 to help Republicans.
Mehlman acknowledges that if he had publicly declared his sexuality sooner, he might have played a role in keeping the party from pushing an anti-gay agenda.
“It’s a legitimate question and one I understand,” Mehlman said. “I can’t change the fact that I wasn’t in this place personally when I was in politics, and I genuinely regret that. It was very hard, personally.” He asks of those who doubt his sincerity: “If they can’t offer support, at least offer understanding.”
The truth is that if Mehlman had declared his sexuality at the time, he would have been forced out of the chairman’s position. There is no possible way that Republicans would have allowed an openly gay man to be head of the RNC. Mehlman knew this and went along with promoting the GOP’s anti-gay agenda. Any way you wish to parse it, Mehlman’s actions make him a hypocrite of the worst kind. But he’s come around, a bit late, and I’ll give him credit for having done so.
As for this part…
He said that he plans to be an advocate for gay rights within the GOP, that he remains proud to be a Republican, and that his political identity is not defined by any one issue.
“What I will try to do is to persuade people, when I have conversations with them, that it is consistent with our party’s philosophy, whether it’s the principle of individual freedom, or limited government, or encouraging adults who love each other and who want to make a lifelong committment to each other to get married.”
“I hope that we, as a party, would welcome gay and lesbian supporters. I also think there needs to be, in the gay community, robust and bipartisan support [for] marriage rights.”
…good luck with that although I have no idea what he thinks his party has done in the last decade to make him proud. The Republican party has allowed itself to be defined by it’s southern, white conservative base but having someone working from the inside to try to enlighten these bigoted, narrow-minded jackasses can’t hurt.