Patrick Sammon has an article up in the Washington Blade about why John McCain is good for LGBT people. I kid you not - even though he lied to The Advocate and said that LCR is focused first on LGBT rights in the Republican Party, he turns around and writes a column telling LGBT to vote for John McCain.
His reasons are hilarious, absolutely hilarious. But then he knows that he's coming from an intellectually dishonest position in order to get new donors from the 23% of the LGBT community that voted for Bush in 2004 when LCR didn't endorse him and that he has to push for a sub-par candidate.
His reasons and a few responses are after the jump.
First, McCain is a maverick -- a different kind of Republican who's willing to buck his own party to stand up for what he believes. Case in point is his consistent opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment. He's the only candidate in this race who paid a political price for voting in a way that benefits the LGBT community.
I don't understand the "political price" that he's paid, considering that he's got full fundie support and the Republican nomination for presidency. There isn't much more the party could be doing to support him right now. And why doesn't Obama's opposition to the same FMA count?
But this is just wrong:
FOURTH, McCAIN'S HEALTHCARE reform plan would increase competition, lower prices and improve access. His plan allows people to purchase insurance across state lines thus increasing competition. McCain's proposal emphasizes individual ownership of health insurance, rather than relying on employers. This provides stability after a job loss. And it'll prevent discriminatory practices against gay people by an employer.
Sammon's right - McCain's health care plan is a mix of deregulation, individualization of risk, and a tax credit to sell the whole mess. In fact, he wrote this in a column just this past month in Contingencies:
Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.
Yes, and that worked out so well for the finance industry.
McCain wants to move the tax break employers receive for providing their workers with health care to the individual. What this means is that health care providers will be more free to say no to an individual, effectively disqualifying people with pre-existing conditions from getting coverage.
The point of health care is that people come together to pool their risk, making sure that no one has to bear the cost of an extraordinary disease on their own. Since health care companies wouldn't want to take on someone who they think would have more health care expenses than what they'd pay in premiums (someone who's likely to get cancer because they've already had it, perhaps), they'll simply refuse to take on those individuals. At least at the workplace, eligibility can be guaranteed since health care providers want to take on an entire corporation or business.
Obama's health care plan is less-than-ideal, but McCain's is simply a train-wreck. It's just about the last reason to vote for John McCain.
And here's the actual last reason:
Fifth, he'll provide a strong voice challenging the radical Islamic regimes that criminalize same-sex behavior -- and even execute gay people. McCain wants to confront tyrants like Iran's president. Obama wants to talk to him without preconditions.
I don't even get where this is coming from; will McCain pressure Islamic governments to decriminalize homosexuality? He's never made any indication that he would use the presidential platform to champion gay rights around the world. There's also no explanation of how this would work either - would John McCain bang a few heads together over in the Middle East and they'd just decide to stop being homophobic?
There's no reason for LGBT people to trust McCain, and with his nomination of a true-blue fundamentalist to the running mate slot and promise to nominate more conservative judges, we can be sure that McCain will do what he can to turn back the clock on gay rights.
The LCR should drop the whole "working from the inside" shtick, unless they want to change that to "Working from the inside of the gay community to get Republican votes."
This column isn't meant to be taken at face value, though. No matter what Sammon told The Advocate, LCR is a Republican organization first, a gay one second.
Even gay Republicans are noticing that:
The other day when a representative of a conservative organization asked me to suggest other gay people to participate in an event, I immediately suggested either Patrick Sammon and Scott Tucker of Log Cabin.
Only after I had sent out the e-mail did it occur to me that a year previously, I would not even considered recommending Log Cabin for such an event. What a change Patrick's leadership has brought to the organization. To be sure, we have not always agreed with some of their actions, faulting them for running ads against Mitt Romney in Iowa and New Hampshire.
But, since John McCain wrapped up the Republican nomination, they, as loyal Republicans should, reached out to the campaign and worked to support the party's nominee, voting earlier this month to endorse him.[...]
In St. Paul, at Log Cabin's Big Tent Luncheon, Sammon said he was "never going to be silent when the subject turns to politics" and intended to make clear "how much we care about this party and how much we care about this nation." Not only that, echoing Ronald Reagan, he said intended to fight for the notion that government is not the solution to every problem.
That speech was the most forceful defense of basic Republican principles I had ever heard from a Log Cabin leader.
That pretty much says it all.