Candace Gingrich

Ding, dong the witch is dead

Filed By Candace Gingrich | August 13, 2007 11:23 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: FMA, Karl Rove, marriage

Ding, dong the witch is dead. I heard my co-worker say it this morning and I agree. Karl Rove will be gone by month’s end – nowhere near soon enough, though. Because the damage has already been done to America and specifically queer America . The winged monkeys have already been unleashed by their master – 2004’s state anti-marriage equality amendments, the brain-child of Rove who wanted desperately to get far-right voters engaged in for Bush’s (re)election.

How infuriatingly ironic that one of his stated reasons for leaving is “I’ve got to do this for the sake of my family”. It's ironic for two reasons: his disregard for GLBT families and hypocrisy. Thanks to Rove there are thousands of GLBT families whose chance for marriage equality and equal protection has been essentially erased in dozens of states. Families that now face countless more years without the security, protection and benefits of legal recognition. Nope, it’s a me-first attitude all the way for Rove – his family is what matters and all others be dammed.

The hypocrisy we’ve come to expect from often the most virulent anti-gay activists is not absent here - Rove’s stepfather, who raised him from kindergarten to high school senior, was a gay man. Though Louis and Reba Rove had divorced in ‘69, it’s been reported that Karl kept in touch with and was still close to his stepfather. How can one know and love someone who is queer and yet devise political strategies that are based solely on attacks and outright lies about queer people and their families? For too many anti-gay pols America isn’t a democracy, it’s a hypocrisy.

Well, I’m still glad he’ll be leaving. His transition from evil genius White House adviser to evil genius family man won’t undo the damage he’s already done to America . But his resignation will not protect him from any future legal scrutiny of his tactics, obfuscations or electoral strategies. He can pour a bucket of water over himself and hope to disappear, but even the winged monkeys know you can’t melt a subpoena.

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I don't believe that we have heard the last of Rove. Sure, he is resigning from the Bush administration most likely because the ongoing congressional investigations. But, this also gives him quite a bit of time to focus on the 2008 elections and whatever smear campaigns the GOP will manufacture and throw at the Democrats.

Its also worth noting that while Rove has been given much credit for being a brilliant political strategist, what he has really accomplished is further dividing the country, a weakened conservative movement, a quagmire in Iraq and the destruction of America's international reputation. Not bad for six and a half years in power.

He has harmed the country with his arrogance and the rest of us will be left to pick up the pieces.

"How can one know and love someone who is queer and yet devise political strategies that are based solely on attacks and outright lies about queer people and their families?"

Does HRC know you are using the word Queer??

A quick point for the backhanded smack comment... Candace is blogging here as her own woman. Her views do NOT reflect her job with HRC - they're her own opinions and not the company line.

But I have to say, leaving a comment just to pick at someone? Bad taste, Nick. I know you're intelligent and can speak to the subject at hand without having to throw in snide remarks that don't help build a conversation. 'Cuz wouldn't it be much better to have a civil conversation with Candace rather than just buzzing like a fly? I expect better of you after some of your other comments. I know how smart you are!

Now - onto the point at hand...

He's leaving to spend time with his family? I don't remember the Cryptkeeper as having a family! Do they sleep in coffins too? Where do you pick up that bedroom set? *grins*

Bil, I think that my question was perfectly legitimate. HRC has a history of using its economic power to pressure smaller organizations into dropping the word ‘queer’. Is it too much to ask that someone who has worked for HRC for over a decade be accountable for their role in this systematic silencing?

I appreciate that you don’t want people being snarky or mean for no reason, and I’m sorry if I hurt Candace’s feelings [Candace, I’m sorry]. Certainly my critique was meant to fall more toward HRC than Candace. However, I don’t think that hurting one individual’s feelings is worse than the anti-queer (not necessarily anti-gay or lesbian) agenda pushed by HRC.

One more thing –
A major point of Candace’s post is the hypocrisy between the private and public lives of Republican politicians. She condemns Karl Rove for reportedly being very close with his gay stepfather while his job involves targeting queer people for political gain. Isn’t it fitting that I would use this post to challenge the apparent hypocrisy in her own public and private life? Why should Candace be afforded a separation between the two when other political figures are not?

In the future, Bil, I’ll try to avoid one-liners.

Thanks, Nick. I really thought you were just trying to be snarky and mean there... (Maybe I'm over sensitive - we've had a few mean commenters lately...)

But since the question is out there - let's let Candace answer. Does HRC have any policy against the word queer?

Well put, Candace.

With the 2004 elections, the thing that's really stuck with me is a letter we got in Michigan HQ a month or so before the election. It was from the partner of a public university employee who was scared of losing her health insurance if Prop 2 passed. She had stage 3 breast cancer and no coverage of her own, and, of course, Prop 2 didn't bother to limit itself to marriage - it was also an attack on any 'marriage-like' benefits.

That letter haunts me to this day. Sometimes I find myself wondering what happened to that woman. I hope she's recovered and that her cancer is gone or in remission. But I worry about what her life must be like if she's still living with cancer. I wonder if she now reads the paper every day, thinking that it just might be the day that the courts hand down a ruling that at the least wrecks her family financially and possibly does far worse damage than that.

I wish I still had a copy of her letter. I'd send it, framed, to Karl Rove as his retirement present. And I'd hope that he would hang it next to his bathroom mirror so he could take a good long look at himself while he was reading it.

The story you shared is unfortunately not unique but getting those stories out there is one of the biggest educational tools we have. The conversation can't stop simply because a statewide amendment was passed- America is on a learning curve and finding out how real people are affected by bad politics is key.

And no, HRC doesn't have a policy against the word queer. I work with youth - queer and straight - and I speak in a language they know and respond to. And while I'm far from a youth at this point I use the word even when I'm not working with youth - to reclaim it, yes, and to save time & syllables. I use queer, GLBT and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender interchangeably and freely when I speak and when I write.
And nope, my feelings weren't hurt but the post did come across like a schoolyard taunt and I'm glad the point was elaborated upon.