Mike Rogers

John McCain's Chief of Staff outed, wins Roy Cohn Award

Filed By Mike Rogers | September 22, 2008 6:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Chief of Staff, closet cases, gay Republicans, John McCain, Mark Buse

When the first source on today's Roy Cohn Award recipient came forward approximately six months ago, he and I decided to wait and see where the buse-707827.jpgpresidential election went and how this person's boss performed. Dismally.

First a multiple choice question: Which nominee for President of the United States is homophobic and has a gay chief of staff at his Senate office in Washington, DC?

  1. John McCain
  2. Barack Obama

If you guessed "B," you're in the wrong spot. You belong here. If you guessed "A," congratulations, you passed with flying colors.

The latest information on the outing of John McCain's Chief of Staff can be found at BlogActive. Also on the story is Sirius Radio host Michelangelo Signorile.

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John R. Selig | September 22, 2008 7:00 PM

I always wonder how people can hate themselves so much that they use their influence and power to hurt their community.

How can people really come up with things like this?

Congratulations Mike. Good job on outing. Hope the main steam media picks it up, but they usually won't touch gay issues unless a crime is committed, as in Larry Craig or Mark Foley.

The term "Roy Cohn" award is apropos on many levels. These gays serving homophobic masters are self-loathing, self serving libertines only concerned with their elistist moneyed position in society, just as Roy Cohn was. They could not care less about marrying, they care even a smaller amount about the military since such service is beneath them.

Good choice.

But the same could be said of people who, setting aside the interests of our communities, support a cult centered opponent of same sex marriage who gears his campaign to pandering to bigots so much that he won’t even tolerate mentioning us in his platform.

It could be said of anyone who ignores the long term and very serious damage done to our agenda by endorsing the party of Barney Frank, who gutted ENDA, or Pelosi and Reid who dumped the Matthew Shepard hate Crimes act in the garbage.

It could also be said of anyone who votes for candidates who overwhelmingly voted for DOMA and DADT and refuse to repeal them.

I’m referring to those who knowingly associate themselves with opponents of LGBT equality like Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Frank and Biden. Partisan hyperbole aside, the record and the actions of these politicians demonstrate that they stand in the way of our equality just as much as McCain and Palin. When campaigns reach fever pitch and people project their own hopes and feelings onto candidates who don’t give a damn about anyone but themselves, then it’s not just LCR types who lack of common sense.

And if you need proof just examine their continued hero worship of Bill Clinton, who not only supported and happily signed DOMA but went on the air to boast about it to tie down the bigots vote in 1996. That's the same Clinton who earlier signed DADT which codified military bigotry. And he has no excuse, he’s a Rhodes Scholar who knew exactly how that bigoted bill would be interpreted and used by the military brass. Clinton’s a hustling opportunist whose only allegiance is to himself.

Obama is a Clinton clone and McCain is a Bush clone.

Vote for the union led and financed Labor Party or vote Socialist or Communist, or write in some one like Abu-Jamal Mumia for President or just stay home (except where things like Prop 8 are on the ballot). But don’t vote for either of the lesser bigots on the ballot.

so your point is --what?

That fair-minded independents convinced this is the right-wing ticket of hell should realize some gay people think McCain is great?

That McCain is so great, some people are willing to vote against their self interests and for 'country first'?

That we should stop talking about the economy and actual issues?

That a scary pastor and church should be campaign material?

I'm sorry, but if I didn't know better I'd say McCain wrote this post himself. Watch it backfire on our self-absorbed community if it does make the big headlines.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | September 23, 2008 3:53 AM

And thank you for the commercial...

What I do not grasp yet is how he is such an awful person for being an out Gay man working for a Republican candidate. It strikes me that many people work for businesses and companies which are Republican owned. Is it a requirement of each employee to agree on all issues with his/her boss? Would the employee be around long if they failed to advance the goals and objectives of the company? (winning an election)

I would not see this person as "self loathing, elitist," or "libertine." It is his job and there are plenty of folks out there who do not fully agree with their employers. Ask yourself if agreeing with your employer is a job requirement you would accept. Sad to say, it makes me feel better about McCain as a human being hearing that he does knowingly employ out Gay people (while pandering to the hard Right of his party to get elected). Now if after receiving your award the staffer suddenly resigns or is fired we will know that the strength of McCain's pandering is greater than the strength of his convictions.

There needs to be room for dialog between people and if, as I have seen elsewhere on this site, 23% of LGBT persons voted Republican in the last election they must have some argument to make that we should listen to, understand, and overcome.

Just to call people names is, frankly, what I believe we should overcome.

He is one of the majro adivsior to the man who made statements and commercials against even the possibility of same sex marriage, opposes employment equality, and opposed a hate crimes act.

The LCR's are not 2% of the electorate, some vote republican for other reasons, as I heard in the last election when a waiter remarked that hevoted for a notorious homophobe in Pennsylvania because she always smiled and tipped well at his table.

Lord yes, there are intelligent republicans--Karl Rove is the political genius of the age.

And , when self deluded people, people who still insist that McCain will be good for and to us, support candidates that will in fact harm the possibility for full citizenship for Lesbians and Gays, no dialogue is really possible, for they are either slef-deluded with the narcotic tht they have the better way or they are so elitist not to care.

I've met mano fo them as an activist, Robert, primarily the scarce but still extant Lesbian version, their pre-occupation about the "right " kind of Lesbian representing them, the "right" kind of Lesbian image, and how they, out only at their garden parties and opnce a year at Provincetown, were the "real Lesbians" as opposed to blue collar or middle class Lesbians struggling to survive. And don't even utter the tord trans-(anything) in their presence. Fortunately, they are the tiniest minority amongst Lesbians; however I've seen far more of the same cut of gay men.

apologies for the typos...up last eve all night due to an illness in the family; I meant LCR's being 23%(you can play translate the remaining typos amongst yourselves)

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | September 24, 2008 8:22 AM

Which means Kim and Maura that we still must find out what is cooking between the ears of that 23% of GLBT people who voted for Bush & Co. last time.

It is entirely possible to be Gay and fiscally conservative (not that repubs are, but they always give lip service).

Gay and pro defense (can't kiss em, but kill em).

Gay, but against abortion rights on either a religious or secular humanist level (I do not want to be oppressed, but I will oppress you).

Gay and misogynist (see above).

Lesbian and (what is the opposite of misogynist?)

Gay and dislike Trans persons (see above).

Gay and paranoid (well, that is understandable).

Gay and money oriented (Twenty years with McCain? Buse could have found something in private industry that PAID MORE. How can we reduce this just to money or "love of material ease?").

So to Buse, it could easily be about an overriding belief in the value of what he believes he is accomplishing.

How humans evolved into creatures that can hold diametrically opposed viewpoints and not walk around with vertigo is beyond me.

At least we know McCain is open to hiring a gay man. But that still won't sway my vote over to McCain. It will be on other issues (economy, etc). Bring on the debates.

McCain being a maverick who opposes gay rights but likes gay people in real life is exactly the narrative the LCR's are building of him. I don't see how this contradicts that.

I find it difficult to grasp that so many in our GLBT community take schadenfreude in the outing of a gay man who has achieved so much at a high level. And we should celebrate twink chasing Barney Frank who was a participant in the housing collapse by demanding flexible mortgages so that unqualified purchasers could did themselves a grave. Unreal.

Highly appropriate outing - although since Buse lived in a "glass closet," it's really not an outing, per se.

I think the point of the outing is to show the hypocrisy of Buse. His candidate might be nice to him privately, but when it comes down to an actual vote or policy decision McCain fucks us all over.

As for working for a Republican company, there's a difference between directly working for a candidate that can set policy for the entire country as versus working for Bob's Doughnuts when Bob votes for the Republican mayor or whatnot.

Buse's employer - for the last several years (almost 20!) - has actively announced and pursued policies to keep Buse a 2nd class citizen. McCain doesn't find Buse worthy of hate crime protection, doesn't accept Buse's partner as an equal mate, doesn't think Buse should be able to get married or serve in the military. If my boss actively pursued those issues?

You bet your ass I'd find other employment quick.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | September 23, 2008 8:11 AM

But Bil, Buse's employer has obviously done other things most of the time that he agreed with personally and 23% of the GLBT electorate appears to lean toward. We all know that one in five are not stinkin rich so we can't just use the usual thing I have heard about republican Gays that they were the "rich and empowered" exclusively.

We all know that the LCR talking points leave most who read this blog cold. Are we being a touch elitist as though we are saying: "We are smarter than you and that is why you should believe as we do." Not all people have the same brain wattage and some will be republican because "that is what my mama was," but as I am sure you will agree, some very intelligent people also happen to be Republicans.

And then there is Dan Quayle :)

Obviously not all people have the same brain wattage, but I am curious as to the reasons for their behaviors which you refer to as hypocrisy. I have this sense it is something else, something more that drives them.

"The love of material ease has been, in the mass of men and permanently speaking, always greater than the love of liberty."
Voltairine de Cleyre

haha, roy cohn award. I believe that needs to be an annual award given out nationally.

last year's winner: Larry Craig

There simply is no excuse for the positions of John McCain and Sarah Palin. As a gay man, they both offend me. As a PLWA, they horrify me. Good God, there is no comparison about what the McCain/Palin/Bush/Cheney/Rove ticket would be like as compared to an Obama/Biden/Clinton presidency. If the readers of this blog don't see the differences and the possibilities, then there is simply no earthly way to explain it to you.

From Signorile. It's simple:

John McCain is opposed to every single gay rights measure of recent years –- from a hate crimes bill, to an anti-discrimination bill to an attempt to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays in the military –- and is publicly on record supporting a ballot measure in California this November to strip gays and lesbians there of their legally-won right to marry in that state. If that isn’t enough to make it relevant to report on his 20-year-relationship with a close aide and chief of staff who is gay, the fact that Sarah Palin is now on the ticket -- garnering support for McCain from previously reticent antigay leaders like James Dobson of Focus on the Family –- surely does.
Mike Rogers

Is that clear enough? McCain is not for GLBT Civil Rights. It's simple.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | September 24, 2008 7:59 AM

Which means Kim that we still must find out what is cooking between the ears of that 23% of GLBT people who voted for Bush & Co.last time.

It is entirely possible to be Gay and fiscally conservative (not that repubs are, but they always give lip service).

Gay and pro defense (can't kiss em, but kill em).

Gay, but against abortion rights on either a religious or secular humanist level (I do not want to be oppressed, but I will oppress you).

Gay and paranoid (well, that is understandable).

Gay and money oriented (Twenty years?.Buse could have found something in private industry that PAID MORE).

So to Buse, it could easily be about an overriding belief in the value of what he is accomplishing.

How humans evolved into creatures that can hold diametrically opposed viewpoints and not walk around with vertigo is beyond me.

Robert, what is cooking between the ears of the alledged 23% is mush with a large dash of ego and greed and a hugh lack of concern for their fellow human beings. I've been in the DC power circles and it's fun and unlike anything a nonpolitical person has experienced; however, it simply is not real; not real in any way whatsoever.

I worked for a U S Senator and maybe a third of the staff was gay including the Chief of Staff. That didn't influence this particular Senator from being anti-gay (even though he did marry late in life)

Power is an aphrodesiac like no other.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | September 24, 2008 11:41 AM

OK Kim, so he does have an overriding belief in the value of what he is accomplishing--for himself.

You worked there. Were Democratic staffers less "hypocritical" or addicted to power than their Republican counterparts? Were you working for this antigay senator because you believed in anything that he or she was trying to accomplish? Would we choose to give the "Roy Cohen" award to a Democratic staff person? Would we even look for one among the Democrats? There are antigay Democratic senators as well, yes?

It is a grown up game after all. No one in Washington gives us anything just out the the dear goodness of their heart, now do they? So they are mostly demons anyway.

Thank you, I very much appreciate your comments, I am not going to be voting for McCain and I think you knew that. I believe that the alleged 23% that has been posited elsewhere on this blog from 2004 voters are people who were just damn scared to death by 9/11 like so many others and were voting for perceived security rather than Gay issues. I also believe that the percentage of the vote going to McCain from GLBT voters is going to drop precipitously. We are not going be a bunch of chickens any more. The important thing to me is to hold the feet of the newly elected to the fire and remind them who made up their margin of victory. I believe you are absolutely correct about power. It is all they understand.

Thank you for your post Mike.

Exactly! Robert, you are exactly right.

Democratic staffers were not less hypocritical when I was there because that was towards the ending age of Russell, Long, Stennis, Eastland, Sparkman, Johnston, Bentsen, Fulbright and so many other "D" names that were "tantamount" to election. Not until Reagan did the South replace all or most of its Ds with Rs. Why was I working for an antigay Senator, you ask? I'm not sure except gosh, I needed a job. Simple enough. And, everyone was deep inside their closets except on the weekends when the bars were packed!

Today, we, hopefully would never need to give the Roy Cohn award to a Democratic staffer or a Democratic Senator, but if they blocked our Civil Rights as they did in the 50s, 60s, and 70s; then, yes, by all means. From everything I know, Roy Cohn was a miserable POS. It's too bad he has anything named for him even a shameful "award".

Robert, I was certain that you were not voting for McCain. I would love it if he did about as well as McGovern did in 1972. That old man is nuts.