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Republican Bungling Confirmed: Gay Bullies Exonerated

05/13/2011 07:01 pm 19:01:09 | Updated Jul 13, 2011

Earlier this month I reported on the kerfuffle over King & Spalding taking on legal representation for the Republican Party in their efforts to retain the Defense of Marriage Act and official marriage apartheid.

To the public it appeared that K&S had taken the case and then dropped the case. Religious right pundits and Republicans, but I repeat myself, argued nasty gay bullies had intimidated one of the largest legal firms in the country to drop a client. There was a great deal of blather and blubbering from those whom H.L. Mencken called Boobus americanus.

I argued that this simplistic, almost-conspiracy theory was surely false. The contract with the Republicans was very authoritarian, one stripping hundreds of K&S employees of First Amendment rights. I suggested that K&S also would have been required to drop existing clients under the contract and said it was more likely that K&S "was telling the truth" on the matter of it not being properly vetted within the firm.

Now the Blog of the Legal Times has given more details on the case, putting to rest the talking points of critics on the right.

Conservative lawyer, Paul Clement, took the case on behalf of the firm, but he had not presented the case to the firm for approval. The firm's vetting committee did not see the contract until after Clement had signed it.

J. Sedwick Sollers, a member of the vetting committee, said "our standard client/matter review process was not followed," and that Clement had believed the "firm would accept the matter." Sollers, who says he recruited Clement to work for the firm, said this "was an unfortunate misunderstanding with a friend."

Clement signed a contract with the Republican House leadership on April 14. But the vetting committee was only given the contract to review four days later. In other words, Clement signed on behalf of the law firm, before the firm had approved the contract. When the committee reviewed the contract on the 19th, they rejected it.

As I suggested back on the 1st, the reason for rejecting the contract had more to do with "Republican bungling" than with gay bullies that were made boogeymen by various members of the right-wing choir. As wrong as they have been proven to be in this case, don't expect acknowledgment of their error, let alone retraction.

The gay bully theory is too good a talking point for their base to be rejected. They constantly attack and work to deny one segment of the community their rights and then, when the people they attack complain about it, the right plays the victim card. When members of the fundamentalist tight attempt to impose religion in state schools, and are shunned, they play the victim because they can't impose their theology on others through government mandate.

Consider how Andrew Shirvell was literally obsessed with his hatred for University of Michigan Student Body President Chris Amrstrong. Shirvell was infuriated that Armstrong was elected in spite of being openly gay.

Shirvell began stalking Armstrong, to the point of standing outside his home in the middle of the night to keep an eye on him. He made all sorts of accusations him against online. To make matters worse, Shirvell was working for the Michigan Attorney General at the time. While initially protected by his boss, he was eventually fired when his superiors discovered he was writing his anti-Armstrong blog while on the clock, had used his office phone in attempting to get Armstrong fired from an internship in the House of Representatives, and then lied to investigators about what he had done.

Even after all this, Shirvell says "he is the real victim" and that Armstrong is the bully. Playing the "bully card" is now a standard tactical maneuver for the religious right, even as they, themselves, blatantly bully others.