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Dear Ken Mehlman: You've Got a Lot of Splainin' to Do

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The Atlantic reported, "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."

To which family and associates, as well as the part of the country with half a brain, screamed, "Duh."

"Mehlman arrived at this conclusion about his identity fairly recently, he said in an interview." Really? Then Ken, how come the rest of us knew years ago, asked you about it, and you lied about it and went on chairing and actively campaigning for the success of a party with a lot of members who want to see gay people dead? Talk about being an Aunt Tom!

"It's taken me 43 years to get comfortable with this part of my life," said Mehlman. Guess what, buddy? Sorry for the stunted growth of your self-awareness, but there are plenty of gay folks that have not taken 43 years to get comfortable with it, and while they were waiting for you to get comfortable, your lovely Republican party, while under your leadership, tried to create an atmosphere of fear and loathing for the country's gays and lesbians to the point where some of them got killed. You helped to spearhead it all from the safety of the Grand Old Closet.

That fact alone should have clued you in before you did the damage you did. The "Mad Men" like social pressure deep within Republican circles must have been oppressive. It must have been hard to stand there, holding your cosmopolitan, while Sen. James Inholfe or somebody made a nasty joke about the queers. But gee, couldn't you have seen a shrink or taken some Xanax or something? Why did you help them?

You approved racist advertisements against candidates like Harold Ford. You campaigned for anti-gay politicians. 21 states passed laws banning same-sex marriage during your tenure. Here they are, in case you forgot: Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Not only that, you worked to elect Mr. George W. Bush, and we won't even start on that one.

Yes, I know coming out is hard in a hostile world and blah blah blah. And plenty of notable people have waited until they made their millions and bought a $4 million loft in Chelsea to finally tell the truth. But the rest of them didn't chair an organization that actively tries to turn people like them into fifth-class citizens.

You say you now want to convince the Republican party to support marriage equality. "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 commitment to each other to get married."

Ken, I know you just came out and you're now getting adjusted to your new Prada shoes, and the world must seem like one big fat circuit party, but let me break the news slowly to you: it's never going to happen. As long as your party celebrates religious hucksters like Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich, outright lunatics like Michelle Bachmann and an endless cast of fanatics, it's going to remain in an all-white gated community in the social stone age, who like their gays to do their hair, decorate their homes and write their Broadway musicals, but that's it.

So now you're going to work for equal rights and marriage equality. Look, Ken, here's what you have to do: You have to renounce the entire Republican social agenda. You have to use your campaigning skills to eliminate anti-gay Republican lawmakers from their jobs. No more of this "I'm not a single issue voter" crap. You are now, man.

You have to spend the rest of your natural life exposing the lies and distortions of your party. Go on FOX News and point out Sean Hannity's falsehoods to his face, and see how long it is before he kicks you out of the studio. And you have to travel to each state with a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality, for which you are partially responsible, and get them repealed. Go door to door if you have to. That should keep you busy, make your physique Fire Island ready, and maybe you could meet some cute guys and save them from being thrown out of their Republican homes by parents who bought into the toxic lies of your party.

And you have to raise more money for gay equality than William Bennett at the blackjack table.

Then, when the last anti-gay law has been repealed and gays have the full equality supposedly guaranteed them as Americans, then maybe, just maybe, those who have survived the chaos you helped create might be cordial to you when they run into you at a cocktail party.

Oh, yeah, and do something about Rev. Fred Phelps, for God's sake.