Ken Mehlman Is Finally Sorry

Unless you’re an avid political junkie (guilty!) you probably don’t know the name Ken Mehlman. He was the manager of George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign and chairman of the RNC from 2005 to 2007. During this time he was also gay as hell. This would not have been a problem, or even a big deal, except for the fact that both those former positions allowed him to demonize gay people relentlessly to drive the homophobic Republican base to the polls. Remember all those anti-gay marriage ballot initiatives during the 2004 campaign? All part of Mehlman’s nefarious design.

Yesterday, he came out of the closet to much fanfare and shouts of “FINALLY!” from the press because it has been something of a non-secret around DC for years that Ken liked dudes. On NPR yesterday, Marc Ambinder said Mehlman even received a call from W stating his support and asking if there was anything he could do. That is so sweet. The president who made a platform out of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage is so compassionate with his buddies! It’s almost as if the demagoguery about gays was just a lot of wacky rhetoric and when it comes down to it, being gay really doesn’t have any bearing on anything. Strange.

Of course, the gay community is having none of it. As the Mike Rogers article above makes clear, Mehlman has some pretty serious atonement to make for his previous work if he wants to become an advocate for gay rights, which apparently he thinks is possible. Hey, at least he wasn’t beating the gays straight with tennis rackets, right?

I must admit, as much as I’m a live and let live sort of guy, I agree with Mike Rogers on this one. It’s a great thing that Ken Mehlman has finally decided to live his life openly. It’s also a good thing that he sees the injustice in denying equal rights based on sexual orientation. However, he spent way too much time doing just that for political gain. I’m sure the self-loathing he felt was excruciating but he did get paid pretty well, so I guess money isn’t as homophobic as the GOP. Add Ken’s name to those of Roy Ashburn, George Rekers, Mark Foley, Ted Haggard, etc., etc., on the list of “gay Republicans who demonized gays and don’t get to make it go away by just saying sorry”. The statement by Mehlman is a political calculation, plain and simple, and while it happens to be on the right side of the issue, that doesn’t make it any less craven or cynical.

I’m happy for your new-found self-affirmation, Ken, but why don’t you take the Mark Foley route and retire quietly to an antique store somewhere. The gay rights movement has been doing just fine without your help, even way back when it was you they were fighting against.

(cross-posted on the


4 Responses to “Ken Mehlman Is Finally Sorry”

  1. >>The gay rights movement has been doing just fine without your help, even way back when it was you they were fighting against.

    Well said. Oh the irony! Only thing wrong with the ‘retire to an antique store’ idea is he might find a way to do cheap “historical” knockoffs. Would we buy them? Uh, no, and we’re not buying this political mea culpa either.

    Nice blog, btw!

  2. OK…I didn’t forget you. I put “likes” on the blog—thanks! There’s a new post up…it’s sad, but it’s real.

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