For John, BLUF: Yesterday I heard the Progressives described as Calvinists The is, there are the saved and then there are those condemned to overlasting perdition. This tale serves to confirm that characterization. Nothing to see here; just move along.
Here is the sub-headline:
Most politicians have evolved on gay issues. But not all were directly connected to anti-gay organizations.
From Reason Magazine, by Mr Scott Shackford, 18 January 2019.
Here is the lede plus four:
Democratic Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard announced her candidacy for president last weekend with an emphasis on reducing America's involvement in foreign wars.More at the Link, including the Twitter exchange with Ms O'Brien.
That itself has drawn criticism, as the current political climate has led a chunk of the Democratic establishment to see any scaling back of the U.S.'s military presence in countries like Syria as some sort of gift to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
But beyond that, Gabbard has a legitimately troubling family history of opposition to LGBT rights. That background flared up this week as her candidacy received coverage, and yesterday she released a video fully apologizing for her history of anti-gay activism.
Gabbard and her family didn't just oppose same-sex marriage in the late 1990s and early part of the millennium. They were politically active in an organization, The Alliance for Traditional Marriage and Values, that worked to amend Hawaii's constitution to prohibit the legal recognition of same-sex couples. The organization argued that homosexuality was subversive and dangerous, and Gabbard's father endorsed conversion therapy to turn gay people straight. (Her father loudly opposed gay rights, even hosting a radio show called Let's Talk Straight Hawaii.) Gabbard acknowledged her work with the organization when she ran for state office when she was 21.
Gabbard's views on LGBT issues have evolved since then, as have those of many politicians, both Democrat and Republican. But since her past went a lot further than just simply expressing opposition to gay marriage, she's got a longer hill to climb. In 2012 she took responsibility and apologized for her anti-gay background in a meeting with Hawaii's Democratic Party LGBT Caucus. She has gotten endorsements from the Human Rights Campaign, the top LGBT national lobbying organization, and during her time in Congress she has supported many pro-gay pieces of legislation.
But apparently that's not stopping some rather fliply dismissive comments now that she's actually running for president. I was baffled by this tweet from journalist Soledad O'Brien on Twitter, acting as though Gabbard has just suddenly changed her positions because she's running for president:
I will admit my prejudice up front. She is a Democrat, but I like her. There are Republicans out there I would rank below Ms Gabbard for President.
The real issue here isn't the 2020 Race, but what constitutes conversion, forgiveness and a new life. What is sufficient to prove that one is now part of the righteous and was predestined to righteousness?
I can see the Democrats squeezing out a lot of worthy people over issues where the person has been insufficiently pure. I hope the GOP is smart enough and open enough to welcome those folks, if not with open arms, at least with a firm handshake and a promise of dialogue.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.
Regards — Cliff