Former Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman’s acknowledgment that he is gay does not appear to be impressing gay activists.
Blogger Mike Rogers, for example, suggests that Mehlman needs to take concrete steps to show that he’s really sorry for his role in the Bush administration’s anti-gay campaigns, such as donating his “fabulous $3 million condo … to the cause that he worked so hard against.”
As reported by Raw Story on Wednesday, “Mehlman came out in a column by Mark Ambinder on the website of The Atlantic, after the blogger who outed former Idaho Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) and onetime Virginia congressman Ed Schrock revealed that Ambinder was to publish the story. Blogger Michael Rogers was the subject of the documentary ‘Outrage,’ a film about outing gays in government who have used their positions of power to advocate against gay issues, which aired earlier this year on HBO.”
Rogers appeared on Thursday with MSNBC guest host Cent Uygur, who explained before introducing him, “In 2004, the Republican Party ran one of the most anti-gay campaigns in history. … Mehlman says it wasn’t him — he privately tried to talk the party out of campaigning on that issue. Well, it didn’t work. And I don’t believe him.”
“He now asks people who doubt his sincerity this: ‘If they can’t offer support, at least offer understanding,’” Uygur continued. “No deal. Next time someone runs a divisive, hate-filled campaign against his own people — or any people — they should consider that they will not get understanding. … Apology not accepted.”
Uygur then turned to Rogers, who first started working to out Mehlman when he was editor of RawStoryQ in 2004-05. Rogers began by recalling that Mehlman was not only “the heart of the animal that created the entire anti-gay campaigns of 2004 and 2006″ but also worked as White House political director on the Bush administration’s federal marriage amendment campaign.
“Any sympathy or no, nothing but disdain?” Uygur asked.
“Any time somebody comes to terms with being out of the closet, it’s a good thing,” Rogers replied. “I think that what Ken Mehlman has to do is show whether or not he’s really sorry. And all I ask are three simple things.”
“First, he should spend time with the parents of a child who killed himself after 2004 — after that horrible election,” Rogers suggested. “I think that he needs to take the fabulous $3 million condo he bought in Manhattan and donate that back to the cause that he worked so hard against. And most important, he needs to put up a heartfelt apology, up on YouTube or somewhere on the Web, where he actually looks at the American people and says, ‘I’m sorry. I’m sorry for what I did and I’m going to work in the future to make it better.’”
“But he has no desire to apologize,” Rogers concluded. “He has no regrets, he said. So I think that we really need to hold him more accountable for what he’s saying. … Right now, it’s nothing more than a washing of the reality of his record.”
This video is from MSNBC’s The Ed Show, broadcast Aug. 26, 2010.