Barney Frank, never one to hold back what’s on his mind, took a shot at Log Cabin Republicans in an interview with radio host Michelangelo Signorile. “I now understand why they call themselves Log Cabin Republicans: their role model is Uncle Tom,” said the recently married congressman.
Frankly, I’ve been appalled to see the Log Cabin club, in the face of this worse and worse record on public policy by Republicans on our issues. Mr. Cooper said, ‘Well at least they’re not saying bad things about us.’ That’s just extraordinary. Again, 30 years ago when we were emerging from the vice of prejudice, I understood that. But no, we shouldn’t be accepting a kind of second class citizenship, [and say] ‘You can treat us badly as long you don’t yell at us.’
They’re accepted on [the GOP’s] terms. They’re willing to be accepted with no rights—no right to marry, no right to serve in the military, and no right to be protected against hate crimes, no right to be protected in employment. I’ll be honest: For 20 years now I’ve heard how the Log Cabins are going to make Republicans better, but they’ve only gotten worse. I now understand why they call themselves the Log Cabin Republicans: their role model is Uncle Tom.”
The executive director of Log Cabin Republicans, R. Clarke Cooper, didn’t like that one bit and hastily fired back with a spoonful of vitriol:
As far as Log Cabin Republicans are concerned, it’s a badge of honor to be attacked by a partisan hack like Barney Frank. We understand that Barney has earned his protected place within the Democrat Party by being their attack dog on gay rights issues, demonizing Republicans and undermining efforts at bipartisanship that would actually improve LGBT Americans lives. We expect this kind of bile from Barney, especially when it plays into the Obama campaign’s efforts to divide, distract and deceive the American people….Frank calls us ‘Uncle Toms’ and pretends that Log Cabin hasn’t been on the front lines of the fight for equality. The truth is, by speaking conservative to conservative about gay rights, Log Cabin Republicans are doing some of the hardest work in the movement, work that liberals like Barney are unwilling to do and couldn’t do if they tried.
Cooper insisted that the GOP makes no effort to exclude LGBT voices from debate, despite all the explicit exclusions in their platform:
It has not been the Republican National Committee trying to silence Log Cabin—our voice is indeed welcome within our party, and while we may not win every debate, we are secure in our place at the table. Gay liberals like Barney, however, are trying to silence us, calling us names and ganging up like schoolyard bullies. It doesn’t matter. While Barney bashes his fellow LGBT Americans, we’ll continue our work building a stronger, more inclusive GOP—and someday soon, we’ll win, because inclusion always wins.
Admittedly, it would be a welcome change if the Republican party suddenly decided to embrace the LGBT community instead of promoting a legislative agenda that relegates gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans to second-class citizenship. While we’re waiting for that to happen, Barney Frank will appear on Logo, Monday, September 10th, at 10:00 p.m. EST, alongside other dynamic panelists, for the premiere of NewNowNext Vote with Wanda Sykes. Considering his choice words for Log Cabin Republicans, Frank will no doubt spar with Jimmy LaSalvia, co-founder and executive director of GOProud.