“The Trump Administration Asked the Supreme Court to Legalize Firing Workers Simply for Being Gay.”
This was the arresting headline of a BuzzFeed News story last week. Coming on the heels of the Log Cabin Syrup’s — excuse me, the Log Cabin Republicans’ — endorsement of Rump for a second term as Bigot-in-Chief, the announcement provided a jolt of grim, I-told-you-so amusement to go along with the slaps in the face we’ve gotten used to from the Syrup gang.
The BuzzFeed News article itself begins, “The Trump Administration took its hardest line yet to legalize anti-gay discrimination on Friday when it asked the Supreme Court to declare that federal law allows private companies to fire workers based only on their sexual orientation. An amicus brief filed by the [In]Justice Department weighed in on two cases involving gay workers and what is meant by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bans discrimination ‘because of sex.’ The Administration argued courts nationwide should stop reading the civil rights law to protect gay, lesbian, and bisexual workers from bias because it was not originally intended to do so.”
“The ordinary meaning of ‘sex’ is biologically male or female,” the brief attempts to assert; “it does not include sexual orientation.”
Oh, really? Title VII does not spell that out. It’s Rump and Co. that provides that distinction. Had Congress wanted to limit the clause’s meaning, it would have found a way to do so.
“Sex,” of course, also means the act of sex. If you say, for example, that there’s too much sex in movies today, nobody would assume you were referring to a preponderance of males and females. The word sex has a far broader meaning than William Barf’s [In]Justice Dept. is willing to admit.
“Why Did the Gay Republicans Endorse Trump?” Slate’s reporter Christine Cauterucci asked. The endorsement provoked the resignation of several of Syrup’s board members, including “Jordan Evans, the GOP’s first and only openly transgender elected official, and Robert Turner, the former president of the group’s DC Chapter” — and now its executive director Jerri Ann Henry, as well!
Cauterucci continues, “They’re joined by Jennifer Horn, a Log Cabin Republicans board member and former two-term chairwoman of the New Hampshire Republican Party. In her resignation letter, Horn wrote that Trump’s ‘regular verbal assaults against women, immigrants, elected members of Congress… and his willingness to stoke racial anger and unrest in order to advance his own political ambitions all subvert the founding principles of our great nation.’ In response, a Log Cabin Republicans spokesman implied in a statement that it was a simple conflict of interest: Horn recently led the campaign of former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who’s challenging Trump for the 2020 Republican presidential nomination.”
Cauterucci interviewed Horn, and her first question was, “Do you identify as LGBTQ”; Horn answered, “No.” She went on to explain, “My husband and I have been married 28 years, and we have five children.”
Now, I don’t want to discriminate against straight people, but come on! Can’t the Syrups find any qualified lesbians to serve on their board? I suppose there are some, but none of them resigned in protest the way Horn did. In fact, the only other woman on the board is vice chair Jill Homan, who co-authored the Washington Post editorial touting the Trump endorsement.
The interview goes along for a while, and then Cauterucci asks a zinger: “There’s a cynical interpretation to all of this that I’m wondering how you feel about. Some people would say that these Republicans don’t actually believe that Trump will change or stand up for them — but that it benefits some Log Cabin Republicans to support Trump for other reasons, like the tax cuts, and that makes it worth it to them.”
Call me cynical, but I don’t find this interpretation to be cynical at all. It’s realistic and based on logic and fact. In any case, Horn actually agrees with it!
She responds, “I know that there are many Republicans who feel that, so I imagine there’s some equal percentage — regardless of orientation, I think that’s a strong feeling within the party. I would suggest the president has not even been particularly good in the fiscal arena. Donald Trump has added trillions of dollars to our debt. He really has not met the standard of the fiscal conservatives. So I disagree with that argument, regardless of who makes it.”
Note that Trump will have added $9.1 trillion to the national debt during his eight years in office, assuming he gets reelected.
Horn concludes with this little gem: “I’ve never been one who believed that in order to be part of the party that you had to be in 100 percent agreement with everything that the party says or does. I’ve always sort of embraced the Ronald Reagan big-tent party idea, that anybody who wants to stand with you on any of the core principles, and work toward those and fight for those — that’s valuable, and that’s what the party should be.”
Yeah? Salon’s Ian Haney-Lopez will have the final word on the Big Tent Theory of Reagan’s Republicanism.
“Reagan’s race-baiting continued when he moved to national politics,” he wrote. “After securing the Republican nomination in 1980, Reagan launched his official campaign at a county fair just outside Philadelphia, Mississippi, the town still notorious in the national imagination for the Klan lynching of civil rights volunteers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner 16 years earlier. Reagan selected the location on the advice of a local official, who had written to the Republican National Committee assuring them that the Neshoba County Fair was an ideal place for winning ‘George Wallace inclined voters.’ Neshoba did not disappoint. The candidate arrived to a raucous crowd of perhaps 10,000 whites chanting, ‘We want Reagan! We want Reagan!’ — and he returned their fevered embrace by assuring them, ‘I believe in states’ rights.’
“In 1984, Reagan came back, this time to endorse the neo-Confederate slogan ‘the South shall rise again.’ As New York Times columnist Bob Herbert concludes, ‘Reagan may have been blessed with a Hollywood smile and an avuncular delivery, but he was elbow deep in the same old race-baiting Southern strategy of Goldwater and Nixon.’”
The ”party of Lincoln,” my ass.