The Shameless Scampaign

Emphasis on the scam.

It takes a lot for me to say that Andrew Sullivan is spot-on, but apparently Chad Griffin and HRC attempting to manufacture a bizarre, fake historical narrative can prod Sullivan to write something that I can endorse:

Journalist Jo Becker has a new book out on the marriage equality movement. The revolution began, it appears, in 2008. And its Rosa Parks was a man you would be forgiven for knowing nothing about, Chad Griffin.

We shouldn’t know anything about him but, of course, we do know plenty about him – including his obscenely large salary.

Here’s how the book begins – and I swear I’m not making this up:

This is how a revolution begins. It begins when someone grows tired of standing idly by, waiting for history’s arc to bend toward justice, and instead decides to give it a swift shove. It begins when a black seamstress named Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in the segregated South. And in this story, it begins with a handsome, bespectacled thirty-five-year-old political consultant named Chad Griffin, in a spacious suite at the Westin St. Francis hotel in San Francisco on election night 2008.

After that surreal opening, the book descends into more jaw-dropping distortion. For Becker, until the still-obscure Griffin came on the scene, the movement for marriage equality was a cause “that for years had largely languished in obscurity.” I really don’t know how to address that statement, because it is so wrong, so myopic and so ignorant it beggars belief that a respectable journalist could actually put it in print.

Uh huh…

Chad “$360,100” Griffin is Rosa Parks to the same extent that Marsha Blackburn’s analysis of the degree to which the modern Republican Party has led the fight for women’s equality is accurate.

The intellectual foundation of the movement is also non-existent in Becker’s book – before, wait for it!, Ken Mehlman and Ted Olson brought Republican credibility to the movement. Yes, that’s her claim. My own work – penning the first cover-story on the conservative case for marriage equality in 1989, a subsequent landmark re-imagining of the gay rights movement in 1993, and a best-selling book, Virtually Normal in 1995 – is entirely omitted from the book, along with the critical contributions from other conservatives and libertarians, from Jon Rauch and Bruce Bawer to John Corvino and Dale Carpenter. I suspect even Olson and Mehlman will reject Becker’s ludicrous thesis, if challenged on this point. But for Becker, all of this work contributed nothing but further obscurity. The astonishing achievement of turning what was once deemed a joke into a serious national cause and issue happened in the 1990s and then more emphatically after George W. Bush’s endorsement of the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2004. But for Becker, an obscure late-comer, Griffin, had a “unique ability” to leverage legal cases into a political rallying cry. This is so wrong and so contemptuous of the people who really did do that work I am at a loss for words.

[A]ny figure of any note apart from Boies and Olson and Griffin are excised in this book in Stalinist fashion as if they didn’t exist.

[T]he book is best seen not as an act of journalism, but as a public relations campaign by Boies, Olson and Griffin to claim credit for and even co-opt a movement they had nothing to do with until very recently.

Congratulations, Andrew.

You now know what it feels like to be a trans woman drowning in the sludge that is Gay, Inc.

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4 Comments

  1. Jesus Christ on a crutch!

    See? I’m not at a loss for words!

    the bastards

    Sincerely,
    – bonzie anne

  2. If “Hanging Chad” is so spectacular; why is the raison d’etre of the HRC for decades – a civil rights bill – slipping further and further out of reach under his watch?

    And becoming the Fantastic Voyage of itself? Diminishing before our eyes daily.

  3. […] The Shameless Scampaign […]


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