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Sunday Late Night: WaPo’s Capehart Shocked Log Cabin Republicans Support (gasp!) a Republican

Jonathan Capehart, continuing his one-sided cozying up to the Obama White House and its access demands on journamalists, is shocked — shocked! — that the Log Cabin Republicans support a Republican candidate for Congress. The LCRs’ success in court getting Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell overturned makes them a juicy target for Capehart, who is an Obama apologist par excellence, especially if it’s his buddy Valerie Jarrett who is under attack by caustic comments on blogs like, um, this one.

Let’s face it. The Log Cabin Republicans, whose DADT suit was initially designed to embarrass the George W Bush Administration but has now splattered mid-term controversy all over Team Obama, are an irritant to Capehart’s White House buddies. Is there anything the helpful toady Capehart can do to disillusion those who might be tempted to salute the Log Cabin lads for their judicial success?

Why yes there is! Just look what Capehart has found! The Log Cabin Republicans have endorsed for Congress — a Republican!

Then, on Monday the organization threw its support behind Mike Fitzpatrick, the Republican in a close race against Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.), the Iraq War vet who masterfully guided the repeal bill to passage. They did this despite Fitzpatrick’s opposition to Murphy’s bill — and despite the organization’s own extensive efforts to secure passage of Murphy’s amendment. And another thing: I always thought Republicans were opposed to judges “legislating” from the bench. Don’t ask don’t tell is an act of Congress and it will take an act of Congress to get rid of it.

So, Jonathan is shocked that an organization whose name ends in REPUBLICAN would endorse a REPUBLICAN for office in Pennsylvania. So shocked, if fact, that he types it up in the Washington Post, seeming to loyally provide ammunition against a group who has embarrassed the President.

But what of Congressman Patrick Murphy? Couldn’t LBGT activists honestly oppose his re-election, especially if he’s of the other party than the one they inhabit?

Patrick Murphy bowed to the White House’s request that he severely limit his DADT repeal amendment — even though he had the votes to pass it in its original version. If ‘masterfully guided the repeal bill to passage’ includes watering it down unnecessarily at White House request, okay — sure. This is the point where the Pentagon got to put their study, their recommendation, and their report into the mix. This fouled up real repeal and put the sham repeal on track to passage in the House of Representatives:

Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Penn.) submitted an amendment to the House Rules Committee Tuesday using language that was agreed upon during a meeting at the White House Monday.

Only one person who participated in that meeting has identified himself—Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN).

The Human Rights Campaign and Servicemembers United, a gay veterans group, also had at least one representative at the meeting, but neither organization would identify who that was.

The White House declined to identify or confirm any participants, but at least one source familiar with the meeting said it included White House of Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s deputy Jim Messina. That source provided the information only on the condition of anonymity.

CNN reported that “top congressional Democrats” also participated in the meeting. A press release from SLDN indicated that DOD officials helped craft the amendment.

But on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show Tuesday night, Murphy took credit for the language, evening calling it the “Murphy Amendment.”

The amendment calls for repeal to take place only after two things occur: 1) the Secretary of Defense receives the implementation report he has asked for by December 1, and 2) “The President transmits to the congressional defense committees a written certification, signed by the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stating” that three additional things have been accomplished. Those three things are: 1) that the three men have “considered the recommendations contained in the report and the report’s proposed plan of action,” 2) the DOD has “prepared the necessary policies and regulations to exercise” repeal, and 3) that the implementation of those policies and regulations is “consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention of the Armed Forces.”

So. Maybe the Log Cabin Republicans’ decision to support Patrick Murphy’s opponent wasn’t simply because he was a Republican Congressman, defeated by Murphy in the 2006 Democratic wave. Maybe it’s not simply because they, too, are Republicans, just like their endorsee in this race. Maybe the Log Cabin Republicans see Murphy as someone who derailed real repeal, who ceded control of a legislative process to the White House and the Pentagon, and who talks like an ally but — at the point LGBT servicemembers needed a hero — acted like a collaborator?

LGBT Americans need support for our goals in both parties — but we don’t need advocates who give in just when victory is at hand. Viewing Patrick Murphy’s actions that way doesn’t require a partisan lens, but it does require removing the rose-colored glasses Jonathan Capehart wears as he types up another screed against people who embarrassed Team Obama.

Jonathan Capehart needs to face reality: he’s made a lifestyle choice to defend Team Obama at every turn. But now, that lifestyle choice has forced him to criticize Republicans for endorsing a Republican who opposes a Democrat who may very well have sold out real DADT repeal. Capehart should examine his lifestyle choice, because it’s not one a real journalist would make.

It’s personality over principle. It’s a reflexive, and absurd, attack on an Obama antagonist without seriously evaluating why a Republican group that favors immediate and full repeal of DADT might oppose Patrick Murphy.

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