Most gay-rights groups are ready to accept the secretary of defense nominee's apology for comments in 1998 -- but one conservative organization is not.
It's kind of a classic Washington story. A guy says something stupid. More than a decade later, he is offered the chance at a fantastically powerful position, and has to disavow himself from his past comments. The only question then is whether he will be forgiven by the people he offended.
In the case of secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel, the comment in question involves a homophobic remark. And while many gay activist groups seem to be at least giving Hagel the benefit of the doubt, one group, the Log Cabin Republicans, has been on the offensive against his nomination.
"Now is not the time to roll dice on nominee and cross our fingers he will smoothly implement don't ask don't tell," interim director of the Log Cabin Republicans Gregory T. Angelo said in an interview. "Hagel has invited people to look at totality of his record. When we looked at the totality of his record, we saw it as a net negative, and that disqualified him in our eyes."
The Log Cabin Republicans took out a full page ad (posted on the right) in the Washington Post Monday (which, even in an era of declining print revenues, is no small feat) documenting a troubled history with gay rights, including the time in 1998 then-Senator Hagel called James Hormel, President Bill Clinton's nominee for ambassador to Luxembourg "openly, aggressively gay," and his past stances in favor of don't ask don't tell and the Defense of Marriage Act.