Most people when they come out don’t have a bodycount, Ken

“It’s taken me 43 years to get comfortable with this part of my life,” said Mehlman, now an executive vice-president with the New York City-based private equity firm, KKR. “Everybody has their own path to travel, their own journey, and for me, over the past few months, I’ve told my family, friends, former colleagues, and current colleagues, and they’ve been wonderful and supportive. The process has been something that’s made me a happier and better person. It’s something I wish I had done years ago.”

You know, normally when a GOPer gets outed or outs himself, I get a little chuckle out of the hypocrisy, and I move on. But even though we always maintained that Mehlman was just one Cosmo away from singing Judy Garland hits at the GOP Karaoke bar, I find little satisfying in his confession.

As the architect of Chimpy’s 2004 campaign that advocated anti-gay initiatives and funneled money back to the Religious Right via the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives so that they could continue to literally bash gays, and legally practice anti-gay discrimination on tax-payer money, Ken Mehlman has some explaining to do. You can take issue after issue from the Chimpy years when the right declared an all-out jihad on gay people and wonder why Mehlman didn’t stop it, influence it, correct it? Was he so dense as to see that AIDS is not a moral issue, it is a disease?

So, no, I don’t think Mehlman deserves a pass just because he felt bad about himself for the past 40 years.

Yes, Ken, everybody does have their own path to travel; I hope yours includes some time to think about what you’ve done, maybe a little remorse about the lives you’ve ruined, or via your agency and advocacy lives that have been snuffed out.

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0 Responses to Most people when they come out don’t have a bodycount, Ken

  1. Paul W. Luscher says:

    To put it another way, Ken Mehlman was a “good faggot.” The kind the GOP likes. Sells out his own people, does it for money.


  2. tommyspoon says:

    Careful, ‘grain. You don’t want to sound like a fundie xian, do you?

    So, no, I don’t think Mehlman deserves a pass just because he felt bad about himself for the past 40 years.

    So what would be an appropriate punishment? Public flogging with a cat o’nine tails dipped in HIV?

    Look, I think the guy’s got a lot to answer for, but I think you’re hatred is severely misplaced. It does our side no good to cast out people we consider to be “flawed” in some way. I made a joke about getting the guy an account on so he can be kept occupied. What I was trying to say was that it’s much better to cultivate an ally than an enemy. It would be nice to see Mr. Mehlman use his considerable political prowess for our side, wouldn’t it?


    • Tengrain says:

      ‘Spoon –

      I don’t hate Mehlman, I don’t even know him, nor am I advocating a flogging in public or private. I believe in redemption — I am descended from Nathanial Hawthorne, I have to believe in it. Mehlman has a lot of work to do to turn his scarlet letter into something positive.

      I agree, he could use his power (such as it is) for good. I want to see what he actually does — other than hold a fundraising dinner, and being the GOP’s poster boy for gay tolerance (which he is already being touted as example A).




  3. libhomo says:

    This analysis is spot on.


  4. clangcave says:

    tommyspoon. the problem is that this “person” is filth of the highest order. Hypocrite is too tame, this man aided and abetted the abuse, derision and yes, even early deaths of fucking MILLIONS! so go cultivate your “allies” and be nice to all of these “closeted” poisonous swine.


    • Tengrain says:

      Folks –

      Please treat our fellow scissorheads with respect. This is a free-speech zone, but that doesn’t mean that someone’s opinion is wrong if it differs from yours or mine.

      I can tell you without reservation that TommySpoon is a true gentleman and a very kind person. He speaks to us with a good soul and a pragmatic backbone. He and I sometimes clash on implementation, but never on goals. Trust me on this – ‘Spoon is exactly the guy you want to send to go get help, to find an answer, to negotiate a win-win scenario. There is a lot to be said for pragmatism; I wish I had more of it. ‘Spoon has it in Spades.






  5. tommyspoon says:

    clangcave, have you ever talked somebody out of killing themselves because their parents kicked them out of the house after they came out to them? Once I witnessed that kind of self-loathing, any desire I had to pile on to people like Ken Mehlman evaporated.

    I don’t know if Mr. Mehlman has ever considered suicide, but the odds are pretty good that he has. More than once. Any kind of hate that you pile on top him is just that, piling on. It’s unnecessary and counterproductive. What is to be gained by it?

    Call me naive, if you wish. But I’ll put my energy into wishing Mr. Mehlman godspeed than to cursing the ground he walks on.

    P.S. Take it easy with your use of quotation marks. Mr. Mehlman is a person, whether you like it or not. Demonizing him is a cheap rhetorical trick. The other side uses it all the time, and we’re better than that, right?


  6. rehctaw says:

    It remains to be seen what worth Mehlman has as an ally, or if he even intends to be one. So far his
    announcement reflects only selfish motive from his Ken-centered universe.

    He has come out, but has yet to come clean. He didn’t just stand idly by while anti-gay agendas were advanced, he was an advocate for them. He didn’t just follow orders, he issued them.

    That’s an awfully big mulligan you’re willing to grant, but it has to come at a price commensurate with the damage he caused. Without willing whores like Kenny to put a smiley face on their small-minded prejudice and bigotry, the truly ugly faces behind the hate would be on display. You’re willing to forgive that, I’m not as eager.


  7. tommyspoon says:


    So we just perpetuate the cycle of hate? That’s your solution? Can’t we do better?

    I’m not granting Mr. Mehlman anything. I’m not giving him a pass for anything he’s done. If you check my previous posts you will not find the words “forgive” or “mulligan”. I’ll wait to see what he does next and judge accordingly. But I think you’ll agree that you can’t begin rehab on somebody by pouring gasoline over him and setting him on fire.

    You are correct in stating that we do not know if Mr. Mehlman will become an ally. I hope that he will.

    I guess I’m just tired. Tired of hating people.


  8. darkblack says:

    ‘It would be nice to see Mr. Mehlman use his considerable political prowess for our side, wouldn’t it?’

    Yes…And it would be nice, and just as likely to see Bush and Cheney in the dock for war crimes.
    However, I admire your optimism in this matter, and may events justify it someday.



  9. raceynora says:

    An interesting discussion. I regret Mehlman’s past actions which reflect great self-hatred. I have a friend whose parents figured out early on [like by 3 years old] that he was gay and withheld love and approval ever after. It is a sad way to live.


  10. BAC says:

    I agree with what Blue Gal posted — that Mehlman needs to begin with Steps 8 and 9. Until he actively works to defeat the mean-sprited, hate-filled anti-gay (and anti-women) GOP officials his words ring hollow. We (meaning lesbians and gays) are under no obligation to put out a welcome mat. The onus is on Mehlman to earn our respect.



  11. clangcave says:

    apologies for the earlier too strong wording and “apparent” over use of quotations, but this guy really peeves me. My dad is gay (long story there) and suffered for decades trying to live the ultimate duplicity. I am just so sick and tired of these sneering deceitful policy makers that connive 24/7 to make a beautiful thing like life a cesspool.


    • Tengrain says:

      Cangclave –

      First off: I’m so sorry your dad had such a rough time of it. The cruelty of our species is breathtaking. I think about how dogs just accept one another (and us) and I just know that there is a life lesson there.

      We are all sick of these thugs who shame and oppress us all. I have hard time believing any of them really mean it, that they just see it as an ends to a means. Maybe that’s worse?

      I’m not suggesting we give Mehlman a pass for his horrific history — far from it. But let’s see if he Can do any good. He has a lot of bad karma to make up for, and maybe like Robert Byrd, he can overcome his past? I dunno.

      I’ve said it here before: I can forgive, but I will never forget.




  12. tommyspoon says:

    My dad is gay (long story there) and suffered for decades trying to live the ultimate duplicity.

    Then your hatred of Mehlman is doubly confusing to me. You were a firsthand witness to your Father’s suffering, but you do not hesitate to wish suffering on Mr. Mehlman?

    I am sorry for your pain as well as your Father’s. I sensed that this subject touched something personal with you as it did with me.

    I read the interview in the Atlantic magazine and have many of the same doubts as most of you. This coming out was orchestrated amongst friends and potential allies. But he is a political strategist, so that alone isn’t surprising. I still question the timing, and I’m afraid we’ll have to wait and see if we get any further explanation.

    I just don’t like to see us embrace the same vitriol as they do. We can hate someone’s actions without hating the person. Mr. Mehlman doesn’t need our hatred right now, he needs someone to help him understand the real harm that he’s caused. He’s not going to be motivated to repair the damage he has caused if all he hears from our side is the same kind of hatred that his former friends and allies are now showing him.


  13. i am chiming in late

    tommy – i am glad there are people willing to forgive and willing to give a chance

    i am not one of them – at least in this case
    maybe that is a short coming i have to learn to deal with – and maybe a little kindness towards someone like Mehlman would go a long way.

    but Ken Mehlman was one of the leaders of a movement that went out of its way to alienate and demonize an entire group of people, he was not taking orders – he was giving them. and all the time he was leading a charge of hate, i would bet Ken knew what was going on in his head (by age 35 i would hope so) — but he chose to hide it and even hate the group he belonged to. i dont condemn him for not coming out – that is his choice – i condemn for his behavior towards others – others that could have used his support and influence WHEN HE HAD THE EAR of people like bush and frist and newt and others. even cheney – who (i cant believe i am gonna say this) was actually relatively decent towards gays (even tho Mary has been zero help)

    worse – Mehlman profited nicely from espousing his hate – he bought a nice multi million dollar condo in Chelsea – just so he can be near his ground zero.

    i dont wish mehlman bad – i dont wish him anything – his behavior will be its own judge. he is a rotten person for what he did and he can spend the next 40 years trying to atone for his hate. besides i dont think he has even a microscopic chance of moving his party towards a more tolerable stance – if anything they are delving deeper into the hate –

    besides advocating for gay marriage – how about Ken advocating for peace, for acceptance of Muslims, for the poor, for gun control, for affordable medical care, for taxing the rich and breaksfor the middle class – THAT would be asking too much of him.

    frankly i dont know how Mehlman can even live with himself. i hope his money buys him some good therapy


  14. tommyspoon says:

    dcap, it’s simple, really. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

    As for Mr. Mehlman, well, you and I have zero idea what was going through his head. Speculation on that front seems pointless, but I’ll hazard a guess: he wanted to belong. He must have wanted to belong really badly to reject a fundamental part of himself for so long.

    I’m as skeptical as the next person about his motives. I’m just willing to give him a chance to redeem himself. Makes me wonder why so many people don’t. Like I said earlier: I’m tired of hating people. I don’t think that makes me a good person; just an exhausted one. I’ve always been a “glass half full” kinda guy, anyway. 😉


  15. raceynora says:

    Tommy – well said; I am glad we are “friends.”


  16. JimmyDean'sFuckedUpThirdCousinOnceRemovedClyde says:

    A Republican is . . . . . . . GAY !!!!!?!!?!!!!!!?!!???!!

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooo——–it can’t be true…………………………..


  17. darkblack says:

    ‘…he wanted to belong.’

    Or hide in plain sight, perhaps.

    After all, they’d never suspect he was (to use a pejorative phrase) ‘one of those’ when doing his level best to put and keep a boot on the back of ‘their’ necks…Why, it even has biblical precedent, so the Ghastly Old Prayerful can rest easy on their money-stuffed mattresses at night waiting for the (hopefully straight) cock to crow.



  18. grs says:

    I don’t think this dude internally wrestled with his sexual identity over the years. He knew he was gay for a long time. He’s having trouble with his wretched hypocrisy. “Now that I have a fat private sector job making millions implicitly linked to my work bashing on the gays, it’s all good because I was gay all along too. We’re cool now, right? Because it’s a little hard to enjoy my penthouse reflecting on the fact that I purposefully made life worse for some people.”

    This is non-news to me. The dude exploited and repressed a segment of the population for his personal gain, even though he belonged to that segment. And now? Whatever, damage is done. What does publicly coming out like this gain him? Actions speak louder than words, otherwise, stay the hell away and be content with your bank account. You earned it a-hole.


  19. Harmonika Savingsbonds says:

    You want us to understand you, Kenny? Kill yourself.


    • Tengrain says:

      I appreciate the good discussion on this thread, but I’m not so keen on the death stuff. Let’s keep it civil.

      My Mormon friend from high school — and now the gayest man in LA– used to say something like “I wish for him everything he wished for me,” and my personal favorite “I love him the least.” it gets the point across.




  20. tommyspoon says:

    Congratulations, HS. You’ve just posted the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen on a thread. Hope that hate keeps you warm at night.


  21. Torontonian says:

    You may not like this but I believe
    he’s to be pitied rather than reviled.
    After all, he’s got to live with himself
    for the rest of his life.

    All those things he did in the GOP to
    hurt others and, perhaps, bring some to
    suicide, are now his to never forget for
    the rest of his days.

    Long life to you, sir, Mr. Mehlman.