Gay RNC Chief: Hero or Villain?
Pundits react to Ken Mehlman interview
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2010 11:26 AM CDT
Updated Aug 26, 2010 1:57 PM CDT

(Newser) – Ken Mehlman sent pundits chattering when he came out of the closet to support gay marriage yesterday. Here's what they're saying:

  • “Honestly, I thought the guy came out years ago,” writes Hot Air blogger “Allahpundit,” recalling Bill Maher’s outing of him on Larry King in 2006 (see video). Still, “this is a bracing reminder that an openly gay RNC chief probably would still be a problem.”
  • William Saletan of Slate thinks it’s great that Republican bigwigs have an extra gay friend. “Homosexuality is becoming normalized,” he writes. “In fact, it's becoming Republicanized.” Mehlman’s pitch for gay marriage is downright socially conservative, arguing that it is an institution that promotes and solidifies monogamous commitment.

  • “My sense is that it’ll be a lot less of a big deal to conservatives than it might be to liberals …for whom the political is also the personal,” writes Peter Wehner in Commentary, adding that he knows and likes Mehlman. “I hope some measure of grace and understanding are accorded to him.”
  • But Evan Hurst of Wonkette isn't ready to forgive Mehlman for his anti-gay campaign tactics, especially because he’s still giving money to anti-gay candidates. “He should probably be punched on live television by Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi.”