GOP Only "Fashions Itself" as the Party of Lincoln?

Just in case you'd forgotten about it, Sunday's Page 1 features a Foley story by Mark Leibovich, "Foley Case Upsets Tough Balance Of Capitol Hill's Gay Republicans." (What's a "tough balance," anyway?)

"Every month or so, 10 top staff members from Capitol Hill meet over dinner to commiserate about their uneasy experience as gay Republicans. In a wry reference to the K Street Project, the party's campaign to build influence along the city's lobbying corridor, they privately call themselves the P Street Project, a reference to a street cutting through a local gay enclave."

Leibovich makes quite sure that conservative opinions are fenced off with protective quotation marks.

"Some conservative groups blamed the 'gay lifestyle' and the gathering force of the 'gay agenda' for the scandal. Others equated homosexuality with pedophilia, a link that has long outraged gay men and lesbians.

"Conservative blogs and Web sites pointed out that gay staff members played principal roles in investigating the Foley case, suggesting that the party was betrayed by gay men trying to hide misconduct by one of their own. In the meantime, a group of gay activists, angered by what they see as hypocrisy by gay Republicans, have begun circulating a document known as The List, a roster of gay Congressional staff members and their Republican bosses."

That's a rather mild way to talk about what would be an outing of gay GOP-ers.

"Known in some insider slang as the Velvet Mafia or the Pink Elephants, gay Republicans tend to be less open about their sexual orientation than their Democratic counterparts. Even though the G.O.P. fashions itself as 'the party of Lincoln' and a promoter of tolerance, it is perceived as hostile by many gay men and lesbians. Republicans have promoted a 'traditional values' agenda, while some conservatives have turned the 'radical gay subculture' into a reliable campaign villain. And there are few visible role models in the party; Representative Jim Kolbe of Arizona is the only openly gay Republican in Congress."

Mark Finkelstein makes a good point at the MRC's blog NewsBusters: "Huh? The GOP doesn't just 'fashion itself' the party of Lincoln. It is the party of Lincoln! In any case, how is being the party of Lincoln inconsistent with the GOP's positions on gay issues? Did I misunderstood my 4th-grade teacher? Was she really saying 'Abraham Lincoln freed the "gays"' - not the 'slaves'?"