The Log Cabin Republicans PAC is out with its list of endorsements for the 2018 midterms, and considering the state of the GOP, it’s a sizable group. All told, LCR is endorsing 14 incumbents and four non-incumbents, proving that there are still a few diehards available for LGBTQ conservatives.
Unfortunately for LCR, there may be a lot fewer by the day after the election. Of the 14 incumbents, about ten of them are in tight races. At least one, Mike Coffman of Colorado, has been written off by the Republican National Committee as a lost cause.
Of course, LCR has a slightly more flexible definition of what constitutes LGBTQ friendly than most. Among the incumbents that LCR deemed worthy of endorsement:
Nevada Senator Dean Heller (the only Senator whom LCR endorsed), who used to be speak out against Trump and is now doing everything possible to tie himself to the President.
Houston-area Congressman John Culberson, who has a zero rating from HRC for the last Congress, and pretty much for most of his 17+ years in the House. Culberson was one of the few Republicans who said marriage equality was up to the states before the Supreme Court ruled, but he also is happy to have Mike Pence raise money for him.
Susan Brooks, an Indiana Congresswoman, who was vociferous in her support of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Brooks had a 32 percent rating from HRC.
In fairness, some of the other candidates have decent voting records on LGBTQ, although none matches the 100 percent score from HRC that retiring Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen had.
But the bigger issue facing LCR is the ideological sorting that the two major parties are undergoing. As the GOP becomes more beholden to Trump and his conservative Christian base, there is virtually no room for Republican candidates heretical enough to stand up for LGBTQ rights. It’s not by accident that there are no LGBTQ Republican candidates running for Congress this year, a first since 2012.
The party has ceded that territory to the Democrats, preferring instead to support the president’s relentless assault on the community. LCR has been facing an uphill battle in the GOP since George H.W. Bush was president. At this point, the group is grasping at the few straws that are left.