Saturday, May 12, 2012

Republicans losing their minds on gay marriage

 At an event in Iowa, Sen. Rand Paul (Ron's son) said of Obama's "evolution" on gay marriage: "Call me cynical, but I didn’t think his views on marriage could get any gayer."

What the fuck could he possibly mean by that?  For starters, it's politically ignorant.  Even after Obama "completed" his evolution with his statement this week, there is still a long way to the left he could go on the issue.  He is not pushing for a national law or constitutional amendment instituting gay marriage.  He is not supporting a particular state initiative for marriage equality.

Then there's how Sen. Paul chose to phrase his statement.  "could get any gayer"?  He appears to be implying that support for gay marriage is itself "gay".  I look forward to hearing Sen. Paul's clarification of his meaning.

As predicted in this space on Thursday, social conservatives, in the person of Rick Santorum, are pushing Romney to attack Obama on the gay marriage issue.  In an interview with a CNN affiliate on Friday, Santorum said regarding Obama's stance "This is a very potent weapon, if you will, for Governor Romney if he's willing to step up and take advantage of a president who is very much out of touch with the values of America."  He goes on to say "Hopefully Governor Romney will continue to stand tall for his position on this issue and understand how detrimental it would be for society for it to have this changed."

 One of the biggest problems in our political discourse is that each side argues from a completely different set of facts from the other.  This is yet another example, as Santorum attempts to portray Obama as "very much out of touch with the values of America" despite numerous polls on the matter show that in fact Obama is not very much, or even a little bit, out of touch, as more Americans share his views than don't.  Despite civil unions being legal in some states for over a decade, and gay marriage being the law in Massachusetts since 2004 and in several other countries as well, there is no data to suggest that there is any truth to Santorum's warning of how "detrimental" it would be if it were legal here.  If you live in Santorum's dream world where people are on his side and living in fear that somehow your marriage will be weakened if two girls kiss each other, perhaps asking Romney, who has never demonstrated any particular skill at speaking on social issues, to attack the President would be a good idea.  Unfortunately for him, it's not.

Even some Republicans are beginning to sound the alarm bells on the issue.  Jan van Louhizen, a Republican pollster who worked for President Bush in 2004 (when Issue 1, a gay marriage ban in Ohio, helped drive up conservative turnout in an election which would have been won by John Kerry if hadn't lost Ohio by 2%) circulated a memo this week to fellow Republicans urging them to move to the left on the issue.

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