First he said he’s personally opposed to letting gays adopt, then he qualified it by adding that the states should decide and that if there aren’t enough straight parents to go around then, yeah, gay parents are better than none at all. Whereupon David Brody sounds the heart-ache alarm for social cons:

I can’t imagine comments like that will play well with the social conservative base at all. I mean if you’re going to say that you’re against gay adoption then why not just stick with that view rather than trying to massage it? The qualifier after the interview does some damage. Why? Because McCain had an opportunity to add the gay adoption issue to his Evangelical checklist and now it’s muddy. As for this being a state issue? Why do so many politicians use the federalist approach to get out of a sticky situation? McCain’s not the first and he won’t be the last.

Social conservatives are saddened by children in foster care or orphanages too. So that’s not the issue. The debate over gay adoption is another matter entirely. The focus here is on John McCain. Evangelicals are already feeling fidgety about McCain and have concerns about him on a number of issues. Why add to the list?

I can understand social cons wanting a national mandate against abortion since it’s a matter of life and death, but when I read something like “Why do so many politicians use the federalist approach to get out of a sticky situation?” in a context like this, I confess, I fear for the safety of the conservative alliance. Anyone here want to make the case that the states aren’t perfectly capable of handling this issue? You don’t have to argue on behalf of gay adoption to argue on behalf of federalism, although if there’s any compelling case for why orphanages are preferable to gay parents, I’m all ears for that, too.