Video: Why aren’t Republicans making a bigger deal of the Prop 8 ruling?

posted at 6:06 pm on August 6, 2010 by Allahpundit

Good question. Unless I missed it, both Palin and Romney have been silent on the subject and even Huckabee’s statement was notably terse. Two words, my friends: Message discipline.

Republicans said that dwelling on the issue could become a distraction in the effort to win back the House or Senate from Democrats this fall. At a meeting of the Republican National Committee in Kansas City, Mo., several party leaders and strategists said it would be a mistake for the midterm election campaign to suddenly become focused on gay marriage, immigration or other hot-button issues. The only path to winning control of Congress, they said, rested on making an economic argument.

“This election needs to revolve around five issues: taxes, spending, the economy, jobs and debt,” said Ron Nehring, chairman of the California Republican Party. “That doesn’t mean that other issues aren’t important — they are important — but the first issue on the minds of people is the economy.”

Why gamble on an issue on which the electorate’s already fairly closely split when you’ve got the heavy artillery of 9.5 percent unemployment and staggering national debt to run on? Especially when seniors, a reliably anti-gay-marriage group, are already sure to come out to the polls en masse for the GOP to protest ObamaCare and young adults, a reliably pro-gay-marriage group, will probably stay home due to disinterest? Let sleeping dogs lie. Besides, even tea partiers are likely to split over gay marriage; the last thing the GOP leadership wants to do is antagonize the libertarians in its own base. Maddow counters in the clip below that the libertarian element is overblown per the fact that tea-party candidates like Rand Paul and Sharron Angle are actually pretty socially conservative, but each of those two is a special case. Paul’s great worry in the primary was that his last name would make him too kooky to be nominated; since his libertarian pedigree is sterling, his adoption of social con policies, I’ve always assumed, was simply a way to be seen as more mainstream. (Although it should be noted that his pop has always been pro-life too.) As for Angle, yeah, she’s a true believer, but just because she’s not a true blue libertarian doesn’t mean an awful lot of voters who are wouldn’t be alienated by a strong Republican anti-gay-marriage push. Angle is bulletproof among Nevada conservatives because they hate Reid with a fiery passion; she could betray libertarianism on every front and they’ll still vote for her to knock him out. That’s not the case nationally and the GOP, to its credit, seems to recognize it.

All of which is to say that Republican voters aren’t quite as opposed to gay rights as they used to be, which we already knew from CPAC and various polls taken earlier this year. When Rush Limbaugh is a supporter of civil unions and Ann Coulter (“the right-wing Judy Garland”) is headlining GOProud’s first annual conference, it’s safe to say that the old days are over.

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It’s not obvious to me and there are millions of us who will not roll over for judicial activism, particularly when it goes against the will of the people.

Wish you were a RNC committeeman…

vilebody on August 6, 2010 at 8:57 PM

And here’s a fool who conflates the subversion of the Democrat Party by marxists in the 60s with a specious claim re the rectitude of conservative democrats. You know, those kindly folk that were seceding over slavery and pretending it was a states rights issue, burning crosses, denying the 2nd amendment to blacks with ‘Jim Crow’ gun laws, and in their majority voting AGAINST the first and second Civil Rights Acts.
The Party of Robert Byrd was nothing to be proud about.

And you might want to study up on the circumstances of the foundation of the Grand Old Party, too.

The South has turned from BLue to Red over the last 20+ yrs as the Byrd generation of racists has died off. Scarcely anything else has changed. And the ideologically re-enslaved black populations now turn the rotten centers of rotten cities a nice deep blue. Chicago. Philly. St Louis. Detroit. All the end points of the ‘underground railroad’ have now been turned into ideological marxist gulags, where black kapos / city officials keep their people ignorant, poor, aborted and disarmed. And stuffed with an engrained rabid racism that would have made their old plantation owners proud. Slaves of the Democrat party once again and always.

rayra on August 6, 2010 at 8:13 PM

very well said!!

right4life on August 6, 2010 at 8:58 PM

hate to tell y’all, but the republicans only slow down the march to a fascist/socialist state…they haven’t done anything to reverse it.

right4life on August 6, 2010 at 9:00 PM

It is not an unreasonable assumption that Scalia might be the next one to step down. And there is the real possibility of a federal constitutional amendment to take the issue of gay marriage out of the judicial branches hands if the SCOTUS ends up agreeing with this ridiculous lower court ruling. Again, in that scenario, who is in congress matters.

NotCoach on August 6, 2010 at 7:15 PM

Who is in congress matters a great deal. A few more GOP members in 2008, and health care wouldn’t have been the mess that Obama/Pelosi created.

I agree with AP that the national strategy of emphasizing Obama’s failed economic policies is more likely to move independents than gay marriage will. The GOP won’t be silent about judicial activism, but they’ll lead with the economy.

Re: Scalia, I’d guess he wouldn’t leave the Court alive while Obama is president. Kennedy? That would be more possible and have a similar effect.

dedalus on August 6, 2010 at 9:01 PM

I read an interesting comment at the WSJ yesterday in re to this Prop. 8 ruling.

The writer described the marriage of a relative in France, where all “marriages” are considered civil unions; ie., a contract. Those who wish to sanctify their contract-committment then go on to a church for a ceremony.

If partners engage in a legal contract, then issues of inheritance and so forth are duked out in civil settings.

The whole issue of “gay marriage”– an oxymoron– truly affects very few people. Why make a federal issue over something that should be decided by the states, which determine the legalities of marriages? Securing a marriage license is done at a state level. This is an area where federalism should have ruled the judicial decision.

onlineanalyst on August 6, 2010 at 9:07 PM

This reminds me of a director’s round table I saw when Brokeback Mountain came out. The interviewer asked Ang Lee about the “deafening silence” from the Religious Right. Now, I love Ang Lee and I adore Brokeback Mountain, but when he spouted off about how he thought the lack of widespread protest was part of some conspiracy or some kind of plan, I had to go on and yell at the TV screen. No, dummy…it’s that this particular issue is not as much of a priority to most people as it is to you. Sorry to disappoint.

WaltzingMtilda on August 6, 2010 at 9:28 PM

Given that America is but one lame duck congressional session away from oblivion, gay marriage now ranks about 147th on my list of concerns.

Seriously, how does two gays getting hitched affect any of you in the least?

Dave R. on August 6, 2010 at 9:43 PM

This is not a war against individuals freedom, but a defense of a vital institution.
This institution by definition requires a male and a female. Many institutions in our country require membership to be of a certain sex does this judge think all of those are unconstitutional?

PrezHussein on August 6, 2010 at 9:46 PM

All of which is to say that Republican voters aren’t quite as opposed to gay rights as they used to be,

What a leading statement. Gay rights? no such thing, everyone is already equal under the law. Now when you say “Gay rights” are you meaning “special” considerations, protections and privililedges for certain “classes” of people? Under the guise of some equal rights language?

But to address the column topic… It is smart for them not to get too wrapped up in an issue that is appealed and will end up at the supreme court. Tackle it later when it ends up where everyone knows its going…in the meantime, “Its the economy stupid!”

Koa on August 6, 2010 at 9:50 PM

rayra on August 6, 2010 at 8:13 PM

Dude, you nailed it.

Inanemergencydial on August 6, 2010 at 10:08 PM

Seriously, how does two gays getting hitched affect any of you in the least?

Dave R. on August 6, 2010 at 9:43 PM

That’s not the issue.
The issue is the fact that a valid state referendum by 7 million voters was over-riden by 1 federal judge based on his personal whim.

Jenfidel on August 6, 2010 at 10:09 PM

rayra on August 6, 2010 at 8:13 PM

Wow, excellent post!

Red State State of Mind on August 6, 2010 at 10:12 PM

I think that this gives the conservative movement a huge opportunity that most are missing. By using equal opportunity under the law we now have the legislative precedent to repeal the progressive income tax and affirmative action.

Grunt on August 6, 2010 at 10:48 PM

That’s not the issue.
The issue is the fact that a valid state referendum by 7 million voters was over-riden by 1 federal judge based on his personal whim.

Jenfidel on August 6, 2010 at 10:09 PM


WaltzingMtilda on August 6, 2010 at 10:55 PM

AP, as much as I harp on you about this (C’mon… you carry more than your share of water on this issue for a ‘conservative’ blog :P), I can’t stay angry at you long enough for it.

Still, I wouldn’t bank on your last conclusion. Reason will one day win through the hype. Social conservatives are quite strong in their opinions, and when every legitimate form of electoral expression is consistently quashed by judicial fiat… Let’s just say it’s time for us to become at least as radical in our methods as the far left on this issue. They deserve no less.

Alexander on August 7, 2010 at 12:39 AM

That is one, er, handsome…woman?

Maddow I mean.

catmman on August 7, 2010 at 9:11 AM

Jenfidel on August 6, 2010 at 10:09 PM

Ditto. Not the issue so much as one little dirtbag in a black dress giving 7 million voters the finger. Judicial tyranny really pisses me off.

austinnelly on August 7, 2010 at 1:52 PM

Madow: Why arn’t Republicans running against gay marriage instead of the highest unemployment rate since Jimmy Carter and the skyroceting national debt that will destroy the entire country? How can we change the subject (and these terrible Dem poll numbers) with a wedge issue if the Repubilcans won’t cooperate?

Ha ha ha, I don’t think it was a curve ball, more like a soft ball that only a sucker would try to hit out of a hardball statium. The only thing Republicans need to say if asked is: “I know good people disagree on this issue, I think that marriage law is an issue that should be decided by the voters in each state, the courts again ruled against the will of the people, elite appointed judges are subverting the people’s vote”.

Dollayo on August 9, 2010 at 4:47 AM