She’s in a bind here, so I figured social con orgs that are otherwise favorably disposed to her might ignore what she said and give her a pass, especially with primary fever starting to pick up. Nope:
Her remarks did not sit well with American Principles Project president Frank Cannon. His group was one of the first to call on supporters to boycott this year’s CPAC conference, one of the largest annual gatherings of conservatives in the country, over GOProud’s involvement.
“The concern of conservatives is over the participation of a group whose stated goals run at odds with that of core conservative principles, not over debate over those issues,” said Cannon said in a statement on Monday. “Governor Palin should clarify her comments by letting us know whether in her definition, traditional marriage is a core component of conservatism.”
“Certainly Governor Palin would not be in favor of allowing a socialist group to be a participating organization (i.e. co-sponsor of CPAC) in the name of healthy debate,” he added.
That’s a clever move rhetorically, but it conflates a phony debate with a real one. When you’ve got conservatives as prominent as Dick Cheney and Ted Olson in favor of gay marriage, when you’ve got even a majority of Republicans in favor of letting gay troops serve openly, then you’ve got a difference of opinion within the conservative tent that’s worth exploring. That’s really all Palin was saying to Brody, I take it. “Traditional marriage” advocates want to play the “no true Scotsman” game in order to rule this issue out of bounds, but it’s too late for that. The gay-marriage debate is here and it’s happening, even within the conservative tent, which I assume is why Palin’s okay with GOProud’s CPAC sponsorship notwithstanding her own support for a Federal Marriage Amendment. It’s a shame that she’s being pressured simply for recognizing a basic political fact on the ground.
Incidentally, are GOProud’s goals “at odds with … core conservative principles?” Here’s their list of legislative priorities. They’re not calling for a constitutional right to gay marriage. They’re calling for federalism:
DEFENDING OUR CONSTITUTION – Opposing any anti-gay federal marriage amendment. Marriage should be a question for the states. A federal constitutional amendment on marriage would be an unprecedented federal power grab from the states.
Question for our Palinista readers especially: How do you want her to play this now that she’s being asked to “clarify”? I tend to think that she’s invulnerable among social conservatives no matter what, but if she and Huck both run, he’ll use this against her in the primaries. Unless, of course, he supports GOProud’s participation too. Has any reporter asked him? (Can’t find anything on Google.)