Romney unites social-conservative base through … evolution

posted at 10:01 am on May 11, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Hey, who would have dreamed that Mitt Romney could use evolution to unite the social-conservative base?  Thanks to Barack Obama’s “evolution” on same-sex marriage, and Romney’s declaration that he will remain unmoved on the topic, social conservatives who had heretofore pledged to remain on the sidelines are now suiting up for November:

Social conservatives who doubted Mitt Romney now have a reason to rally around him after President Barack Obama’s embrace of gay marriage.

Despite the fact that very conservative and religious voters didn’t support Romney in the primary, their fierce opposition to the issue will give the presumptive GOP nominee a way to harness conservative enthusiasm in November.

And for Romney, whose position on same-sex marriage has been consistent over the years, conservative activists say Obama’s declaration may be a way for Romney to finally prove his bona fides to voters on the right who have always been suspicious that he’s not one of them.

“President Obama just ‘evolved’ himself into a one-term president,” said Brian Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage. “This is a disaster for the Democratic Party: The reality is that the exact states he needs to win are the states that have overwhelmingly passed legislation defining marriage as between a man and a woman.”

“What I’m hearing from folks around the country is: ‘Game on, we’re in, we will do whatever is necessary to elect Mitt Romney now because Obama has shown where he really stands,’” Brown said.

It’s difficult to know just how much this will help Romney.  Part of the problem in discerning that is calculating just how disaffected evangelicals and social conservatives would have really been in the general election.  It may be difficult to imagine millions of them sitting on their hands when given the opportunity to vote Obama out of office, but at least a few activist groups have threatened to do so unless Romney engaged in some explicit ring-kissing to their agendas.  Obama’s announcement this week might have taken all of that off the table and repositioned their thinking about Romney as no longer not reliable enough, but now a much better option in contrast to the status quo. Best of all, that doesn’t require Romney to actively adopt those agendas and potentially alienate social moderates.

This hot-button issue might provide even more than simple motivation to cast votes.  With this attack on traditional values, it seems inevitable now that social-conservative groups will unlock their wallets and checkbooks in an effort to fight Obama over the next five-plus months.  Put that on top of the battle that Catholic bishops are now fighting with Obama in the parishes over the HHS mandate on contraception and sterilization and we may see the largest faith-based mobilization and alliance ever in a presidential election.

For that reason, I’d guess that Obama will try to find his way to an accommodation with the USCCB over the HHS mandate.  I’m still surprised he hasn’t done so already to defuse the anger among Catholics who voted for him in 2008, but now he can’t afford to fight both the Catholics and a newly-mobilized evangelical movement.  Otherwise, the next evolution will be, as Brown says, a transition from Obama to Romney in January.

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Comment pages: 1 2

Your posts clearly demonstrate that you are stark raving mad.

Eichendorff on May 11, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Is this that gay mafia thing I keep hearing about?

tom on May 11, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Saul Alinsky

If you do not have the truth on your side attack and isolate the messenger of truth.

Steveangell on May 11, 2012 at 4:36 PM

If Rasmussen’s new numbers are right, Obama just kissed away 3-4 points with his gay marriage announcement.

I’m guessing lots and lots of moderates who gave him a shot in ’08, but who have been left cold ever since, have had a final-straw response to the gay marriage thing.

Dude’s running out of options as well as time.

greggriffith on May 11, 2012 at 10:19 AM

Sorry but Obama just sealed his reelection.

I called a dozen fellow Christians every one of the is against Gay Marriage to stop Gay Adoption. They are more opposed to Gay Adoption which Mitt is strongly for than Gay Marriage. Just Gay Marriage allows Gay Adoption.

Mitt can not be for Gay Adoption and against Gay Marriage. You can not have it both ways. Marriage is a word. Seems all Mitt is actually against is Gays using that word. I could care less if they use the word it is what that word would get them Adoption I am really against.

Mitt lost today. He Alienated the base against him forever.

Steveangell on May 11, 2012 at 4:49 PM

Obama’s evolution on same-sex marriage:

ModernConservative on May 11, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Oh, the irony…

Knott Buyinit on May 11, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Comment pages: 1 2