Quotes of the day

posted at 8:31 pm on March 16, 2013 by Allahpundit

Save for a punchline from GOP mega-donor Foster Friess about the Chick-fil-A protests and a full-throated speech from former Sen. Jim DeMint, the conversation from CPAC’s main stage about gay marriage has been non-existent. More time was devoted to panel discussions about women’s issues and abortion than to gay marriage.

It was an especially stark contrast on a day when the Republican establishment was answering questions about Portman’s conversion on gay marriage. Instead of being lambasted in speeches, it was as if Portman didn’t exist…

Voters are mostly “not going to bed at night worrying about gay marriage, quite frankly,” no matter their feelings on the issue, said Republican strategist John Brabender, who has worked with Santorum for decades. “They’re wondering why their paycheck is going down.”


Portman’s move, and his timing, angered those, like Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage, who have been working to stop efforts to legalize same-sex marriage.

Brown said he believes that Portman coordinated his announcement with same-sex marriage supporters.

“There is a concerted effort to pick off Republicans and make us appear divided,” he said, arguing that same-sex marriage efforts have only succeeded in “deep blue states that Republicans have not won statewide in forever.”…

“He’s going to be held accountable by the voters of Ohio,” said Brown, who was attending the annual Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington. “The issue of his son going out as gay is not a public policy decision.”


In response to the Portman endorsement, a spokesman for Republican House Speaker John Boehner said, “Senator Portman is a great friend and ally, and the Speaker respects his position, but the speaker continues to believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.”

It was a sentiment echoed by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who said, “As a matter of personal religious conviction, I’ve always believed in marriage, I believe in the traditional marriage between a man and a woman. But again, I think Senator Portman is entitled to his positions, and you know we are a party of diversity and, I think, of respect.”…

Renee Knight Leberry, from South Carolina, who also personally opposes same-sex marriage, said that she didn’t think Portman’s conservative credentials were diminished at all by his pronouncement on Friday.

“I respect him; it’s his choice, and as a Christian conservative, I respect anybody’s choice. That’s his son, and he loves his son. I don’t think it would be right to judge him for supporting his son.”


Even if you support some kind of conservative accommodation to same-sex unions, it’s not ideal to have conservatives “seeing the light” because it affects them personally, even if they couch their conversions, as Portman does, in terms of his gay son helping him “gain a new perspective.” Empathy is a crucial moral virtue, but it isn’t always the best guide to public-policy debates, pace our friends on the left.

Besides, there are big, angry blocs on both sides of the issue that are unlikely to give Portman the benefit of the doubt. (As I’m writing this, Matt Yglesias is insufferably tweeting about how global warming is going to wipe several small islands off the map and how it’s “too bad Portman’s son doesn’t live on one.”) It’s eerie how closely Portman’s CNN interview mirrored President Obama’s on the issue, right down to the torrent of disclaimers up front (“I just feel that for me personally it’s important to affirm. . .”). But unlike the famous evolver-in-chief — who was always given winking credit on the progressive left for being secretly pro-gay-marriage, even as he extolled traditional marriage — Portman is going to be treated as self-serving by majorities on both sides.


Why, they asked, should it take the realization that a member of your family is affected to arrive at a position that reflects nothing more or less than a regard for equal rights and a belief in justice? And if same-sex marriage isn’t just—which is what the many lawmakers who oppose it evidently believe—then should your position on it change merely because it hits close to home and because opposition has a negative practical impact on someone dear to you?

Those are great questions. Appropriate ones, too. But to a certain extent, they ignore human nature—the imperfections of it, the complexities of it—and they disregard how many people who support gay rights got to the place they now proudly inhabit…

In any case, my question for and about Portman, a decent and thoughtful man I’ve known for many years, isn’t why it took a gay son to move him to his current stance, but whether it really took a gay son to do that, and whether he was here or almost here a while back, but just didn’t say so.

What’s too infrequently noted or written is how many Republicans who aren’t on the party’s far right have privately, silently accepted and supported gays and lesbians but have stayed publicly mum, and articulated contrary positions, in the interests of political survival. A big part of what’s changing now isn’t their hearts. It’s their belief that they can be true to their hearts without committing political suicide, because America has made extraordinary progress, and because there’s no turning back.


Far from touching off a Beltway political firestorm, Portman’s announcement that he has a gay son and now supports same-sex marriage drew a muted or even positive response from his fellow members of the Republican elite.

The reality Portman’s flip-flop exposed is this: among the Republican political community, the people who actually run campaigns and operate super PACs, support for gay marriage is almost certainly a solid majority position. Among strategists born after the end of the Vietnam War, it’s not even a close call…

“While age is an obvious factor that relates to views on the issue of gay marriage, so too does income, education level, living in the Northeast. If you think about many political consultants being upper-income Northeastern folks, then that might contribute to them [leaning] more favorably toward gay marriage than Republicans more broadly,” said Anderson, who supports gay marriage…

“The political consulting class in the Republican Party is, and has been for a long time, well to the left of the Republican voters. Whether folks like that or not, it’s just plain true,” said GOP strategist Curt Anderson, no squish himself.


Mr. Portman’s announcement, which he said he made in part because his son is gay, has so far yielded relatively little pushback from Republicans on blogs and social media, or from other Republican office-holders. Instead, gay rights advocates are increasingly finding support from influential Republicans.

But the rank and file of the Republican Party may be different, and the polling suggests that they have largely not changed their views on same-sex marriage…

According to an average of seven recent surveys on same-sex marriage, as shown in the chart above, only 26 percent of Republicans support same-sex marriage rights as compared with 54 percent of independents and 66 percent of Democrats. Attitudes among Republican voters may shift on the issue by 2016, particularly if more respected conservatives like Mr. Portman announce their support for same-sex marriage, but it is less than clear that his position will reflect a broadly acceptable viewpoint among Republican primary and caucus voters by that time.


The question is whether same-sex marriage rises to the level of a “gateway issue” — that is, whether opposition to same-sex marriage causes voters not to consider supporting Republicans.

Republican consultant Liz Mair cited an analysis of polling by Freedom to Marry, an organization supporting same-sex marriage, showing 51% of Republicans under age 30 support gay marriage. “There’s something that needs to be addressed here, and it needs to be addressed now,” she said…

Republican support of gay marriage might draw new supporters, National Review columnist Jonah Goldberg said during the panel discussion, but at a cost. “You’re going to have to show me where we’re going to replace the 30 million evangelicals and social conservatives who will leave,” if the party embraces gay marriage.


Progressives are wrong to demand tolerance and denounce rhymes-with-late. People advocating for the liberty to love must also protect the liberty to rhymes-with-late and leave others be regarding their beliefs and emotions. The correct approach is the conservative one, which is concerned with limiting the coercive powers of government. This means that social conservatism has no business coveting the coercive powers of government to impose religious beliefs in civil law. It means that in a nation founded on the protection of religious liberty, social conservatives must be content with what they can accomplish in the marketplace of ideas using only the powers of persuasion. In the marketplace of ideas, they can believe anything and be as rhymes-with-lateful as they want…

However, regarding conservative gays being treated courteously by conservatives, I do say there is no such thing as a courteous way to tell gays they are unworthy of equality. It is indeed an intrinsically offensive statement to make and position to hold. (It’s worth noting I first said this to Mark Steyn when he was standing in for Rush Limbaugh in 2010 and he invited gay conservatives to call in and discuss how we were being treated by the tea party. I told him I’ve been treated very well by the tea party — except for that.)…

So, what is it like being gay at CPAC? More than ever, it’s a joy. The only true friends gays have are conservatives. We can settle our differences in Constitutional terms, which will be articulated by conservative attorney Ted Olson before the Supreme Court when he argues for marriage equality in the Prop 8 and Defense of Marriage Act cases before it on March 26 and 27.


“Well, our country is dealing with changing attitudes and prejudices relating to gay people,” [GOProud Executive Director Jimmy LaSalvia] told us. “I think that people who just don’t like gay people are bigots, but I don’t think that people who are wrestling with the issue or thinking about the issue differently are necessarily anti-gay. I just don’t …. I know that many people, like you heard tonight, come at it from a religious tradition, and you know, they’re struggling with the issue. But I can’t call them bigots, because I don’t believe that many people in their hearts truly just don’t like gay people.”

To Margaret Hoover, the Republican gay-rights activist (and great-granddaughter of Herbert), such a position is a diplomatic necessity for someone trying to win over fellow Republicans to the cause of gay rights. “Jimmy’s trying to grow a movement,” she told us…

“I don’t want to call people bigots! I don’t think it’s helpful,” she told us. “Because you know what, what does that get me?”




Via Mediaite.

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Comment pages: 1 2 3 4

He doesn’t need that on his plate foreboding him with a jinx on a hexed stick.

SparkPlug on March 17, 2013 at 2:42 AM

I dunno. If you were foreboded with a hex stick, you’d be net boded.

Need a calculator and a sacrificial chicken to work it out. brb

Axe on March 17, 2013 at 2:45 AM

Unlike the individual responsible for that transforming frog/polywiggle incident…*ahem*.

thatsafactjack on March 17, 2013 at 2:41 AM

I guess we will never know who was responsible for that one. Damn shame that he was never caught. Oh well no time to launch a full investigation. Whatevs the statue of limitations has run out.

SparkPlug on March 17, 2013 at 2:48 AM

The fish were biting today. Ice is about halfway out, some of the best fishing of the season. My buddy showed up at the fishin’ hole woefully unprepared for the finger-numbing cold. Desperate, he went back to his truck and returned wearing a pink and white knit hat with a border of little yarn balls that belonged to his daughter. I would have gone home before I wore that thing. But my buddy has his priorities in order.

Nothing like fish caught out of freezing cold water fried up for dinner that night. Yum.

novaculus on March 17, 2013 at 2:52 AM

Wayfaring Pilgrim – Roy Buchanan

The hours have slipped beneath my feet again. It’s been wonderful.

I bid you all a fond goodnight. It’s been a real pleasure, as always. See you soon.

thatsafactjack on March 17, 2013 at 2:52 AM

So if the real Axe is back then why the long Axecott?

Did he compile enough blocks to make his platform finally?

SparkPlug on March 17, 2013 at 2:54 AM

SparkPlug on March 17, 2013 at 2:48 AM

I’m certain that with you on the job in your new capacity as Peace Officer, Spark, there will be no repeat frog/polywiggle incidents. :)

thatsafactjack on March 17, 2013 at 2:54 AM

novaculus on March 17, 2013 at 2:52 AM

What did you use for bait. It’s amazing fish can live in ice cold water. They don’t seem to mind it at all.

SparkPlug on March 17, 2013 at 2:57 AM

G’night Jackie.

Here’s a little lullaby:

It Hurts Me Too

novaculus on March 17, 2013 at 2:57 AM

Yeah except I am raising two future taxpayers that I biologically created without any help from a third party with my partner so there is that little tidbit.

melle1228 on March 16, 2013 at 10:27 PM

Lucky you! I would have loved to have a little sister, but unfortunately my mother had a hysterectomy when I was a child.

Gelsomina on March 17, 2013 at 3:00 AM

Well whoever did the polywiggle thingy sure got a close up view of the moon goddess when she was bathing in the clear water pool. I bet she was stunningly beautiful from what I recall.

SparkPlug on March 17, 2013 at 3:03 AM

SparkPlug on March 17, 2013 at 2:57 AM

Hey Sparky! Whats the haps?

In the olden days I used minnows or a little chartreuse curly tail on a jig for this kind of fishing. Crappie hunting. Now using Berkley Gulp Alive minnows, which the crappies prefer to live minnows, so help me ( would refer to Deity, but not worthy).

novaculus on March 17, 2013 at 3:05 AM

I bid you all a fond goodnight. It’s been a real pleasure, as always. See you soon.

thatsafactjack on March 17, 2013 at 2:52 AM

Night, Jackie. :)

I’m out, too. I’m going to go watch the last half of Thomas Crown and slouch about to rest up and prepare for tomorrow’s slouching about.

Great seeing everyone! Great tunes too.

[Inferior 1 exited normally]
(gdb) q

[email protected]>

Axe on March 17, 2013 at 3:08 AM

I’m Tired

novaculus on March 17, 2013 at 3:09 AM

Welcome back Axefellow. Don’t be a recluse. Stay here a chat with SWalkers brain. FYI, he steals ideas from his brain and then takes all the credit himself.

I never do that. I leave my brain alone.

SparkPlug on March 17, 2013 at 3:10 AM

I never do that. I leave my brain alone.

SparkPlug on March 17, 2013 at 3:10 AM

Good practice. Once the Democrat Overlords are in full command, leaving your brain alone will be mandatory. Only the Overlords will be allowed to mess with your brain.

novaculus on March 17, 2013 at 3:15 AM

Time for me to depart for somnambulance.

Hellbound Train

novaculus on March 17, 2013 at 3:18 AM

Future same sex wedding march.

profitsbeard on March 17, 2013 at 4:34 AM

Sarah Palin Trounced in 2013 CPAC Straw Poll, Barely Besting “Undecided” and Topped by Even Christie

Palin said to be fuming after learning results. All the ugly details below:

Rand Paul – 25%
Marco Rubio – 23%
Rick Santorum – 8%
Chris Christie – 7%
Paul Ryan – 6%
Scott Walker – 5%
Ben Carson – 4%
Ted Cruz – 4%
Bobby Jindal – 3%
Sarah Palin – 3%
Undecided 2%


bluegill on March 17, 2013 at 7:26 AM

bluegill on March 17, 2013 at 7:26 AM

Are you Levi?

KCB on March 17, 2013 at 7:35 AM

, the conversation from CPAC’s main stage about gay marriage has been non-existent.

Take note, MadCon. ;)

Cleombrotus on March 17, 2013 at 7:58 AM

There are still Americans with traditional belief systems. Man will ultimately be governed by God or by tyrants. – Benjamin Franklin
My take.

kingsjester on March 17, 2013 at 9:17 AM

I don’t want to fit in and win in the modern world, I want to revolt against it.

ninjapirate on March 16, 2013 at 8:47 PM

Thank you, ninjapirate.

Cleombrotus on March 17, 2013 at 9:28 AM

If the GOP caves on this then they lose my vote. I won’t support Democrat-lite.

BDev on March 17, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Allah has apparently decided that 2% of the population is what drives important stories. I wonder why?

Jaibones on March 17, 2013 at 11:15 AM

artist on March 16, 2013 at 11:27 PM

THIS^^ is the discussion that should be dominating the zillion SSM threads. Instead the focus and a zillion comments are about the same damn thing and predictable. IMO these are the important questions around this issue and it centers around our 1st amendment rights and religious freedom.
There are many examples to draw from as to why this is crucial and relevant.
Sadly, the majority of the arguments/comments on thread after thread are not about the issue at hand.
The very questions you raise are why I am not for SSM but for CU’s.
It is that simple for me. Opinions here about gays or why the are gay does not interest me nor does it change my opinion.

I have no idea what the true % of the pop is gay but if we go with 2%-out of that % is a fraction which is militant and pushing this with an clear agenda to attack religious institutions.
They are not the majority though and it angers me that many people believe they are. It would be nice to see that addressed here occasionally-I won’t hold my breathe.
A few gay posters here have disappointed me in that they do not admit or discuss that some do have an agenda-and it isn’t about marriage/happiness/or freedom at all. An honest discussion should be had by both sides without the emotional element…but again I won’t hold my breath.

HA needs a tune up-enough already with the 1000 posts on SSM. You would think this is the only issue worthy of discussing…Yep..nothing else going on.

bazil9 on March 17, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Unbelievable. With CPAC going on, and tons of discussion about the potentials for the 2014 and 2016 elections, we get a Quote Of The Day that is all about the leftist push to pretend marriage applies to men who want to marry men. I understand that it’s all the media wants to talk about, but should it be all Hot Air wants to talk about?

This is really getting tiresome. The answer, in a word, is NO!

No, the government has no business trying to change the definition of marriage.

No, homosexuality is not “just another kind of normal.”

No, homosexuality is not equal to normal sexuality.

No, homosexuals are not some protected class of people with an immutable inborn characteristic.

No, the fact that marriage has always been between a man and a woman does not mean homosexuals are being discriminated against.

No, it’s not a good idea for the GOP to pander to identity politics.

No, same sex marriage is not conservative. It’s not even libertarian, since it relies on government force to enact it.

And no, we shouldn’t even be wasting all this time on the subject.

Which leads to the question: What is wrong with Hot Air these days? If this is really all you want to talk about…..

And yes, I realize that the QOTD is not necessarily the opinion of the blogger posting it. But the blogger is the one choosing the topic and the quotes.

Come on, AP. Let’s move on.

There Goes The Neighborhood on March 17, 2013 at 12:11 PM

Come on, AP. Let’s move on.

There Goes The Neighborhood on March 17, 2013 at 12:11 PM

I have friends and family members who are gay. Apparently it will come as a shock to everyone that we enjoy each other’s company, find much to talk about, bemoan, and celebrate, and yet … we don’t sit around talking about our sex lives.

How crazy is that?

Jaibones on March 17, 2013 at 12:42 PM

Gallup Daily: Obama Job Approval
Each result is based on a three-day rolling average
% Approve % Disapprove
03/18-20/2013 46% 45%

NMRN123 on March 21, 2013 at 3:58 PM

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