How many of our commenters agree? I’m surprised to see the guy who’s angling to be the social-con warrior of the primaries this welcoming to righties who diverge on a key “values” issue, especially since he threatened to leave the party last fall if the GOP ever formally becomes pro-SSM. So explain this to me. If legalized gay marriage is so abominable that state officials should refuse to follow a Supreme Court ruling on it and so appalling that Huck would have no choice but to quit the party if Republicans warmed to it, why would he want gay-marriage supporters in the GOP in the first place? If you believe some polls, we’re not that far from seeing a pro-SSM Republican majority: More than one has found support for gay marriage among Republicans near 40 percent, with 61 percent of young Republicans in favor according to a Pew survey last spring. The looming SCOTUS decision on SSM will affect those numbers, probably negatively, but it’s not unthinkable as Millennials replace seniors within the electorate that even a majority of Republicans will support legalized gay marriage 10 years from now. What’s Huck’s proposal for the GOP then? Maintain a formally anti-SSM position even though it contradicts the views of a majority of members? Or shift to a pro-SSM position and forfeit social conservatives, who’ll presumably split off into an ineffectual third-party movement that’ll have no representation in the top ranks of government? It’s an odd thing to encourage participation within your party of people who hold views so abhorrent to you that you’d be forced to sever ties with them if they gained a majority. “Welcome to the party — so long as you never, ever get your way.”
That said, the soundbite here that had the media beating up on him yesterday is a bad rap. Every headline I saw about his CNN interview claimed that he’d compared the gay “lifestyle” to drinking or swearing, evidence that he saw it as some sort of vice. Well … yes, a minister likely will see it that way, won’t he? Watch the clip, though, and you’ll see that he also compared being gay to liking classical music or opera, a “taste” he doesn’t share and one he obviously doesn’t consider sinful. Go figure that media coverage would omit the innocuous analogy the better to frame him as the tsk-ing Christian schoolmarm. Good catch too by Eddie Scarry in noting that Huckabee’s description of being gay as a “lifestyle” isn’t so different from former gay-marriage opponent Barack Obama’s choice of words when addressing this topic. That’s the second time today that a Republican’s being kookified for using the same language as the leader of the Democratic Party.