Gay-Bashing as Electoral Strategy

If you needed any evidence of what I was talking about in the post just below this, here it is:

The divisive debate over gay marriage, which played a prominent role in 2004 campaigns but this year largely faded from view, erupted anew on Thursday as President Bush and Republicans across the country tried to use a court ruling in New Jersey to rally dispirited conservatives to the polls.

Wednesday’s ruling, in which the New Jersey Supreme Court decided that gay couples are entitled to the same legal rights and financial benefits as heterosexual couples, had immediate ripple effects, especially in Senate races in some of the eight states where voters are considering constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage.

President Bush put a spotlight on the issue while campaigning in Iowa, which does not have a proposal on the ballot. With the Republican House candidate, Jeff Lamberti, by his side, Mr. Bush — who has not been talking about gay marriage in recent weeks — took pains to insert a reference into his stump speech warning that Democrats would raise taxes and make America less safe.

“Yesterday in New Jersey, we had another activist court issue a ruling that raises doubts about the institution of marriage,” Mr. Bush said at a luncheon at the Iowa State Fairgrounds that raised $400,000 for Mr. Lamberti.

The president drew applause when he reiterated his long-held stance that marriage was “a union between a man and a woman,” adding, “I believe it’s a sacred institution that is critical to the health of our society and the well-being of families, and it must be defended.”

If you ask most honest conservatives off the record, they will tell you that the war over gay marriage is over, and gay marriage has won. Why then, is the President inserting this sort of rhetoric, setting the stage for more gay-bashing, more acrimony, more divisiveness?

For political gain- because it will whip up the base and they will come out and vote Republican.

All this bullshit about ‘activist judges’ or marriage being under ‘assault’ is just that- bullshit. Civil unions are here and they are not going anywhere, and nationwide gay marriage is right around the corner- perhaps another generation. Conservatives know this- Republicans know this- just like they know that two men getting hitched in no way threatens or cheapens traditional marriage in any way. It is all a charade, albeit a mean-spirited one. Wouldn’t it be nice if this were the reaction of the Republican party:

But, despite my reservations about courts going too far and the possibility of bad second-order effects, it’s hard not to be a little happy for thousands of gay couples who’ve just had a door opened to them.

That sort of attitude would, unfortunately, run contrary to the offical election strategy of villifying teh gay, and would drive away the Republican base- scumbags like Dan Riehl.






23 replies
  1. 1
    p.lukasiak says:

    given the behavior of the leading LGB lobbying group, the Human Rights Campaign, its getting pretty hard NOT to blame the Gay Community for stuff.

    For instance, according to TPM Muckraker, the HRC fired a junior staff for the “crime” of being the person behind the “Stop Sexual Predators” website — the place where the Foley emails were first published. You’d think that the guy would be given a medal for exposing Foley’s sexual predation — but instead he gets fired.

    But it gets even worse. Two weeks ago, I called up the HRC to ask them why Jeff Trandahl (the House Clerk who was Foley’s cheif enabler and who was central to the Foley scandal cover-up) was still on their Board. I got no response…and Trandahl is still listed as a board member — and no one at HRC will comment on the issue.

    So, the leading Gay Rights group — the people who suck millions of dollars out of the Gay community each year to sit in their $20 million office building and “lobby” congressmen, FIRE a Junior Staffer who helped stop a sexual predator in Congress, but has the ENABLER of the same sexual predator helping to determine policy for the HRC.

    Does anyone see anything WRONG with this picture?

  2. 2
    Teez says:

    John, you are a treasure.

    I’m a Democrat, and proud of it, but I wish you’d run for office as a Republican. Please, save that party. Democrats need a good (in every sense of the word) adversary to keep us honest. Be that guy.

  3. 3
    Punchy says:

    scumbags like Dan Riehl.

    Where does one begin? This guy is one sick fuck.

    On MJF:

    One item hasn’t been pointed out that speaks to the tremendous selfishness of Michael J Fox.

    Yeah, he’s selfish to have that disease. I wish he’d share it with others. What a jerk. Needless to say, he’s got zero comments on all his posts..

  4. 4

    Yeah, he’s selfish to have that disease. I wish he’d share it with others. What a jerk. Needless to say, he’s got zero comments on all his posts..

    Most spoof blogs are like that. Scrutator had that problem for a while, there. The trick is to do lots of trackbacks. That’s how DougJ got it all ginned up for us, anyway. Outrageous statements, uttered in a barren wilderness, provoke no response. One requires an audience first.

  5. 5
    Zifnab says:

    If you ask most honest conservatives off the record, they will tell you that the war over gay marriage is over, and gay marriage has won. Why then, is the President inserting this sort of rhetoric, setting the stage for more gay-bashing, more acrimony, more divisiveness?

    You’ll have to drop a quote or a link for me to buy that one, John. I’m sorry, but the shoots have barely started coming over the wall in the War on Gaynessity. Do you honestly believe that the flocks of Dakota farmers and Texas Baptists and Tennesse country singers and the Ohio soccer moms have suddenly home to terms with their homophobia in the two years since they collectively banned gay marriage from their states?

    While Rethuglicans haven’t done so hot on the Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism, they’ve had an amazing stretch of success in their Frontal Assault on Gays.

  6. 6
  7. 7
    Sojourner says:

    Ohio soccer moms

    Last time I checked, the Ohio soccer moms didn’t get bent out of shape over gays. They did stand behond Bush back then on the WOT/Iraq. Also, there appears to have been some hanky panky with the vote count, which introduces additional ambiguity as to exactly what happened in Ohio.

  8. 8
    Fledermaus says:

    “Yesterday in New Jersey, we had another activist court issue a ruling that raises doubts about the institution of marriage,”

    Yet the court’s holding is the exact same position that Bush has- namely that an alternative civil union option would be acceptable.

    In fact here is Fearless Leader hisself back in 2004 on the topic:

    “I don’t think we should deny people rights to a civil union, a legal arrangement, if that’s what a state chooses to do so,”

  9. 9
    Darrell says:

    If you ask most honest conservatives off the record, they will tell you that the war over gay marriage is over, and gay marriage has won.

    For me it’s no big deal, but for many others, Dem and Republicans, gay marriage is not popular. How else to explain why so many states, including an overwhelming vote in blue state liberal California, have passed legislation against legalization of gay marriage?

  10. 10
    Teak111 says:

    I think it more revealing about the bash the gays stretagy employed by the Mr. Bush is that he (and Rove) think the issue still has legs. Thier big rpoblem is getting out the vote and their fear the gays messages seems old and tired. But again, I think the GOP holds the house. Lib blogs are too giddy about winning and Rove is still the dark lord of GOTV.

  11. 11
    Gregory says:

    What Teez said.

    Seriously, John, I’ve been trying to figure out a way to say this without sounding like an asshole, but I’ll just throw caution to the winds: I’d long since written off most conservatives as ineherently dishonest, authoritarian traitors to their ideology. Thank you for proving me wrong. Seriously.

  12. 12
    jaime says:

    Dem and Republicans, gay marriage is not popular.

    Well then, I guess it means they shouldn’t marry a gay. Problem solved.

  13. 13
    tBone says:

    For me it’s no big deal

    Oh noes! Darrell has caught teh gay from John Cole.

    for many others, Dem and Republicans, gay marriage is not popular. How else to explain why so many states, including an overwhelming vote in blue state liberal California, have passed legislation against legalization of gay marriage?

    Actually I’m going to agree with you for the second time in as many days, Darrell. There’s still a lot of anti-gay-marriage sentiment out there, and I expect it will remain a contentious issue in some quarters for a long time to come. Still, I think there’s been a shift just between the 2004 elections and now. Attitudes are slowly changing, and I think John is probably right in that gay marriage will be a reality nationwide within another generation.

    But I’m warning all you lefties now – stay the hell away from my cat.

  14. 14
    jcricket says:

    John’s exactly right. It’s not the opposition to gay marriage has gone away, but that it’s dropped fairly significantly in the 10 years it’s been a “hot issue”. So, like stem cell research, the more people (as defined by a cross section of everyone, not just right-wing blogs) hear about gay marriage, the less they oppose it.

    And in those states that have civil unions or gay marriages, society hasn’t changed for the worse and opposition drops even faster (there’s no serious attempts to revert Massachusetts’s or Vermont’s laws).

    Yes, the Republicans were successful in getting enough people riled up to pass some laws that temporarily ban gay marriage. But they know they’re swimming against the tide, which is why they keep ratcheting up the rhetoric and demanding a constitutional amendment.

    Is there ever a medical, legal, scientific or cultural issue that the Republicans end up on the winning side of in the long term? Are they ever right long-term about economics, for that matter? I’ll maybe give them some credit on foreign policy, but only 20+ years ago (since then it’s been all backwards).

  15. 15
    AkaDad says:

    Massachusettes, the only state allowing gay marraige, has the lowest divorce rate in the country.

    I seems to me that the sanctity of marriage is stronger when gays can marry.

  16. 16
    jcricket says:

    BTW, for historical reference, the US Supreme Court struck down the anti-miscegenation laws while 16 states still had them on their books. That’s a significant percent of opposition, it’s not like we waited until “everyone was on board” and let each state figure it out.

  17. 17
    Sirkowski says:

    John Cole drinks the Cool-Aid

    But it’s the reality flavored Cool-Aid.

    I’ve used bad words to describe John Cole’s positions in the past, but I want to take this moment to give him props for taking his conservative friends (and what are now a lot of ex-friends) to task. After seeing so many pundits bend-over, it’s nice to see one that can finally pull up his pants and scream NO!

  18. 18
    canuckistani says:

    Is there ever a medical, legal, scientific or cultural issue that the Republicans end up on the winning side of in the long term?

    They were right about slavery in the 1850’s and 60’s.

  19. 19
    Steve says:

    The Republicans weren’t exactly right about slavery… they were less wrong. There wasn’t a mainstream abolitionist party, kinda like there isn’t a mainstream pro-gay marriage party today.

    To have a shot at getting elected, folks like Lincoln had to constantly reassure people that they weren’t in favor of extremist ideas like racial equality, etc.

  20. 20
    jcricket says:

    They were right about slavery in the 1850’s and 60’s.

    I like it. You have to go back 150 years to find the Republicans moving in the “right” direction for America.

  21. 21
    BadTux says:

    As far as I know, the Bible doesn’t say anything about gay marriage. It does, however, have lots to say about divorce. For example:

    “32: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery” (Matthew 5: 32) and, “9: And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery” (Matthew 19: 9, all quotations are from the King James unless otherwise stated).

    It is interesting that the Bible Belt has the highest divorce rate in the country… and that the “sinful” states of Massachusetts and New York have the lowest. Heck, Alabama, with 2/3rds the population of Massachusetts, had more divorces than Massachusetts in 2005!

    So let’s add it up:
    1. The Bible says nothing about gay marriage
    2. The Bible has lots to say about divorce
    3. The Bible Belt and Republican Party are full of people who’ve violated the Bible when it comes to divorce.

    Let’s see, what’s that “h” word again? That word to use when a man with a plank in his eye is pointing out the splinter in another’s eye? Oh yeah, that one is in the Bible too: “hypocrite”. Matthew 7:4.

    It’s amazing how so many people who profess to follow the Bible apparently have never even read the dadburned thing…

    — Badtux the Bible-thumpin’ Penguin

  22. 22

    I’ve always thought of gay marriage as being a nice thing for the people involved.

    It is nice to see John Cole here suggesting that congratulations are in order to the “thousands of gay couples who’ve just had a door opened to them.”

    One should also note that the conservative boogeyman of “Activist Judges” and “Activist Courts” is really wearing thin. Bush blames this round of kindness to fellow human beings on “another activist court.”

    I’d like to see an honest conservative step forward and define “activist court” for us. An honest definition should be something like, “A court that doesn’t rule the way we would prefer on a given issue.”

  23. 23
    akaison says:

    The reason why you have Justices like Sandra Day O’Connor (former justice) and present Justices such as Kennedy saying that they have a problem with the term “activist justices” is that (and this is my belief) the term plays in the the anti intellectual straing of the American electorate which wants to have an opinion about everything but not necessarily even understand the process enough to know they are talking about. If the courts are ‘activist’ one might want to take it up with the founders, and cases like Marbury v. Madison which established them as the guardians of rights, including those of all minorities- whether they are African Americans, or whoever. That’s what the equal protection doctrine is all about. To call this activist to apply the concept (and yes I know this is NJ Constitutional law, but the concept of equal protection is an American idea overall) of equal protection to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority is to profoundly not have a clue what equal protection is meant to do- its first and foremost due it to protect the minority in a pluralistic society from the arbitrariness of the majority. Right now, if gay marriage and civil unions are inevitable, it’s because the reason for not allowing it is arbitary and leads to bizzare decisions such as NY state (part of the ruling actually said that the law for marriage because straights couldn’t be trusted to be less stable in their relationship than gays.). That argument was novel to say the least. Of course, when you are trying to make up things to justify arbitrary thinking – then of course, bizzareness is to be expected.

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