Republicans Walking Back Anti-Gay Stance in Favor of Anti-Muslim Stance
Keeping up with Republican hate is tough. It reminds me of the time-honored strategy of the “popular kids” in high school. You never know whom they’re going to pick on next. And when they finally relent on one group, they take the group they just spit on and entice them to sell their souls for the privilege of being acknowledged. The carrot dangles, “We’ll stop hating you if you’ll hate these other people.” Sort of a Republican hazing process. In other words, in GOP land, gay is OK now so long as you hate Muslims.
Has been for a few months.
Muslim is bad now. Also, too, any kind of brown skin especially from south of the border. That is super bad. But gay is OK. Republicans are easing up on their gay hate and more and more “conservatives” are “revealing” (aka, doing their puppetly duties) that they have secretly supported gay marriage or are, in fact, gay.
From Elizabeth Hasslebeck coming out to “admit” she’s always been for gay marriage (contrary to what she’s been, um, telling us for years ) to Ken Mehlman, senior Republican party figure revealing he’s gay — the signals are all there; the Republicans are comin’ a callin’ for the gay vote. In addition, the muted GOP reaction to a judge affirming gay marriage rights in California tells us that they’ve abandoned their gay baiting for new ways to energize their base. In a rather stunning display of message discipline, even Palin was semi-silent on the gay marriage issue. That sort of gave it all away.
This means Republicans are paying attention to polls showing that the majority of Americans support gay marriage; so now they’re comin’ a callin’ to make Americans forget about their hate of yesterday.
I picture them sitting down with Karl Rove who masterminded the entire “hate the gay” get out the vote strategy during his buddy W’s years, as he explains to them that they could peel the gays away from Obama because of DADT anger, much as they thought they could get PUMAs with the Mama Grizzly. And they believe him. Again. It would be sad if it weren’t so destructive to the fabric of our national soul.
You all do remember Mehlman, right? He ran W’s 2004 campaign and used state referenda against gay marriage to get voters to the polls (much like they just did in Alaska with the teen abortion parental notification issue).
Marc Ambinder of the Atlantic reports:
Asked to explain his reaction to the Republican party’s gay-baiting tactics, Mehlman replied: “”I can’t change the fact that I wasn’t in this place personally when I was in politics, and I genuinely regret that. It was very hard, personally.” He asks of those who doubt his sincerity: “If they can’t offer support, at least offer understanding.””
Mehlman said that he “was aware that Karl Rove, President Bush’s chief strategic adviser, had been working with Republicans to make sure that anti-gay initiatives and referenda would appear on November ballots in 2004 and 2006 to help Republicans.”
Mehlman also says he arrived at this conclusion about his identity fairly recently.
“He often wondered why gay voters never formed common cause with Republican opponents of Islamic jihad, which he called “the greatest anti-gay force in the world right now.”
Do you hear the GOP dog whistle yet, gay people? The Republicans are a callin’! They want you to join up with them to hate OTHER people now! It’s the dream you’ve always wanted! The popular boy is going to ask you to dance in front of everyone and all you have to do in order to be accepted by him is hate another group of people.
Don’t look now, but it seems the Republican Party sold its soul to the devil a long time ago.
Polls show that the majority of Americans support gay marriage now. So Republicans now want to run away from this issue, just like they’re going to try to run away from being anti-Muslim four years from now. Way back in November of 2009, the NYT reported that it appeared that the GOP was trying to walk back on their anti-gay stance:
“It was only five years ago that opposition to gay marriage was so strong that Republicans explicitly turned to the issue as a way to energize conservative voters. Yet today, as the party contemplates the task of rebuilding itself, some Republicans say the issue of gay marriage may be turning into more of a hindrance than a help….”
Because, it’s all about unifying their base to get out the vote. It has nothing to do with any real feelings for or against gay marriage. In fact, if TeaRepublicans were real Libertarians, they would not support big government involvement in marriage, abortion, or any other personal issue, and the GOP can’t afford to divide the Tea Party right now.
So, one Republican has come out and it turns out he is supporting AFER. This is great, but before the GOP can ask to be embraced, they need to ask to be forgiven. This little part of the process always seems to escape Republicans, and hence, it sets an alarm bell of agenda and entitlement each time they breeze past the apology straight to the “give me another chance, baby, I love you” part.
Before they can ask to be forgiven, they need to prove that they’ve learned their lesson about using hate to rile up their base. Instead, we see them fomenting hate and violence against anchor babies and Muslims this season.
I will never forget Matthew Shepard. Then there’s Dr. George Tiller, another victim of the Right’s willful and deliberate use of hate to gain power. This kind of permanent collateral damage is a consequence of fomenting hate. They know what they’re doing and they chose to do it anyway.
Yesterday it was gays, today it’s Muslims, tomorrow it could be anyone.