Monday, January 10, 2011

Gay rights a wedge issue in Republican politics

There aren't many conservatives here, so you might have missed the recent shenanigans around CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, which brings the hard right together to strategize. (Conservatives are so much better organized than liberals.) Last year, the anti-gay groups that attended held their noses because several gay conservative groups were there: the Log Cabin Republicans, and GOProud. This year, however, the anti-gay groups have put their feet down demanding that the homos stay at home. And since the gays are coming, the anti-gays are boycotting the CPAC.

Says Jonathan Rauch:
Here’s the problem: conservatives’ hostility to homosexuality isolates them politically from the rest of the public, and the anti-gay consensus is fracturing even on the right (44 percent of Republicans say homosexuality should be accepted by society).

Translation: an issue which once divided and dispirited the Democratic coalition while uniting and energizing conservatives now cuts the other way. It’s a wedge issue against the right. Not just temporarily, either…..The anti-gay right is losing its grip, but it won’t surrender without a fight…
I think that's a little too hopeful, because the social conservatives are still very powerful particularly at the state and local level. And it's also worth remembering that having lost the DADT fight, the social conservatives are really going to dig in their heels about marriage equality. Whether it's repealing marriage in New Hampshire or repealing DP benefits in Wisconsin, there's a lot of venom left in the snake and it's still biting.


PseudoPiskie said...

Sounds like the Anglican Communion. Hate is a strong uniter.

James said...

44 percent, that's pretty amazing.

Thanks, IT for keeping us all up to date on what's going on.