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that silence comes at a huge cost for conservatism, too: if the party line is to just shut up about gay marriage, it seems as though we're not too far away from a time when moderate Republicans publicly embrace gay marriage.

That's not a "huge cost" for conservatism, but a gain for everyone, conservatives included.
Posted by wingedkat on December 11, 2012 at 10:37 AM · Report this
dnt trust me 2
I know a moderate Republican at my work who has publicly embraced gay marriage. The word 'embraced' in this context sounds ridiculously stupid to me. He openly voices his support (and I admire him). As far as politicians, I don't know. The topic isn't dear to me.
Posted by dnt trust me on December 11, 2012 at 10:41 AM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 3
I would like to think the Republicans might throw off their Radical Religious overlords and focus on being fiscal conservatives, thinking about ways to make America a better place for everyone to live and work. Maybe they are indeed seeing freedom's Bell ready to ring, and are just shutting up for once about issues they have been forced to carry for NOM and FRC and other hate groups.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on December 11, 2012 at 10:42 AM · Report this
"...a top gay-rights activist, who asked not to be named because of his outreach to Republicans..."
Posted by jzimbert on December 11, 2012 at 10:42 AM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 5
“It seems as though we're not too far away from a time when moderate Republicans publicly embrace gay marriage.”

Some did long ago:

When asked about Gay Marriage on the View in 2011 Dick Cheney said: “"I think freedom means freedom for everybody," said the former vice president, "and you ought to have the right to make whatever choice you want to make with respect to your own personal situation."
"I certainly don't have any problem with it," he added.

This was way back when Barack Obama still did have a “problem” with it.

In 2009 Cheney said: "I think that freedom means freedom for everyone. As many of you know, one of my daughters is gay and it is something we have lived with for a long time in our family. I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish. Any kind of arrangement they wish. The question of whether or not there ought to be a federal statute to protect this, I don't support. I do believe that the historically the way marriage has been regulated is at the state level. It has always been a state issue and I think that is the way it ought to be handled, on a state-by-state basis. ... But I don't have any problem with that. People ought to get a shot at that."

But of course it would have been hard to acknowledge his support and demonize him at the same time.
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on December 11, 2012 at 10:44 AM · Report this
Hernandez 6
@5 Well, we did it anyway. I think there's been enough recognition of Dick Cheney's embrace of marriage equality, at lesat in the "broken clock is right twice a day" sense (because he is certainly not a "moderate Republican" in any way, shape or form). His example speaks to the power that being out around family and friends can have in turning hearts and minds away from bigotry. But he's in a small minority among Republican politicians.
Posted by Hernandez on December 11, 2012 at 11:09 AM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 7

Isn't it racist to lump all "republicans" together and ascribe a single viewpoint?

The GOP should like nothing more than for the Supreme Court to call this issue one way or the other so it's "off the books" and the Democrats can no longer use it as a way to entice voters who otherwise would ignore their milquetoast candidates.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on December 11, 2012 at 11:15 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 8
Pray away the Gay(s)!

@5: You may be happy with just words, but to the people who actually care, we demand more than lip service. Cheney did nothing for gay rights, much against, and his meaningless words are nothing in comparison to his actions.

Posted by Theodore Gorath on December 11, 2012 at 11:19 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 9
@7: Damn Bailo, do you really think that "republican" is a race?

A political party is essentially a group that lumps itself together under a single basic viewpoint. It is called a "party platform," and the republicans chose one that discriminates against gays.

This is stupid even for you, so goddamn stupid it must be a joke.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on December 11, 2012 at 11:22 AM · Report this
AFinch 10
@3 the problem for the plutocratic (anti-tax, anti-regulation,) but not social-reactionary wing of the party is that they make up a very small chunk of the overall electorate and even a minority of the GOP. Their long forty years of exile in the political wilderness after the New Deal only ended when Southern Evangelicals (and Dixiecrats) came tromping into their ranks after feeling betrayed first by Johnson and then utterly by Carter.

They have this problem on nearly every single issue group they confront: even if they embrace immigration reform, they will not unlock a trove of socially conservative latin voters; if they back away from anti-gay policies, they are not going to suddenly get a horde of gay libertarians flocking to them. On the downside, if they let go of these issues - the ones which are slowly killing them - then they do lose, almost immediately, the guaranteed votes of the fired-up "base". The GOP is in a lose-lose on this issue.
Posted by AFinch on December 11, 2012 at 11:24 AM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 11
@9 this is a new meme I've seen popping up ever since the Supreme Court announced they're taking on DOMA and gay marriage. The conservatives are suddenly talking loudly like they're an oppressed class. I've seen them say they're the victim of bullying.
Posted by Joe Szilagyi on December 11, 2012 at 11:31 AM · Report this
@3 & @10 I think we're seeing the fracturing of the GOP coalition that Reagan built. Big Money & Big Jesus certainly have some overlap, but only at the sleaziest points. It's a difficult union to maintain honestly. (Atwater & Rove)

It's quite likely there'll be a move by Big Jesus to make the Teabaggers a legit third party, grabbing the far right of the current GOP and the bulk of the libertarians.
Posted by Sir Vic on December 11, 2012 at 11:46 AM · Report this
I feel sorry for NOM and am willing to offer some free strategic advice: NOM, your base is too narrow and your tent is too small. If you want to keep getting headlines and raking in donations, you're going to have to expand your focus. May I recommend adding opposition to interfaith marriage and interracial marriage to your agenda? I think that could be a real winner. No, no, don't thank me! My reward will be in the results you reap.
Posted by PCM on December 11, 2012 at 11:52 AM · Report this
Original Andrew 14
Maybe the anti-gay, hate-crazed, neo-nutzies will git Yosemite Sam-mad enough to give every KKKongressional RepubliKKKan a JFK-scalp massage. That'll show 'em!
Posted by Original Andrew on December 11, 2012 at 11:59 AM · Report this
AFinch 15
@12 - Big Jesus is not going to take the Libertarians with them, and the Teahadist party is, despite their powerful (sefl-)denial, basically just big-Jesus re-packaged and promising that somehow all they really care about is cutting spending...nevermind that their only legislative achievements are uterus control.

The Country Club & Business GOP will take the Libertarians with them, and try to peel off centralist Democrats. They won't get the votes. The Big Jesus wing is the one carrying out the Primary Executions of centrist/moderate GOPers and they are, generally succeeding: Dick Lugar? Srsly?
Posted by AFinch on December 11, 2012 at 12:11 PM · Report this
Mattini 16
I don't know if republicans are hoping the issue will go away, but at this point I think more of them realize that opposition to gay marriage is a losing issue, and they've learned to keep their mouths shut about it.
Posted by Mattini on December 11, 2012 at 12:14 PM · Report this
Please note that in 2009, Dick Cheney (a) was no longer in elective office, and (b) had gone through a 2004 reelection campaign in which W promised a constitutional amendment defining marriage as one man and one woman. The fact that Bush/Cheney never pursued this policy is irrelevant. What is relevant is that the ticket used the promise of such a policy to mobilize "the base," that part of this strategy was encouraging Republican legislators throughout the country to get so-called "marriage protection" amendments in as many states as possible, and that Cheney sat by silently while all that damage was being done. On the same day that Bush and Cheney were being reelected, literally dozens of constitutional amendments were passed at the state level defining marriage as one man and one woman. Dick Cheney never said a word.

It is possible, I suppose, that Cheney woke up one day in 2009 and said, "Wow--all those anti-gay planks in our 2004 platform could have hurt my daughter, Mary, and her wife and child. Mary's family might even have been damaged by all the amendments at the state level. I never thought of that before! I'm going to issue a statment right away saying 'I believe equality is equality for everybody.'"

That's possible, but not probable. What is probable is that he made a craven decision to keep his silence for short-term political gain, in the meantime disregarding the long-term damage to gay lesbian families, including his daughter's.

Am I demonizing Cheney? No. He did it to himself.

And don't even get me started on the two wars for which he and W. are responsible.
Posted by Clayton on December 11, 2012 at 1:08 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 18
@5 This is like saying Hitler was a vegetarian. Yes, I'm going there. Cheney's stance on Gay Marriage was largely ignored, and he certainly didn't back up his statements w/ any action. He did, however, spend an inordinate amount of time fixing the intelligence that came out of Iraq & the Middle East to mold his narrative that Saddam was Mr. Big Evil Scary and that we must Invade Now. He did this by visiting the typical media outlets (where his water was dutifully carried by the late Tim Russert) as well as to the CIA, where he browbeat everyone into telling him what he wanted to hear.

Cheney is a heartless, soulless, war machine in skin. Since his 'position' on gay marriage didn't result in anything substantive when he had incredible opportunity to do so, he shouldn't be compared to Obama, who has taken action, no matter his past positions on it.
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on December 11, 2012 at 1:09 PM · Report this
You have a good idea and I'd like to add to it. NOM should also advocate laws that would compel all unmarried women to get married to the father before the birth of the child, and laws that will prevent divorce between any two people until their youngest child is twenty-one. In this way, NOM will fullfill its goal of insuring that every child is raised by its mother and father.
Posted by Clayton on December 11, 2012 at 1:21 PM · Report this
AFinch 20
@13 - I don't feel sorry for NOM at all - these people have made a living peddling hate and bigotry. Because the plutocracy needs footsoldiers, they've funded these demagogues. Nobody would pay Maggie Gallagher to spew her vile crap except for her ability to rile up a mob. Now that she's lost that ability, she will lose her funding. She is worth nothing more than the number of voters she can turn out to pull the lever for the plutocracy.
Posted by AFinch on December 11, 2012 at 1:38 PM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 21
@7 Uuuhhhhhn.

Nice new SOHO avatar, anyway.
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on December 11, 2012 at 1:42 PM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 22

So Bush/Cheney gave lip service to a constitutional amendment defining marriage as one man and one woman.

Clinton signed DOMA into LAW. Talk about a craven decision for short-term political gain while disregarding the long-term damage to gay lesbian families.
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on December 11, 2012 at 3:36 PM · Report this
@15 You're probably right about the libertarians. They're a tough group to pin down.
Posted by Sir Vic on December 11, 2012 at 4:28 PM · Report this
@22. Just as I didn't bring Cheney up (hint:you did), I didn't bring Clinton up (hint: you did). You can't win an argument by changing the subject when it isn't going your way. You are the one who held Cheney up as a Republican defender of LGBT rights. If you can't defend that position, just say so. Don't try to hide by screaming "But Clinton! " As it happens, I completely agree with you when it comes to Clinton. That doesn't mean that your praise for Cheney isn't a load of bull.
Posted by Clayton on December 11, 2012 at 5:16 PM · Report this
@22 A postscript to your comment that Bush and Cheney just paid lip service to an amendment: their actions went far beyond lip service. As part of Roves divide-and-conquer strategy, they encouraged Republican legislators to amend state constitutions all over the country because the Bush team knew they could rely on anti-gay animus to turn out the base. The federal constitution may not have been amended, but there was still plenty of legislative damage. Cheney's hands are not clean.
Posted by Clayton on December 11, 2012 at 5:38 PM · Report this

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