Saturday, August 07, 2010

GOP Avoids Same-sex 'Marriage' Issue

With polls already in their favor, Republicans plan to avoid hot button "Culture War" issues for 2010 (thus placing politics above principle), and are considering entirely abandoning some social conservative issues in the future.

UPDATE 8/31/10: Where Have All the Conservatives Gone — Long Time Passing (commentary)

UPDATE 8/17/10: Why conservatives have abandoned The Culture War (commentary)

UPDATE 8/10/10: (only) Four congressmen speak in favor of traditional marriage

-- From "Gay marriage ruling unlikely to become midterm rallying issue" by Dan Balz, Washington Post 8/7/10

At another time, the ruling overturning California's ban on same sex marriages might have landed with the force of a political earthquake. Instead, the relatively restrained response underscores both the singular economic focus of this year's elections and the shifting politics of one of the country's major social issues.

"Republicans are better off focusing on fiscal issues -- economy, spending, taxes, debt -- in this political environment," said a Republican who is helping to guide strategy for the party. "For the first time in years, Republicans have regained their credibility as the party of fiscal responsibility, and most voters are concerned with the direction of our country's economy, so it could backfire with independent voters if the campaigns get bogged down on immigration or marriage."

. . . Republican "swing voters are simply too preoccupied [with the economy] to care about the culture wars," said Jim Jordan, a Democratic strategist.

. . . As of 2008, there were 38 states where a majority of those between ages 18 and 29 expressed support for same sex marriages. In 23 states, at least 50 percent of those between ages 30 and 44 also backed such marriages. In no state were more than 35 percent of those over age 65 in favor of gay marriages.

That's the more telling reason why Republicans are now conflicted about how to handle the issue in the future. They know the issue can motivate conservatives. Privately many say they can see where the issue is heading and fear they will be on the losing side of public opinion at some point in the future.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Why GOP reaction is muted as judge affirms gay marriage rights" by Patrik Jonsson, Staff writer, Christian Science Monitor 8/7/10

. . . Republican leaders today are focused intently on the economy – and on blaming Democratic policies for its still-sluggish state – as they try to rally independents, libertarians, and "tea party" adherents around conservative economic ideals in advance of midterm elections.

"Every indicator that I have ... generally speaking, is that economic growth and job creation are the tandem issues that will be the principal drivers of voter decision at polls,” Republican National Committee political director Gentry Collins told reporters Thursday. "What I’m encouraging candidates to do is go out and run on an economic platform, a jobs platform."

. . . Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican and a staunch opponent of gay marriage, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, and a several other top Republicans have offered muted responses so far to Wednesday's ruling from federal Judge Vaughn Walker.

In 2004, Republicans introduced 11 measures against same-sex marriage in various states, as part of a strategy to attract conservative voters to the polls at a time when President George W. Bush was running for reelection. President Bush himself railed against activist judges and backed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

But the gay marriage issue, after years in the culture-wars limelight, may be losing its luster as a hot-button political wedge, writes Peter Dreier on the Huffington Post website.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read: Abortion is Election Issue with Some Candidates