Media “analysis” on marriage equality ruling helping GOP is hogwash
At least a few media outlets have published pieces on how the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage really helps Republican candidates running for president.
It must be opposite day in op-ed land.
The logic, if you can even call it that, goes something like this: Because most Republican office-holders and all presidential candidates are against marriage equality, they could use the “we’re still against it” line to placate the most conservative members of their base. Every candidate criticized the Supreme Court decision.
Since then, some candidates have taken the “I disagree, but it’s now the law of the land” approach, like Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former Florida Gov. Jeb! Bush, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Others continue to throw flames, like former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who seems to be calling for civil disobedience, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who apparently thinks Supreme Court Justices are elected. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal proposed cutting all funding for the Supreme Court.
But back to the non-logic. Consider CNN’s story, which gives these polling figures on marriage equality: “Polls show that nearly three quarters of Americans believe that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry — including almost 60 percent of Republicans under 50.”
So three-quarters of Americans — even a majority of Republicans under 50 — are fine with marriage equality, but somehow the issue will help the GOP, when they sound like Neanderthals?
“The divide is an early sign that same-sex marriage could emerge as one of the brightest fault-lines of the GOP primary battle,” CNN said. So apparently CNN thinks marriage equality will still be a battle for Republican hearts and minds in the primaries, but all of that animosity will magically disappear in the general election?
A New York Times news analysis takes a different tack. “But even as conservatives appear under siege, some Republicans predict that this moment will be remembered as an effective wiping of the slate before the nation begins focusing in earnest on the presidential race,” the Times analysis says.
Really? With 75 percent of Americans in favor of same-sex marriage, as more and more of us see friends, neighbors, relatives, co-workers, fellow church members, PTA presidents, etc., etc., in same-sex relationships and observe that the world hasn’t fallen apart, you really think those same voters are going to forget the venomous comments Republican candidates have been making about marriage equality for, well, just about forever?
“Collectively, this optimistic thinking would have it, June will go down as the month that dulled some of the wedge issues Democrats were hoping to wield next year,” the Times analysis says.
Just a hunch here, but I don’t think people will be so quick to forget the insulting and ridiculous comments GOP candidates have been making about marriage equality. After all, there are still issues LGBT voters face in many states, such as job discrimination. Several states, such as Texas, apparently think officials still don’t have to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, even though they know they’ll get sued over it. Some counties are just refusing to issue any marriage licenses at all. How’s that working out for heterosexual couples who aren’t able to get a marriage license, as their planned wedding approaches? You really think those voters are going to forget this silliness?
A story from the Washington Post also reported the optimism of some in the GOP. ” ‘Most Republicans look at what’s happening and think we’re watching a new stage of left-wing nuttiness,’ said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.). ‘It’s just surreal,’ ” the Post story says. But at least the Post points out the trouble with this position.
“Democrats are hoping for just this approach,” the story says. “They argue — as many Republican Party elites in Washington fear — that if Republicans don’t moderate on issues such as gay rights and immigration and become more tolerant, they will be locked out of the White House. Asked how Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton could motivate voters, several top Democratic officials said: The Republicans may do it for her.”
So keep talking about the evils of marriage equality, Republicans, and see how far it gets you. After all, this is not 2004, when GOP operative Karl Rove worked to put initiatives on the ballot to ban same-sex marriage in 11 states — all of which passed — and got his boss, President George Bush, re-elected in the process. People’s attitudes have changed drastically since then.
” ‘When a young voter sees a Republican coming,’ ” the Post story says, ” ‘many of them roll their eyes and wonder why they can’t get with modern life,’ said Ari Fleischer, White House press secretary under George W. Bush.”
That’s the question. Why can’t they get with modern life?