11 February 2015

THE GOP'S GAY MOMENT

LAST UPDATED: 07/12/2016
"There is a small window – right now, and until full implementation – for the GOP to turn things around."
(Updates, and the original post, after the jump)


UPDATE 07/17/2015 : GOP... Sadly, are behaving typically, frightened to confront their (way off) base. Here's their latest fundraising stunt.

ORIGINAL POST: 
In light of this week's fait-accompli opinion from SCOTUS – an opinion, which ultimately conceded that Marriage Equality will become the law of the land soon enough – it is time to take stock.

National Marriage Equality is an inevitability. The protections, expressed and implicit, granted through the 14th Amendment are undeniable. Even this article from the Huffington Post quotes an activist as saying, "start your wedding plans now." Good advice, Ms. Activist. It is good advice that the GOP should heed, for the sake of its own future.

So, at this point, I am left wondering...

Which of the GOP 2016 wannabes will see where this ultimately leads, and be the first in his party to support national marriage equality?

Because, for Republicans, full-fledged support for all marriage will be the only position to have… if they intend to win future national elections. They can't not discuss it. They can't just say, "a law is a law" and then try to sabotage it. They need to address it, support it (thereby making it a non-issue), fix their platform, and move on.

The writing is on the wall on the issue. The GOP must decide if it will continue to pander to those ultra conservatives and rally against it. Or, if the party will, for God's sake, finally evolve and take that much needed leap forward.

While this human rights issue shouldn't have to rely on public approval to begin with, luckily for Republicans, they have that cover too! The issue already enjoys majority support, even among moderate Republicans.

“Gay” hasn’t been a political wedge issue for some time. It’s time for half of the American political spectrum to acknowledge this.

There is a small window – right now, and until full implementation – for the GOP to turn things around. They are in the perfect position to neutralize the Democratic Party's massive advantage on this issue, currently.

This can be the moment for the GOP to disrupt its base and remake itself as a viable party for the 21st Century. The move could also give the rational wing of the GOP the freedom to shed some of the more unreasonable positions their base has led them to for too long. And think of all the Independents that may return as a result.

Having a two-party system that consists of two parties that engage in substantive debate is good for the nation. Whereas, debating levels of rape, for example, isn’t.

In a more perfect world, this can finally be the moment that the Republicans become whole again. And, it may take that one brave Republican 2016 wannabe to start the ball rolling tomorrow. That brave candidate could single-handedly begin to bring the GOP into the new century.

Because, even if marriages will be equal by 2016, there are peripheral LGBT issues – like immigration and employment non-discrimination – that will still require bipartisan action to get the country’s laws where its people are. We need you, GOP!

Yet, in the face of this amazing opportunity to re-make the party – in this grand moment that can make other grand moments possible for the GOP... these 2016-wannabes will likely decide to go down the well-worn, predictable path of pandering to a shrinking base.

What a phenomenal dilemma for the Republicans! What a shame the outcome will most likely not be a surprise.


PART II:
In fact, the trial run has – in a way – already happened.

I preface this by saying first that I believe Governor Chris Christie is no longer a viable candidate for 2016 because of his years as New Jersey’s governor. Of course, that remains to be seen. That said, his recent actions telegraph exactly the crazy gay moment I think the GOP is currently in. Here’s how…

In July 2014, Gov. Christie backed away from a marriage equality fight in New Jersey. He backed away and released statements that were very much on the fence. In one instance, he says it’s a “settled issue in New Jersey.” And then, he says that the GOP should remain in opposition. At one point, he was quoted as saying, referring to the marriage debate, “I don’t think that there’s going to be some major referee who’s going to say now it’s time to stop.”

Back in July of last year, he made the calculation not to fight. We can't say for sure why he did not fight. But, losing that kind of battle would not have been good for him. Staying away from the fight showed that he was, at least seven months ago, still willing to pander to his base. But, keep in mind that staying away from the fight also kept him from having to take a position that would have killed his national prospects. He was the very definition of "on-the-fence"... seven months ago.

But things can change.

The irony here, of course, is that Mr. Christie or, for that matter, Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), or Governor Scott Walker (R-WI), or Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), or Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL)… any one of them can be that referee who says, “now it’s time to stop.”

UPDATE 02/27/2015: So, Governor Jeb Bush, the one guy who has a number of advisors from the LGBT activist community and would hence be poised to become the change agent here... well, he just appeared at the annual (ultra conservative) CPAC conference today and blabbed on about "traditional marriage." I guess we'll have to keep waiting.

UPDATE 04/26/2015: And here, the New York Times version of this idea.

UPDATE 8/7/2015: Go, Governor John Kasich (R-OH)!  

UPDATE 09/04/2015: First, good for a few GOP presidential candidates to stand up for the law. This includes Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and even Tronald Dump! (No word yet from Gov. Kasich, however.) The rest of candidates should be ashamed for prolonging this thing and helping to divide the nation via that grifter, Kim Davis. And, they can forget about 1600.


UPDATE 7/12/2016: And the GOP manage to blow it again...






Art:
President Abraham Lincoln (R-IL)
National Portrait Gallery, George Healy, 1887