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December 12th, 2013 - 2:55 pm

Bruce Carroll on the Randy Forbes controversy over withholding party support from gay GOP candidates:

When I first read this, I laughed it off. But it may actually be a serious problem. The Democrats have gone to great lengths to purge those with pro-life views from their party and they’ve been quite successful. I suppose one could say the same about pro-choice candidates in the GOP; but it seems to me Republicans have accepted pro-choice candidates if they fit a particular congressional district. Democrats, not so much.

And I have no problem with members of Congress expressing their support or opposition to same-sex marriage and having a debate on those moral, liberty and freedom fault lines.

But do I really want to belong to a political party who has a member of Congressional leadership lobbying to deny a gay Republican candidate the resources to win a winnable district? I’m not sure I can stomach that.

Read the whole thing, but I will add one detail I think Bruce missed.

If the GOP hangs the “Gays Not Wanted” sign over the GOP caucus, it won’t just hurt them with gays. That sign resonates with every parent of a gay child, every brother or sister of a gay man or woman, everybody with a gay friend or coworker.

You might pat yourself on the back for keeping the gays out, but most of the rest of us are thinking, “What a jerk.” And “what a jerk” doesn’t bring people to the polls for jerky candidates, no matter how straight they might be.

People cast ideology aside when they think they, or their friends and loved ones, are being treated badly. The Democrats know this stuff deep in their guts, which is why they make so many overt appeals to inclusiveness to every group, no matter how small or weird or orange. The fact that Democratic policies breed division when actually put into practice — well, that all gets forgotten with each new outreach effort.

Some among the GOP think they can ignore this fact about human nature and still win elections.

The evidence suggests otherwise.

And over at Practical Politicking, Deb Fillman adds this reminder:

I am not suggesting we try to appease Democrats, or social liberals, or make an effort to sound more like them! Not at all. I’m suggesting that Forbes, and those who agree with him, need to respect the priorities of the Republican voters of the MA06 and the CA05. If Tisei and DeMaio are electable in those districts it means there’s enough Republican support there for them to win. It’s not about swaying the Democrats, it’s about getting the Republicans to turn out and vote for their candidates.

Rep. Forbes is certainly entitled to his opinion, and to express it, I’m merely saying that in doing so, he is shooting the party, and himself, in the foot and statements like his can have unintended consequences nationwide. Look no further than the impact of just a few statements made by GOP candidates in 2012.

Indeed. And I would remind my SoCon friends that endorsing a gay candidate isn’t endorsing homosexuality — it’s endorsing a vote in the House or Senate to end ObamaCare. And we need every vote we can muster.

One last thing — and it shouldn’t take a registered independent like myself to remind people of this. But party politics is about hashing out these disagreements during the primary, then getting behind the nominee.

You want better nominees? Then fight for them. But you’re going to go a lot further with a gay Republican than with a straight Democrat.

NTTAWWT.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Stephen, there's a comment from ricochet I enjoyed:

'-Bob Thompson

I need to know what principles a candidate supports and how those principles align with our Constitution, that's all."

'Nuff said.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Perhaps you misunderstand the position Forbes is taking, or at least hinting he'll take. Forbes hasn't said he'll deny party resources in MA06 or CA05 because the districts aren't winnable; he's hinted he'll deny party resources if local GOP voters nominate gay candidates.

That has nothing to do with big tent policies. It's just dumb politics, for reasons I've already described too many times and in too many way to too many people being too purposely obtuse.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (24)
All Comments   (24)
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Do not make the mistake of thinking that Politico is giving you all of the story.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
If you;re keeping score, the GOP thinks what matter more is who you sleep with than rather than any belief in fiscal restraint.

The GOP is utterly adrift. The have a chance to represent working and middle class Americans for fiscal sanity,, and dare I say it, many of them white. They would be receptive to a limited government scale it back message. Further Big Business and Wall Street want nothing to do with them. That ship has sailed. Instead they view their would be supporters as rubes to be led around dy the nose on socisl issues that simply are not issues for most Americans. Amd those issues really should be relegetaed to the states anyway.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Forbes is against gay marriage, not gays. So are some gays. Please stop parroting Politico.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Forbes *is* against gays if he threatens voters in other districts that he'll sabotage their candidates if those candidates are gay.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
If.

18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Except that's what he's done. The "if" is assuming his veiled threat is meant in jest.

Do you believe that?
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
I haven't seen that he has in fact done that. As far as I can tell, he's against gay marriage. Have you a citation other than stemming from Politico?

You're libertarian? You would extend government control over marriage or reduce it?
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've made my case plain here before, but I'll give you the short version: I'm against state marriage.

There's a good case to be made that since marriage began (and has served best as) a religious institution, there's an Establishment Clause case to be made against government recognition of marriage at all.

Send the issue back to the states? I'd send it back to the churches for religious purposes, and for secular purposes leave it as a matter of contract law.

No one's church would be forced to recognize any marriage against its strictures, and the Left would lose its gay marriage cudgel versus churches and the 1st Amendment.

That's a principled small-government approach to the modern "problem" (it isn't really a problem) of gays being out of the closet.

Now that they're out, they aren't going back in. I think that's progress. And no matter what you may or may not think, it's a done deal. So are you (or Forbes) going to shut them out and keep losing elections, or are you going to stand by your limited government principles?

BTW, Forbes could have cleared this up at once. He has chosen not to. That speaks volumes.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm honestly curious here-- how many electoral votes have we lost in swing states due to the perceived sorta-kinda luke warm support of gay issues by some party members? How many seats in Congress?

I'm gonna go out on a limb and suggest it's roughly equal with the number we've lost due to, say, not supporting the Kyoto Protocol.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
So are you (or Forbes) going to shut them out and keep losing elections, or are you going to stand by your limited government principles?

Me and Forbes? I've never been religious and I've never been Republican. I came to a minarchist libertarian position not from Right or Left but because I discovered some people who agreed with me.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
No one's church would be forced to recognize any marriage against its strictures, and the Left would lose its gay marriage cudgel versus churches and the 1st Amendment.

I'm glad you said it because that's my concern. Group rights are always a bludgeon to freedom. Before seeing that coming, I really didn't give a crap.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Republican party has denied funding and support for other Republican nominees they didn't like before. Remember Delaware in 2010? And it wasn't because she was a witch, either.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
She was a failed candidate, pretty much from the time of her nomination.

Now, imagine if before she had even won the nomination, someone like Forbes had threatened to withhold party support because she was a woman -- and for no other reason.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
She did not choose to be a woman. Someone chooses to be gay. Being gay is not in one's genetic structure. You offer a false equivalence.

Will withholding financial support from a gay candidate hurt the GOP image? Maybe, but maybe not. The people who care about that are not gonna vote for the GOP, anyway. They hate the GOP SoCon positions, period. They say they want the other policies, but I guess they don't want them enough. They'd rather have the Dems' disasters than have to endure those icky Repubs and their SoCon policies. Never mind that those SoCon policies cannot actually find their way into law.

As for me, I do not support the Republicans, because they do not mean what they say. Too many of them ignore the platform, so the platform is rendered meaningless. To me, Forbes is refreshing. He stands by the platform. He keeps it up, and I might even become a Republican.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just to let everyone including Deb Fillman know, it's CA 52, not CA 05.

And Forbes and the SoCons make a much bigger deal over Carl DeMaio's orientation than he does. Who's got an Agenda?
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm constantly surprised to the degree people adopt the McCain "big tent" formula as though it were some resounding success, rather than a complete and utter failure.

I don't really see anyone hanging out a "Gays go Home" or "Victim Group du jour Not Wanted" sign. What I see are some conservatives having the gall to actually be conservatives because maybe they want to get elected, and a bunch of people whining about it as usual.

Will MA06 or CA05 get us electoral votes in either MA or CA? Or any significant political return whatsoever? No? Okay. So explain to me why it makes sense to dump piles of money into those campaigns. So the media will like us? Yeah, right.

Fact of the matter is, the Republican party is about conservatism, or at least it's supposed to be. Gay conservative? Swell. Welcome. Deal with the fact that some people will disagree with your lifestyle. Right-leaning libertarian? Swell. Welcome. Deal with the fact that some people will disagree with your views on social liberalism.

There's welcoming, there's accepting, and then there's pandering. We do the latter at our peril.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
One more thing, Mr. Lion. You seem to have established this dichotomy between "gay" and "conservative." What's that? Since when are those things the opposite of each other? What you really mean to place on the other side of "gay" is "anti-gay" or "homophobic." Just say it.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
No, I'm afraid not. I've established that there is a dichotomy between gays who believe in conservatism and consider it more important than their sexual preference, and gays who believe in conservatism and do not. E.g. people who support the overall cause and put it first, versus single issue voters who pay it lip service.

Remember Andrew Sullivan's brush with conservatism? How's that working out for everyone?

If you're really that interested in the long and short of my position, you can read about it here: http://capitalistlion.com/article.cgi?2368

Though I suspect you aren't.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Perhaps you misunderstand the position Forbes is taking, or at least hinting he'll take. Forbes hasn't said he'll deny party resources in MA06 or CA05 because the districts aren't winnable; he's hinted he'll deny party resources if local GOP voters nominate gay candidates.

That has nothing to do with big tent policies. It's just dumb politics, for reasons I've already described too many times and in too many way to too many people being too purposely obtuse.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
No, I understand perfectly the position he's (maybe) taking. And from what I understand the position people who have an issue with it are taking is that conservatives are losing elections because they're not bending over backwards to appease gays. I'm sorry, but I find that concept hilarious and at odds with reality.

Difference is, I'm not willing to throw him under the bus because he dares to have socially conservative views, because I care more about a fixed economy and a non-destroyed health care system and a not-nuked US port than I care about offending people who consider their sexual preference more important than those things.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maybe he's hinted that. It's not clear from that bit of journalism. The structure and phraseology of the story is rather curious and clearly intended to leave that impression without quite saying it. Maybe there's an actual reporter or two out there somewhere who could check into it.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
If anything is unclear, it's because Forbes himself has left things that way. There's strategic ambiguity and now I suppose there's a sort of strategic self-defeating cowardice.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Stephen, there's a comment from ricochet I enjoyed:

'-Bob Thompson

I need to know what principles a candidate supports and how those principles align with our Constitution, that's all."

'Nuff said.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, yes, and once again, yes.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
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