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.
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