Newsweek: Impact Of Gay Marriage genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Polispeak

The June 12 edition of Newsweek takes a look at the potential impact of the issue of gay marriage on the upcoming midterm elections. Read the full article here.

Pew polls show a 10-point jump in support for gay marriage since 2004. And Bush pollster Matthew Dowd doubts it was decisive last time around. "It didn't drive turnout in 2004," he says. "That is urban legend." Turnout was the same in states with bans on the ballot and those without, Dowd says. GOP consultant Grover Norquist also questions how gay marriage plays as an electoral issue. Though social conservatives vote for marriage bans, it's not clear whether that will translate into votes for GOP candidates. "We don't have much to go on," he says. For their part, gay-rights leaders would be happy to leave the issue off the ballot. "We have to make sure [the initiatives] never see the light of day," says Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese, who would prefer to press his case in court.

Evangelical leaders insist they know how gay marriage affects their voters—they'll stay home if politicians don't push for the FMA. "It's the one issue I have seen that eclipses even the abortion issue among Southern Baptists," says Richard Land, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. Last month James Dobson, the influential founder of Focus on the Family, met privately with key Republicans, including Frist, House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Majority Leader John Boehner, to warn them about the political consequences of failing to promote issues like marriage. "If you forget us, we'll forget you," he said, according to a GOP House leadership aide who was briefed on the gatherings, but declined to be identified discussing private meetings.

The following anonymous observation is particularly interesting to me. It is consistent with my speculation that the marriage amendment issue is strictly a political calculation for George Bush and Karl Rove. Note that a friend asserts it isn't part of George Bush's "moral radar" while White House aides insisted he cares about the issue.

Though Bush himself has publicly embraced the amendment, he never seemed to care enough to press the matter. One of his old friends told NEWSWEEK that same-sex marriage barely registers on the president's moral radar. "I think it was purely political. I don't think he gives a s--t about it. He never talks about this stuff," said the friend, who requested anonymity to discuss his private conversations with Bush. White House aides, who also declined to be identified, insist that the president does care about banning gay marriage. They say Monday's events with amendment supporters—Bush will also meet privately with a small group—have been in the works "for weeks" and aren't just a sop to conservatives.

The next observation is also interesting. The remarks that Bush isn't making a "full-court press" and he "has not made calls" to get Senators to vote for the amendment also support my belief that losing the vote on the issue is in fact the intended strategy both for the White House and for those on the far right that are regularly consulted on strategy objectives. The Republicans and religious organizations stand to gain more from a loss on the amendment at this point than from pushing for a win that cannot currently be achieved.

Whatever Bush's motivation, his actions aren't likely to quiet his critics. Land says he's happy Bush is speaking out, but he'd like to see signs of real commitment to the issue. "We know what a full-court press looks like when we see one," Land says. A White House official, who declined to be identified discussing strategy, says Bush has not made calls on the amendment because "nobody has asked us."

Daniel DiRito | June 4, 2006 | 8:18 AM
AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Post a comment


Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry


© Copyright 2021

Casting

Read about the Director and Cast

Send us an email

Select a theme:

Critic's Corner

 Subscribe in a reader

Encores

http://DeeperLeft.com

Powered by:
Movable Type 4.2-en

© Copyright 2021

site by Eagle River Partners & Carlson Design