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The case for Romney

Timothy Kincaid

November 5th, 2012

There aren’t many good reasons for a gay person to vote for Mitt Romney this year. But anti-gay activist* Maggie Gallagher presents his best case, such as it is. She, of course, doesn’t see it as such: (National Review)

Meanwhile the GOP elites’ tactical decision to ignore social issues totally is not helping. The major Romney super PACs are “truce” PACs, refusing to run any social-issue ads at all — except the one saying Romney actually supports abortion in some cases. Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Iowa, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina — these are all states where, if voters learned how extreme President Obama is on abortion and gay marriage, it would help Romney.

Social conservatives are absent from this election. Their money isn’t being used in any visible way to organize voters. If Romney loses, this will be part of the reason why.

If Romney wins — and I think he will — look for an intense effort to finally push social issues out of the party.

I guess that would be the silver lining to hope for. Or, at least, a ‘lighter shade of gray’ lining

* There was a time when I would have held off on calling Maggie an anti-gay activist. But her rhetoric has, in the past few years, broadened from being opposed to equality due to her concerns about its feared consequences to comments that can only be seen as expressing contempt for, or superiority over, gay people. And NOM has veered into blatant homophobia and gay baiting. It’s about a half-step from being a hate group.

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Steve
November 5th, 2012 | LINK

They haven’t pushed social issues out. They are as anti-gay as ever. They just haven’t focused much on it. Doesn’t mean they won’t be pushing anti-gay legislation as soon as they can.

tim
November 5th, 2012 | LINK

Social conservatives aren’t sitting this one out. They are all obsessing over the anti-gay amendments that are on the ballot in several states.

Hunter
November 5th, 2012 | LINK

The national party has, I think quite rightly, determined that social issues are losers for them, so they’re not about to start hyping them, even though they’ve got them around their necks after the convention. Gallagher may think they need those issue to win, but her judgment on this unreliable, to say the least. I wouldn’t call her statements analysis so much as finger-pointing, of which we can expect to see a great deal starting Nov. 7. She’s just getting a head start. I would guess she’s expecting to lost at least one ballot measure, maybe more.

Locally, they’re relying on local groups to carry the ball on gay issues, but the money’s coming from NOM. Republicans seem to be more vulnerable than they had expected, so they’re not going to waste resources on an unpopular social agenda — they’re sustaining enough damage from the likes of Akin and Mourdock as it is.

Secret Advocate
November 5th, 2012 | LINK

Maggie Gallagher wrote a pamphlet that argued that private employers should not provide domestic partnership benefits.
http://carlospr.com/uploads/Supporting_Marriage.pdf

As for Romney, I get the impression that most conservatives don’t even like him. They regard him to be as much of a shape-shifting, empty suit as I do. But they have assumed their acting roles and are going all out for him because (1) they are obsessed with getting rid of Obama, and (2) they believe that Romney would do what they want him to do and sign what they want him to sign simply because he would enjoy being called “Mr. President” and staying at the White House.

If Romney ends up losing, they will throw him under the bus faster than you can say “Romneycare.” They will say that he was a weak candidate and not a credible conservative. His name would not even be mentioned at the 2016 Republican convention.

But, yes, as Hunter said, the Republicans have put social issues on the back burner because, unlike 2004, they don’t see them as winning issues now. The fact that there was not one single question about LGBT rights at any of the four debates is telling.

Markanthony
November 5th, 2012 | LINK

@Hunter Buzzfeed’s recent interview with Brian Brown seems to point in a similar direction. He more or less concedes a loss on one of the ballot measures (Maine).

@Tim K is Maggie still actively involved with NOM and its management? I only see her through her web/book writing and talks at these gay marriage exchanges. Seems like the organization has become more anti-gay under Brown, who has never come across as nearly as intellectually or politically gifted as Maggie.

Timothy Kincaid
November 5th, 2012 | LINK

Markanthony

I believe that she is still on the Board of Directors and has input, though I’m not entirely sure about that. Day to day operations have been turned over to Brown but I don’t know if that includes message crafting.

Brown is a political operative in the school of mean. His methods are no different than a lot of political operatives, based more on allies and enemies in the culture war than on any sense of principal or ideals. Gays are the enemy and as same-sex marriage benefits gay people, it’s a bad thing.

Maggie is more of a thinker and for a long time she discussed ideals and objective. But she has one huge flaw – one that sets her apart from people like David Blankenhorn: she literally believes that the teachings of the Catholic Church are objectively true. She believes, passionately, that these teachings are confirmed by nature, by logic, by science, and by anything else you can hold them up to.

And she’s discovering that, in this case, it simply isn’t holding up. And that creates frustration. And, sadly, she isn’t responding well to that frustration.

Gus
November 5th, 2012 | LINK

“If Romney wins — and I think he will — look for an intense effort to finally push social issues out of the party.”

BS. The Republicans in Congress will bully their way with many bills cutting funding or out right banning of anything connected with social issues. Mr Romney will sign them so he can win a second term.

CPT_Doom
November 5th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy, it is interesting you say that about Ms Gallagher. Although I agree with you I find it fascinating that the one part of Catholicism she seems to forget is compassion for the “sinner.” When I was in Catholic school we were taught the most important of Jesus’s teachings were the parable of the Good Samaritan and “treat others as you would wish to be treated.” Granted, this was the touchy-feely church from the 70s, but that lack of judgement of others is completely missing from Ms Gallagher’s brand of religion. That is ironic given she gave birth to an illegitimate son, married a non-Christian and is now supporting a Mormon for President – all of which would have been unthinkable in her childhood.

Ben In Oakland
November 5th, 2012 | LINK

As I’ve been cruising around my favorite blogs– ah, the joys of retirement– I’ve noted in the past few weeks a number of apparently relatively new commenters, all claiming that Obama has been terrible for gay rights, was only doing it for votes, and on and on and on. Some told outright lies, some told 1/2 truths– like half a brick, you can throw it so much further.

I’m glad the Mags wrote what she did, not the anyone could ever be as antigay as she would wish. But I think she’s on to something, and to me it points to Obama being one smart cookie, indeed.

Someone at Huffpost said this, “Obama did the least possible for marriage-equality (barely mentioning it) at the last-minute for votes which since it has no substance, will only energize some states to get their constitutions amended to prevent marriage-equality. He did more damage than any good.”

I wrote back:

Nonsense That’s kind of a right wing meme– that he did it cynically for votes. Intelligent gay people already know that Obama is on our side, and always has been. Perfect? No. But it is political stupidity to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

Whatever votes he might have gotten would be more than offset by votes he wouldn’t get.

I’m fairly sure that Obama, fundamentally decent man that he is, was always for our rights. But he is also a consummate politician, and in his estimation, has had to weigh a number of competing forces. That doesn’t mean duplicity, it means he’s a politician. That shouldn’t surprise anyone, especially anyone who believes a word the R-money has to say.

And what he did was to wait until reliable polls showed that American sentiment on various gay issues was a the tipping point– not coincidentally, something made pretty obvious by the beginning of the year. Then he made his announcement– and pretty much took the issue off the table by doing so. There have been some attempts of course to keep it front and center. But Obama defused the issue as a major campaign piece..

Maggie Gallgher herself was bemoaning the fact just today that the republican party seems to be ducking any forceful advocacy of all of the culture war issues– and she’s on the anti-gay side. I believe that’s because all of the manufactured “outrage” got expressed last May.

There seem to be a great many writers in the past two weeks trying to tear Obama down among gay people and our allies by dismissing his very real accomplishments. I suspect its a coordinated attack by right wingers.

You can peddle that stuff elsewhere. If I’m right, you should be ashamed of yourselves.

Markanthony
November 5th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy-

I don’t disagree at all with your characterization of Maggie’s faith. I am curious if you are you thinking of anything specific when you say that “she isn’t responding well”. My own, limited, sense was that the book tour with John Corvino hadn’t made her any more vitriolic than in the past (see July 23 C-SPAN “Afterwords” segment).

Also, David Blankenhorn can cite only Maggie as a reasonable person on the Anti-SSM side during his recent talk with Jon Rauch on Minn Public Radio’s “On Being” show.

Again, I am separating out NOM here. I agree that they are only a hard sneeze away from hate group status.

Jay
November 5th, 2012 | LINK

Republicans generally run stealth campaigns. They claim they are interested in the economy, but as soon as they are elected, they pass laws calling for transvaginal ultrasounds and other anti-abortion and anti-gay measures. Should Romney be elected, be prepared for numerous executive orders rescinding Obama’s efforts to achieve equal rights in many areas.

Timothy Kincaid
November 5th, 2012 | LINK

markanthony,

Unfortunately, I didn’t make note of exactly the comments that caused me to begin to see Maggie differently. They were small moments – usually when she was tired and frustrated – which led me to believe that Maggie had shifted from “gays are wonderful people but marriage is linked to procreation” to “those damn gays don’t deserve marriage”.

It was when she lashed out on some subject that had nothing to do with marriage or family structure. One of those “gays are like this” comments.

Now I’ll have to go back and try to find them. They aren’t many and she’s quoted everywhere so it may take a while.

gsingjane
November 5th, 2012 | LINK

Well, I for one would be more than happy to see Maggie Gallagher step back from day to day operations at NOM and to see ole’ Brian Brown take center stage. We know Brian here from back in the day in Connecticut… he struck me as a dope back then and not likely to have gotten smarter since. For a great example – our Supreme Court handed down the marriage equality decision in the fall of 2008, and if the CT Family Council or whatever they were calling themselves (led by Brian at the time) had been quicker off the dime, they could have taken advantage of a constitutional convention opportunity (a vote that can only be taken once every 10 years) that came up shortly thereafter. Brian and his pals were caught completely flat-footed and lost what was really their only chance to quickly overturn the decision, or at least to attempt to amend the CT constitution to outlaw it. Apparently they did NOT game out the possible scenarios nearly well enough and, well, the rest is history. Four years later we still have marriage and Brian got kicked upstairs!

Robert
November 5th, 2012 | LINK

I’m unsure how anyone believes the Republican Party, National or otherwise, is not running on social issues. What exactly is all the hub bub about contraeption coverage? What, exactly is the calling for a repeal to DADT? What exactly is the House Republican’s defense of DOMA? What exactly is the insinuation today of Ryan, that the President is anti-judeo christian? What exactly is the tax cuts for the wealthy and the cuts to social services? What is the issue of abortion?

What are those thing if not social issues? They might not be the forefront of the campaigns, but they ARE running on them, it was built into the Republican Party Platform. Does everyone forget that document is part of THIS Campaign as well?

I think Maggie is smoking crack.

Edwin in Colorado
November 5th, 2012 | LINK

If Romney gets elected he will set
this country back 50 years with all the things that he wants to do. We don’t need that as we have fought to hard to get where we are today.
As for Maggie Gallager and all the other homophpbic groups that are out there they all need to be put in a big cave and seal the entrance shut.
I don’t think they know where gay people come from. They are like a bunch of ostrichs with there heads in the sand. If they can’t see it it isn’t happening.
As for the women rights things that should be up to their doctors and them and the politicians all need to but out . they need to get out our lives and let us live in a country that is supposed to be FREE.

Timothy Kincaid
November 5th, 2012 | LINK

No. No one needs to be put in a big cave with a sealed entrance. We don’t advocate for such things or consider them anything but horrific.

Steve
November 5th, 2012 | LINK

As indicated above, one of the bigger dangers of Romney is that he’ll quickly rescind several administrative rule changes. For example the State Department has established some domestic partnership benefits, the health department has mandated hospital visitation rights and Immigration has made deportations harder. That all happened without a law being passed and it can and will be rescinded just as easily.

markanthony
November 5th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy –

Thanks for the response. I would be interested in seeing that post.

tristram
November 5th, 2012 | LINK

If Romey wins, it is likely that the Republicans will also take control of the Senate – the new stars of which will be teaparty senators like Todd Akin. At that point, all bets are off and all Maggie’s nasty dreams come true.

Ezra Klein had a good post on this today – though he is less alarmist than I

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/11/05/first-assume-a-democratic-senate/

Mickey
November 6th, 2012 | LINK

Marriage is the cover to the real motivations: Protecting and Promoting the Catholic Church’s teachings on Homosexuality, riling the Republican base and Making Money!

The reason they will lose is because they actually believe they are being successful but lately the mask has been taken off.

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