I disagree with what Pam Spaulding says about Laura Bush's gay marriage remarks:
Uh oh, she's speaking out, which means there's a bit of discord in the White House bedroom....The question is, who does Dear Leader really listen to, Daddy Karl or "Mommy" Laura?
No -- this is all part of one elaborate song-and-dance.
Republicans are talking about a gay marriage ban, hoping to mollify restive fundamentalists but possibly scaring swing-voters and socially moderate country-club Republicans. So an administration figure who doesn't usually take a lot of questions gets sent out to take some -- and what do you know, it just so happens that that person is asked about gay marriage and denounces a consitutional ban! Instant compassionate conservatism! Instant mixed signals!
That's exactly how it worked in late August of 2004. The GOP convention was about to start, the party was about to approve a platform calling for a gay marriage ban -- and, of course, the campaign was being built around the support of fundamentalists, and around gay marriage bans strategically placed on state ballots. How to avoid scaring off moderates? Here's how:
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Vice President Dick Cheney, whose daughter Mary is a lesbian, spoke supportively about gay relationships on Tuesday, saying "freedom means freedom for everyone."
At a campaign rally in this Mississippi River town, Cheney was asked about his stand on gay marriage -- an issue for which his boss, President Bush, has pushed for a constitutional amendment to ban such unions.
..."The question that comes up with the issue of marriage is what kind of official sanction or approval is going to be granted by government? Historically, that's been a relationship that has been handled by the states. The states have made that fundamental decision of what constitutes a marriage," he said....
I assure you the "ordinary citizen" who asked that question was an administration plant. This time it's Fox News's Chris Wallace asking Laura Bush the question. Each time, it's a Bush campaign worker eliciting the answer the administration wants moderates to hear. With that taken care of, it's time to go do what the base wants.
(Although I'm not sure the strategy will work this time -- the base wants the amendment to pass. But perhaps a loss that can be blamed on those perv-loving liberal Democrats who need to be defeated immediately will suffice.)