HEY FRANK, WHEN DID THE ARC OF THE GOP UNIVERSE EVER BEND TO THE LEFT?
Frank Bruni thinks the Republican Party will inevitably support gay marriage in the near future. His main piece of evidence: one (1) right-leaning billionaire is starting a pro-gay-marriage super PAC.
... Paul E. Singer, 67, a billionaire hedge fund manager who is among the most important Republican donors nationwide ... also steadfastly supports gay rights in general and marriage equality in particular....
Now, Singer says, he's providing $1 million to start a new "super PAC" with several Republican compatriots. Named American Unity PAC, its sole mission will be to encourage Republican candidates to support same-sex marriage, in part by helping them to feel financially shielded from any blowback from well-funded groups that oppose it....
Big deal. Sooner or later, every right-leaning billionaire in America will have a super PAC, and the vast majority of them will support candidates who meet all the wingnut litmus tests.
I know, I know: young people support marriage equality, o legalized gay marriage is inevitable. Well, a lot of progressive changes seem inevitable in America, and even win some Republican support -- and then the hard-liners in the party dig in their heels, and the next thing you know, the OIverton window has been dragged miles to the right.
Support for the Equal Rights Amendment was in the Republican Party platform from 1940 through 1976; it was removed from the platform in 1980.
Back in the 1970s, Republican First Lady Betty Ford was pro-ERA and pro-choice -- and, in fact, back in 1990, long after her husband had left office, Betty Ford started a pro-choice PAC. Now, however, the handful of pro-choice Republicans are mostly either retired or retiring (Colin Powell, Tom Ridge, Condi Rice, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Olympia Snowe).
Belief in the need to combat climate change used to be common in the Republican Party -- and even as late as 2008 the GOP ticket -- yes the one that had Sarah Palin on it -- supported a cap-and-trade plan for combating global warming.
And not that long ago, a Republican governor in Massachusetts championed a universe health-care plan. Now, the notion is unalterably opposed by the party's presidential nominee, who is himself a former Republican governor from Massachusetts. (Oh, wait...)
Shall I go on? or instance, should we talk about Mitt Romney's immigration policies being to the right of George W. Bush's and Ronald Reagan's?
This is how the Republican Party operates. It's for one simple reason: the Republican Party maintains support by sustaining a culture war. A culture war means the GOP defines anything progressive as what "the elites" want ("the elites" being us liberals, of course).
I think they'll keep this up. I think they'll keep fighting gay marriage, and keep trying to make conservatives angry about it, including young conservatives. Dragging the discussion to the right is what they do.