Monday, December 10, 2012

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THERE'S NO BILLION-DOLLAR THUMB ON THE SCALE

Support for gay marriage is increasing at a remarkable rate -- a new Politico/George Washington University/Battleground poll finds plurality support (40%) support for marriage equality and 30% support for civil unions. "One in five surveyed admitted to changing their view on same-sex marriage in the last few years," we're told.

And yesterday a couple of right-wing pundits rejected gay marriage as a culture war issue, on ABC's This Week. One was George Will:
Washington Post columnist George Will ... dismissed the potency of the issue for Republicans. "There is something like an emerging consensus," he said. "Quite literally, the opposition to gay marriage is dying. It's old people."
Mary Matalin scapegoated a different group:
MATALIN: ... People who live in the real world, say, the greater threat to the civil order are the heterosexuals who don't get married and are making babies. That’s an epidemic in crisis proportions. That is irrefutably more problematic for our culture than homosexuals getting married....
This is what happens when the billionaires who own Republican politicians and the right-wing commentariat decide that a wedge issue doesn't merit their support. Contrast this with austerity: GOP pols and commentators are going to insist on pursuing austerity even though we're in a persistent economic downturn because the right-wing billionaires want us to. And even though the public wants to tax the rich, much of the plutocrat-funded right-wing propaganda is still working: a great deal of the public still thinks cutting spending and getting the debt and deficit down are good ideas. But Republican pols and commentators are beginning to back away from resistance to gay marriage, and public opposition is beginning to fade -- and I think it's because right-wing billionaires aren't manufacturing opposition to marriage equality.

David Koch supports gay marriage. So does hedge-fund billionaire Paul Singer, a major backer of the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future who's also been a prominent supporter of marriage equality in New York State and Maryland. So do a lot of Big Kahunas on Wall Street.

It's still OK for the likes of Matalin to demonize single parents of modest means -- the plutocrats want the have-nots to be at war with the have-even-lesses, because that helps keep us from turning our attention to billionaire parasites like themselves. But gay people who want to get married? Fat cats have relatives and employees who fall into that category. So they're not encouraging us proles to scapegoat gays anymore.

The point I'm trying to make is that a lot of what we see as "heartland" right-wing anger only seems to be as strong as it is because rich right-wingers have made a concerted effort to gin up anger at specific targets. When the plutocrats back off a target, what seemed to be "grassroots" anger magically seems to dissipate, doesn't it?

3 comments:

Victor said...

Since hating on the gays didn't get them any votes in the last election, and hence, money., they're ready, willing, and able, to drop the subject.

However, economic "Divid and Conquor" has been a winner since time immemorial.

And they'll only drop that subject at the point of a gun or blade.

Philo Vaihinger said...

You have to wonder how far this will divide the conservative voters and how costly further alienation of the Christian right will be for the GOP.

Peter Janovsky said...

Once again, it's "ox is gored" conservatism -- if your daughter is schizophrenic, like Pete Domenici's, you're not right wing on mental health; if a relative has Parkinsons, like Orrin Hatch, you're not right wing on stem cell research; if you have a friend or relative who's gay, you're not right wing on gay rights.

That's the key difference between liberals and conservatives. Liberals care about people they don't know.