Tuesday, January 04, 2011


It's extremely easy to watch Sarah Palin and assume she operates strictly on impulse, but I can't help wondering if this is the result of some actual forethought, at least on the part of somebody on Team Palin:

Sarah Palin stirred the Twittersphere Monday evening when she retweeted a pro-gay message by lesbian conservative commentator Tammy Bruce concerning the "hypocrisy" of homophobic and anti-gay actions.

"But this hypocrisy is just truly too much. Enuf already--the more someone complains about the homos the more we should look under their bed," Bruce wrote Monday, reportedly about the dismissal of U.S. Navy Captain Owen Honors, following the release of a series of controversial videos made aboard the USS Enterprise that featured gay slurs, cross-dressing, and simulated same-sex encounters.

Later that day, Palin retweeted the message, first caught by Gawker....

Palin and her people haven't pulled down their retweet of the Tammy Bruce message, and it's been more than half a day. So they apparently don't think it's a gaffe. (Bruce, for her part, has tweeted several follow-ups -- she thinks Palin is quite deliberately supporting DADT repeal, she calls Palin a "friend to the community," and she lashes out at "liberals" who might disapprove of the word "homo." So if Palin is planning to walk this back, Bruce is out there giving her much, much more to walk back.)

I think Team Palin just might be reconsidering the usefulness of homophobia on the right. I think some Palinites have noticed that 31% of gay voters voted Republican in 2010 -- yeah, I would have thought the number was in the single digits, too -- and that as many as 74% of Republicans support repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell. The gay group GOProud is returning to the right-wing CPAC conference for the second time this year, after receiving quite a bit of support as well as criticism from the right. Ann Coulter addressed the right-wing Homocon convention this year, though she came out against gay marriage. Dick Cheney hasn't spoken at any gay conventions, but he's (more or less) in favor of legalizing gay marriage. Hell, even Greg Gutfeld of Fox News is sort of pro-gay these days. (Glenn Beck has also said less-than-unswervingly-hostile things about gay marriage, as has Bill O'Reilly.)

And it can't have escaped the Palinites' notice that an openly gay blogger, Kevin DuJan of the PUMA blog HillBuzz, was the leader of the ballot-box-stuffing campaign for Bristol Palin when she was appearing on Dancing with the Stars.

Yeah, Palin's church comrades aren't quite so progressive. And Palin's daughter Willow made anti-gay remarks on Facebook, which -- as I noticed last night when I was stuck in a long drugstore checkout line -- landed Mama Palin on the cover of the National Enquirer's "Who's Gay" issue (no, the Enquirer doesn't say any Palin is gay).

I just think her people might think there's a small but significant gay-GOP vote, that she can tack (mildly) pro-gay and win nearly all of it ... but that, if this trial balloon gets her in deep trouble, she can say it was a horrible mistweet and it will never happen again. If I'm right, she and her crew might be grasping something about 21st-century conservatism that other people haven't yet, and that would mean she's cleverer than I ever thought she was.

(Via Betty Cracker.)

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