Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pawlenty Situates Himself for Post-Tucson Presidential Run

The developing (and sleazy, to my mind) playbook of Republicans trying to situate themselves for a presidential run, after Sarah Palin went up in flames (or may have done so) with her response to the Tucson shootings:

1. Defend Palin, but do so obliquely.

2. Follow the well-trodden path she has followed in slamming "elites" who are said to be out of touch with real Americans and their values.

3. And double down on playing the anti-gay card--e.g., by announcing that if elected president, you'd reinstate anti-gay discrimination in the military.

This is how Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty is seeking to situate himself for a presidential run, and how other Republican candidates will do so in days to come, I suspect.  They want Palin's staunch right and reactionary base.  At the same time, they'll ratchet up the attack on "elites" as they defend Palin, rather than defending her too overtly, for fear that she is now damaged goods.

The Republican party won't stop playing the gay card until there's a real price to be paid for their discrimination.  And as long as there remains a solid, if dwindling, minority of rabid-right voters who love Palin and what she stands for, they'll keep on playing that card.  The religious right remains the backbone of support for the Republican party, and anyone who believes otherwise, or who thinks that the culture wars are over and done with, isn't paying careful attention to what's going on.

No comments: