Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wayne Besen on Gay-Bashing as New Third Rail of Repulican Politics


Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out comments on how gay bashing, once so effective for Republican political candidates, is quickly becoming the third rail of Republican politics--as Christine O'Donnell demonstrated recently when she stormed off a t.v. set when pressed to talk about her stance re: the gays, and as the Bachmanns are now doing as they issue insincere statements about how they love them some gays.

Besen concludes that Republican candidates who want some mainstream viability are doing all they can to downplay their ties to tea partiers and the Christian right, two of the most unpopular groups in the U.S., per recent polls.  And he also suggests that the insincere protestations that they respect gay people, and/or the refusal to discuss their positions about gay folks, are masks: once in office, candidates like Bachmann would inevitably ratchet up the anti-gay activity as far as possible.

And so,

The delicate dance between GOP candidates and fringe activists will continue to play out. Pollsters are imparting to candidates that remaining stealth on gay issues is better for their long-term political health, while socially conservative organizations are making the case that gay bashing is better for their political wealth in terms of money and enthusiastic voters.
Attacking LGBT people is not yet a third rail of politics. It is also clear that it is no longer the Holy Grail for electing Republicans that it once was in the not too distant past.

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