Morality as Strategy
March 31, 2006 8:00 AM   Subscribe

Are you a Republican candidate for Senate facing a tough election and having trouble getting endorsements from your own party? It's time to take in an all-American baseball game with the Commander-in-Chief, target teh gay menace, and amend the US Constitution so American voters don't have to see any more of this over their morning corn flakes. "I think this will save him," Burress said of DeWine. "I think this move right here, regardless of the reason, will send him back to Washington." Of course, it's not just a GOP thing.
posted by digaman (39 comments total)
And fighting for equal marriage rights is not just a liberal moonbat thing.
posted by digaman at 8:11 AM on March 31, 2006

Meanwhile, don't look over there!
posted by digaman at 8:18 AM on March 31, 2006

can we just ban stupid bigots? let's amend the constitution to do that instead.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 8:24 AM on March 31, 2006

Despite his crass opportunism, DeWine is toast. Sherrod Brown is no John Kerry. Past elections have shown that Brown has strong support in the rural parts of Ohio.
posted by Otis at 8:26 AM on March 31, 2006

Interesting the Ohio was the state that gave Bush his second term and now they're throwing the Republicans out of power.

I like that DeWine thinks being seen with Bush is a good thing. Be careful, Mike, spend enough time around him and ol' Fitzie might come a'calling and indict you.

It would be funny that queer marriage is The Issue of Our Times if it weren't just a lame ass smokescreen to keep people from thinking about the unnecessary war we're stuck in, the neverending cycle of scandals, lies, corruption and just outright stupidity from the GOP.

These are not people we need running the country because they aren't running the country. They're saying "Look over there" and then stuffing their pockets with our money. AND pretending to be all honorable and moral about it too.
posted by fenriq at 8:33 AM on March 31, 2006

He should be bashing foreigners more.
posted by Artw at 8:33 AM on March 31, 2006

DeWine may be toast, but I think his sudden conversion to the cause of "defending marriage" against the smiling women in white dresses is just an appetizer of the GOP strategy for retaining control as Iraq goes down the bloody sewer and their upper ranks are perp-walked out of office. Expect to see much more of this.
posted by digaman at 8:34 AM on March 31, 2006

I support gay marriage, but I don't want to see that wedding photo over my morning corn flakes.
posted by brain_drain at 8:37 AM on March 31, 2006

"'The only thing that explains the president's victory in my view is the emphasis he put in those closing weeks on the marriage issue,' said Bauer, who sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2000."
posted by digaman at 8:45 AM on March 31, 2006

That certainly seems to be the case, or at least the conventional wisdom. Pulling out the "it's worth banning gay marriage" card seems to be an 11th hour play these days.
posted by rxrfrx at 8:50 AM on March 31, 2006

It's easy to blame the candidates for pulling the gay marriage card out at the 11th hour—and I do—but remember, that strategy works, at least in some parts of the country. From a public choice perspective, it's hardly surprising that the candidates fall back on the issue.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 8:58 AM on March 31, 2006

Also from the article you linked:
Brad Luna, media director for the Human Rights Campaign, a leading gay rights group, argued that the Iraq war, efforts to rebuild the Gulf Coast and other issues are of greater concern to voters than gay marriage.

"That same old dog-and-pony show from 2004 is kind of played out," he said.

Maybe I'm just feeling optimistic on this Friday afternoon, but I tend to agree with Luna. You know there's an old saying in Tennessee. I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee, that says: "Fool me once..."

And, I think there are some key differences in Ohio this election season:

1) No ballot initiative on marriage to mobilize the conservative base

2) A scandal that continues to hurt the GOP

3) A republican governor whose approval ratings are in the single digits
posted by Otis at 9:06 AM on March 31, 2006

DeWine is toast

I wish I shared your confidence, Otis.

By all reasonable logic these guys should be swept out in November. But I'm not so sure. The God stuff plays depressingly well around here.
posted by crumbly at 9:09 AM on March 31, 2006

That good old American value of hate seems to work very well in the "heartland" for sure. And terming it as a "falling back" on the issue is somehow very appropriate.
posted by nofundy at 9:22 AM on March 31, 2006

It's easy to blame the candidates for pulling the gay marriage card out at the 11th hour—and I do—but remember, that strategy works

Oh sure, monju. But remember: this is about amending the Constitution of the United States, not Swift-boating a lib'rul war hero with a snide attack ad.

I thought these guys were supposed to be working for the Constitution, not making it work for them. Yes, I know, har har har.
posted by digaman at 9:22 AM on March 31, 2006

Oh sure, monju. But remember: this is about amending the Constitution of the United States, not Swift-boating a lib'rul war hero with a snide attack ad.

Only on its face. Actually amending the Constitution to preclude gay marriage would take an enormous amount of political capital, and there just isn't the money or the support to get it done. It's an empty campaign promise at best, and an outright lie to constituents at worst. The religious conservatives were promised the same thing in the last election, and the election before that, and the election before that. Has any progress been made on an anti-gay marriage amendment? No.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:26 AM on March 31, 2006

Well sure. But if it suddenly became the rage for sweaty-collared Republican candidates to start blabbering about opening up concentration camps for anti-war protestors and firing up the ovens, I'd have a hard time dismissing it all as an empty campaign promise. And yes, I'm a married gay man who enjoys none of the same legal rights that my married straight sister does, so this issue is not some vague abstraction to me.
posted by digaman at 9:32 AM on March 31, 2006

And yes, I'm a married gay man who enjoys none of the same legal rights that my married straight sister does

but I bet that your suit cost less than your sister's wedding dress!
posted by matteo at 9:48 AM on March 31, 2006

(those ungrateful liberals)
posted by matteo at 9:48 AM on March 31, 2006

In fact, matteo, I was married wearing a rather pricey rented tux in front of a hundred of our friends and family, while my sister and her hubby chose to get hitched in a modest civil ceremony, with one witness, wearing casual clothes.

To each his or her own.
posted by digaman at 9:56 AM on March 31, 2006

(those flashy, wasteful liberals, then!)

*hugs digaman*
posted by matteo at 10:07 AM on March 31, 2006

*hugs matteo*

Now back to smashing the State. ;-)
posted by digaman at 10:26 AM on March 31, 2006

As a former Ohio resident (well, I was attending a hippie liberal communist enclave known as college), my take is that DeWine is representative of a choice many semi-moderate Republicans running in 2006 have to make--whether or not they'll embrace Bush a la Ken Mehlman's recent directive (and by association embrace a failed Iraq policy, lots of dead and crippleded American kids, and lo and behold, a failed Medicare policy that is just starting to kick in, and the elderly are starting to realize how screwed they were by Bush, DeLay, and big pharma), or just try to pull a circa-2000 McCain and pretend they're not beholden to Bush and the RNC. As others have mentioned, Ohio is so stinky right now given Republican scandals that DeWine really has no choice. It will be interesting to see which direction other Republicans go, however. I have a feeling that Bush and Cheney will have far fewer invites to campaign rallies in contested states than they will in sure-thing Republican districts (of which there are considerably fewer than in 2002).

Good op-ed from Eugene Robinson in today's post--Democrats will soon need to go from watching the Republicans fall apart to advancing an actual strategy for Iraq and the economy.
posted by bardic at 10:30 AM on March 31, 2006

(And am I the only one who gets a kick out of the fact that this might all be karma for DeWine firing Jessica Cutler, i.e., "Washingtonienne"?)
posted by bardic at 10:32 AM on March 31, 2006

bardic, you're not a fellow Oberlinian, are you?
posted by digaman at 10:34 AM on March 31, 2006

No--a Gambierian. But had some great times at Oberlin at parties.
posted by bardic at 10:39 AM on March 31, 2006

I know it's early, but:

Columbus -- U.S. Senate Candidate Sherrod Brown surged to an 8.9% lead over incumbent Senator Mike DeWine in the latest Wall Street Journal Zogby Poll.

Rep. Brown holds a lead of 45.9% to DeWine's 37%.

The WSJ also indicated that "Incumbent Senator Mike DeWine has one of the lowest approval ratings in the Senate... ."

Sorry for the lack of link. It's from an e-mail today.
posted by Otis at 10:40 AM on March 31, 2006

I love it when transparent, opportunistic, obviously sleazy moves by sleazeballs don't work out for them.

Still waiting for that to kick in at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
posted by digaman at 10:53 AM on March 31, 2006

Dewino would rather the conversation be about almost anything besides his corruption, his sexual pecadillos, and his voting history.
Scraping the bottom of the barrel for votes with the gay hater's vote exhibits his desperation.
posted by nofundy at 11:32 AM on March 31, 2006

Jessica Cutler is friggin' hot.
posted by delmoi at 11:46 AM on March 31, 2006

Well, maybe not that hot, but she is kinky, so that makes up for it.
posted by delmoi at 11:50 AM on March 31, 2006

Clinton, just like Kerry, assuming that those of us in favor or marriage rights for gays and lesbians have no where else to go, really. It is so discouraging.

I use the term bigot for some one with such an opinion. I can't help it, that is how I feel about it.
posted by Danf at 1:26 PM on March 31, 2006

"'The only thing that explains the president's victory in my view is the emphasis he put in those closing weeks on the marriage issue,' said Bauer

It amazes me that anyone even still asks for that guy's opinion. But I guess he has a list of donors, so people will ask him what he thinks.
posted by illovich at 1:50 PM on March 31, 2006


During the nineties, Republicans loved to run on a campaign of overturning Roe v. Wade, despite the fact that it often seemed like an empty campaign promise. Yet after twenty years of hammering away at that message, bringing groups that had not typically participated in national politics into play, and a couple of Supreme Court nominations later, it's no longer an empty campaign promise; it's a threat.

Sure, overturning a court decision is a much more difficult proposition than passing an amendment--there hasn't been much success with the Flag Desecration Amendment or whatever Orwellian thing they're calling it is. Thirty-seven states is a lot more serious than even 51 senators or 260-odd representatives. But if you keep hammering away at it, if you keep railing against gay marriage, the day it seemed like 'an empty campaign promise' is long off.

(This is not supposed to be a derail into discussing abortion, just making a point. Please carry on.)
posted by thecaddy at 5:15 PM on March 31, 2006

I hate the even-numbered years.

They do too good a job of reminding me that America isn't about freedom, liberty, or anything remotely noble.

Fuck these Machiavellan pols who care so little about us as a people that actual policy debate is now verboten. Instead we get this manipulative bullshit.

And stupid people (on both sides) will continue to mindlessly fall for it, instead of thinking (for even a moment) about what sorts of changes would make their lives better.

I fucking hate it.
posted by I Love Tacos at 6:49 PM on March 31, 2006

While the marriage amendment has always been pie-in-the-sky, gay marriage was a real and practical issue in 2004. People who feel strongly about the issue were absolutely correct to vote for Bush. John Kerry's Supreme Court appointees absolutely would have voted to impose gay marriage on states that didn't want it, and George Bush's likely won't.
posted by MattD at 5:39 PM on April 1, 2006

Now it's McCain's turn.
posted by Otis at 6:13 AM on April 5, 2006

DeWine Plays Ball with Bush
posted by Otis at 6:29 AM on April 6, 2006

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