Thursday, July 04, 2013

‘Nice’ Republicans? Um, no.

If “experts” are to be believed, Republicans are about to be less anti-gay when talking about marriage equality. Wanna buy a bridge? “Experts” are selling them:
"But despite the social conservative dominance in two of the three early presidential nominating states, experts say [Republican] politicians… are not likely to jeopardize their presidential ambitions by choosing not to employ fire and brimstone condemnations following the ruling [on DOMA]."
That article excerpt is absurd. Of COURSE Republican presidential candidates are gonna get all bigotty about marriage equality—they HAVE to in order to win the Republican nomination! The "social conservative" radicals control the entire Republican Party nomination process, from top to bottom, and no serious contender can dare to stray from the party—literally—line. If these supposed "experts" seriously think Republican contenders aren't going to be strongly, even virulently, anti-gay, they haven't been paying attention to Republican rhetoric nor that of the party's frothing base.

The reality is that Republican candidates will have to prove that they're anti-gay to the extremists who are their party's base, and that will mean bigoted language. It's inevitable.

We know this from recent history: The Republican Party rejected all efforts at moderating it’s positions on “social issues” and instead doubled-down on its hard right ideology. That’s because the party is controlled by hard right ideologues, and no candidate can cross them and get away with it.

The Republican Party’s religious activists have declared that the DOMA ruling is a sort of “call to arms” for them. One prominent activist religious activist associated with a Vatican-backed anti-gay group declared, “The Supreme Court has not ended the debate. It has started a movement.” The leader of a leading—and powerful—“Christian” anti-gay hate group declared, “conservative leaders across our country aren't about to” give up. Another far right “Christian” group thundered that the DOMA ruling was as bad as Pearl Harbour, a “day of infamy”, and that far right “Christians” must “defy man’s law”. Another prominent anti-gay “Christian” activist declared, “This is the thing revolutions are made of”. That’s along the same lines as another anti-gay “Christian” extremist group that declared, “we have only one option and that is to secede from the union” in order to form a “Christian” theocracy.

This cavalcade of crazy may sound too silly to be taken seriously, but these people are active parts of the Republican Party base. Many of them have been instrumental in writing the party platform or campaigning for Republican candidates. They’ve all been forceful in pushing their version of conservatism (and Christianity) as the only acceptable, true and correct one. In short, these people may be nuts, but they’re powerful nuts.

As if the expressly religious activists weren’t enough, the “tea party” faction also turns on Republicans who support immigration reform, among other issues (which is why the leading Republican presidential contenders are so negative, in whole or in part, on immigration reform).

So, there are a whole bunch of rightwing fringe positions on issues that Republican candidates will have to waddle through somehow in order to win the nomination, and the easiest way for them to do that is to move to the far right themselves, and that will include hard right rhetoric, especially against gay people.

All of which is why, ultimately, Republican politicians will once again “employ fire and brimstone condemnations” of gay people and marriage equality. Their party’s base will accept nothing less. You don’t have to be an “expert” on anything to know this is inevitable.

“Nice” Republicans? Um, no.

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