Okay, book mark this post, and refer to it frequently for the next four years. Here’s the talking point for the Dems, coming straight from the Horse’s um, mouth, over at Daily Kos, the left wing blog that is paid to produce left wing, um, communications.
Marching order #1, therefore, is this: No matter whom you talk to outside our circles, begin to perpetuate the (false, exaggerated) notion that George Bush’s victory was built not merely on values issues, but gay marriage specifically. If you feel a need to broaden it slightly, try depicting the GOP as a majority party synonymous with gay-haters, warmongers and country-clubbers.
[Hat tip to he who needs no hits].
Well, there you have it. Keep in mind, this is a paid for Democrat blog – this ain’t free lance, folks; if it isn’t an actual talking point going out on the email, then it’s what the Dems’ mucky-mucks are actually talking about doing. Of course being Kos, this reference will change as soon as it is noted that the right has noticed what the talking points are. So you may want to save a copy. I will.
By the way, what’s the effective response to this little hate campaign, and how do we keep from letting them define us this way? Easy.
1. Republicans need to do outreach to the gay community – 25%+ of which already votes republican.
2. Republicans need to make a principled stance here – no federal gay marriage as of right or statute, or gay marriage imposed on a state by another state, through the courts. The sole exception should be determining the effect of a gay marriage state’s divorce decree, property disposal, support or custody decisions, in non-gay marriage states. (This is contemplated by the Constitution, and here’s a hint – “give effect to” is the right approach to take for too many sound legal reasons to go into here).
3. If you want gay marriage, or gay civil unions, fine, push the notion through the state legislature or the referenda process, and Republicans should not oppose *at a national level* – though what state parties do on their own is another matter. (A lot of state Dem parties would be on the side of opposing gay marriage as well – don’t kid yourself. They aren’t that stupid).
This approach is principled because it leaves the matter of defining marriage to the states, which is where it properly should be. Congress should ask states to give effect to other states’ property dispositions and custody decisions, but avoid having to recognize marriages, grant divorces, etc. This is generally consistent with how it is done in state law and under general conflict of laws principles anyhow. Republican opposition to gay marriage at the national level, such as it is, should be directed to limiting what the nine oligarchs at the back of Capitol Hill have to say about the matter.
The issue isn’t a winner long term folks, because nobody’s mind is going to get changed. The states that don’t want gay marriage wont have it – not now, probably not in any of our lifetimes, so it isn’t worth fighting there if you are a conservatives. The states that want it will have it whether the fed gov wants it or not. Their legislature or their court will impose it. Conservatives in those states ought to fight it, and if on the losing side of the battle and interested in preserving traditional marriage, should look to the notion of parallel track civil unions as a possible last ditch defense measure. (I personally am okay with civil unions, but that’s just me). Forget about trying to get a Constitutional Amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman – that is a pipe dream. Moreover, since we’ve left the age of stoning homosexuals, at least in this country, we have to figure out how to reach an accomodation in our plural social and political structure. This is best done in the laboratory of the states, not the courts or the federal legislature. In the end, there may be no gay marriage or civil unions, and we may all wonder what the fuss was about; or we may have 49 states with gay marriage, and one reviled backwards state with only civil unions. Who knows?
The only thing I do know about this, is we shouldn’t allow conservatism (and for that matter small “L” libertarianism to be captured by this debate or defined by it, especially not at the national level.