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Politico: Republican operatives secretly hope justices legalize same-sex marriage

They can’t change their position, but the issue isn’t helping them.

Writing for Politico, Alexander Burns says that, at least among the political operative class, Republicans hope the U.S. Supreme Court will make a broad ruling equalizing marriage rights for gay and straight Americans.

The purely political logic is fairly obvious. Most Republican politicians can’t embrace same-sex marriage without ticking off the base and maybe facing a primary challenge. But in general elections, the issue is hurting the Repubs and, as public opinion continues to shift in favor of same-sex marriage (as hardly anyone doubts), the political damage will only get worse.

For obvious reasons, most of the political operatives who told this to Burns didn’t allow him to use their names. But a few were willing to own their quotes. For example, Florida-based Republican consultant Rick Wilson said that if the Supremes settle the same-sex marriage issue once and for all:

It removes the issue from the Democratic playbook of fundraising scare tactics and political demagoguery and breaks their usual messaging dynamic of, “You’re a beleaguered minority; let us protect you from the evil GOP — oh, and here’s your absentee ballot.”

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