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

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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Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by Bill Kellett on 03/28/2013 - 08:54 am.

    “Fund raising scare tactics and political demagoguery” So who else would the beleagered minority need protection from if not the evil GOP? Accusing others of behavior you are intimate with yourself is classic GOP.

  2. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 03/28/2013 - 09:49 am.


    Amen to Bill Kellett.

    “…‘You’re a beleaguered minority; let us protect you from the evil GOP — oh, and here’s your absentee ballot.’” is not only classic GOP, it’s been pretty much the mantra of the right wing for at least a decade. Substitute “Democrat” for “GOP,” and insert “corporate” in place of “absentee,” and the statement works just as well for the other side.

  3. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 03/28/2013 - 09:52 am.

    I’m not so sure.The

    I’m not so sure.

    The religious conservative segment is a large portion of the ordinary, non-libertarian GOP base. This is the group that is the least like to say, “Oh well, that’s done, let’s move on” with respect to this issue. Pol’s like Rick Wilson who are not “true believers in the party of the righteous” may see it as a losing cause that is easily abandoned, but it is not that way for the religious conservatives who have been so assiduously catered to for the past half-century.

    Can they lose the case(s), and then use the Supreme Court decision as a red shirt to wave for more complaints about judicial activism? Sure they could, but then they would have to spend the next campaign cycle decrying gay marriage which is not what they need demographically.

    I have a feeling that they are in a no-win situation here.

    More fracturing ahead.

    It’s hard to be on the wrong side of demographics, attitudes and even science and remain a viable party.

  4. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 03/28/2013 - 09:55 am.


    for the GOP, the Supremes will probably rule (as they should) on the law in question, not on a broad social issue.
    In other words, they will not say anything about gay marriage in general; just whether the particular law before the Court is constitutional.
    Minimum precedent.
    IF we should as a nation define marriage, that is a task for the Congress.

  5. Submitted by Hal Davis on 03/28/2013 - 11:27 am.


    “IF we should as a nation define marriage, that is a task for the Congress.’

    Or the states, if the Supreme say the feds should butt out.

  6. Submitted by Steve Hoffman on 03/28/2013 - 03:50 pm.

    Oh get real

    BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS should never be subjected to a popular vote. If that were the norm, Mississippi would still be a slaveholding state.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 03/28/2013 - 07:20 pm.

      That’s why

      the Constitution leaves it to the states, voting in congress, to make most of the laws, and the Supreme Court is the final arbiter on whether those laws are being enforced in a manner consistent with the Constitution.
      Who do YOU think should decide what are the basic rights of human beings?
      Remember, one justification of slavery was the proposition that blacks were not fully human, so that question must be decided first. Who decides?

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