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By avoiding gay issues and focusing on economic ones, GOP candidates can more readily repeat Scott Brown’s feat

While gay leaders and activists are rending their garments and gnashing their teeth in the wake of Republican Scott Brown’s victory in John Kerry’s Massachusetts, in a fit of pique not seen since Brokeback Mountain failed to win an Academy Award for Best Picture, they’re missing one of the big stories of the race, perhaps the biggest for gay people.

Were these activists not so determined to bind their gay identity to their partisan loyalty, they might have realized that this Republican who once supported a referendum on a state constitutional amendment to enshrine the traditional definition of marriage in the state constitution, pretty much avoided gay issues on the campaign trail.

Indeed, when I did a few google searches to investigate the claims of gay left-wingers that Brown was anti-gay, I could find no evidence he harbored animus against homosexuals and only one time he addressed gay issues in the campaign.  And he wasn’t the one who raised the issue.  It came up in a meeting with editors of the Boston Herald. He said gay marriage was “settled law” in Massachusetts; “People have moved on.”  And so had he.

In his campaign, Scott Brown ignored gay issues to address the economic and national security concerns of his constituents.  If Republicans in other left-leaning jurisdictions wish to repeat his feat this fall, they would be wise to take heed.  Demonizing gays or harping on gay marriage is not the means to win election.

Focus on the idea, freedom, and the issues, reducing the size of government and providing for the common defense, which unite our party.

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19 Comments

  1. In the minds of many of the Obama-bots, “Republican” automatically means “anti-gay.” To any degree to which that may seem to have come true, decades of our having shunned Republican candidates hasn’t helped matters.

    Every action an individual takes ripples through the pond. It does have an effect, whether we immediately see it or not. The GOP is what it has become as much because some people have neglected it as it is because of those hairy, scary bigots who seem to have taken it over.

    Though I’m a Libertarian, I intend to become active in my local chapter of the Republican Liberty Caucus, as well as GoProud. I will also reward GOP candidates who do not attack me by voting for them — and (often harder to do) by boldly proclaiming that I’m doing so.

    This is the way forward. Who knows — it may even make the Democrats a little less lazy.

    Comment by Lori Heine — January 21, 2010 @ 5:02 pm - January 21, 2010

  2. “The GOP is what it has become as much because some people have neglected it”

    Are you blaming gay people for the fact that much of the GOP is hostile to gays?

    Comment by Tano — January 21, 2010 @ 5:14 pm - January 21, 2010

  3. Yeah, but you’re all Still Racists you know…

    Comment by Sonicfrog — January 21, 2010 @ 5:22 pm - January 21, 2010

  4. Tano why haven’t you banned yourself, as you’ve said liars should be banned?

    I do agree Dan, it is ‘the economics, stupid’

    Comment by The_Livewire — January 21, 2010 @ 5:30 pm - January 21, 2010

  5. Lori – Yes. Good choices.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 21, 2010 @ 5:31 pm - January 21, 2010

  6. It’s one thing to avoid gay issues, but it’s another to present one’s view and how one might react if confronted. Gay marriage and other gay issues were imposed during the Bush years by circumstances. It deserved the correct response. Mass didn’t have to be this way, however, I do think it is within the citizen’s right to bring it up in the future if they desire.

    Comment by anon2273892 — January 21, 2010 @ 5:34 pm - January 21, 2010

  7. “I do think it is within the citizen’s right to bring it up in the future if they desire.”

    It certainly is. I intend to be very “out” at Republican Liberty Caucus meetings. This is also why I support GoProud and — even though they’ve made some big mistakes — why I’ll probably continue to support Log Cabin, too.

    Absolutely nobody who knows me, by any association, is unaware that I am gay. Nor am I shy about voicing my interests and concerns. We need to be upfront, and we can certainly do this without wrapping ourselves in a rainbow flag and and screaming about how victimized we are.

    There are people who have told me they intend to support us because they know me. Every individual can make a difference.

    Comment by Lori Heine — January 21, 2010 @ 6:17 pm - January 21, 2010

  8. Demonizing gays … is not the means to win election.

    Dan,

    That’s the kind of red herring I expect from Tano. Who are the Republicans who have tried to win election by demonizing gays please?

    If Republicans in other left-leaning jurisdictions wish to repeat his feat this fall, they would be wise to take heed.

    Well, at least I’ve succeeded in getting you to modify your position that much. I can pretty much agree with you there. Although I think it would be more accurate to say Republicans who want to win should not run against gay marriage where gay marriage has majority support.

    The problem is there are very few constituencies where gay marriage has majority support.

    And like I said before, it is political folly to abandon issues where your position has majority support and your opponent’s does not.

    Comment by American Elephant — January 21, 2010 @ 6:39 pm - January 21, 2010

  9. One more thing, I’m not saying that anyone should make gay marriage a major issue — that would show they are out of touch with voters who are much more concerned with the economy, their jobs and their liberty. Just trying to dispense with the idea that gay marriage is a losing issue anwhere but in small, densely liberal constituencies.

    Comment by American Elephant — January 21, 2010 @ 6:43 pm - January 21, 2010

  10. Check this out, which I found a link from Joe My God today: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I31Yv8c5ZwU

    The comments are about what I’d expect from gay liberals. Brown isn’t an “extreme right winger” no matter how much they want to paint him as one. His views on SSM are damned close to Obama’s. I expect Brown to be a moderate Republican, typical of the Northeast probably closer to Snowe than Coburn. Heck, today his first visit was to John McCain whom he wants to model himself after! Voting for Brown was never about social issues and everything about torpedoing ObamaCare (which Pelosi seems to admit has happened now), reigning in the out-of-control spending, etc. I can live with that, especially since the Dems show no serious effort at moving on DADT or DOMA repeal, let alone movement on ENDA or UAFA. Face it gay libs: they lied to you, took your money and than dropped you like a bad penny.

    Comment by John — January 21, 2010 @ 6:46 pm - January 21, 2010

  11. Obama treats gays the same way the Democrat party treats Blacks.
    http://pajamasmedia.com/zombie/2010/01/21/gay-voter-remorse-as-mccains-step-up-where-obama-fails/

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — January 21, 2010 @ 8:52 pm - January 21, 2010

  12. BROWN ON DON’T ASK/ DON’T TELL

    RE: “I could find no evidence (that Brown) harbored animus against homosexuals…”

    While I agree with your main point that Scott Brown never sought to interject gay issues into the campaign, I believe he does harbor a visceral personal reaction against homosexuals.

    I called him on the Dan Rae show on 1/12 and asked him, “In view of the facts that over 100 senior military officers, and a majority combat troops and military families surveyed all favor repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” as harmful to the military’s mission, would you be open to repealing “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” ??

    He answered, ”I think people’s sexuality should be left at the door when they join the military, so I don’t think we should repeal it.”

    I thought he’d at least give a qualified maybe, if the military is OK with it. But he gave an unqualified NO. What’s more, he put it in terms of SEX — that the issue of gays in the military comes down to SEX, not identity, not complex personality, not talents, but SEX.

    He belongs to the Christian Reformed Church, an ultra-Calvinist offshoot of the Dutch Reformed Church of Afrikaner fame. Given this religious fundamentalism, Scott Brown probably has a deep-seated visceral personal reaction against homosexuals that’s never going to change.

    For the record: I voted for him anyway because I agree with him on 90% of other issues, and because Coakley is just awful.

    I just pray he doesn’t become a major player in blocking repeal of DADT. But don’t bet on it. Today he said he’s seeking a seat on the Senate Armed Services committee….

    JK, Boston

    Comment by WesternCiv — January 22, 2010 @ 11:10 am - January 22, 2010

  13. We just don’t know yet how Brown will vote in the Senate. If he conducts himself like a grownup and uses the Constitution as a guide, we’ll all be okay. If he votes according to the funny feelings he gets in his tummy, then we won’t.

    He wasn’t elected to join the oversized children in Congress who think it’s all about themselves and how the FEEL about things. He’s being sent to Washington to act like an adult.

    I don’t care what his religious leanings are. Those shouldn’t bar anyone from office. Nor do I care how he feels about gays. I’m an adult, and I expect my elected officials to be, too.

    Enough of this childishness. Nursery school is over.

    Comment by Lori Heine — January 22, 2010 @ 1:11 pm - January 22, 2010

  14. I thought he’d at least give a qualified maybe, if the military is OK with it. But he gave an unqualified NO. What’s more, he put it in terms of SEX — that the issue of gays in the military comes down to SEX, not identity, not complex personality, not talents, but SEX.

    *guffaw*

    seriously, what are YOUR “gay talents”?

    Comment by American Elephant — January 22, 2010 @ 5:06 pm - January 22, 2010

  15. Lori Heine,

    I’m not sure of your point. You’re against “childishness” and for “acting like adults”, but I don’t see how that relates to the topic of Scott Brown on gay issues.

    Following the Constitution and acting like adults does not predict how he’ll vote on these issues. We do know that he will vote against repeal of DADT; he said so publicly.

    My reference to his “deep-seated visceral personal reaction against homosexuals” was in direct response to the previous assertion that there is “no evidence (that Brown) harbored animus against homosexuals…” An assertion was made about his underlying attitude, and I responded to it.

    I agree with you that liberals foolishly place emotion over reason, and that religious affiliation per se should not bar election to office. Still, understanding candidates’ underlying attitudes, and the religious beliefs which support them, are valid ways of assessing how strong candidates’ views are on issues and how likely/unlikely they are to change those views.

    Comment by WesternCiv — January 22, 2010 @ 5:47 pm - January 22, 2010

  16. RE: seriously, what are YOUR “gay talents”?

    I didn’t say “gay talents”, I said “talents”, as in very many talented people who are gay and being tossed out of the military,
    and the military mission is being hurt as a result.

    Comment by WesternCiv — January 22, 2010 @ 5:53 pm - January 22, 2010

  17. Western Civ, by “childishness” I was referring to the practice of obsessing over what candidates think or feel about gay issues.

    Again, if our entire economy, and with it our country, is destroyed, it won’t make much difference how Brown feels about gays. In times of economic chaos, many irrational people look for scapegoats. Gays are likely to lead the list.

    If we don’t come to terms with the economy, and keep this healthcare boondoggle for helping to destroy what’s left of it, it won’t matter what Scott Brown thinks of DADT. Our gay-depleted military will make no difference. The Chinese and the Saudis — who practically own us now — will take us over without firing a shot.

    Comment by Lori Heine — January 25, 2010 @ 6:56 pm - January 25, 2010

  18. I meant to say “keep this healthcare boondoggle FROM helping to destroy what’s left of it.” I should never type anything out when I’m about to hurry out the door to go somewhere.

    Comment by Lori Heine — January 25, 2010 @ 10:15 pm - January 25, 2010

  19. Dude…”Brokeback Mountain” should totally have won “Best Picture”. One of the saddest and sweetest love stories I have ever seen. Besides, how the heck could Ang Lee have won “Best Director” if he didn’t direct the “Best Picture”? Makes. No. Sense.

    Comment by WaltzingMtilda — January 27, 2010 @ 11:11 pm - January 27, 2010

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