The blogs and the (most left-of-center) pundits are having such a field day with Carl Paladino’s recent comments on gays that they’re missing the real story. Like their fascination with the escapades of Meg Whitman’s housekeeper, statements Christine O’Donnell made in the 1990s and the latest rantings of lunatic preachers with miniscule congregations in Florida and Kansas, they’ll do anything to smear the non-left, anything to detract attention from the real issues moving voters this fall.
The Republican nominee for Governor of New York State has most recently criticized his Democratic rival
. . . . for having taken his young daughters to a gay pride parade, saying that such events were inappropriate for children.
“Is that normal? Would you do it? Would you take your children to a gay pride parade?” Mr. Paladino asked the host Matt Lauer on the “Today” show, speaking of Mr. Cuomo.
“I don’t think it’s proper for them to go there and watch a couple of grown men grind against each other. I don’t think that’s proper. I think it’s disgusting.”
Now, I’ll grant that there is some, shall we say, inappropriate activity at some gay pride parades, things that are better left behind closed doors. And it’s pretty clear that Paladino was calling the public “grinding” disgusting. That said, he was trying to making a campaign issue of his opponent’s attendance a gay pride pride!?!?! C’mon, I mean, doesn’t the Empire State have some pretty pressing fiscal issues that the next Governor will need to confront?
Not just that, a man who is in hot water for farming out a speech addressing gay issues to “an ardent opponent of gay rights” should probably leave well enough alone and refrain from talking about gay pride parades. Should Paladino refrain from talking about gay issues, he’d be following the lead of most Republicans this cycle, indeed, the lead of most Republicans in cycles where the GOP emerges victorious.
And that’s the real story that the media and bloggers are missing. Paladino stands out this year by getting in hot water for his remarks on gay issues because he’s one of the few candidates putting his foot in his mouth on such issues, indeed, one of the few trying to use gays as, what some might call, a “wedge issue.”
Mr. Paladino may not get it, but most people, including most Republicans have moved on. They’ve pretty much adopted a live-and-let-live attitude on gay issues. Leftie bloggers may want to dwell on this issue to show just how anti-gay (they believe) Republicans are, but the real story is that Republicans aren’t campaigning on gay issues.
In most states, they’re more concerned with holding the line out of control state spending. As should be their counterpart in the Empire State.