During the course of the 2010 campaign, I was working on a blog post/op-ed with the title I use for this post. But, as I followed the messages of Republican candidates across the country, I realized that, well, they had already gotten the message. It didn’t seem necessary. And since it wasn’t a winning issue in the campaign, it shouldn’t be a defining agenda when the 112th Congress convenes in January.
Thanks in part to the unpopular, big-government initiatives of the Obama Democrats and the concomitant (given popular opinion) growth of the Tea Parties, most Republicans campaigned on fiscal issues. Those who made an issue of gays (or appeared to do as much) didn’t do as well on Election Day as polls forecast.
Now, our good friends at GOProud “and some Tea Party leaders” are pressing Republicans to stay true to their campaign rhetoric and “to keep social issues off” the agenda:
“On behalf of limited-government conservatives everywhere, we write to urge you and your colleagues in Washington to put forward a legislative agenda in the next Congress that reflects the principles of the Tea Party movement,” they write to presumptive House Speaker John Boehner and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell in an advance copy provided to POLITICO. “This election was not a mandate for the Republican Party, nor was it a mandate to act on any social issue.”
When Chris Barron of GOProud contacted Bruce and me about the project, each of us eagerly signed on. His letter is exactly in the spirit of the ideas this blog has been promoting for six year — and that I have been promoting for at last fifteen. Social conservative Tea Party folk are also signing up:
“When they were out in the Boston Harbor, they weren’t arguing about who was gay or who was having an abortion,” said Ralph King, a letter signatory who is a Tea Party Patriots national leadership council member, as well as an Ohio co-coordinator.
King said he signed onto the letter because GOProud seemed to be genuine in pushing for fiscal conservatism and limited government.
“Am I going to be the best man at a same sex-marriage wedding? That’s not something I necessarily believe in,” said King. “I look at myself as pretty socially conservative. But that’s not what we push through the Tea Party Patriots.”
Nice to see a gay conservative group actually working within the framework of conservative groups to keep the focus on the issues which have defined our party at least since the rise of Reagan — and have helped Republicans win elections in 1980, 1984, 1988, 1994 and now 2010.
Even the Advocate has picked up on this. Guess the message is that a gay Republicans can get media attention without attacking their own party.