Periodically there is talk from some Republicans about letting up on the culture wars, especially as social issues are alienating Republicans from large segments of the electorate. Unfortunately there are always social conservatives who will react negatively to this:
Conservative activists are launching “an unprecedented campaign” against three Republican candidates — two of whom are out gay men — because of their support for marriage equality and abortion.
The National Organization for Marriage, Family Research Council Action, and CitizenLink “will mount a concerted effort to urge voters to refuse to cast ballots” for Republican House candidates Carl DeMaio in California and Richard Tisei in Massachusetts and Republican Senate candidate Monica Wehby in Oregon, according to a letter sent to Republican congressional and campaign leaders on Thursday.
“We cannot in good conscience urge our members and fellow citizens to support candidates like DeMaio, Tisei or Wehby,” the presidents of the three groups write. “They are wrong on critical, foundational issues of importance to the American people. Worse, as occupants of high office they will secure a platform in the media to advance their flawed ideology and serve as terrible role models for young people who will inevitably be encouraged to emulate them.”
DeMaio and Tisei are the only out LGBT federal candidates from the Republican Party to be appearing on the ballot this fall.
“The Republican Party platform is a ‘statement of who we are and what we believe.’ Thus, the platform supports the truth of marriage as the union of husband and wife, and recognizes the sanctity and dignity of human life,” NOM President Brian S. Brown said in a statement.
Brown called it “extremely disappointing” to see candidates supported “who reject the party’s principled positions on these and other core issues.”
Of the effort to urge people to oppose DeMaio, Tisei, and Wehby, he said, “We cannot sit by when people calling themselves Republicans seek high office while espousing positions that are antithetical to the overwhelming majority of Republicans.”
The letter was sent to House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Greg Walden, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Jerry Moran, and others in Republican congressional leadership.
In it, the three conservative groups also warned that it is a “grave error” for the party to be supporting “candidates who do not hold core Republican beliefs and, in fact, are working to actively alienate the Republican base.”
In opposing gay marriage, these conservatives are looking at consensual behavior between others which does not affect them and desire to use the power of government to limit the choices of those who do not share their religious views. They also fail to recognize the right of a woman to control her own body.
Social conservative groups have considerable influence in the Republican Party and it will be interesting to see how the Republican establishment respond to this.
Such obsession with the sexual activities of others is not limited to a single faction of the conservative movement. The Heritage Foundation held a conference on the future of liberalism. As would be expected, they hold a very warped view of what liberalism is:
“Give up your economic freedom, give up your political freedom, and you will be rewarded with license,” said Heritage’s David Azerrad, describing the reigning philosophy of the left. “It’s all sex all the time. It’s not just the sex itself—it’s the permission to indulge.”
They totally miss the point. It is not a question of whether we should be promoting more sex, or less sex. Liberals believe government should stay out of the private lives of individuals, and let people make such decisions for themselves.
While they advocate restricting individual liberty and greater intrusion of government in the private lives of individuals, they promote a Bizarro World version of freedom. On social issues, freedom means their freedom to impose their views upon others. Economic freedom means freedom from necessary regulation along with freedom of taxation, but limited to the rich. While they preach keeping government out of economic matters, they actually support using government to rig the system to benefit the ultra-wealthy at the cost of the middle class.
The primary political freedom they support is a right for the rich to spend unlimited amounts of money on elections, failing to recognize that regulation of conduct related to spending on elections is not the same as restrictions on free speech. While a libertarian argument could certainly be made against restricting spending on political contributions, they hardly show any consistent support of political freedom when they use voter suppression tactics to promote their goals.