So marriage equality is now either legal or bans on it have been found unconstitutional in 27 states. Has the GOP adjusted? Yes – by lurching even further to the anti-gay position. Rick Perry went to San Francisco yesterday to compare homosexual orientation to alcoholism, and to recommend reparative therapy for gays, even after the ex-gay movement has effectively collapsed. And a budding young Tea Party Republican in Oklahoma is ambivalent about whether gays should be stoned to death or not. The Southern Baptist Convention is also doubling down on reparative therapy for transgender people and for gays, if Al Mohler’s response to Matt Vines is any indicator.
There seems to be no middle ground here. And in this case, this has meant that marriage equality is winning. I wonder if the Republicans have yet grappled with that fact – and worry about its broader ramifications. They could have championed civil unions a long time ago and defused the issue; but they couldn’t for fundamentalist religious reasons – so we now have the prospect of full marriage rights for gays across the country far sooner than might otherwise have been the case. The same with healthcare reform.
In Obama they had a president who would have dearly loved some Republican buy-in, and could have drafted a reform bill that would have included many more conservative proposals (not including the Romneycare blueprint). Ditto on immigration: the path to citizenship could be more onerous and border security even more draconian than even Obama’s deportation-fest. Yet the absolutist principle of nothing close to any amnesty of any kind means their only effective policy is the impossible attempt to find and deport eleven million people.
They better hope their populist revolt can win the presidency. If it doesn’t, it’s the GOP right who will have cemented a far more liberal future for America than any Democrat could have hoped for.