Everybody is expecting the Supreme Court to rule on Marriage Equality within the next week. Nobody knows what they will decide… but at least I can tell you what our Republican leaders will be thinking.
If the Supreme Court rules to support same-sex marriage, even in part, we know what Republicans will think…
“God will be upset with America, and no doubt there will be tornadoes in Oklahoma and hurricanes in the Gulf as punishment.”
“This is totally bogus! A man can marry another man, but I still can’t marry my gun!”
“We have instructed ALEC to create a Stand Your Ground so you can shoot a guy you thought was gonna try to gay marry you.
“Maybe gay marriage isn’t in the Constitution, but you just go to Leviticus. That’s what Thomas Jefferson would do.”
“The way my dog explained this to me is that now he and I have to get married. I warned you people this would happen.”
“None of the Founders were gay married, so no one should be able to get gay married now.”
“I’m sick of decisions upholding Obama’s agenda. The Founders didn’t let women vote, so why they allowed on my Supreme Court?”
“All that legal mumbo jumbo to justify what we know is wrong. The Founding Fathers weren’t lawyers, so why are lawyers in charge now?!”
“WHY ARE YOU ALL LOOKING AT ME???”
Of course, it is always possible that the decision will go the other way, and that DOMA and Proposition 8 will both be upheld. In that case, it is also clear what our Republican leaders will be thinking…
“I’m sure relieved the 14th Amendment doesn’t apply to gays!”
“This is a great day. Our 1st Amendment right to have a Christian theocracy has been upheld.”
“I hope the Boy Scouts see this and go back to banning gay scouts, because only straight boys deserve to get life lessons.”
“Great news! Let’s all go to Chick-fil-A!”
“This gives me great hope that God will also get the Senate and Obama to overturn Obamacare too.”
Everyone agrees that Republicans had a messaging problem in the last election cycle. Luckily, they have found a strategy to solve that problem when addressing the gay marriage debate: just agree with all sides.
The strategy is as simple as it is genius: let those without power relay a soft, compassionate message, while those with power continue to push the conservative hard right agenda. That way, conservatives can fix the messaging by adding warm, bleeding-heart language to appeal to the liberal masses… all without actually changing any Republican policy standards.
Nowhere is this brilliant Karl Rove-ian strategy more apparent than in the current debate over marriage rights for same-sex couples. Read any headline in the liberal lame-stream media and you’ll see jubilant cries of “Prominent Republicans File Supreme Court Brief Against Proposition 8.” Yes, these “prominent” members of the Grand Old Party have bravely come out against the California ban on same-sex marriages. Liberals might think that Republican standards are changing, or that the party is somehow in disarray…. but this is all completely according to plan!
Almost all of these “prominent” Republicans are out of office and don’t really have positions of leadership in the party, but still: the messaging sounds great! We even have “high profile” Republican campaign staffers who have worked for the likes of George W. Bush and Mitt Romney signing on, even though they actively supported campaigns run on trying to ban marriages for gay couples with a federal constitutional amendment.
It really is a stroke of messaging genius—just ask Frank Luntz.
Of course, these brave conservatives who have nothing to lose since they are out office and really can’t influence the party in a substantive way can brilliantly distract from what the GOP leadership in power is actually doing.
For example, those champions of traditional values and conservative fiscal policy in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives are stepping in to defend the “Defense of Marriage Act” in the Supreme Court to the tune of over $3 million tax-payer dollars. In addition, Republicans on Capitol Hill are again attempting to change the U.S. military code with a bill introduced in the House to ban same-sex marriages on military bases after the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The Republicans in actual positions of power even bravely held up the “Violence against Women Act” because it included provisions to protect women in same-sex relationships.
But pay no attention to the white, heterosexual man behind the curtain! Not when we can get the media to focus on the great and powerful handful of out-of-office conservatives who can “fix” the messaging by signing a court brief.