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NYT Claims GOP Rethinking Gay Marriage

A textbook example of the everyday disinformation supplied to us by the New York Times:

Signs G.O.P. Is Rethinking Stance on Gay Marriage

By ADAM NAGOURNEY

April 29, 2009

WASHINGTON — It was only five years ago that opposition to gay marriage was so strong that Republicans explicitly turned to the issue as a way to energize conservative voters. Yet today, as the party contemplates the task of rebuilding itself, some Republicans say the issue of gay marriage may be turning into more of a hindrance than a help.

The fact that a run of states have legalized gay marriage in recent months — either by court decision or by legislative action — with little backlash is only one indication of how public attitudes about this subject appear to be changing.

More significant is evidence in polls of a widening divide on the issue by age, suggesting to many Republicans that the potency of the gay-marriage question is on the decline. It simply does not appear to have the resonance with younger voters that it does with older ones.

Consider this: In the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, released on Monday, 31 percent of respondents over the age of 40 said they supported gay marriage. By contrast, 57 percent under age 40 said they supported it, a 26-point difference. Among the older respondents, 35 percent said they opposed any legal recognition of same-sex couples, be it marriage or civil unions. Among the younger crowd, just 19 percent held that view.

Steve Schmidt, who was the senior strategist to Senator John McCain of Arizona during his presidential campaign, said in a speech and an interview that Republicans were in danger of losing these younger voters unless the party comes to appreciate how issues like gay marriage resonate, or do not resonate, with them.

“Republicans should re-examine the extent to which we are being defined by positions on issues that I don’t believe are among our core values, and that put us at odds with what I expect will become, over time, if not a consensus view, then the view of a substantial majority of voters,” he said in a speech.

This does not mean, Republicans said, that most Americans are suddenly embracing the idea of same-sex couples going to the chapel. It is more that, for a lot of these Americans, gay marriage is not something they spend a lot of time worrying about, or even thinking about.

For younger respondents, this shift may in part be cultural: the result of coming of age in an era when openly gay people have become increasingly common in popular entertainment and in public life, not to mention in their own families or social circles. Familiarity in this case breeds relative comfort, or perhaps just lack of interest.

The other reason, members of both parties said, is that the argument over gay marriage seems beside the point at a time when the country is facing a severe economic crisis, remains on edge for another domestic terrorist attack and has just inaugurated its first black president.

“Right now, people are not concerned about issues like gay marriage because they are concerned about the economy,” Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former Republican mayor of New York, told reporters in Albany after meeting with Republican members of the state Senate, who are opposing legislation to legalize gay marriage.

Mr. Giuliani explained that he opposed gay marriage — while supporting civil unions — but that he did not think it made much sense for Republicans to be harping on the issue if the party had any serious interest in returning to power.

“The Republican party does best organizing itself around economic issues and issues of national security,” said Mr. Giuliani, 64, who ran for president last year and is now thinking about running for governor of New York.

The difference in attitudes among age groups has been noted by Republicans at a time when party leaders are engaged in discussion about what policies and messages can best help them regain some of the power they have lost to Democrats. Some conservative leaders said that unless something happened to reverse the trend, it would simply be a matter of time — perhaps as many as 10 years, perhaps as few as 3 — before opposition to gay marriage would get traction in only a few parts of the country.

In this latest New York Times/CBS News Poll, 42 percent of all respondents said they supported gay marriage, compared with 22 percent in March 2004. By contrast, 18 percent of Republicans supported gay marriage, while 49 percent said they opposed any kind of recognition of gay unions. The electorate at large seems to be moving while Republican base voters are not, a challenge to any Republican seeing to win his or her party’s nomination in 2012.

“It’s a problem,” said Mr. Schmidt said in an interview.

This was reflected in a recent conversation with Tim Pawlenty, the Republican governor of Minnesota, a social conservative who opposes gay marriage and is considering a run for president.

Asked if he thought, given recent events, that Republicans were making a political mistake in emphasizing gay issues, Mr. Pawlenty, who is 48, responded: “I think it’s an important issue for our conservative voters.” But he notably did not dwell on the subject.

Before joining Mr. McCain’s ill-fated campaign, Mr. Schmidt was known in Republican circles for arguing that the party needed to move away from social issues to be successful; he managed Arnold Schwarzenegger’s campaign for governor in California.

“The Republican Party is shrinking,” he said. “One of the reasons it is shrinking is because there are large demographics in this country that view the party as intolerant or not relevant to them. Politics is about addition.”

For Republicans, the complications of this issue could very well focus on the very first state on the nominating calendar in 2012, Iowa. The courts there overturned a law banning gay marriage earlier this month, and social conservatives — who are a strong force in Republican politics in Iowa — are already organizing to try to amend the state Constitution to restore the ban.

Should developments continue apace, Republican candidates for president are going to be pressed to support that effort, and to spend time talking about an issue that could undercut their appeal to more centrist voters in a general election.

Will that matter? As Mr. Schmidt noted, the winner of the Iowa Republican caucus is hardly assured of becoming the party’s nominee; Mr. McCain lost there in 2008. Still, he said it would be difficult for any Republican candidate to win his party’s nomination in 2012 without opposing gay marriage.

“I think it’s likely that all our candidates will be against gay marriage,” Mr. Schmidt said. “But the point is this: There should be a de-emphasis on this issue. This is not the most important issue facing the country. In states where this has been made legal, there has been a collective yawn from the citizenry in a lot of these states. The party should focus on disagreeing with the president on the axis of issues that we agree on.”

Mr. Schmidt is 38 years old.

All right, let’s look at this typical piece of New York Times journalism. According to the headline and the lede paragraph:

[S]ome Republicans say the issue of gay marriage may be turning into more of a hindrance than a help.

Let’s examine the Republicans who are cited in the piece.

First up, Mr. Schmidt, a former advisor to John McCain. What does the New York Times produce as evidence that he is re-thinking his stance on ‘gay marriage’:

“Republicans should re-examine the extent to which we are being defined by positions on issues that I don’t believe are among our core values, and that put us at odds with what I expect will become, over time, if not a consensus view, then the view of a substantial majority of voters,” he said in a speech.

That’s it. A fairly ambiguous (even tautological) sentence that could have been about anything. There is certainly no evidence from The Times to suggest that this was about ‘gay marriage.’

Later, and undoubtedly after much hectoring from the New York Times, Mr. Schmidt further opines:

“I think it’s likely that all our candidates will be against gay marriage,” Mr. Schmidt said. “But the point is this: There should be a de-emphasis on this issue. This is not the most important issue facing the country. In states where this has been made legal, there has been a collective yawn from the citizenry in a lot of these states. The party should focus on disagreeing with the president on the axis of issues that we agree on.”

Fair enough. Mr. Schmidt, who The Times admits is against conservative social issues, says that Republicans should de-emphasize their opposition to “this issue.”

Does that indicate that Mr. Schmidt thinks the GOP should reconsider their stance on ‘gay marriage’? Or that they are reconsidering their stance?

Er, no.

Next up is Mr. Giuliani, whom The Times quotes thusly:

“Right now, people are not concerned about issues like gay marriage because they are concerned about the economy,” Rudolph W. Giuliani….

“The Republican party does best organizing itself around economic issues and issues of national security,” said Mr. Giuliani…

Where is there any evidence that Mr. Giulian (whom the article even admits opposes ‘gay marriages’) is re-thinking his stance on the issue?

Lastly, as its piece de resistance, the New York Times trots out Mr. Pawlenty, whom they quote as saying:

Mr. Pawlenty, who is 48, responded: “I think it’s an important issue for our conservative voters.”

That is to say, Mr. Pawlenty said exactly the opposite of what The Times article purports to report.

So to sum up, what the New York Times points to as “signs the GOP is rethinking stance on gay marriage” amounts to some obviously grudging comments from a political advisor who served Mr. McCain so brilliantly during the last campaign.

A minor figure whom even The Times admits has long since been known for believing that Republicans need to move away from conservative social issues.

This is what passes for journalism from the New York Times.

But of course we realize that proselytizing for homosexuals is almost as important to The Times as is leaking vital national security secrets.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, April 28th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

16 Responses to “NYT Claims GOP Rethinking Gay Marriage”

  1. Reality Bytes says:

    Hey Arlen! You forgot to take Pawlenty with you!

  2. RightWinger says:

    I heard Joe Scarborough going on a rant on the radio today crying that if the GOP wants to preach for Govt to stay out of our lives, then we are not supposed to be hypocrites and say we need the Fed Govt to not interfere with the people’s decision to allow gay marriage.

    We might just as well get it over with now and change the name of the US to “Thunderdome” and just say anything goes.

    • catie says:

      RW, they replaced an excellent show (the Chris Plante Show) here in DC with that a$$hat and his clown car sidekick. I don’t know where you live (you may be in this area as well) but I haven’t listened to him since he came on.
      Steve Schmidt was at the Log Cabin Republican soiree a few weekends ago along with Megan McCain. So this isn’t surprising at all.
      I believe that’s Gulianni in that picture but it could just as easily be Barney Frank.

  3. Gila Monster says:

    Given their current political proclivity, it’s obviously time for the Slimes to change their long-held banner to something more appropriate to reflecting their content.
    I was thinking “The New York Liberal Pravda”. All the news that’s fit to proselytize…
    Yeah, I’m thinking that’s about right.

  4. JohnMG says:

    …..”The fact that a run of states have legalized gay marriage in recent months — either by court decision or by legislative action —…..”

    ONE state by legislative action, the rest by judicial dictat. How does judicial activism (mostly from Clinton-appointed judges) reflect the attitudes, much less the will, of the people? And did somebody forget what just took place in California? Proposition 8 comes to mind.

  5. Liberals Demise says:

    EGADS…..what’s next?
    Are they hinting that Barney Fwank wants to switch hit parties?
    Is the NYT forcing homos on the GOP?
    Is Hillary really a man?

  6. wirenut says:

    Every time you hear the word consensus, expect an agenda instead.

  7. Anonymoose says:

    I think it’s telling there hasn’t been one state where the decision has been made by popular vote, it’s all been by court decisions or lawsuits. I also use to think the whole concept of a gay “marriage” would never be taken seriously, but it has been. (After all, a marriage has a husband and a wife, not two husbands or two wives, but never mind.)

    I feel that as long as the Dems are in charge they’ll keep churning it out and every legislative fiat will be another “victory” for open mindedness and acceptance and blah blah.

    Two things I expect will happen. One is as the gays start getting married they’ll find it doesn’t make everyone start approving of them and the world doesn’t turn end over end. They can demand and pass laws and make it a hate crime to say anything they don’t want to hear, but people in the end will stay the same.

    The other is the whole Rainbow Coalition exists because of a common “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” and gays have been portrayed in the best light possible by the media. What do gay men and lesbian women really have in common? And for screaming they’re hard wired this way what about bisexuals? The real ugliness will begin when they start fighting with each other, not with us.

    • heykev says:

      I am just concerned that once we have “accepted” this prevision and had it forced upon us by judicial fiat, what’s next? Polygamists and NABLA will both demanding their rights. Given recent courts ruling, I do not see any reason why these groups could not get themselves approved.

      God help us when Berry starts appointing members to any court.

  8. Reality Bytes says:

    This whole gay thing is an overrated fad. Isn’t it ironic that Obama’s Islamo buds would hang them as lamp post decorations if they had their way. If ever there was a populist cause that makes “strange bedfellows” this one would be it. In more ways than I care to imagine for sure.

  9. pdsand says:

    I was going to comment, but you said it best Steve. This man failed to mobilize the conservative base to oppose the biggest socialist to ever roll down the pike. How does that give him credentials to tell the GOP what it needs to do to win?
    And of course, they mention several times that currently the GOP is not exactly banging the drums on gay marriage and that unless something happens over time the issue will fade to obscurity. Isn’t that the case for any issue? If one party enthusiastically supports gay marriage, and the other lets it go by the wayside, then of course over time the issue will fade to obscurity. Because after 3-10 years, gay marriage will be the law in this country.

  10. proreason says:

    Now that we’re on a path to15% unemployment and since the Swine Flu is poised to overtake the Black Death as the killer of record, it’s a good time to legalize beastiality.

    Makes sense, doesn’t it?

    Drooling Barney should be pleased.


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