This morning, Bluestem tried to help Minnesota state representative Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa) dig his way out of his confusion about the opposition to last year's amendment to restrict the freedom to marry.
Read the post here: Draz missed Winona Daily News coverage of campaign against marriage amendment.
Somewhere along the line, The Draz came to believe that all the folks who were writing letters and wearing t-shirts that said, "Vote No on the amendment to limit the freedom to marry" and "let's have a conversation about why marriage and family matters for all sorts of families" were somehow really saying, oh, turning this amendment down will so not change anything and we'll stop talking about this on November 7.
Yeah. We don't know how he got there either, but a couple of news items suggest that he might want to walk away from that absurd talking point--and take the rest of his Minnesota Republican state legislative colleagues in the direction of Senator Branden Petersen.
While Minnesota's media and political soothsayers are predicting dire consequences for Greater Minnesota DFLers who support the freedom to marry, a number of items suggest that this conventional wisdom might be as permanent as snow, and the implications for the Republican Party far more dire.
Buzzfeed reports in At CPAC, The Marriage Fight Is Over:
Cleta Mitchell, a D.C. lawyer who successfully led the charge to keep the LGBT conservative group GOProud out of the Conservative Political Action Conference for the past two years, is finding out what it means to lose a hard-fought battle.
Mitchell and the National Organization for Marriage's Brian Brown looked down from a stage at the annual, signature conservative conference whose social values they'd fought to defend to find they'd lost their troops.
"We are treated as if we are bigots," Brown complained to a largely empty room, assembled for a panel dedicated to discussing the bullying they and other conservatives say they face from the Obama administration. . . .
. . .Far from a sole, fringe, pro-marriage equality speaker — and a day before Republican Sen. Rob Portman announced his support for marriage equality — panels both before and after Mitchell's panel had speakers encouraging the Republican Party and the conservative movement to embrace marriage equality.
They weren't always expected voices. Liz Mair and Margaret Hoover have been supportive of GOProud since the beginning, but this CPAC they were joined on a Thursday panel sponsored by the Competitive Enterprise Institute by none other than the National Review's Jonah Goldberg. Conservative scholar and provocateur Charles Murray also pointedly backed the cause at CPAC. Jennifer Rubin, the conservative Washington Post blogger, was among those speaking most strongly about how the Republican Party needs to adjust course on gay couples' marriage rights if it wants to survive.
A second item: while Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker confirmed his opposition to marriage equality in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal today, he'd floated a trial balloon over the weekend about getting government out of marriage.
A third item: ABCNews reports in 'Different Instead of Somebody Being Wrong,' Gay Marriage Gains Support in ABC/Wash-Post Poll:
The most recent ABC News-Washington Post survey, released today, finds a substantial swing in support of same-sex marriages in the past decade. A record-high 58 percent of Americans think gay marriage should be legal, according to the new ABC-Post numbers, an increase of 26 percentage points since the 32 percent recorded in 2004. Thirty-six percent now say gay marriage should be illegal.
A fourth: the release of an internal, though public self study by the Republican National Committee. Typical headline is that at Huffington Post: RNC Growth And Opportunity Project Report: Voters See GOP As 'Scary,' 'Narrow Minded'.
A couple of key passages:
If we believe our policies are the best ones to improve the lives of the American people, all the American people, our candidates and offce holders need to do a better job talking in normal,people-oriented terms and we need to go to communities where Republicans do not normally go to listen and make our case. We need to campaign among Hispanic, black, Asian, and gay Americans and demonstrate we care about them, too. We must recruit more candidates who come rom minority communities. But it is not just tone that counts. Policy always matters.
As part of the Growth and Opportunity Project’s effort, Focus groups were conducted in Columbus,Ohio, and Des Moines, Iowa, to listen to voters who used to consider themselves Republicans.These are voters who recently left the Party.
Asked to describe Republicans, they said that the Party is “scary,” “narrow minded,” and “out of touch” and that we were a Party of “stuffy old men.” This is consistent with the findings of other post-election surveys.
. . .If we believe our policies are the best ones to improve the lives of the American people,all the American people, our candidates and offce holders need to do a better job talkingin normal, people-oriented terms and we need to go to communities where Republicans donot normally go to listen and make our case. We need to campaign among Hispanic, Black, Asian, and gay Americans and demonstrate that we care about them, too.
. . .Younger voters are increasingly put off by the GOP. A post-election survey of voters ages 18-29in the battleground states of Virginia, Ohio, Florida, and Colorado found that Republicans havean almost 1:2 favorable/unfavorable rating. Democrats have an almost 2:1 favorable rating.
For the GOP to appeal to younger voters, we do not have to agree on every issue, but we do needto make sure young people do not see the Party as totally intolerant of alternative points of view. Already, there is a generational difference within the conservative movement about issues involving the treatment and the rights of gays — and for many younger voters, these issues are a gateway into whether the Party is a place they want to be.
If our Party is not welcoming and inclusive, young people and increasingly other voters will continue to tune us out.The Party should be proud of its conservative principles, but just because someone disagrees with us on 20 percent of the issues, that does not mean we cannot come together on therest of the issues where we do agree.
. . .On messaging, we must change our tone — especially on certain social issues that are turning off young voters. In every session with young voters, social issues were at the forefront of the discussion; many see them as the civil rights issues of our time. We must be a party that is welcoming and inclusive for all voters
Faint-hearted Democrats should consider their own reflection in that funhouse mirror when the same sex marriage bills reach the floor of the Minnesota House and Senate. Are they willing to be defined by an increasingly shopworn politics of fear--or turn have the courage to understand that trendlines favor the freedom of all adults to marry the person they love?
Photo: Glencoe Republican Representative Glenn Gruenhagen (top);A supporter of the freedom to marry in Winona. Summer 2012, via the Winona Daily News (bottom)
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