Al-Jazeera has a
n intelligentdiscussion about whether the GOP candidates are wise to seek out a culture war and vocally oppose same-sex marriage.
I think there is something to it that should not be overlooked.
It’s foolish to think that something this systemic and huge is a concerted effort. in my mind and probably not other people’s, the culture war battle is dying to make a pattern in my head, Susan G. Komen, Gay Marriage/Prop. 8 decision, the president’s contraception deal etc. Maybe others clump these together, most likely people who think like me and have the same values.
If I were the GOP- and commanded strategy over a really complicated number of groups and literally thousands of leaders leading millions of people- I actually would have tried to do something like this not because I think that there is something to gain by culture warfare (there isn’t), this does two things:
1. this energizes a base whose core issues (abortion, Jesus) are not having their issue talked about nationally. it is of value to the GOP that this group feel under attack by others.
2. It distracts from another loser strategy the GOP has, attacking Obama on economic recovery.
Assuming this culture fight is a feint of sorts- it allows distracted voters to ‘reset’ their understanding of what Republicans stand for on economic issues, especially if the next time it comes up, Romney is back proposing sound traditional Republican talking points and not “Economy DOOMED, ALL OF YOU ARE UNEMPLOYED FOREVER.”
Again, however, it’s a vast oversimplification to say that there’s a GOP ‘plan’. There’s kind of the dominant narrative and it’s up to Romney to surf it effectively.