Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 15, 2010

MORE CALLS FOR A CULTURE-WAR TRUCE.... It's been a while, but in the months leading up to the 2006 midterms -- the last time a chamber of Congress had a Republican majority -- GOP policymakers were intent on making the base happy.

In the three months leading up to Election Day '06, Republicans voted on an anti-gay constitutional amendment, a flag-burning constitutional amendment, assorted restrictions on abortion rights, new penalties for "broadcast indecency," and a measure to retain the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Republican lawmakers thought they could gin up the base and salvage the election cycle. It didn't work, and Democrats soon after won majorities in both chambers.

It's interesting, then, to see some Republicans urging the party to just skip hot-button culture-war issues altogether in the next Congress.

A gay conservative group and some Tea Party leaders are campaigning to keep social issues off the Republican agenda.

In a letter to be released Monday, the group GOProud and leaders from groups like the Tea Party Patriots and the New American Patriots, will urge Republicans in the House and Senate to keep their focus on shrinking the government.

"On behalf of limited-government conservatives everywhere, we write to urge you and your colleagues in Washington to put forward a legislative agenda in the next Congress that reflects the principles of the Tea Party movement," they write to presumptive House Speaker John Boehner and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell in an advance copy provided to POLITICO. "This election was not a mandate for the Republican Party, nor was it a mandate to act on any social issue."

The letter's signatories range from GOProud's co-founder and Chairman Christopher Barron ... to Tea Party leaders with no particular interest in the gay rights movement.

It's amusing, in a way, to see someone urge the GOP to pursue "the principles of the Tea Party movement," since no one can say with any confidence exactly what they are. Indeed, a significant chunk of the Tea Party activists say they're involved precisely because they're interested in social issues. It underscores the problem with pseudo-movements with no real policy agenda -- their "principles" are whatever the speaker says they are.

Regardless, the letter comes just months after Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) suggested it's time for a "truce" on culture-war issues.

That didn't go over well with much of the traditional Republican Party base, and it stands to reason this new effort will draw fire, too. Indeed, just last week, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) was asked about the notion of a "truce on social issues" for awhile. He replied that it's just not possible for someone to be "a fiscal conservative and not be a social conservative."

With that in mind, the intra-right fight should make for compelling viewing. GOProud's Barron noted, for example, that Jim DeMint wants to ban gay teachers from public school classrooms. "How is that limited government?" Barron asked.

I don't know, but I'd love to hear the answer.

Steve Benen 11:30 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (10)

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Comments

Banning gay teachers is limited access government.

Posted by: Mudge on November 15, 2010 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

There is no GOP majority without the Culture War. Why else would working-class whites vote for plutocrats unless the menu included getting tough on blacks, gays, Muslims, and Mexicans? Libertarians (and its gay subset) really think their harebrained principles are somehow uncontaminated by the GOP's proto-fascist messaging. Sorry, guys, but that messaging is the only reason you've gotten as far as you have. Now, go kiss and make up with your bigoted pals.

Posted by: walt on November 15, 2010 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Who knew Bill Clinton was a social conservative? But we have Jim DeMint's word on it...

Posted by: paul on November 15, 2010 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

In the name of bipartisanship, Obama will support his own impeachment.

Posted by: sfsmskater on November 15, 2010 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

Don't believe them. They only don't want to argue about it because its a turn off for voters.

Angle, Buck, Ayotte, Miller, O'Donnell, etc. None wanted to talk about social issues but all believe abortion is illegal and immoral, even in the case of rape and incest.

Just because they aren't campaigning on it doesn't mean they wouldn't want to impose their views via the courts.

Each and every single Republican candidate needs to be openly pressed on these issues before they quietly slip through the cracks and impose their theocratic agenda on the rest of us.

Posted by: mikefromArlington on November 15, 2010 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

Each and every single Republican candidate needs to be openly pressed on these issues before they quietly slip through the cracks and impose their theocratic agenda on the rest of us.

For some folks the candidates have two years , otherwise they are officials . I agree that the ducking of issues was more that a little bit disturbing . Disturbing in how little it seemed to register in the minds of the media mugwumps and by extension the regional (our) "Leaders" . Register meaning that if the election were held on a pond the ripples would have been not only unremarkable but unremarked (upon) .
There has been no failure in the years since the collapse of civility , or the Reagan revolution , for the party most at home with reducing issues to identity politics rather than governing principles , to rise up with an ameliorating position . Amalgamating just the right touch of this and that for the hatred soup anxiously absorbed by their fearful constituency .
Mostly a renewal or rehashing of Willie Horton , or an allied effort such as the hate campaign shouldered by the Latter Day Saints to keep The Gays barefoot and in the kitchen .

Posted by: FRP on November 15, 2010 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

Jim DeMint opens his mouth and C Street comes out. The Center for Theological Plutocracy.

Posted by: Mouse Brain on November 15, 2010 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

Mr Demint while your at it ban gay preachers from church.

Posted by: jp on November 15, 2010 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

If there is a 'truce' it will only until thry destroy the fed gov. Then they will turn over the remains to the christian corp conservatives and our democracy will be a theocracu.

Note... gay and Republucan go together like fascist and jew.

Posted by: KurtRex1453 on November 15, 2010 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

If there is a 'truce' it will only until thry destroy the fed gov. Then they will turn over the remains to the christian corp conservatives and our democracy will be a theocracu.

Note... gay and Republucan go together like fascist and jew.

Posted by: KurtRex1453 on November 15, 2010 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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