AP reporter Liz Sidoti – who writes as if every article is an opinionated "news analysis" – touted on Saturday how softening opposition to "gay marriage" is an opportunity for Democrats. That’s true, but Sidoti went further, pushing the theory that a liberal win is inevitable, and maybe even that moderate Barack Obama will change his stance:
"This is not a sea change. This is a tide that is slowly rising in favor of gay marriage," creating a favorable political situation for Democrats and ever-more difficulty for Republicans, said David McCuan, a political scientist at Sonoma State University in California.
Democrats have a broader base filled with more accepting younger voters, as well as flexibility on the issue. Hard-core liberals support gay marriage, while others, including President Barack Obama, take a more moderate position of civil unions and defer to states on gay marriage.
Here’s one sign of the "inevitable" bias: Sidoti quotes no social conservatives. The only "prominent Republican" in the piece is losing McCain strategist Steve Schmidt, with one of the less offensive snippets of his speech to the Log Cabin "Republicans."
The gay-victory-is-inevitable piece ends with Joe Solmonese of the gay-left Human Rights Campaign calling this a "tipping point moment" for gay lobbyists: "The lingering minority that continues to think that the way to win is to hold GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) people up as a wedge could not be more out of touch."
Sidoti (and the rest of the media) want to insist that Republicans have long used this as a "wedge issue" – that they don’t have moral convictions, just the hateful wish to divide. (They never consider that the lobbyists pushing Forced Gay Acceptance could be categorized as divisive.) But Sidoti is just factually incorrect to insist that the GOP has used "gay marriage" as a wedge issue for "decades." The idea of legally recognized gay marriages didn’t become politically plausible until this decade, and the one GOP example is the 2004 campaign:
For years, the GOP and its conservative base has used its opposition to gay marriage to drive Republican turnout in elections and marginalize party moderates. Measures defining marriage between a man and a woman that were on ballots in a slew of states in 2004 were widely credited with boosting the number of conservative voters, giving Republican George W. Bush an edge over Democrat John Kerry.
But there's been conflicting evidence since then over just how much that contributed to Bush's victory.
What's certain is that opposition to gay marriage for decades has been a potent tool for the GOP in rallying social conservatives. They are critical to the party's grass-roots organizing and small-dollar fundraising.
They're just not important enough for AP to bother interviewing. It suggests a version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein lyric: Are you being ignored because you're losing? Or are you losing because you're being ignored?
And what's with the phrase about a Republican plan to "marginalize party moderates"? Isn't that what the gay left is doing in the Democratic Party?