Saturday, October 26, 2013


When Will This ENDA?

The Washington Post has a story about Republican activists attempting to drag the party, kicking and screaming, into something more or less resembling the 21st Century:
[A] powerful group of Republican donors, who see the GOP's staunch opposition to gay rights as a major problem, is trying to push the party toward a more welcoming middle ground — where candidates who oppose marriage rights can do so without seeming hateful.

The behind-the-scenes effort is being led largely by GOP mega-donor Paul Singer, a hedge fund executive whose son is gay, and former Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman, who revealed his homosexuality in 2010, long after he had left the GOP leadership.

Singer's advocacy group, the American Unity Fund, has been quietly prodding Republican lawmakers to take a first step toward backing gay rights by voting for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act ["ENDA"]. The measure, which is expected to come to the full Senate for a vote as early as this month, would ban workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Baby steps, but ok.

But you know it won't be easy:
"Regardless of how much money [Singer and his allies] bring to the table, it is not to the advantage of Republican officeholders politically to support his agenda," said Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council, one of the major evangelical groups opposing the ENDA. "Particularly in Republican primaries, the Republican Party is still strongly socially conservative. These are core convictions that people have."

Sprigg described the ENDA as a "legislative way to declare that it's morally wrong to disapprove of homosexual conduct." The bill, he said, is a "direct attack against the moral convictions of social conservatives."
I have a core conviction that the conduct of socially conservative, so-called "Christians," who oppose equal rights for anyone, based on their sexual orientation, should be disapproved of as being morally wrong!

Does that mean I can discriminate against them in the workplace?

When the Republican party can give me a reason that I should be barred (as I am) from discriminating against these faux Christians, while they are allowed to discriminate against gays, or can demonstrate that the party can free itself from being hostage to the political threats of this hateful minority, maybe then I'll consider voting for Republican candidates again.

Until then ... it's just lipstick on a pig.

But you know it won't be easy:

No, it won't.

The GOP is really worried that if they go too far in the suggested direction, then the religious right will walk out on them.

In my opinion, they have it backward. Having the religious right walk out on them, might be one of the best things that could happen to the GOP.

Their current problem is that they are caught up in the American disease of emphasizing short range planning and ignoring the long range.
In 2010 they won a lot of governorships and state legislatures (not to mention House seats) on the backs of wingnut bigots (mostly motivated, frankly, by racial hatred of Obama and disdain for anyone else who counts as the "other"). The Republicans then promptly gerrymandered the lot of them into positions of power in the party. The saner Republicans are now having buyer's remorse.

But the hardest part of riding a tiger is the dismount.
I'm guessing the more moderate Republicans could, if they rallied behind a cause, outvote the Tea party bloc. The problem seems to be that so many of them are running scared that, if they don't toe the Tea Party line, they could find themselves outflanked on the right by a well-funded TP candidate come the next elections.

You know, the more you look at the TP, the more they are beginning to resemble Stalinists or Maoists or conservative Islamists in their insistence on ideological purity. i wonder how long it will be before insistence becomes enforcement.
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