Saturday, April 18, 2009

McCain Campaign Manager Gets It

Where was this during the campaign? 

John McCain's 2008 campaign manager Steve Schmidt spoke to the Log Cabin Republicans, a conservative gay rights group, on Friday. In his speech, Shmidt said a lot of things that were, well...sane. Among other things, he pointed out that being in favor of gay marriage is entirely compatible with the conservative philosophy that government should stay out of your personal life. On the role of personal responsibility in any marriage, straight or gay, Schmidt struck gold:
He added: "If you are not willing to accept and faithfully discharge those responsibilities, you shouldn't enter the state of matrimony, and it doesn't make a damn bit of difference if you're straight or gay. It is a responsibility like no other, which can and should make marriage an association between two human beings more fulfilling than any other."
Schmidt also pointed out that, schocker of shockers, the Republicans need to become competitive among younger voters if they want to remain relevant in future generations:

Schmidt told CNN that the GOP must become more open if it wants to reverse a shrinking coalition, especially among younger, more accepting voters.

"People are turned off in large measure by what they see as intolerance coming out of the party," he said.

That's a refreshing change from the "you-damn-kids" wing of the GOP that dismisses young voters as naive little children who are too idealistic for our own good and need to stay out of big-people business.

Dem Bones has good commentary on Shmidt's take on religion and politics. Basically, Schmidt pointed out that the Republicans have allowed themselves to become a largely religious party, and one based on a very narrow section of Christian theology at that. He says the GOP should not be surprised that more moderate Christians and people of other faiths have fled the party in droves. 

If I were a moderate Republican, I would be very encouraged by what this guy had to say. However, I think this might cause quite a stir in conservative circles--look for Schmidt to be publicly flogged on the talk radio circuit.

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