Bush Walks Away From Pushing Gay Marriage Ban
We have seen evidence in the last several days that Bush is backing away from pushing the “moral values” issues that his advisors claim got him elected. It should come as no surprise to anyone who has read about Bush’s “use them and lose them” approach to politics that Bush would so quickly put out signals that he was not going to push for a constitutional ban on gay marriage. And yes, the social conservatives who were relied upon by Rove to go from the pews to the polls to elect Bush in a close election will now feel used, while still professing their allegiance to him. But aside from the possible damage there will be to Bush politically from this, and what it says about the GOP race in 2008, I noted this passage in today’s Washington Post on this subject:
Privately, some Bush advisers say the president is uncomfortable picking divisive political fights over abortion and same-sex marriage that cannot be won.
What kind of “moral clarity” or moral values are these? You either support these issues and are willing to go to the mat on them, even if you suffer politically, or you flip-flop and weenie out. What exactly are your alleged convictions, Mr. Bush?
So Bush won't push these moral values issues that the social conservatives thought he was going to push, because doing so may do him political harm. Yet he has no hesitancy whatsoever to “pick divisive political fights” over class warfare issues like privatizing Social Security, abolishing the estate tax, and pushing tax cuts that are a windfall for the wealthy.
Exactly what moral values are those? Remember the theme of Thomas Frank’s book “What’s The Matter With Kansas?" In it, he talks about how the GOP has successfully convinced middle and lower class voters to vote against their economic self-interests by appealing to them on moral values issues. Now these voters are about to find out that their leader doesn’t have the guts to step out and push for their moral values but is quite willing to declare economic war on them.