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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Thursday, July 31, 2003


Gay Marriage: wedge issue

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, July 31, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
You'd have to have a heart of stone not to feel sympathy for Andrew Sullivan. Here we have a gay man who is also a Republican and ardent supporter of Bush. He has built a readership of thousands and made impressive fortunes off his essentially conservative positions (he, like Christopher Hitchens, have gained great mileage from their personas as former/recovering leftists who are therefore uniquely qualified to indict the excesses of Liberals).

But as he noticed from Bush's conference yesterday, his erstwhile political allies are on the wrong side of history on this one:

President Bush said yesterday, in so many words, that he is considering amending the constitution to deny gays legal equality in their relationships - indeed to enshrine second-class citizenship for gays in the sacred words of the founding document. It is very hard to think of any act any politican could endorse that would alienate and marginalize gay citizens and their families more. The Republican leadership in the Senate has signed on.
That's directly from the Senate leadership, under John Kyl. (What Kyl ignores is that "gay activists" have been the last people to endorse this. The fight for marriage began and continues because of ordinary gay couples refusing to accept second-class citizenship. We had to battle most activists to get it on the agenda at all.) The Weekly Standard has run a cover illustration depicting gays as some sort of barbarians intent on destroying society. National Review views polygamists as preferable to gay couples.

If there is any wedge issue to siphon fiscally conservative voters from Bush, it may well be civil unions/gay marriage. Dean's position is by far more amenable to the moderate gay community (though of course the Kucinich-supporting gay left won't settle for anything less than a complete social redefinition of the word marriage itself). What do you think of the potential to draw people like Andrew Sullivan to our side?


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.