The GOP Split Is Starting To Get Real

Ken AshfordGay Marriage, Republicans, Tea PartyLeave a Comment

Over the past few months, the GOP has talked a lot about re-branding, and softening its views on gay marriage and immigration, in order to appeal to normal people.

The base is not happy:

Tony Perkins says religious conservatives should stop donating to the Republican Party until it clarifies its position on social issues. 

The president of the Family Research Council, a top religious political group, said Thursday night that conservative activists should withhold their political donations to Republicans until the party decides where it will stand on social issues.

Tony Perkins, in an email sent to his supporters, criticized the Republican National Committee over a report released last month that suggested the party should reconsider its messaging on same-sex marriage to appeal to younger voters.


"Until the RNC and the other national Republican organizations grow a backbone and start defending core principles, don’t send them a dime of your hard-earned money," Perkins said in the email, a copy of which was obtained by CNN. 

"If you want to invest in the political process, and I encourage you to do so, give directly to candidates who reflect your values and organizations you trust — like FRC Action."

Perkins says that the RNC proposal will only drive away young voters who do not support same-sex marriage.

"Instead of trying to appease millennials, Republicans should try educating them on why marriage matters," Perkins wrote. "There’s an entire group of 'Countercultural Warriors' full of compelling young leaders who are all going to the mat to protect marriage."

In a CBS News poll released late last month, 49 percent — a plurality — of Republicans under 30 years old say they support same-sex marriage, while 46 percent who do not believe gay couples should be allowed to wed. Overall, 73 percent of Americans under 30 back gay marriage.

Still, Perkins says Republicans must "pass a resolution reiterating the GOP’s support for the party platform that was overwhelmingly adopted in Tampa last year."

That platform included provisions saying the party would oppose same-sex marriage. Members of the Republican National Committee were meeting Friday in California, and are expected to take up a resolution reaffirming that position.

Steve Benen is right.  Social conservatives are over-reacting:

Why, exactly, do social conservatives feel so aggrieved? On a purely superficial level, the party does not want to be perceived as right-wing culture warriors because Priebus and Co. realize that this further alienates younger, more tolerant voters. But below the surface, Republicans, especially at the state level, are banning abortion and targeting reproductive rights at a breathtaking clip, pursuing official state religions, eliminating sex-ed, going after Planned Parenthood, and restricting contraception. Heck, we even have a state A.G. and gubernatorial candidate fighting to protect an anti-sodomy law.

What's more, folks like Pribus are condemning Planned Parenthood and "infanticide," while Paul Ryan is speaking to right-wing groups about a future in which abortion rights are "outlawed."

And social conservatives are outraged that Republicans haven't pushed the culture warenough? Why, because the RNC hasn't officially declared its support for a theocracy yet?

Religious right activists, I hate to break it to you, but Republican policymakers are already doing your bidding. You're not the ones who should be whining.

Over-reacting? Whining?  That's what the Tea Party types do.