I don't give much credence to members of one party telling members of another party what they should or shouldn't do to be successful. The advice is always self-serving. That said, I couldn't help thinking that this news about a top GOP consultant could reshape the canyon between the two major parties.
Today, Mr. Schmidt, who also served as a top Bush aide, discusses the subject with the Log Cabin Republicans, a group that supports gay rights. According to CNN, he will call on conservative Republicans to drop their opposition at a lunchtime speech in Washington.
“There is a sound conservative argument to be made for same-sex marriage,” Mr. Schmidt plans to say, according to speech excerpts obtained by CNN. “I believe conservatives, more than liberals, insist that rights come with responsibilities. No other exercise of one’s liberty comes with greater responsibilities than marriage.’”
This kind of bold thinking has potential to transform the Republican Party. Gay marriage is going to happen eventually. It's only a matter of when. In our lifetimes maybe. But perhaps we'll be dead and gone, leaving the war for our children to fight.
The NC Family Policy Council could lead in this. It could reinvent itself overnight as an organization grounded in love. It could declare itself to stand for freedom, liberty, goodness and tolerance. It could see the light and turn toward it.
A shift like this would be tectonic in North Carolina politics.
On the flip side, Obama and other Democratics don't have a lot to commend them on this issue either. One commenter on the Times story put it well:
Obama and the Democrats should be careful that the Republicans don’t use this as a means to embarrass Democrats on an issue that we should be leading on.
It'll be interesting to see how NC Republicans respond to this call to freedom from one of their stalwarts. I'm guessing they'll stay focused on being right instead of being responsible for the true and common good. If that happens, they'll miss the chance to gain moral high ground. Republicans could run the show in North Carolina if they'd shed their social issue baggage.
As an unaffiliated voter, I offer this advice to Republicans leaders.
Drop your opposition to gay marriage. Get born again on it. Accept the possibility of love. It will be a relief. Gay people should be able to marry. Help make that happen and you will outflank Democrats and win the golden ring.