Monday, February 25, 2013

Bobby Jindal says Republicans can still be anti-gay bigots and win

By Michael J.W. Stickings

As ThinkProgress reports, at least one leading Republican, a major contender for the 2016 nomination, is refusing to back down on the party's long-standing anti-gay bigotry: 

Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) -- a possible Republican candidate for president in 2016 -- rejected former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman's argument that conservatives must embrace marriage equality for gays and lesbians if they want to survive as a party and reiterated his support for "traditional marriage."

"Look, I believe in the traditional definition of marriage," Jindal said during an appearance on Meet The Press on Sunday, and went on to claim that Republicans don't have to make the case on social issues to attract young voters and win future elections and instead should continue focusing on economic issues. "We lost [the 2012 election] because we didn't present a vision showing how we believe the entire economy can grow, how people can join the middle class. We're in aspirational party and we need policies that are consistant with that aspirational private sector growth."

And of course he's hardly alone on this. While some Republicans are indeed moving to support same-sex marriage (including the handful of enlightened conservatives like Huntsman), if not out of principle then as a result of partisan political calculation, most of the party isn't budging.

The Republicans are on the wrong side of history on this issue, as on so much else, as well as increasingly on the wrong side of public opinion. And while Jindal may want the party to run on an "aspirational" platform based on failed right-wing economic policies (i.e., they aspire to plutocracy), rights and fairness issues like same-sex marriage and women's health really do matter because they say a lot about a party's, or a candidate's, priorities and intentions.

If you don't understand that, if you think you can still run proudly on your bigotry, and if you don't understand you lost in 2012 because of far more than failing to "present a vision" (as if it was just a communications problem), you're a fool, and worse.

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