Marin GOP: Tilting at Windmills
I always thought Republicans were sensible until the Marin Republican Central Committee ("MRCC") in Northern California issued a press release on July 26th boasting that it is "the first official Republican Central Committee... to endorse same-sex marriage."
One has to wonder: is this feckless capitulation to the progressive agenda a preview of things to come?
The Chairman of the MRCC told me that, while he respected other feelings on this issue, "As the Marin GOP is in the business of getting Republicans elected (or should be) we went with what the numbers tell us."
In his email to conservative leaders, the Chairman said the decision was arrived at "through a purely quantitative analysis" and "if we did not make a statement on this issue, we would continue to be shunned by at least 75% of the voters and the Marin Republican Party had little to no chance for growth."
I guess the pressure of being shunned at cocktail parties and on voting day -- coupled with Supreme Court Justice Kennedy's accusations of bigotry and animus -- have triggered an existential crisis for some Marin Republican leaders, who clearly fancy themselves chivalrous visionaries with sword in hand ready to smite those who haven't yet "evolved."
Do not be deceived. The Marin GOP's decision is neither sensible nor chivalrous. Those on the MRCC who voted "Aye" are tilting at electoral windmills and will have to embark on this journey of madness alone: registered Republicans will not play Sancho Panza to their Don Quixote no matter how seductive his promise of more votes.
Less than 19% of voters in Marin County are registered Republicans and 53% are registered Democrats.
Republican candidates cannot win in Marin unless they get 100% of the registered Republicans, 100% of those with no party preference (representing 23% of registered voters), and a considerable chunk of the Democrat vote. So the 75% who are shunning the GOP will not budge much, if at all, unless there is a cataclysmic shift in the earth's crust changing voting profiles for thousands of Marinites.
An Impossible Dream.
One member of the MRCC claims that this vote officially takes "same-sex marriage" off the table as a polarizing issue and will bring into the tent those voters who claim to be fiscal conservatives but social liberals.
This attempted vote grab would be pathetic if it weren't so delusional. Such a move does not take anything off the table, but simply moves it to the other side. The left side.
What these quixotic sell-outs fail to realize is that same-sex marriage is simply the issue du jour for left-wingers to skewer evil Republicans at cocktail parties, in the press and on campus. If same-sex marriage were to miraculously disappear tomorrow, the left would still differ with us on a host of other issues like abortion, border security, illegal immigration, universal health care, the Core Curriculum, sustainable development, pension reform, the deficit, the role of government, and the free market.
Only a handful of non-Republicans -- for whom same-sex marriage is truly the only roadblock that prevents them from voting Republican -- will suddenly turn and vote for the "Party of Hate." The rest will shift only if the entire Republican platform aligns with the liberals. Even then, if the label "Republican" is anywhere on the ticket, their vote will undoubtedly go to the Democrat.
Yes, it is dire in Marin and Republicans are tired of losing. But we shouldn't make a pact with the devil by kowtowing to liberal forces in our communities in exchange for the hope of more votes.
Nor should we employ leftwing tactics against our own: One MRCC member told me they were "seeding" county committees throughout California with members of the Log Cabin Republicans. Now I know why.
To the best of my knowledge, neither the MRCC nor their constituents had a chance to ponder this decision. It was not on any agenda; there was no poll conducted among Marin registered Republicans; there was no town hall meeting or letter informing Marin Republicans that this was under consideration and their input was warranted. It was a calculated, unilateral stealth move by certain members of the MRCC.
They kept this under wraps knowing it would engender overwhelming opposition from the base.
Moreover, the committee's viewpoint -- that the "business" of electing candidates trumps the Republican platform and its underlying conservative principles -- is warped.
Most people join the Republican Party because of ideology, conservative values and principles -- not because it is a business. If a political party does not have -- at its very core -- a solid ideological foundation, then it stands for nothing. Parties would be indistinguishable from one another and would differ in name only. Their raison d'etre would simply be jockeying for power.
Winning elections is not fully interchangeable with selling a product. We want to win elections just like a business wants to sell a product and we want to make sure people love the product (conservatism), identify with the brand (Republican) and become loyal customers (by voting for our candidates). But politics takes this to another level: Voters put candidates in office to be their voice and fight for the issues -- no matter how ugly. We don't expect that from Coke or Apple.
This is why so many Republicans are jazzed that senators Mike Lee and Ted Cruz have proposed a bill in the Senate to defund ObamaCare and are standing up to Mitch McConnell whose opinion is not nearly as important as the voice of the People -- a voice that is all too often ignored once Mr. Candidate Goes to Washington.
It seems -- at least within the Marin GOP -- we are NOT fighting the same fight. For them, it is a business. For most conservative plebes out in the voting sphere, it is about values and principles. Yet, on top of the interminable battles we are up against every day with progressives, we are now forced to fight this one within our own party -- while the left dances on our heads and laughs all the way to victory.
As for "feelings," opponents of same-sex marriage are informed by facts that have been played out at all levels in our education system, our houses of worship and our pop culture. Facts born of a society in decline -- a society that has lost its way, that no longer upholds the virtues of marriage, fidelity, and family; a society that no longer has any moral code, any boundaries, any expectations; a society mired in fatherlessness, the marginalization of men, the shunning of our boys, the loss of what it truly means to be a woman, and the mockery of marriage; a society where roles are being whitewashed by activists with agendas -- progressive agendas to obliterate the family, destroy civil society, whittle away at prosperity and circumscribe freedom while ushering in a new era of transformational change with the government in control of our money, our bodies, our thoughts and our families.
When I was a Democrat, I thought it was hip to embrace "gay marriage." I'd been to commitment ceremonies in New York before it was au courant to do so. Then I began to identify more with independents -- characterizing my views as fiscally conservative/socially liberal. I didn't think the government should play a role in such social matters as "same-sex marriage." The State didn't have a right to legislate morality. I felt cool.
Then, activists began to argue that excluding homosexuals from "marriage" was immoral and unfair, and they started to clamor for "Marriage Equality."
As I matured and had more responsibilities in life, I realized that our conduct in our bedrooms, homes, and towns, and how we interact with others -- including those we don't agree with -- matters. For what happens at a microlevel informs everything we do as individuals in our communities and society at the macro level. Although I didn't feel cool anymore, I was on solid ground.
I compared my childhood and early adulthood -- when our culture had already started to break down -- with that of my parents and grandparents in which there were expectations about behavior and moral boundaries. I then compared all of this to the childhood and early adulthood of my children and their peers -- where civil society is on the brink of collapse. I realized that societies and governments can and do dabble in morality, as reflected by the wishes of its citizens, and that those moral boundaries set the stage for thriving citizens, intact marriages, ordered society, and, ultimately, the achievement of dreams.
The Framers understood, as do Republicans today, that the traditional family is a fundamental ingredient for prosperity and liberty.
For those of us who were mugged by reality when we grew up, there was a Republican Party to join when we abandoned the Democrats. If the GOP morphs into a Republican-Lite or Quasi-Democrat Party, where will all those voters go when they, too, are mugged by reality? It happens every day. Someone votes for Obama but joins the Tea Party when he realizes that ObamaCare is not what he bargained for. A college student gets his first paycheck or student loan bill, and looks for answers elsewhere. Your five-year-old comes home from kindergarten and all of that "who am I to judge stuff" comes home to roost when she's reading "King and King" or tells you she wants to use the boys bathroom because she wants to be a boy.
Conservatives want the GOP to stand firmly on principled ground and take those fights to the senate and house floors. Why? Because we can't. Because our vote doesn't count. Because our representatives don't return our calls or listen to us at townhall meetings. Because the Supreme Court nullified our voice in the initiative process. Because state legislatures often do what the majority party wants, not what the majority of citizensin that state want.
This is the reason the GOP has been losing on so many fronts. It is not because we are too conservative and we have to moderate. It's not because of the Hispanic vote. It's not because Todd Akin was a nut job.
It is because our party and those we've elected refuse to stand their ground, focus too much on playing the political game instead of representing their constituents, and do not have a unified message that is spoken with one voice -- press be damned.
This is why so many solid, supportive Republicans joined the Tea Party. Although I have been a Tea Party leader for five years and have fought hard against the emergence of a third party, if the GOP follows the whims and fancies of a sadly misguided, quixotic MRCC, a third party will be born.
No one likes it when Republicans elected to a Republican Central Committee take their lead from lefties dangling the carrot of "you'll get more votes if you just agree with us" nonsense. This carrot is rigged so that we will never be able to reach it. It's like chasing rainbows -- dazzled by the pretty colors in hopes of finding a pot of gold. Or, tilting at windmills -- battling to win votes that will never materialize in the quest for victory at the polls.
This is the same fanciful mistake Republicans are making at the national level about our national sovereignty, national security, and the rule of law. If we moderate our policies to indulge a progressive palate, we will be sacrificing proven conservative principles on the altar of the chimera of more votes.
I would rather wander in the desert for 40 years with my Republican Principles intact than tilt at Democrat windmills in my backyard for a couple of votes.
Maybe Bush 41 was right about those "hot tubbers" in Marin.
Sally Zelikovsky is writing this as a conservative and registered Republican, not on behalf the Bay Area Patriots or San Francisco Tea Party
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 26, 2013
Contact: Kevin Krick
MARIN GOP BECOMES FIRST REPUBLICAN CENTRAL COMMITTEE IN THE US
TO VOTE TO SUPPORT SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
At last evening's monthly meeting of the Marin Republican Party, the Marin County Republican Central Committee voted in favor of a strategic planning effort that will revitalize the Republican Party in our county. "We recognized that we were not
providing Marin voters with a viable choice at the polls and we looked at ways to begin correcting that perception," said Chair Kevin Krick. As part of a vote on an overall 3 year strategic plan, the Marin GOP issued the following statement: "The Marin Republican
Party supports same-sex marriage."
According to Chair Krick, "It is our hope that this push for marriage equality from the Marin Republican Party will demonstrate that all are welcome within the Marin GOP," Krick continued, "Whether you identify as straight, gay, bisexual, or transgendered,
the Marin GOP is committed to supporting your personal freedoms." A core tenet of Republican philosophy, personal freedom is a right of every citizen and that includes the right to choose whom to marry, regardless of gender.
The Marin GOP's strategic plan will focus on addressing key local issues including an alternative to Plan Bay Area and a sustainable methodology for addressing the Marin County Pension issue. "We will provide voters with an alternative choice that looks beyond the horizon so that our children's children may enjoy a stable, prosperous Marin County," said Chair Krick.
This statement on marriage equality marks a watershed moment within the Republican Party. The Marin GOP is the first official Republican Central Committee in the United States to endorse same-sex marriage.
<2013.07.26 Marin GOP Press Release.pdf>
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons