As poll after poll shows a growing number of Americans favoring marriage equality, Republican leaders on the national stage have slowly signaled a willingness to moderate their long-held opposition.
Rob Portman (R-OH) last month became the first Republican senator to endorse same-sex marriage. Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus said last week that while the party still opposes gay nuptials, the GOP doesn't "need to act like Old Testament heretics." And freshman Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) on Sunday said that a Republican presidential nominee who backs marriage equality is "inevitable."
While national Republicans have softened on gay marriage, state and local leaders don't seem to have gotten the message. Here are a few recent examples:PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
A battle between Karl Rove and the far right is the latest front in a growing civil war for the heart and soul of the Republican Party and clarifies the contours of the struggle.
On one side are the establishment Republicans, who recognize the changing face of the American electorate and want their party to win elections in the future. In this battle, they are represented by Rove and his new Conservative Victory Project, unveiled this week, which is targeting unelectable (read: extremely conservative) candidates in Republican Senate primaries.
"There is a broad concern about having blown a significant number of races because the wrong candidates were selected," Steven Law, who will run Rove's new effort, told the New York Times. "We don't view ourselves as being in the incumbent protection business, but we want to pick the most conservative candidate who can win." Law is also president of the Rove-backed American Crossroads and CrossroadsGPS.
On the other side are the ultraconservatives, who believe the road to success involves full-fledged, uncompromising dedication to their tea party principles. These are right-wing groups like FreedomWorks and GOP Senate hopefuls like Reps. Paul Broun (GA) and Steve King (IA), who are the types of far-right candidates Rove is expected to target.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)
The Republican Main Street Partnership, the group focused on supporting and electing moderate Republicans, is still in the process of dropping the "Republican" from its name. But the group says it won't support Democrats even if it drops the partisanship from its name.
RMSP President Steve LaTourette, the former congressman from Ohio, clarified the shift at a roundtable with reporters Tuesday.PERMALINK | COMMENTS (0) | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)