Steele Comes Out In Favour Of Discrimination4 March, 2009
Michael Steele, the new head of the Republican National Committee, has decided to take the Republican Party into a new century. Unfortunately, it ain’t the 21st. He seems to think that Tweeting and blogging and being ‘off the hook’ will make the GOP more palatable and ‘fly’ with the youngsters.
The GOP, though, is completely out of touch with a majority of young Americans.
A Newsweek poll in December shows how this operates. When asked if there should be “Legally-sanctioned gay and lesbian marriages,” the result is 55% no and 39% yes. But if you ask if they support “Legally-sanctioned gay and lesbian unions or partnerships,” the result flips to 55% yes and 36% no. It’s all in the terminology.
And when you ask about a whole range of specific rights and protections, the numbers agreeing that gays and lesbians should have them goes up dramatically. 74% support inheritance rights, 67% support Social Security benefits for gay and lesbian domestic partners, 73% support health care for gay partners, 87% support laws against job discrimination for gays and lesbians, and so forth. (from Dispatches from the Culture Wars)
And the polls consistently show that young Americans (18 to 35) are more tolerant than average. And those under 18? By Republican standards, they are radicals.
So how does Steele expect to bring the Republicans into a new century and make the Republicans meaningful again? Why, by attacking the idea of civil unions (From an interview with Gallagher (as reported through WorldNutDaily)):
The chairman of the Republican National Committee has shot down hopes by minority homosexual groups that the party will open its “big tent” to endorse “civil unions” or homosexual marriage.
“What would we do that for? What are you, crazy? No.” Michael Steele told radio talk show host Mike Gallagher.
Gallagher raised the question, “Is this a time when Republicans ought to consider some sort of alternative to redefining marriage and maybe in the road, down the road to civil unions. Do you favor civil unions?”
“No, no no. Why would we backslide on a core, founding value of this country? I mean this isn’t something that you just kind of like, ‘Oh well, today I feel, you know, loosey-goosey on marriage,'” Steele said.
He continued, “I mean this is a foundational principle of this country. This is a foundational principle of organized society. This isn’t something that in America we decided, ‘Let’s make it between a man and a woman, and oh, we changed our mind and make it between anyone and anyone.'”
The exchange is archived on Gallegher’s website.
“So no room even for a conversation about civil unions in your mind?” Gallagher asked.
“What’s the difference?” Steele responded.
What I find most interesting about this is that Steele, an African-American, is talking about the foundational principles of America, Principles like no votes for women or freed blacks, slaves are worth 2/3 of a white for census purposes, institutional racism and sexism — in a word, discrimination. All the things that a black man would, of course, fully support — keeping minorities and the disenfranchised in their place.
Is it just me, or does he sound like a Virginia gentleman, circa 1960, freaking out about marriage between a black man and a white woman?