Is the GOP turning away from the marriage war?

April 3, 2014 | 3:01 pm

Could it be that the party of Lincoln is doing some rethinkin' on this whole gay marriage thing?

Politico says it's so:

It’s been one of the swiftest shifts in ideology and strategy for Republicans, as they’ve come nearly full circle on same-sex politics. What was once a front-and-center issue for rank-and-file Republicans — the subject of many hotly worded House and Senate floor speeches — is virtually a dead issue, as Republicans in Congress don’t care to have gay marriage litigated in the Capitol.

Even more than that, Republican leadership has evolved, too. It has quietly worked behind the scenes to kill amendments that reaffirm opposition to same-sex unions, several sources told POLITICO.

Huh. Maybe the National Organization for Marriage should have spent some of its bucks, including  the $120,000 it budgeted to recruit children to denounce their gay parents on camera, on some good old fashioned GOP outreach. NOM's "confidential" strategies that became public in recent days seem more like the desperate moves of a movement losing steam than of a political powerhouse on the rise.   

Still, I'm skeptical. One person's swift shift is another's momentary strategic retreat. But even in battleground Iowa, I think the hellfires are slowly dying. This year's big Family Leader marriage rally seemed a little tame, based on the coverage I saw. Of course, our leading culture war hucksters won't give up so long as there's a paycheck and a microphone, but I'm sensing the thrill is gone.

I guess we'll see what happens in this fall's campaigns, including the ban vote in Minnesota. I still expect Iowa candidates to say how they'd vote on the amendment resolution here without waffling. But I don't expect the issue to be the main event in many races.   

Thoughts?

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