Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Thursday | April 24, 2003

First cracks in the GOP facade

Despite leadership pleas to keep their mouths shut, a couple of Republicas have started to condemn Santorum's remarks.

And guess who they were. Olympia Snowe and Lincoln Chaffee. All we need is Voinovich and McCain and we'd have the entire "GOP moderate outcasts" establishment aboard.

So the seal is broken, will more criticism follow?

What's interesting about this whole affair is that it's put the GOP in a predicament. Efforts at convincing the public they are "tolerant" and "inclusive" and "compassionate" take a hit whenever they suffer a bigotry eruption. On the other hand, the far Right is watching carefully, and it doesn't like what it sees so far.

One conservative group blasted Republicans for their "timid" support of Santorum, saying they were afraid to take a stand on a controversial subject.

"It is clear that many top GOP leaders cannot bring themselves to offer a spirited defense of marriage for fear of being accused of bigotry by Democrats and their allies among homosexual activists," said a statement from Ken Connor, president of the Family Research Council.

The Christian Coalition released a statement Thursday, blasting the "liberal organizations and the liberal media" for trying to "foster a jaundiced agenda," and hailing Santorum as a "man of honor."

"Homosexuality clearly is an alternative lifestyle," said Roberta Combs, president of the group. "We stand with and support Senator Santorum."

Thus far, Majority Leader Frist and fellow PA Senator Specter are the only GOPers of note to offer Santorum support. But it's clear they walk a fine line -- between representing the bigots that make up the core of the GOP base, and appealing to moderates who believe in inclusion and tolerance.

Posted April 24, 2003 09:27 AM | Comments (191)


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