Bush and gays. Q: Why is Senate Republican leader Bill Frist, generally regarded as a moderate, pushing for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, while George W. Bush, a conservative's conservative, is waffling? A: Because Karl Rove is smarter than Frist.
A new USA Today poll shows that Americans are far more accepting of gay and lesbian relationships than they were just a few years ago -- and that, as more people come out, the acceptance continues to grow. Susan Page writes:
More than half of those surveyed said a friend, relative or co-worker had personally told them that he or she was gay; that's more than double the percentage in 1985. Nearly one-third said they had become more accepting of gay people in recent years. Just 8 percent said they had become less accepting.
That's why Bush is ignoring Pat Robertson. Unfortunately, it also explains why he's playing the good cop to Frist's bad. To win election in 2004, Bush needs to mobilize his fundamentalist base while not scaring away moderates.
The solution: use surrogates to appease the wingnuts while staying above the fray. Progressives need to call Bush on this as loudly and as frequently as they can, and make sure he doesn't get away with it.