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Archive for May 12th, 2012

The Boston Globe

May 11, 2012|Joshua Green

Opinion | Joshua Green

On Wednesday, after years of claiming that his view was “evolving,” President Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage. Oddly, the catalyst for that decision was probably his opponent for the presidency, Mitt Romney. Social issues weren’t expected to intrude on a campaign supposed to be all about the economy. But last week, Romney’s openly gay foreign policy spokesman, Richard Grenell, resigned, implying that social conservatives had driven him out of the job, which thrust the issue into the campaign and led to Vice President Joe Biden’s saying on “Meet the Press” that he supported same-sex marriage.

At that point, Obama’s fate was sealed. Maintaining his opposition to marriage equality would only have exacerbated an awkward divide on an issue of mounting importance to his party.

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The Daily Beast
Andrew Sullivan
12 May 2012 01:03 PM
[Re-posted from last night.]

Below is a remarkable document. It’s a memo circulated by Jan van Lohuizen, a highly respected Republican pollster, (he polled for George W. Bush in 2004), to various leading Republican operatives, candidates and insiders. It’s on the fast-shifting poll data on marriage equality and gay rights in general, and how that should affect Republican policy and language. And the pollster’s conclusion is clear: if the GOP keeps up its current rhetoric and positions on gays and lesbians, it is in danger of marginalizing itself to irrelevance or worse.

Read the bluntness of this. This is the GOP establishment talking to itself. And the Republican pollster who arguably knows more about the politics of the gay issue than anyone else (how else to explain the Ohio campaign of 2004?) is advising them in no uncertain terms that they need to evolve and fast, if they’re not going to damage their brand for an entire generation:

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The New York Times
By Jr.
Published: May 11, 2012

WASHINGTON —Mitt Romney’s recent declaration that Russia is America’s top geopolitical adversary drew raised eyebrows and worse from many Democrats, some Republicans and the Russians themselves, all of whom suggested that Mr. Romney was misguidedly stuck in a cold war mind-set.

But his statement was not off the cuff — and it was not the first time Mr. Romney had stirred debate over his hawkish views on Russia. Interviews with Republican foreign policy experts close to his campaign and his writings on the subject show that his stance toward Russia reflects a broader foreign policy view that gives great weight to economic power and control of natural resources. It also exhibits Mr. Romney’s confidence that his private-sector experience would make him a better negotiator on national security issues than President Obama has been.

Mr. Romney’s views on Russia have set off disagreements among some of his foreign policy advisers. They put him in sync with the more conservative members of his party in Congress, who have similarly criticized Mr. Obama as being too accommodating to Russia, and generally reflect the posture of some neoconservatives.

But they have frequently put him at odds with members of the Republican foreign policy establishment, like Senator Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, who was defeated in a primary this week, and the party’s shrinking band of foreign policy “realists” — those who advocate a less ideological and more pragmatic view of relations with rival powers.

The Romney campaign has been critical of Mr. Obama’s record and positions on a variety of national security issues, including containing Iran’s nuclear ambitions and confronting China’s rise. But many of the positions taken by Mr. Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, have either been vague or not fundamentally different from those of the administration.

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