Steve Schmidt, campaign advisor for John McCain’s 2008 presidential bid, recently addressed the Log Cabin Republicans. He opined that the problem with the GOP is perceived sectarianism and (consequently) intolerance on issues such as gay marriage:
“If you put public policy issues to a religious test, you risk becoming a religious party. And in a free country a political party cannot be viable in the long-term if it is seen as a sectarian party.”
Maggie Gallagher responds:
Funny this is the Democrats’ view too.
Democrats are engaged in a highly sophisticated outreach strategy with the same basic message point: the GOP is not the natural home for religious people. Prolife Catholics can support Obama. The public things you see are only a small part of the money being flooded into penetrating religious peoples’ intellectual networks to reduce effective opposition to sexual liberalism by disaffiliating their leaders from either the GOP or from their traditional stands on morality (cf. Rick Warren).
This is the Democrats’ carrot to religious people. They also are developing an increasingly big stick: After gay marriage, the most religiously committed Americans will be effectively marginalized as a public force—because they cannot act or support the idea that gay unions are marriages. Such people will, if we lose the marriage debate, be treated the way we treat bigots who oppose interracial marriage. Imagine: All it will take to make, say, a judicial nominee unconfirmable will be to establish that they are indeed Catholic.
Here’s the Democrats strategy: Lure some small portion of the GOP’s religious base with sweet talk (see Pres. Obama’s upcoming Notred Dame speech). Next, remove the one quarter or so of Americans most committed to Christians moral teachings from public influence. Then play democracy (win elections) with the three quarters that remain.
Read the whole thing — Gallagher is spot on in her analysis.