After the events of the past few weeks, I just have to wonder if the Republican candidates even bother to read a newspaper. If they did, they would see in the headlines that this course they are on can only end in defeat. While Gingrich, Paul, Romney and Santorum pander to extreme conservatives on the right, the rest of us – the majority of us – see progress being made on critical issues and causes.
Take the Susan G. Komen fiasco, for example.
America’s premier and beloved breast cancer organization makes a confounding decision to stop supporting Planned Parenthood and what happens? Conservatives don’t carry the day for Komen. Rather, Americans of all persuasions are outraged and Komen is brought to its knees. Overnight, the Komen brand is devalued and Planned Parenthood becomes the cause du jour. This will be a graduate school case study for years, but the Republican presidential candidates should study it now. The extreme right might determine who wins the Republican nomination, but they couldn’t save Komen’s reputation and they can’t carry the day for Republicans in November.
On the West Coast, the state of Washington prepares to legalize same-sex marriage and in California, a federal appeals court declares the voter-approved ban on gay marriage to be unconstitutional. While Gingrich threatens to go all the way to the convention, and Romney attempts to explain why he doesn’t care about poor people, and Santorum claims victory in beauty contests and caucuses that don’t actually translate into delegates, and Paul does whatever it is that continues to attract a handful of supporters to his campaign, the country moves forward.
The majority of Americans now believe that lesbian and gay Americans should be allowed to marry; yet the Republican candidates don’t seem to have picked up on this yet. This isn’t surprising, really, considering that two of the candidates don’t seem to understand the duties of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.
New Gingrich said the appeals court decision was caused by “radical overreach of federal judges” and Mitt Romney criticized the decision of “unelected judges.” Not only are both men out of touch with the increasing will of the majority of Americans, they clearly don’t understand how our democracy works. The former point suggests they will never make it to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and the latter supports why they shouldn’t win the White House.
Of course there is one Republican who actually owned the airwaves for a time during the Komen unraveling and is also someone who is known to be a friend to the gay community. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg puts his substantial money where his mouth is on issues of reproductive health and supports same-sex marriage. He seems to have his hand on the pulse of what the majority of Americans believe. Then again, maybe he just reads a newspaper.