George Bush came out in opposition to the Republican Party Platform's position on gay civil unions. In an interview Sunday with Charles Gibson of ABC news, which aired this morning, Bush said he favored states giving gay couples civil unions and that the Republican Party Platform, which opposes any type of legal recognition to unions of gay couples, was "wrong" and that he disagreed with it.
Now, to be as fair as possible, Bush has always said he thought that states should decide what kind of legal recognition they wanted to grant to gay couples. But when you strongly and repeatedly state your definition of marriage as a man and a woman, fraternize regularly with leaders of the Christian Religious Right, and constantly call for the passage of a Constitutional Amendment prohibiting gay marriage that would even further eliminate the possibility of one state recognizing the legal rights of another state to a gay couple (DOMA already does this, but the Amendment would solidify this) and has language in it that pretty much opposes civil unions, you lose the slightest ounce of credibility and respect.
Clearly this is a last minute appeal to moderate swing voters. Undoubtably figuring his conservative base will still vote for him, he's not worried about angering them, but more concerned about gaining those uncertain votes. Will it work for him however? Could he lose votes from his base that will now be upset with his statement? They likely won't vote for Kerry, but will they just not vote for Bush? It's hard to imagine what he hoped to gain with this statement. He's been such an adamant support of the FMA that hardly anybody is likely to view him as being moderate or compassionate on this issue. I'll be interested in seeing the Log Cabin Republican response. I'm hoping, and pretty sure, this will not cause them to endorse him at this late point.
Although it's hard to see what he could possibly gain from trying to pass himself off as tolerant (still a negative word - do you think being tolerant of, say, black people, Jews, or women is positive?) , this is just another fake pass at trying to win over voters in this area. Cheney's mention of support for Mary in a town hall meeting, her appearance after his debate with Edwards, and his alleged outrage at Kerry mentioning Mary's name, are all just political tactics. Did anyone really bring up Mary's absence after Cheney's RNC speech despite earlier appearing in the stands with her family?
And, as an aside, I'm sick of the whole Marygate issue. Kerry's mention was awkward and no doubt politically motivated, yet it's no less egregious than the Cheney's own use of Mary's name for their political advantage. And, guess what, Mary is an out lesbian who has used her orientation to help smooth relations between the gay community and Coors brewing company as well as helping the candidacy of her dad and Bush. She's put herself out there as fair game. I see no harm no foul here, folks.
I do cry foul with Bush, however. This just further illustrates his desire to say whatever will get him elected. The man is dumb and lacking principles. He says he stands firm, yet he constantly "updates" and changes his position and explanations to avoid scrutiny or criticism. The sandal is on your own feet, George.