consultants are sandburs

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Contrasting views among Republicans of David Fitzsimmons' caucus ouster over whether to keep gay marriage opposition a front-burner GOP election issue, or bailing on it as a loser to run instead on traditional seldom kept GOP tax promises to "the middle class" and on MN Sure bashing.

Gilmore, here, the sky did not fall, despite some belief that way.

Convenience of embracing when in fashion, turning away and compromising as fashion changes [witness the last election ballot question on "marriage"] was not a highlight in Gilmore's view. Gilmore went at it from other angles.

Worth reading, to me, although I see things differently.

Was it a "political lynching?" This link. That view was written online by a Walter Hudson [not by Fitzsimmons]. This somewhat extended mid-item excerpt:

Fitzsimmons opposes gay marriage. He has not moved from that position. When he saw the bill which would recognize same-sex unions as marriage in Minnesota placed on the 2013 legislative calendar, he realized the Democrats in complete control of state government had the votes they needed to pass it. At that point, he perceived a choice. He could keep his head down and vote no on final passage, performing as expected and winning accolades for conservative resilience while accomplishing precisely nothing. Or, he could act to protect religious liberty to the extent possible under the law. He chose the latter.

In consultation with Republican legal experts, Fitzsimmons crafted an amendment which limited the state’s domain to civil marriage and protected religious institutions and clergy from being forced to perform same-sex weddings or recognize same-sex unions as sacred. Democrats consented to the amendment. However, Fitzsimmons knew that his amendment could be stripped out of the final bill unless he sat on the conference committee which would reconcile the House and Senate versions. To ensure his place on that committee, he would have to vote for final passage.

Surely, he understood the political fallout which would occur in Wright County – likely the most conservative political district in the state – if he voted yes on final passage. He also understood that voting yes was the only way to ensure some protection of his constituents’ religious liberty.

As the vote for final passage took place, Fitzsimmons watched the vote totals to make sure his would not decide the question. Only once it was certain that the bill would pass did Fitzsimmons cast his vote for final passage, securing his place on the conference committee to preserve his amendment.

Since then, the foremost challenger seeking to wrest the GOP endorsement from Fitzsimmons – Eric Lucero – has engaged in a scorched earth campaign to drag Fitzsimmons’ name through the mud. Speaking to caucus attendees earlier this month, Lucero implied that Fitzsimmons lied about his position on gay marriage and worked covertly to ensure its passage. Parroting rhetoric from policy organizations which cling to fleeting relevance after losing two back-to-back campaigns on the marriage issue, Lucero has claimed that Fitzsimmons’ amendment “provided cover for conservative Democrats,” as if there were not otherwise enough votes to pass the bill.

To believe that, we must believe that the Democrats would place a landmark piece of legislation on the House calendar without knowing they could pass it. [...]

Interestingly, Gilmore's analysis is largely that Fitzsimmons did lie, and the fact that he did is important in caucus consideration of reendorsement.

Let a little reality into things, please.

The guy put his finger to the wind, and saw opposition to gay marriage, as a continued GOP strategy, to be less than powerful in terms of influencing voters and getting his friends elected. The issue was an anchor around some necks, and needed to be defused/dustbinned.

It was a pure tactical/strategic decision of Fitzsimmons to soften on that issue. He did not say there were gay people in the family or in his friendship circle who felt demonized and that tugged at his heartstrings. He jiggered a part of a bill to favor the fundie folks, and traded his vote for that concession from the other side.

In short - He played politics. He's a politician, not much else, and to me, this is detracting from any respect he might be given, (from Hudson's item):

Yet Lucero retains the audacity to suggest that Fitzsimmons has “demoralized” Republicans. Lucero claims that Fitzsimmons’ vote will keep Republicans home if he remains on the ballot in November. Home seems to be where Lucero has been while Fitzsimmons has been working to elect Tom Emmer to Congress, mentor activists throughout the party, and fund campaigns in swing districts. Indeed, Lucero has only ever been seen by the Republican Party of Wright County committee on which I sit while campaigning on his own behalf against Fitzsimmons, not attending fundraisers, not marching in parades, and not contributing dollars or time to other campaigns.

Emmer is a jackass, but the Republicans' jackass, hence fine with Fitzsimmons as the party loyalist he is (above much else apparently). Viewing Emmer as I do, it sits less fine with me.

You support Emmer, I have to have my doubts about your judgment. Fitzsimmons is/was/will be an Emmer person, so no tears from me over how idiots treated him. Moreover, reports of his political death are premature. There will be more kick coming than from a corpse.

No view at all: Arguably of general interest, within my two GOP barometer blogs, Residual Forces and Let Freedom Ring Blog, by Andy Aplikowski and and Gary Gross respectively, (each in Minnesota's CD6), there was zero mention of Fitzsimmons/Lucero much less any handwringing and keening either way. The situation was either viewed as unimportant and no watershed event; or there was issue ducking, with my guess being the latter.

Political expediency would be to abandon losing issues and favor ones hoped to be winning issues; and it appears both blogs are giving hints of what GOP politicians may be expected to be running on this fall, to the extent issues matter at all [per contra there IS Mike McFadden, happy being a hollow issue challenged scarecrow of a candidate, so far].

McFadden has his tons of cash to later buy advertising and propagandize, but in hiding entirely, so far.

What will we see when that egg hatches, chicken or reptile?

__________FURTHER UPDATE___________
Has anyone else noticed, Bachmann's being silent about "the gay agenda" and other such horseshit she's embraced as doctrine in the past. Always with a finger to the wind, there is the Bachmann barometer, of what she can huckster to the believers who send her money; and this no longer is in fashion, for publicly proselytizing, with Michele.

It is "Obamacare" with her, these days. And in the most recent past.

[And, per earlier UPDATE, my guess is reptile]

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