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Sorry, Laura Bush and Dick Cheney

As a gay rights supporter, I think the new ad from the Respect for Marriage coalition, promoting the pro-marriage equality stance of Republicans like Laura Bush and Dick Cheney, is great politics. As a Democrat, forgive me if I don’t rush to applaud them for their alleged “courage” in bucking what has been Republican dogma.

When the history of the modern GOP is written, there will be widely apportioned blame and shame over the way elite people who knew better used issues of race, gender and sexuality to scare people who were anxious about social change – mainly white people -- into blaming scapegoats: mainly African-Americans, women exercising their reproductive rights, and gay people.

I say “mainly white people” because in 2004, Karl Rove was ingenious enough to try to scare black people, primarily conservative religious African-Americans who were dubious about gay rights, into abandoning Democrats over the issue. Rove pushed gay marriage initiatives on state ballots, most notably in Ohio, hoping to rev up Bush’s white evangelical base while either depressing black turnout for Democrats or actively turning some black voters into Republicans (it didn’t work well).

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