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Wingnuts threaten Bush's kneecaps on Social Security if he doesn't push FMA

[Welcome Buzzflash readers…comments are encouraged! Also, check out the Freeper reaction to FMA and immigration being back burnered by Frist.]

These folks are like the Corleones or the Sopranos. I expect figurative cement shoes and broken bones shortly. They didn’t wait long, as I predicted last night (“The Right is going to be pissed at Bush“), to threaten the Administration in some way. They smartly picked Bush’s big ticket agenda to threaten — Social Security — because the Right knows he wants and needs their support. (NYT):

In a confidential letter to Karl Rove, Mr. Bush’s top political adviser, the [Arlington Group] said it was disappointed with the White House’s decision to put Social Security and other economic issues ahead of its paramount interest: opposition to same-sex marriage.

“We couldn’t help but notice the contrast between how the president is approaching the difficult issue of Social Security privatization where the public is deeply divided and the marriage issue where public opinion is overwhelmingly on his side,” the letter said. “Is he prepared to spend significant political capital on privatization but reluctant to devote the same energy to preserving traditional marriage? If so it would create outrage with countless voters who stood with him just a few weeks ago, including an unprecedented number of African-Americans, Latinos and Catholics who broke with tradition and supported the president solely because of this issue.”

The letter continued, “When the administration adopts a defeatist attitude on an issue that is at the top of our agenda, it becomes impossible for us to unite our movement on an issue such as Social Security privatization where there are already deep misgivings.”

The letter also expressed alarm at recent comments President Bush made to The Washington Post, including his statement that “nothing will happen” on the marriage amendment for now because many senators did not see the need for it. “We trust that you can imagine our deep disappointment at the defeatist position President Bush demonstrated” in the interview, the group wrote. “He even declined to answer a simple question about whether he would use his bully pulpit to overcome this Senate foot-dragging.”

The letter also noted that in an interview before the election Mr. Bush “appeared to endorse civil unions” for same-sex couples. The group asked Mr. Rove to designate “a top level” official to coordinate opposition to same-sex marriage, as a show of commitment.

The Three Stooges: Dobson, Falwell, Weyrich.

The members of the coalition that wrote the letter are some of Mr. Bush’s most influential conservative Christian supporters, and include Dr. James C. Dobson of Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, the Southern Baptist Convention, the American Family Association, Jerry Falwell and Paul Weyrich.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, declined to talk about the letter, but said, “The enthusiasm to get behind his proposals is going to require that he get behind the issues that really motivated social conservative voters.” Asked to estimate the level of discontent with the White House among the group on a scale from one to 10, Mr. Perkins put it at 8.

Quite frankly, I’m sure the Dems are just as scared of this move, because even in the blogosphere, they don’t want to talk about gay civil rights at all. They want the focus to remain on the economy, the war, anything besides this issue, because they don’t know how to take the frame away from the Rovian Right (well, Rep. Mel Watt does). Look at these comments yesterday on DKos, when I posted that FMA was being resubmitted by Sen. Allard.

Let’s get right past this red-herring issue (4.00 / 2)

Don’t get me wrong, we should oppose it. But let’s spend the bulk of our energy keeping the spotlight on Iraq.

Yes (none / 0)

The social issues must rear their ugly heads again so they can grandstand on the faux morals platform and avoid be grilled about SS, Iraq and everything else that is tanking in the Republican grand plan. Dare we hope that the media will not take the bait?

good points (none / 0)

we do need to keep our eyes on the iraq/condi/abu gonzales ball. but so do our senators. i think this might be the strongest point in the diary – write this wingnut and his co-sponsor cohorts letters telling them just how skewed their priorities are. how can gay marriage be the single most important issue when the economy, healthcare, employment, foreign relations and military missions are all fuckerpants? any locals up for an LTE?

FMA doesn’t deserve legislative priority, but what these Kossacks don’t understand is that the Right has already cemented the issue into the electorate and the media, and the government is GOP-controlled at the Federal level. They are driving the train, people, and the opposition party is MIA on a response as to why civil rights for gay people are no threat to society.

Attacking gays is easy and emotional; you just can’t tell people not to think about something that has been pummeled into them over this election cycle without taking a real position. The Democrats have no response to the gay rights issue other than “me too” for the DINOs or stumbling, bumbling avoidance — “no look over there at Baghdad” or punting, hoping DOMA will stand, while state after state codifies discrimination into their state constitutions. People need to hear how the party stands on this, so that they can put the issue to rest in order to focus on the war, Big Pharma, sleaze and corruption. The diversionary tactics just look wishy-washy to people; everyone knows where the wingnuts stand. The Right loves seeing the Dems bob and weave on this; it helps them.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding