I'm not fond of Hilary Rosen being put out there as a pundit or a spokesperson for the Democratic side of the aisle for a whole lot of reasons, a good number of which can be read about in Susie's post here which lays out who she's worked for or represented. That said, when it comes to the issue of gay marriage, she was exactly right with her comments she made as a member of the panel on This Week over the weekend and her noting that "straight people don't need any help tearing down the institution of marriage."
I've got a co-worker that has been Jesus-ed into believing that gay people being allowed to get married might somehow interfere with him not being allowed to get divorced again and maybe remarried again, since he's on his second marriage now and is terribly frightened by those evil gay people are somehow breaking down the institution of marriage. And when you try to talk to him about it, it's about as productive as talking to a box of rocks. He's stuck and stubborn on his stance that gay people being allowed to get married is some sort of abomination.
My fellow liberals at work along with myself haven't had much luck with him, but I remain hopeful that more people making the points that Rosen did here will eventually get through to some of them even if we never manage to change my friend's views. The real damage to the institution of marriage has not been gay people wanting to get married. It's the number of divorces and broken families we've seen with straight couples. And as she noted, getting married, or serving in our military, which are issues the gay community has been pushing for where they would like to have equal rights, are what would normally be considered "conservative" issues or values.
If "conservatives" really cared about the so-called institution or marriage, they'd care more about the issue of divorce, which of course they will never do since they'd have to drive the majority of their members out of their party. They're much happier fear mongering and gay-bashing instead while ignoring the fact that they really don't care that much about the institution of marriage at all, unless it means their fellow citizens they'd like to discriminate against can't have access to it.
Transcript of the clip above below the fold.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You had an interesting on your blog yesterday in Politico from a Republican pollster, George W. Bush's pollster, showing how Republican attitudes have changes on this issue.
HABERMAN: Absolutely. They shifted dramatically. And one of the things I was going to say, actually, counter to what Ralph said -- although you're right, that Mitt Romney has always been for traditional marriage. There's been a shift among the donors on the Republican side. It's not just Democratic donors who support Barack Obama who are in the gay community who wanted to see a move. There are a number of prominent Republicans, like hedge fund executive Paul Singer. Ken Mehlman is out there raising money for a gay marriage movement. Romney is in a sort of a rock and a hard place between his base and his donors. This is not something he wants to be talking about. I would actually disagree with you. I don't think we're going to hear him being forceful about this at all going forward.
MATALIN: There's one sort of -- do I agree he doesn't want to talk about it? This is -- I'm going to agree with Hilary. I think we should talk about it, and I think if the president really was bold, he would urge tolerance for the advocates, the views of advocates for either religious reasons or traditional reasons to support multi-millennial traditional definition of marriage. Why should we talk about this?
This is bigger than the economy. It's about our entire culture and where are we and the disintegration of families. Both the conversations worth having, worth having civilly, and worth hearing each other's views.
I don't think Hilary loves her children any less or any differently. I completely know what's in her heart. We should be able to talk about all that stuff, and I think he will talk about it, but I think the other side has to be -- and the president should urge a tolerance of the views of people who hold this. I say it that whatever, instead of calling them right wing extremists, Christian evil people.
STEPHANOPOULOS: It did seem that the president was trying to signal that this week in his interview with Robin when he really did say this is going to be a states issue, not a national issue.
ROSEN: Here's one more sort of nonpolitical point, which is, you know, sorry, but straight people don't need any help tearing down the institution of marriage. You're doing just fine as it is. One in three divorces. You know, come on.
The irony is that really, gay people are looking to do the most conservative thing. They want to fight in the armed forces, you know, to protect our country, and they want to join the institution of marriage, loving committed couples raising children. That, you know, I don't know that that's a conversation that the president ought to have on the campaign trail every day, but I do think it's something we ought to recognize and acknowledge.