Dems should stop politicizing gay rights, says Romney 2012 campaign manager

Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign manager, Stuart Stevens, is very upset about Democrats politicizing gay marriage.  Video below, here’s a quote from it:

“200 hours ago or so, Hillary Clinton hadn’t announced that she was for gay marriage. The 2008 Democratic platform was not for gay marriage…. I think to try to divide this between political lines is really the wrong way to go. It’s clearly not a party issue when you have Hillaryn Clinton following Rob Portman. I don’t think people are looking at is as an R[epublican] and D[emocratic] issue.”

Hmm. Not an R and D issue. Well, let’s see.

  • Democratic President Barack Obama is for gay marriage.
  • GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney isn’t.
  • Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid is for gay marriage.
  • GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell is against gay marriage.
  • House Demcoratic leader Nancy Pelosi is for gay marriage.
  • House Republican Speaker John Boehner is against gay marriage.

What am I missing?

Which party embraced gay marriage in its platform?  Democrats.

Which party not only opposes gay marriage in its platform, but actually calls for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage?  Republican.

And where are the parties on:

  • Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal: Ds for, Rs against.
  • ENDA: Ds for, Rs against
  • DOMA repeal: Ds for, Rs against.
  • Hate crimes expansion: Ds for, Rs against.

And where was Mitt Romney, the party’s presidential candidate on gay rights?  Abysmal.  Romney  was bad on ENDA, DOMA and DADT, and he was for the anti-gay constitutional amendment.  Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how’d you like the Pride parade?

Then in response to Andrea Mitchell quoting Cong. John Lewis calling gay rights “the civil rights issue of our generation,” Stevens had this to say:

“So two weeks ago Hillary Clinton was on the wrong side of the definitive civil rights issue of our time?  I just find that a hard case to make.  And a year and a half ago Barack Obama was on the right side of the definitive civil rights issue of our time?”

Uh, yeah.

Then there’s this whopper from Stevens:

“think that it’s just not helpful to try to make this a hyper-political issue.”

Yeah, cuz Republicans never do that.

Also, underlying Stevens entire argument is this idea that somehow gay rights is “new” on the scene, and even pro-gay Democrats only got on board a few weeks ago.  Yeah, right.  We’ve been welcomed openly as a part of the Democratic coalition since the first Clinton election in 1992.  As for the Republicans, it’s still not clear how they feel about us, considering gays are still banned from the number one conservative conference every year.  Hell, CPAC even banned the mention of the word gay.

As for Hillary, yeah, she came a bit late to the gay marriage bandwagon.  But neither she nor her husband came late to the gay civil rights bandwagon overall.  You sadly cannot say the same for most prominent Republicans.

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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47 Responses to “Dems should stop politicizing gay rights, says Romney 2012 campaign manager”

  1. Sweetie says:

    Romney thinks it’s 2000 because he recycled the “Take Back Vermont” language just recently with “Take Back America”.

  2. Bill_Perdue says:

    ^^^^^^^ Democrats against history,

  3. Bill_Perdue says:

    ‘If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom — go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!’

    John Adams, delegate from Massachusetts during the debate on the proclamation of the occasion of the Declaration of Independence at Philadelphia 08 01 1776

  4. Bill_Perdue says:

    ^^^^^^^ Democrats who’ll vote for union busters, warmongers and bigots now matter what it costs other people.

  5. Bill_Perdue says:

    You’re not telling the truth. Clinton enthusiastically supported DOMA, elbowed it through Congress, stealthily signed and then boasted about. He’s a bigot and so is Hillary Clinton. Ask John Avarosis, he’s written about it often.

    Clinton’s ad run on redneck radio stations in 1996. (And remember, Clinton didn’t have to do that – he was decisively ahead in the polls from the spring of ’96 until the day of the election.

    “Protecting religious freedom. It’s the foundation of our nation. When the Justice Department went after a church to gather the parishioners’ tithing money, the government was stopped cold because President Clinton overturned the government’s policy and protected us. It’s not the only time he’s defended our
    values…President Clinton wants a complete ban on late term abortions except
    when the mother’s life is in danger or faces severe health risks, such as the
    inability to have another child. The President signed the Defense of Marriage Act, supports curfews and school uniforms to teach our children discipline.President Clinton has fought for our values and America is better for it. Paid for by Clinton/Gore 96″

    This is the opinion of CBS News chief political consultant Marc Ambinder: “One reason the Rick Warren thing is a big deal is because, after Bill Clinton, the gay community is unusually sensitive to getting the shorter angle of presidential triangulation. It is hard to overstate the optimism and excitement that gays and lesbians felt in 1992. But the optimism deflated spectacularly after “Don’t Ask, Don’t tell” and the Defense of Marriage Act, not to mention President Clinton’s sneaky 1996 ad boasting about DOMA, which aired only on Christian radio. Clinton was willing to say the word “gay” in public and appear in black tie at the Human Rights Campaign dinner, but, in the eyes of the gay political community, his commitment to gay rights vanished both times it counted most.”

    Counting on Democrats like Clinton, Obama and the rest is like being in that cult that
    dances with rattlers. You never know when you’ll get bitten.

  6. So what deo you want running the counry – every one with guns shooting it out – may the best shot win. Reminds me of how the commies took over in Russia – one totally corrupt govt taking over from the totally corrupt romanovs.

  7. Clinton was forced to sign Doma by family values guy Gingrich, who refused to let the repub controlled house pass a budget

    Gingrich btw suppoted convnetional marriage by being on his third wife, cheated on #1 & #2. In the case of number ! he only visited her one time while she was being treated for cancer= to drop off a list of what he wanted for the divorce

    BTW he’s one of hte worst cases re gays- brought up sothern baptist , became catholic
    I thought the church wouldnt take in divorced people. But they needed the money – you can guess why. Supposedly this creep is worth about 30 mill from his books etc.

    A very sad case for an American. One would expect he’d fit in well in the Moscow leadership

  8. fY IMO what seems to drive Rove is not simply animus for gays. Turns out his father is gay. I think he’s embarrassed.

    That is exactly what drives Don Dwyer , the chief homophobe of the MD legislature. Turns out his father about 20 years ago was arrested for having gay sex in a park in glen Burnie md (about 15 miles north of state capital – annapolis, and 15 miles from baltimore

    And of course Dwyer- family values guy also – he crashed his boat while drunk into another and darn near killed a little girl. He tried to blame it on gays winning marriage in MD/. The guy is a pathological liar. It was because his wife found out he was running around with a young french chick, and she was in the process of divorcing that [email protected] of a guy.

  9. Romney – not many people seem to know that he is a Mormon Bishop. If he had won, gays would have been the new victims of total segregation like we had re blacks in the south for a hundred years after the civil war

    I’m str8 and left the repubs because of Bush and Iraq and how it not only killed 5000 of our finest but became the best recruiting tool for Al-Q.

    the hatred of gays that Bush used to get himself re-elected with the “constitutional amendment ” thing was the final straw. Bush is simply an alcoholic who replaced his addiction to booze with an addiction to right wing religion in the south. Racist, homophobic. Some even hate Jews, eg the biggest baptist church in Dallas First baptist – they also hate Jews. This came out when a homophobic football player was gooing to speak there during the marriage battles last year

  10. Bill_Perdue says:

    You mean you’ll continue to vote for union busters, warmongers and bigots. That’s just plain wrong.

  11. Bill_Perdue says:

    Partisans of one or the other war parties spend a lot of time blaming one another for
    starting wars. They’re lying. All the recent wars have been bipartisan. From 1948 on both parties gave the zionist ethnic cleansers the weapons – including napalm and white phosphorus – they’ve used to murder untold hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and steal their land.

    Truman invaded Korea with Republican support. Eisenhower sent a few dozen military trainers to Vietnam but LBJ escalated the war, sending in hundreds of thousands, with Republican support. Nixon escalated even more and Democrats supported him. Bush one attacked Iraq in the Iraqi province of Kuwait. Bill Clinton murdered half a million Iraqi children and Bush2 added a million more to the total murdered in the course of the US invasion and occupation.

    Bush2 ended the war in Iraq by signing the Status of Forces Agreement ( ) and invaded Afghanistan. Obama escalated and began to attack Bahrain, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen and other nations.

    Here’s a typical speech by a right wing gangster who could be from either party:

  12. Stratplayer says:

    Sorry, but I’ll take my chances with those flawed Democrats, if it’s all the same to you.

  13. David Dodson says:

    The republicans started the last 3 or is it 4 wars. Vietnam, Gulf war 1, Iraq, Afghanistan. D.D. Eisenhower, G.H.W.. Bush and G.W Bush Respectively. You might look up some facts before publishing falsehoods.

  14. Bill_Perdue says:

    For the record Obama’s rancid bigotry is the reason we lost.

    He bellowed his opposition to same sex marriage at his buddy Rick Warren’s bigotfest and followed it up with more of the same on MTV. And he sent a letter to SF Stonewall saying he opposed Prop 8 because it was unnecessary. The cowardly Democrats who ran EQCA and No on 8 kept their mouths shut and didn’t comment on his egregious bigotry but Yes on 8 went to town with it using it to galvanize the catholic, mormon and evangelical bigot votes.

    Between the summer and fall the Field Poll reversed and we lost. Obama did it.

    Republicans cheered him on. We socialists thought it was disgusting.

  15. Bill_Perdue says:

    Your lifelong liberalism is a lifelong mistake. If you supported or voted for Democrats you enabled their wars, bigotries and union busting just like catholics enable the rape of children every time they donate to that cult.

    If you voted for Obama or one of the Clintons you voted for bigotry.

    Democrats are one half of the right wing.

    “There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party … and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt — until recently … and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties. “ Gore Vidal

  16. BeccaM says:

    Call the Waaaaaaaaahmbulance. The poor widdle GOPers are having a sad because one of their favoritest wedge issues isn’t working anymore. Boo-hoo!

    God, what a bunch of hypocrites. They’ve been politicizing homosexuality since the 1980s. Sadly, the Dems have been complicit — i.e., DOMA and DADT were passed with overwhelming bi-partisan majorities.

    No, Stuart Stevens, gay rights isn’t new. What is new is in the last decade, we’ve finally been seeing some justice.

  17. Stratplayer says:

    Oh, spare me the false equivalencies. If a given liberal, out of political calculation or cowardice, adopts a plainly conservative position, does that plainly conservative position thereby become “liberal?” Is my lifelong liberalism tainted because some asshole national Democrats didn’t have the backbone to stand up to the right wing when they should have?

  18. Elijah…same with me but I left the GOP during the Regan era. Once the religious zealots grabbed control of the party and started demonizing and politicizing gays I could not stay. My only other place was the DEM’s. Stevens is a fool and he is just trying to blame the DEMS for the GOPS mistakes.

  19. For the record, Obama went publicly opposed prop 8 in 2008, and the Republican-controlled house introduced DOMA to complicate Clinton’s 1996 reelection campaign (after pushing DADT to turn discrimination against gay soldiers into military policy). It was spineless of Clinton to sign it into law, but your side was the one to introduce and push legislation that has kept me in exile for my entire adult life. If you think I’m going to suddenly vote for the @ssholes who reduced my life to a “lifestyle” and my rights and personhood to a “political issue” because they didn’t know what to do once it became unacceptable for politicians to use the n-word out loud in public and they needed a new scapegoat for the failure of their policies, just because the other side was unsuccessful in stopping you, you’re clearly even more deluded than I ever imagined. Which, considering the existence of “unskewed polls,” “sharia law,” and “terror babies,” is really saying a lot.

  20. Same old song…Republicans are selfless public servants with only the good of the whole nation at heart while Democrats have “agendas” and play “partisan politics” and blah blah blah. What else is new?

  21. Mighty says:

    About the same experience for me. I tried to be a republican only to get spat on by one of their religious conservatives who didn’t want me in “god’s party”. (1994) I decided then they had to be defeated and have voted Dem almost exclusively since then.

  22. Bill_Perdue says:

    Democrats gave us DOMA and DADT and have refused to pass ENDA or repeal DOMA.

    Or had you forgotten?

  23. Stratplayer says:

    Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia and liberals are the real homophobes.

  24. Polka Fest says:

    So you think the evangelical Christians are bluffing. I certainly admit that’s a possibility. In any case, the evangelicals are the only political interest group who are in danger of being tossed overboard by a major political party, which is probably why evangelicals are the only ones screaming and making desperate threats. (Or bluffs?) I’m not that good at predictions, but my guess is that they will vote Republican, but it won’t matter in a presidential race because the demographic trends have already begun to kick in. The House of Representatives will remain their stronghold… unless just enough Republicans toss them overboard and let ENDA pass in the House… or if the Republican electoral strategy for House races is SO stupid that the Democrats take back the House of Representatives in spite of gerrymandering. It should be entertaining to watch in any case.

  25. Bill_Perdue says:

    Revolutions are the ultimate expression of democracy.

    What makes you think they’re aren’t elections in Cuba or that they’re any more or less democratic than elections in the USA? Why do you think that the left will only be represented by one party?

  26. Bill_Perdue says:

    They are getting steadily worse.

  27. Polka Fest says:

    I commented for the first time because the back-and-forth between J. Aravosis and the commenters grabbed my attention. I agree with the suggestion in your third paragraph that the Republicans are closer to splitting at this point than the Democrats, which is what I see in many articles on the Internet. Your fourth paragraph doesn’t address electoral politics, but rather a worker state that doesn’t operate through electoral politics. The only country in this hemisphere that meets that description is Cuba. I certainly understand that Cuba is admired because of its health care system, and also because Cuban doctors regularly help provide medical care to poor nations in the Caribbean, such as Haiti. This is common knowledge. Whether you could get American working people to give up an elected form of government in favor of a one-party worker state is another matter.

  28. Randy says:

    Wishful thinking. I’m with you — I think both parties are corrupt and would love to see real alternatives. But things will have to get much worse for both parties for a credible new party to arise.

  29. Randy says:

    There is always that threat. It never materializes. Come election day, the evangelicals will vote republican because the alternative, having a spawn of Satan in the White House, is too much for them to stomach. They will hold their nose and vote GOP. Plus, there are plenty of local elections where crazy ass conservatives will run against gay marriage and all the other things near and dear to their hearts, so they will still get out and vote.

    Although if it works, at least the GOP will have finally found out a method of voter suppression that actually works.

  30. Randy says:

    Clearly the guy is wrong and just on tv to spin his version of things. The question is why, and why now?

    If he was running the Romney campaign, then he has to answer for it. This is his excuse to the GOP leaders: That gay marriage is really new, so Romney couldn’t really be expected to formulate a policy on it, and that Dems are only new to the game, and anyway they were really mean to make it an issue.

    IOW : Not my fault!

    It’s just angling for another job running another campaign. Blaming everyone else isn’t going to help. Any republican who hires this blowhard is going to lose. That’s the real message here, and one Stuart did not intend.

  31. Bill_Perdue says:

    I expect both parties to splinter under the impact of depression and radicalization.Both are unfit to rule. Both have suffered huge losses because of that. In the 2010 mid-terms 30,000,000 of Obama’s 2008 voters walked. Between that and gerrymandering they may never regain the House.

    In the average national election one third to one half of eligible voters, understanding that this is a banana republic and that elections don’t solve the problems of wars and depression, attacks on the Bill of Rights and the environment, don’t bother to vote. They’re the smart ones.

    The republicans may be closer to splitting but when the Democrats begin to break up it’ll have more far reaching consequences. There are no ways to reform the system that have lasting effects and when working people break to the left they’ll have no reformist distractions and will, as they’ve done in other countries, become revolutionaries in short order.

    What do you think of that?

  32. slappymagoo says:

    When I was a little kid, very little, my best friend was fascinated by this “junk room” in my family basement. For a while, hide-and-seek was impossible because that’s the only place he wanted to hide. And I knew it. So I kept looking there first because I knew I’d find him there. Instead of hiding in a different place, he demanded I “seek” other rooms in the house first, and when I asked why would I do that when I know where you are, he accused me of not playing fair.

    I don’t know why this story reminds me of that anecdote. It just does.

  33. Polka Fest says:

    Refusing to vote Democratic or Republican is an interesting idea, but I it looks like it’s catching on to a much greater extent among evangelical Christians. It’s all over the Internet, right-wing talk radio—absolutely everywhere. For instance, I say this just the other day about Tony Perkins threatening to go third party:

    If the Republican party “abandons marriage evangelicals will either sit the elections out completely — or move to create a third party,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. “Either option puts Republicans on the path to a permanent minority.”

    Here’s the link (hope this link works):

    Another example of this growing phenomena is Mike Hukabee’s answer when someone asked him if the GOP will switch to supporting marriage equality:

    “They might. And if they do, they’re going to lose a large part of their base because evangelicals will take a walk.”

    Here’s a link to the video (if it works):

    I’m sure many readers are intrigued by the possibility of evangelical Christians taking your advice and voting for neither major party. So what do you think?

  34. Jonathan_Justice says:

    The shorter translation: “It’s just so awful when Democrats take these positions, and win!”

    More seriously, The way in which ostensibly conservative politics burns through low information voters’ hot button issues is a scandal. Rove et al. do not personally care about the pretended issues, limiting marriage to heterosexuals, limiting voting to white men with property, slowing the growth of the national debt, cutting taxes, except as tools they can use to get and keep political power for their lazy and inconsistent masters/patrons.

  35. gratuitous says:

    Yes, let’s not hyper-politicize an issue, especially not one that makes Republicans look like hypocritical bullying bigoted bastards. Issues that can be hyper-politicized are Benghazi, “Obamacare” and now Social Security.
    If you listen closely, you can actually hear the eye roll.

  36. THANK YOU. As angry as I get at Republicans like Stuart Stevens, anger doesn’t cause amnesia.

  37. Ok now this has me pissed. From 1996-2000 I was a Young Republican and College Republican. I left the party and became a total Dem because of how the GOP persecuted gays like me. They are the ones that started this and took away fundamental rights. Hillary 2016!

  38. Bill_Perdue says:

    While it’s true that Democrats have been tripping over one another to rebrand (evolve) in the light of new polls reflecting the growth and militancy of the marriage equality movement that hardly makes them pro-LGBT. They gave us DADT and DOMA. They’ve pigheadedly refused to pass ENDA or similar bills since the 1970’s just as they’ve refused to repeal DOMA. Hillary Clinton is a particularly obnoxious bigot in a rush to rebrand.

    Beyond that they are the party of murder and wars of aggression. Clinton began the policy of kidnapping, torturing and murdering political and military opponents, Bush expanded it enormously and Obama, after the familiar lies, embraced it and applied it to A American citizens, trashing the Bill of Rights. Clinton murdered half a million Iraqi children, Bush murdered another million or so and Obama’s policies have murdered tens of thousands more and wasted the lives of tens of thousand of GIs.

    Voting for Democrats (or Republicans) is voting for war and murder.

    Democrats are the party of austerity, union busting, attacks on workers standards of living, NAFTA, deregulation, artificially maintaining massive, long term unemployment and the violence of poverty and homelessness. Obama is for more NAFTAs, the further degradation of the environment, offshore drilling and opposed to tough new air quality regs proposed by his own EPA.

    Democrats (and Republicans) are tools of Wall Street and it’s unprincipled to vote for them. A vote for any Democrat and any Republican is a vote to destroy unions, gut the Bill of Rights and speed up degradation of the environment.

    Democrats are the enemy. Republicans are the enemy.

  39. Bill_Perdue says:

    Or about the 1996 Clinton campaign when he elbowed DOMA through congress, signed it in the dead of night and then boasted about it on redneck TV.

    Or Obama’s decision to sabotage marriage equality in California in 2008.

  40. silverkjk says:

    And which political party insisted on defending DOMA and bringing it to the Supreme Court?

  41. Pete Symes says:

    Why are the Republicans the party of the great big soon to empty tent? Because they seem to be the party of great big empty heads.

  42. jcm52 says:

    “I think to try to divide this between political lines is really the wrong way to go.”

    I somehow recall in 2004 there were a lot of initiatives about gay marriage that Rove got people to put on the ballot. Something about making sure people would turn out to vote for Bush…

    So… pot – talk to kettle much?

  43. S1AMER says:

    Jeez, Republicans are getting desperate, aren’t they?

  44. SoLeftImRight says:

    This from the people who have worked to amend constitutions all over the nation to actually enshrine discrimination and second class status to LGBT people? This from the people who have passed laws to invalidate our lives and relationships? You right wing, Christofascists were the ones who made it person. You politicized it. Give me a huge break, campaign-losing rethug.

  45. Drew2u says:

    Applebee’s employee gay-bashed by husband of co-worker says he was told not to return to work due to bad publicity
    Written by Louis Weisberg, Staff writer
    Mar 31, 2013
    UPDATED 5:20 p.m. April 2

    A gay employee of Applebee’s in Rice Lake was brutally bashed by the
    husband of a co-worker, then told by the restaurant’s manager he could
    not return to his job due to publicity surrounding the incident, he

  46. Drew2u says:

    Oh you mean this guy?

    (So glad he wasn’t tagged to be on the Presidential panel looking at nationwide voting access)

  47. FLL says:

    Someone should remind this POS about Bush’s 2004 campaign in Ohio, the centerpiece of which was an anti-equality federal marriage amendment. And of course, there’s every other Republican strategy to make gay voters a political football over the past 30 years.

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