Democrats are making fun of Micheal Steele’s proposal that the GOP recast gay marriage as an issue that affects us all in the pocketbook, instead of as a moral/religious issue, which has failed to persuade the mainstream. I’m pleased he recognizes that the issue is not religious, and is not going along with the NOM strategy of making “religious exemptions” the focal point in the debate. But it’s true his point needs a little bit of tweaking for it to make sense:
From the Associated Press story:
Republicans can reach a broader base by recasting gay marriage as an issue that could dent pocketbooks as small businesses spend more on health care and other benefits, GOP Chairman Michael Steele said Saturday.
Steele said that was just an example of how the party can retool its message to appeal to young voters and minorities without sacrificing core conservative principles. Steele said he used the argument weeks ago while chatting on a flight with a college student who described herself as fiscally conservative but socially liberal on issues like gay marriage.
“Now all of a sudden I’ve got someone who wasn’t a spouse before, that I had no responsibility for, who is now getting claimed as a spouse that I now have financial responsibility for,” Steele told Republicans at the state convention in traditionally conservative Georgia. “So how do I pay for that? Who pays for that? You just cost me money.”
But, wait, they say, that point applies to all marriages, since all marriages burden business health insurance plans. But if we look more broadly at what “equal rights for same-sex couples” would mean, then yes, it IS a pocketbook issue that affects everyone.
Giving people equal rights with someone of the either sex means giving people the right to conceive children using modified gametes, and yes, it implies that society is obligated to make it safe and affordable and pay for it for everyone. Democrats should be exposed as the party in favor of genetic engineering and same-sex conception, funded by taxpayers along with all “reproductive rights” positions they are already supporting. Republicans should be the party of “only a man and a woman should be allowed to conceive children together, using their own unmodified genes, and all people should be allowed to marry and all marriages allowed to procreate using their own genes.” I know that’s a mouthful, but it’s a really clear distinction, and it really fits conveniently with the R/D split already, as long as we don’t listen to Libertarian/Transhumanist interlopers who don’t really believe in Republican values of Equality and Liberty.
And, with his point about insurance burdens, Steele might just be sneaking the discussion back around to McCain’s proposal for moving us away from employer-provided health insurance. It adds a very expensive layer for every business to provide health insurance (Entire HR departments basically exist just to deal with heath insurance, and insurance companies have layers of salespeople who just deal with businesses, and employees spend work time dealing with their plans, etc, all at the expense of small business and individuals who can’t compete), and, why should all employees have to go with a plan their HR department negotiated, which might not fit their needs? A refundable tax credit to pay for individual plans, and allowing people to choose plans that are not larded with fertility treatments and BC and prescription drugs and heart transplants would really help individuals like me, and help start relieving businesses of the health insurance burden. Those plans are for the executives, who leverage their company’s size to force all their employees to pay for ridiculous health plans. Steele is right that there is a problem there, and he’s right that gay marriage is going to cost us money, but he needs to decouple the issues and look at them separately.[poll id=”