The Moose observes that the President has dealt a blow to the religious right in a cynical attempt to win re-election. He is shocked!
Today's New York Times reports that the President embraced civil unions in an interview on Sunday with ABC. Although Bush had previously indicated that the issue should be settled by the states, he went a significant step beyond that and said,
"I don't think we should deny people rights to a civil union, a legal arrangement, if that's what a state chooses to do so."
Now, it's one thing to be pro-choice on this issue, it is an entirely different matter to say "I don't think we should deny people rights to a civil union". This position is not only contrary to the Republican Party platform, it also puts him at odds with religious conservatives. In fact, this is a huge rebuff to the religious right and maybe eventually viewed as a significant move down the slippery slope toward gay marriage.
The Moose senses that the President may honestly support civil unions. For all the Moose knows, he may even agree with his running mate on gay marriage. But, in the past, these heretical views are not uttered out of concern of offending the sacred base. A reversal may mean that the Bush team is desperate to show its "compassionate" side in the waning days of the campaign to hold onto disgruntled moderate Republicans and independents.
And what of the Moose's views on gay marriage? If Republicans are so concerned about protecting the institution of marriage, why don't they support a constitutional amendment against no-fault divorce?
They can call it the Limbaugh Amendment.