I reported recently that the Log Cabin Republicans had, unsurprisingly, endorsed Mitt Romney. The Huffington Post has interviewed some of the LCR leadership and got some very interesting responses. Like the fact that they outright told the religious right that Romney is lying to them:
Even though Log Cabin is a Republican group, it waited weeks to announce its endorsement, and some observers hoped it would never come. On two previous occasions, in 1992 and 2004, the group did not endorse a presidential candidate at all. In the latter case, it refused to support George W. Bush because of his position in favor of the Federal Marriage Amendment. But R. Clarke Cooper, the president of Log Cabin, said Tuesday that Romney’s support for the amendment does not disqualify him from getting the group’s endorsement because “times have changed.”
“There’s no appetite to pass or even consider that amendment,” Cooper told The Huffington Post. In his statement, he called Romney’s support for the amendment “an empty promise made to a vocal but shrinking constituency.”
I actually suspect they’re right, in a sense. Like George W. Bush, I don’t think Romney really cares much about fighting the “gay agenda.” I think he’s probably relatively moderate on such questions. But like Bush, he is still eager to appease the base and politics clearly matters much more than principle (something no one has ever detected in him, of course). There’s no big constituency in Congress at this point to push the issue right now, but I would bet that Romney will happily sign any anti-gay legislation that comes his way, purely out of political necessity.
But this line really stuck out to me:
In interviews with HuffPost over the past several months, members of Log Cabin have said that while they are troubled by Romney’s positions on the gay rights issues of the day, they feel that deep down inside, Romney is a friend to gay people. As one Log Cabin Republican board member explained at the Republican National Convention this year, “We don’t listen to what a candidate actually says. We try to feel where they seem to stand.”
Again, there’s a sense in which this is correct, at least the first part. What is said by any politician should always be taken with a grain of salt. But that shouldn’t be replaced by vague assumptions about what they “feel.” The key to understanding how a politician will act is to ignore what they think and “feel” and look at what will be in their own political best interests. Because that is the basis for their actions nine times out of ten.