Mar 1, 2004
George Bush came out last week in favor of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriages.
All the political commentators agree: they see this an attempt by Bush to "shore up his base" in an election year.
In other words, he's appealing to the religious conservatives who are his biggest supporters – that 20% of voters that he thinks will support him on this issue no matter what – even IF they lost a son in Iraq; or even IF they lost their job.
But he's doing more than that. He's also hoping to broaden that base of support by appealing to more moderate voters – voters who oppose his stance on abortion and sending public school money to religious schools, but, because of the prejudices against homosexuals in this society, might decide to vote for him because they feel uneasy about the idea of "a man kissing a man!"
At the same time, he's trying to confuse the issues of the mess he's made in Iraq and the mess the economy is in. The Democrats will never really challenge Bush on Iraq or the economy in any real, substantive way; they, ultimately, have nothing different to propose on those fronts. Bush knows this.
That's why Bush hopes the solid base of support he has on this one ridiculous issue will be enough to get him back into the White House.