GOP Rebrand? Drop Palin and Get Off Gay Marriage

by Gayle Plato

In my humble opinion (only mine and not reflective of other SA writers), many conservatives are making grave errors in terms of the real focus moving forward: some issues and candidates are not the key points.

About three or four years ago, I felt drawn in to politcal debate. I grew up in a family that talks of everything, I had a small child and felt concerned about the world around me.  I’m also a social studies teacher and spent years telling kids to get involved; there’s always a way at some level.  Blogging was ideal; I’ve always written from high school newspaper editor to low-level freelancing of mainly educational material: I love to write.
But I credit Feminists for Life  (  for getting me activated.  Their message suited me 100%.  Imagine the excitement I felt as the prospects of John McCain, my senator, getting the GOP nomination; I KNEW it was a great opportunity to get a woman in and make sure it was an  FFL woman as the running mate. 
On June 4, 2008, I wrote within a piece regarding McCain that he should pick Sarah Palin. I purposely posted it 88 years to the day of the proposal of the Women’s Right to Vote in the United States.  Though not an expert, I am aware of history.  Sarah Palin had a place in it and I knew it. (
No one was happier than me to see her secure the Vice Presidential nomination, and I felt the team had a chance.  But unfortunately, the majority of the voters were not with the message. Now we jump to today, and I see the Republican party a scattered, frustrated bunch of grumblers lost. We are not clear, and we are not going to win anything like this:
1) SARAH PALIN is DONE-  I do not think she wants to run at a national level in 2012.  She might be the wisest of the field too as it is very shaky.  But in truth, she does not have a good control of her camp, the message they are sending is basically all about teen pregnancy including the fertile daughter and hound dog partner, Levi the Tool. He is out on of all places, Larry King discussing when and where he did Sarah’s daughter.  This is SO BAD, and shows no sense of reality in terms of a future Presidential run. She’s done.
2) GAY MARRIAGE is a TRAP- Liberals, democrats, they LOVE when conservative republicans come out swinging against same-sex marriage.  It is a huge issue amongst the conservative christians and it is dripping with hypocrisy.  Conservatives shout values, put up brain trust bikini queens feigning good morality, and then talk of how sexual morality is determined by God. Some put forth the need to legally protect marriage (this might be the only way to go here), but all of it is fodder for the Democratic Party.  This stuff kills the GOP.  Why? Well how many conservative christians would tell their kids that sexual activity is sacred and for marriage?  How many would ALSO partake in sexual activity prior to marriage?  Enter Bristol Palin and the fertile Palin poster family.  We get killed on this issue, including beauty queens with Internet posing pasts talking up good values.  Whether we feel it is a valid issue or not, it is not a good platform point.  Period.  Take the same-sex issue another way and have candidates talk of it as states rights. Tenth amendment is a biggie for value.  See all of the states considering denying federal process these days?   Maybe a point about monogomy being the key would help bring this issue into a useful place,  not who you touch and when it’s legal.  But as a political position-drop same-sex marriage as a platform issue. 
3) Consider clever and smart candidates nationally with a range of position.  Like these- a) Michigan Representative Thaddeus McCotter: smart, sharp, youthful geek cool, focuses on fiscal responsibility and cleverly asks for help that is targeted to those he represents- like they are supposed to do.  b)Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann: very conservative, much better on-the-ground knowledge of issues  than Palin, great mom and family person, a little more mature but just as beautiful with less Jerry Springer elements. c) Governor of Texas Rick Perry: great leader, staunch conservative with great record, likeable family man with the salt to stand up to Washington; great states rights advocate d) Governor of Utah Jon Huntsman:  He seems the maverick type to me with the John McCain moderate take, stands up to some of the most conservative constituents in the country, but is popular for his direct and decent approach to governance.  A little liberal for me but I like his McCainess without it being too obviously there e) Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour: great governor expecially during hurricane Katrina, very likeable good ol’ boy with a cracker jack wit and warmth which is hard to fake. He’s a throw back to another time with state-of the-art awareness.
There are plenty of others being thrown around including Virginia Representative Eric Cantor, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan ( I always think of Jack Ryan of the Tom Clancy novels), and of course I am so far in the tank for Newt Gingrich (but have been since 1994 and never left this tank) but until we get clear of our goal– WINNING!

I also think we need good governors and less congressional hacks running.
 Without a clear plan of action, we are not going anywhere but back to the TV to watch football and beauty pageants, hoping one day to see a GOP in the White House again.


  1. Gayle, I have to agree with you. I am not a gay marriage supporter but we have got to get back to state’s rights and take those issues off the federal table.

    I loved Palin! But…you hit the nail on the head. She is young and very capable of rebuilding her own brand and using her current position to showcase her talents rather than difficulties. Until then, we are not doing her any favors by forcing the issue.

    Heresy on its way to a blog near you… Rush Limbaugh is more destructive to the GOP than the Dems. He is looking for ways to undermine efforts by others in order to keep himself relevant.

  2. You are right on with Palin, but I repsectfully beg to differ on gay marriage.

    Even after 15 years of unrelenting and wholly one sided propaganda, 60% of the population refuses to tell a pollster they support gay marriage, no matter how the question is phrased. Maine and Vermont (.001% of the national population) have legalized it democratically, 48 states and D.C. have refused to legalize it democratically. This is not a Red/Blue phenomenon – it lost in California after the state’s highest court gave it a major boost and the gay marriage proponents outspent (and demonized) the opposition. It has 59% opposition in New York. Opposition is strongest in the black and hispanic communities, with 75% of black women opposing it in the recent California election. A few crummy western Europeans and Canada (5% of the world’s population) have legalized it, no one else is even considering it. If Republicans are not willing to say that a marriage involves one man and one woman, a whole lot of currently reliable Republican voters are going to register Independent and start picking and choosing. I would not condemn them – if a party will deemphasize its core principles because they are not presently playing well on MSNBC, it does not deserve a lot of support.

  3. Grumpy Gus says

    Sure, the party exists to win elections, but let’s show some leadership along the way. And by leadership I mean persuasive, meaningful communication. Before you toss away issues like Palin or sodomy, jettison gambling and photo radar which are truly meaningless issues for the GOP core.

  4. As a liberal, you had me scared until I got to some (not all) of the choices in #3.

    Seriously, it is important in a democracy to have a viable and credible opposition party, but I can tell you that friends who were or still are Republicans and not sold on Obama’s policies see the word “socialist” or “fascist” in the first line of a blog post, it turns them off.

    You have no reason to listen to me, but I only pray that some of the extreme posts on this blog get read by young, conservative-minded or moderate people…because they are so laughable and out-of-touch, they seem to most people under 30 like satire from The Onion.

    I’m a gay rights activist — I was in the Village during Stonewall 40 years ago when I was 18 — and it’s astonishing to me how supportive of gay marriage the students I teach are. Yes, including ones who call themselves conservatives. Less so among minority students but I live in a jurisdiction (New York State) which borders on five jurisdictions (Ontario, Quebec, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut) in which gay marriage is legal, one in which civil unions are legal (New Jersey), and which itself recognizes gay marriages in other states.

    Any day now New Hampshire will join those jurisdictions. It’s a big yawn at this point for most and is clearly the wave of the future. Whatever my own reservations about it, I’ve long since given up. Most of my friends in longterm relationships (over 20 years) have chosen not to get married, but people see it as a matter of choice.

  5. Grumpy Gus says

    Fair enough, but any student willing to take a class from a gay rights activist is probably not the right focus group if you want to ascertain actual public opinion.

    I find it ironic that some homosexuals glory in the counterculture (the Village during Stonewall), and others want to be considered 100% productive members of society. The first group probably ignores the second, and the second must be pretty frustrated that their fellow homosexuals don’t share their views about society and how they want to participate in it.

    For example, it’s likely that every slave prefers that slavery be abolished. But not every homosexual thinks getting married to another homosexual is important.

    So why does the GOP care if a significant portion of the homosexual community doesn’t?

  6. Carl Hay says


    I carry no water for Sarah Palin, although I think any reasonable person would agree that she has been badly treated by the liberal media.

    I support civil unions for homosexuals, but am adamantly opposed to ‘gay marriage.’

    You are the one who is intolerant in that you wish to impose ‘gay marriage’ on others.

    In every state where the people have had a chance to vote on the issue, they have opposed ‘gay marriage.’

    The argument that Republicans should be more liberal and just a shade less liberal than Democrats to win elections is false.

  7. Veritas Vincit says

    Gingrich + Palin 2012 to win.

    Republicans win when they stay true to their values and beliefs. And no, GWB was/is not a conservative imho.

  8. I agree with you about one thing in the post: Thaddeus McCotter is the MAN! But he is also vehemently against destroying the basic building block of the body politic–the institution of the family. Homosexuals try to supplant their relationships not beside but over marriage, disguised in the euphemisms of the day–equality, rights, liberty. No one is trying to make laws against being homosexual. But why are people trying to make laws to typify homosexual relationships as something they are not?

  9. Gayle,

    I just checked out the Feminists For Life website and found it intriguing. Yes, it fits me well, but I’m wary of the “feminist” label. That label is so tired … so associated with 1970s-era thinking.

    The term “feminist” has been warped by its associations.

    So Gayle, what do you call an educated, determined, fair-minded woman who likes and loves the men in her life? A feminist?

    Anyway, great posting.


  10. JR Snyder Jr says

    I’m convinced, especially as the inept bungling of this administration continues, that if the American people heard with simple clarity the real basic message of conservatives regarding liberty, individual rights, free markets and core Constitutional principles, in a meaningful way that relates to their every day life, they’d buy it.

    The current self-perpetuating insular conservative culture as messengers of a very important message are failing at delivering it. Quite possibly they’re killing it by expunging and excluding gays, women, minorities who do not fit into proscribed roles assigned them by the established conservative culture. Lowering Palin’s profile and leaving the gay marriage issue alone is a good place to start.

    The real basic message of free enterprise must get out to as wide and diverse a group of people as possible to keep this country from slipping into pervasive managerial government. That’s the bottom line.

  11. Richard Grayson hits on a very important point others are missing, when you ask young people they are much more in favor of gay marriage than the generation running the GOP now. In time, it will be the majority position of the country and if Republicans continue to stick to current agenda on this they will be marginalized.

  12. Please note, I did not say that I support Gay Marriage. I said it needs to drop as a platform issue. It is a states rights issue not unlike how abortion issues are defined once the general issue became a law. With the new court coming, get ready. We have to pick our battles.

    I loathe abortion and I resent personal relationship issues being mandated. I feel Richard has a point as he’s teaching and sees the young.

    JR my pal–thx for the cogent and giving responses. I know many disagree and I respect why. Truly. But I feel this platform issue is misplaced.

    Like I said, it’s just me though 🙂 Thanks for all the radership as always!!!

  13. readership not radership HAH maybe a freudian slip is showing huh? LOL I dream of a day w/out typos–not gonna happen.

  14. JR Snyder Jr says

    It’s very understandable to me why readers would be upset at the idea of gay marriage (which is not what she is supporting here) it does remain an enigma to me though why some people spend so much energy on it.

    Personally I blame heterosexuals themselves for any problems in marriages and families, after all they propagate them. Parenting is the biggest concern I observe ranging from from mega church families to secular ones. I don’t see a lot of gay people parenting so they can’t be causing the current problem.

    Kristen makes the valid point on the word feminism “That label is so tired … so associated with 1970s-era thinking.
    The term “feminist” has been warped by its associations.” You could easily say that about the word “gay” and recognize that it has become associated with “gay culture” that only a fraction of homosexuals identify with.

    In a sense this post is really about casting off assumptions about people and organizations and the positions/roles they are supposed to take. Taking off the scales to see…

  15. Veritas Vincit says

    Posting #3 above: agree

    Posting #4 paragraph #2: Familiar with the Broken Window Theory of behavior? That’s why those words shut down some people.

    (posting 4 cont) As for the students you teach, they’ve already been well conditioned by their high school teachers who come directly from Schools of Higher Education where diversity is the name of the game.

    Its been over 30 years since the mime “gay” was introduced in order to soften the public’s acceptance of homosexuality and, TV and Hollywood have done their part in conditioning the culture. This hasn’t happened overnight.

    Todd, the above two paragraphs are for you too. Someone (an extreme socialist) once said, ‘…give me control of the child until he is 8 years old and I will control his future.’ I think the folks around here are familiar with the connotation here.

    Richard, it is interesting that you mention being in the Village during Stonewall as if it were a badge of honor for the cause. Why is it important to this dialog? I was at Woodstock, so what?

    Gayle, is it not disingenuous to say “drop the gay marriage issue” but, I don’t support that issue? By extension of your blog, you tacitly either support same sex marriage or, you are willing to surrender a plank of the party platform.

    Here’s a suggestion:
    Let the government issue Civil Union Certificates good for all the usual civil benefits and let the Churches decide to whom they’ll issue a Marriage Certificate – BUT! If this is done, insure that the Gay Rights groups do not then demand Churches accept them or seek redress under the new Hate Crimes Laws.

  16. Conservative does not mean Republican says

    I don’t think we should just sweep the issue of homosexual marriage under the rug and ingore it. However, I agree with Gayle that it is a trap set up by the dems with which they can paint conservative candidates as backwards, intolerant bigots. I don’t think it is wise for conservatives to run on a social agenda. I think they should fight for social values as officials, but ultimately they should make other issues the centerpiece of their campaigns.

    I agree with JR’s post #12. We need to find a way to get the message of individual liberty, individual responsibility, limited government, and free enterprise back into the mainstream. The Obama administration and the MSM is doing the best they can to marginalize and ignore such thinking. In all honesty I liken it to Frederich Von Hayek’s experiences. His early career conincided with the popularity of John Maynard Keynes. Hayek’s ideas were rejected in favor of the more socialist thinking Keynes. Later, Keynes’ theories would be rejected by economists and Hayek became the first free-market economist to win the Nobel Prize. Today, economists discredit Keynes’ theories and embrace Hayek as one of the most influential economists of the last century.

    Doesn’t that story strike a chord with conservatives today? Hayek’s finally became popular when people like Thatcher and Reagan made it into power. I believe a similar type of revolution in the war of ideas will take place. The current philosophy of heavy handed and intrusive government will eventually be disproved and a Hayek type change in thinking will occur. We have to fight to make that message heard.

  17. I just like when everybody says Gayle is right. Keep doing that, soon you’ll believe. 🙂 OH and BTW DVR the horrible red Eye on FOX tonight to see Thad McCotter in his element. He makes that show worth watching.

    What I did note with this post and comments is that there is a need for this healthy discussion. Can “Conservative” get back to meaning less government? That is really what it all means.

    As for my townhall blog, well, I also have music and goofy poems so don’t go by that as I have the brain of an 8th grader.

  18. George W. says

    “That is really what it all means.”

    I don’t know who told you that when you were in school, but as a conservative since a long time ago, it means much more. Read Barry Goldwater’s Conscience of a Conservative.

    “I just like when everybody says Gayle is right.”

    Lots of folks don’t.

    Is this how good candidates are selected now? “…youthful geek cool, ”

    “… heavy handed and intrusive government will eventually be disproved”

    begun under GWB and taken to the limit under BKO.

  19. George W. says

    “I just like when everybody says Gayle is right.”

    Lots of folks don’t.
    rewrite: lots of folks don’t agree Gayle is right.

  20. George you literally sound like you’re in pain as you write. I am saying something simple–appeal to the people. Goldwater had trouble appealing to the people too and one Daisy Chain downwind finally did him in on the national scene. I was born that Goldwater summer of ’64. That’s 45 years ago.
    Yet Obama is getting to the point of a tip–I suspect his love and snuggles politics is going nowhere fast. I wonder if the GOP is ready to do something though. Get real George–the party you knew is dying and you cannot change that fact. I don’t like it either in some ways. I am well aware some don’t agree with moi. I expected that. I was kidding.

    BUT-Politics cannot fix anything. People make and solve problems, therefore political entities must reflect the society–much like art. Yet like art- it’s beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  21. Antifederalist says

    I’m going to take you to task on your projected future R leaders.

    a. MCCOTTER?! Have you MET this guy? He’s a FREAK, as in really wierd, not geek cool. He’s not charismatic enough for the national stage.

    b. While I like Michele Bachmann, she has STRONG negatives on the left. As many would turn out to vote against her as would vote for her. She also has an annoying voice and drives her staff like a tyrant.

    d. Huntsman. If Palin should be done, so should be moderates. Considering both Bushes, the fiscally-irresponsible moderate Republican controlled Congress and McLame’s fabulous disaster of a campaign in conjunction with election losses in 2006 and 2008, rule by moderate rule has been SOUNDLY rejected by Republicans if not the nation as a whole. We need CONSERVATIVE leadership, not another disaster. Huntsman is a non-starter.

    While you brought up Mr. Ryan who can be very free market at times, you failed to mention the unfailingly charismatic Mike Pence. Pence isn’t perfect, but he’s about as good as conservatives are going to get. Also, while not as charismatic by a LONG SHOT, Jeb Hensarling is unfailingly conservative and would make a stellar conservative leader. While I want to hate Hensarling for personal reasons, I find it hard because he always uses free market arguments when attacking the communists in Congress. Give Hensarling Pence’s charisma and we’d have an unbeatable candidate, someone better than Reagan.

    Finally, Mute Stinkrich? The loser who caved so much to Clinton that his own party threw him overboard? The idiot who buys into leftist junk science on global warming and ends up doing green commercials with communists? The guy who thinks socialism is OK if done with technology? Forget it. He’s a closet leftist. How many wives has this guy had? Social conservatives will NEVER back him.

  22. Oberserve says

    Translation of Rightwoman’s post in one line….

    “I’m a McCainiac. Anyone who opposes us will be terminated. Resistance is futile.”

    It’s just they same stuff regurgitated another way: abandon your principles, pick candidates who I think are expeditious.

  23. George W. says

    Gayle said, we quote: “Get real … the party you knew is dying and you cannot change that fact.”

    I am not dear writer, in pain as much as in shock that you post on a conservative blog and your first hand experience and knowledge of the party you attempt to describe is woefully limited.

    Gayle, you literally sounded as if you were chortling with pleasure about yourself in post #17 which is a most unprofessional behavior.

    Although this is not surprising since you said; “simple… appeal to the people”

    This is consistent with your pleasure at being approved of so you’ll continue the behavior that gets you recognition.

    Remember, your actions will determine the society you bequeath to your dear son.

  24. George W. says

    “Can “Conservative” get back to meaning less government? That is really what it all means.”

    Another pithy quote from Gayle.

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