When asked why he worked against a resolution that expressed support for a Richmond gay rights group, Ken Cuccinelli (the Cooch to some) said:
“When you look at the homosexual agenda, I cannot support something that I believe brings nothing but self-destruction, not only physically but of their soul.”
It appears that in addition to destroying themselves some gay Virginia Republicans want to destroy Cooch’s chances of being governor. David Lampo who sits on the Log Cabin Republicans national board has an op-ed in the Washington Post encouraging Republicans not to vote for Cooch or Lt. Governor E.W. Jackson (an Elephant Race favorite target).
Lampo argues that their views on social issues are in contrast to the party’s principals of individual freedom and limited government. Interestingly, what he says about the party after Jackson won the nomination may show a political reality that actually Lampo’s wasting his time trying to appeal to Republicans in Virginia:
“That Jackson was nominated as a Republican candidate for statewide office with barely a whisper of opposition from mainstream Republicans is a searing indictment of the leadership of the party in Virginia and points out the need for mainstream rank-and-file Republicans to take a stand… Perhaps then mainstream Republicans and conservatives will stop pandering to the intolerant wing of our party and instead work to broaden the party by appealing to independents, libertarians and younger voters — our future, if we are to have one.”
The paragraph above is based on a view that all of these supposed mainstream Republicans exist and just are waiting to be awakened to lead the party to the electoral promise land. Despite the author’s best wishes this doesn’t seem to correspond to reality.
If that were the case why hasn’t the party in recent memory nominated a pro-choice or pro-gay rights candidate for statewide office?
After a parade of nominees like Mike Farris, Ollie North, Jim Gilmore, Jay Katzen, Bill Bolling, and now the 2013 ticket, it seems clear that actually the Republican Party of Virginia isn’t cowering to some minority faction of the party that is very socially conservative. Actually the Virginia Republican Party just is very socially conservative and that isn’t changing anytime soon.
In 2016 do we think any candidates who come to Virginia are going to call for the party to become more socially liberal? If they do they can forget about winning the primary in the Old Dominion. That may not be a recipe for political success it is the reality right now.