Sunday, April 5, 2015

If you don't want s*%t on your boots, don't step in it

At least that's the message I get from another of Sargent's posts, this one about what the push-back against the Indiana "religious freedom" bill reveals about sticky social issues for the GOPlins in 2016. Snippets follow.

When the "religious freedom" law in Indiana first started getting national attention last week, the Republicans running for president probably thought it was an easy call. Their party has firmly backed the movement to expand religious prerogatives into the realm of commerce, and gets some of its strongest support from religious Christians. Furthermore, laws like this have been relatively uncontroversial in the past. None of them seemed prepared for the intensity of the criticism the Indiana law got, and like Governor Mike Pence, found themselves pushed to backtrack on their initial full-throated support.

They were also probably surprised by just how many directions that criticism came from, with everyone from business leaders to religious groups making their opposition clear.

This issue illustrates just how complicated a task it will be for Republican candidates to navigate their party primaries without harming themselves for the general election. It isn’t just that pleasing the GOP’s base could displease the broader electorate, though that will often be true. The challenge is made even tougher by differences of opinion within the Republican party.

It will be fun to watch.

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