If there is hope for the re-emergence of the Republican Party to which I gave a significant chunk of my adult life, it lies in the actions of seven GOP members of the Indianapolis City-County Council on Monday night.
Republicans Will Gooden, Ben Hunter, Robert Lutz, Janice McHenry, Michael McQuillen, Jeff Miller and Jefferson Shreve joined all of the Democratic council members in support of a resolution urging the Indiana General Assembly to reject HJR6. (For anyone who has spent the last couple of years on Mars, HJR6 would place Indiana’s current statutory ban on same-sex marriage in the state’s constitution, and would add gratuitous language outlawing civil unions and official recognition of anything else creative minds might consider “equivalent” to marriage.)
Six Republicans voted against the resolution, but the future of the GOP–if it has one–lies with the seven who refused to be bullied by activists from the far right fringes.
The capture of one of America’s major political parties by extremists has made governing–and civil discourse– virtually impossible. It has already made GOP candidates unelectable in urban areas, and caused wholesale defections elsewhere.
Those seven Republicans understand something that too many of those remaining in the Grand Old Party seem to have forgotten: politics isn’t–or shouldn’t be–religion. When every vote becomes a test of moral purity, when every issue is a contest between Good and Evil, when any deviation from Approved Doctrine is blasphemy and anything less than ardent affirmation is evidence that the errant member has gone over to the dark side, what you have isn’t a political party.
It’s a cult.
Kudos to the seven who refused to drink the Kool-aid. May their numbers increase.