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Would a positive SCOTUS ruling on marriage equality be a blessing for the GOP?

A lot of smart political writers are coming to the same conclusion that a ruling in favor of marriage equality by SCOTUS would actually be a favor to much of the Republican party. The thinking seems to be that many GOP pols are “trapped” in toeing the party line but would much rather move on from a subject whose future seems clear.

Note two recent but separate essays by Michelangelo Signorile and Josh Barro. Both smart guys, both know the subject and politics well.

First, from Michelangelo Signorile, writing for the Huffington Post.

“Are GOP leaders secretly hoping that the Supreme Court, after it hears arguments on marriage equality next week, rules in favor of equality? That’s certainly what a few were saying at the Conservative Political Action Conference last week, though not for attribution. [snip]

“The remark this week from Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus that it is kind of ok now for Republicans to support marriage equality — or at least that they wouldn’t be thrown under the bus — combined with Scott Walker’s mixed messages on the issue, Rick Santorum’s continued belligerence, Marco Rubio’s defensiveness (opposing gay marriage “does not make me a bigot”) and Senator Inhofe’s sheer speechlessness underscore that the GOP is in turmoil on the issue.

“The GOP’s only hope, it seems, is for the Supreme Court to take the issue off the table entirely. It’s ironic (and grotesque) that the party that has been the most vociferously anti-gay, the party that brutally attacked LGBT people for decades and exploited homophobia for political gain, may be praying that the justices next week begin the process of giving gays full equality.”

And then from Josh Barro writing for Bloomberg News

“A Supreme Court decision imposing gay marriage nationwide will not only make this problem go away, but it will also give Republican politicians a useful scapegoat to impotently shake their fists at. They can say they wish they could continue the fight against gay marriage, but alas, those judicial activists at the Supreme Court have made it impossible. And then, gradually, everyone who cares about stopping gay marriage will grow old and die, and we can stop talking about the issue.

[snip]

“Gay marriage opponents are going to lose the fight; the only question is whether they will lose it in a way that is quick and painless or long and ugly. If Anthony Kennedy or John Roberts vote to strike down all the state bans on gay marriage, Republicans will be furious with them, but the justices will in fact have done the party a huge favor.”

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