Monday, February 14, 2005

Captain Obvious strikes again

Good ol' Cap pays us a visit today in The Birmingham News, where we learn that if the vote on the constitutional gay-marriage ban comes during the 2006 primaries, that could aid the gubernatorial chances of -- gasp! -- demagogue extraordinaire Roy Moore.

Yes, I know you're stunned that social conservatives with a reflexive dislike of all things homosexual could ever find common ground with Moore, but that appears to be the case. It's been obvious from the beginning that this latest round of legislative gay-bashing has far less to do with principle than political timing.

The electoral theories on each side seem simple. If Democrats get their way and the vote comes during the primaries, social conservatives turn out in force to nominate a slate of very conservative GOP candidates who get rejected in November. If Republicans get their way and push the vote back to the general election, they nominate more moderate candidates who sweep to victory in the fall when social conservatives flock to the polls.

Since Democrats still control the Legislature, the former option is the likelier setup, and the shockwaves could reach all the way to the top. Lionel Gustafson, a GOP activist from Gulf Shores, echoes a prediction I made a couple of months ago: If Moore is the Republicans' nominee for Alabama's top job, then Democratic Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley will get a promotion.

I'm still skeptical that Moore can oust Gov. Bob Riley in the Republican primary. But I'm far more open to the idea now that the gay-marriage amendment will be on the ballot with them.


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