At Rush Limbaugh’s website is a transcript containing his comments on gays in relation to Rick Santorum’s presidential bid. Limbaugh’s comments illustrate the cultural shift surrounding gay civil rights, and the dilemma that shift presents for conservatives. Here’s Limbaugh:
I love Rick Santorum. […] There’s one thing about Rick Santorum. Almost a dirty little secret about Rick Santorum, and that is that gay people really hate Rick Santorum. Now, you might be, “So, what does that matter?” Well, that matters because that filters down through newsrooms. It filters down through much of the news and media conglomerate, the community, if you will, and it is going to influence and taint the kind of coverage he gets. He’s no-holds-barred on American cultural issues and what he considers to be things that are causing the culture to end up being coarsened and depraved and so forth. His comments are not reserved just to gay people, homosexuality, but any number of things, […] That’s who Santorum goes after and as well as Bachmann, too, so she’s hated. When you have that kind of alignment against you in so many areas of the media it’s just another larger hump, if you will, to overcome. If you want to know why Santorum is not catching on, it’s not that he’s not catching on with voters. The political gay lobby is a very powerful lobby. There’s the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. What’s the other one? A human rights organization. They’re very, very politically active, one of the largest donor groups for the Democrat Party. And they hate Santorum.
Translation: Santorum can’t win a general election because he’s too anti-gay. You can no longer talk about gay people the way that Santorum does. It’s just not socially acceptable. In any event, it’s not socially acceptable among urban-dwellers and those urbanites who work in the media.
And Santorum energizes the Democratic base, especially those in the gay community.
So if Santorum won the Republican nomination, gay dignity would be front and center in the election—and Santorum is simply on the wrong side of broad public opinion on that particular issue.
In America, you can’t talk about race or women in certain ways and win a presidential election. And, now, in 2012, you can’t talk about gays in certain ways and really expect to win over a majority of women and independents—the people you’ve got to appeal to in a general election. Thou shalt not be mean to gay people and expect to win.
That’s progress, don’t you think?
Here are two videos illustrating Rick Santorum’s electability problem: