Last week, 131 prominent Republicans signed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that California’s Proposition 8 law is unconstitutional. The court is set to hear arguments on the matter March 26th.
On Monday’s NOW with Alex Wagner panel, one of the signatories–Nicolle Wallace, former Communications Director for President George W. Bush–discussed the party’s evolution on gay marriage.
“I don’t think this is a political third rail at all,” Wallace said when Alex asked her if the issue was political Kryptonite for Republicans. “Good politics are usually borne out of good policies and there is a recognition that we need a base of policies that appeal to a broader swath of America.”
But is Wallace’s optimism misplaced? Polls show that while Democrats and Independents have moved significantly on gay marriage over the past 10 years, Republicans have not moved much.
Also, of the 131 signatories, only two–Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY)–are currently elected officials.
“It’s fine for people in Washington or in Virginia to say we need a better look on gay marriage, but how is the evangelical Christian base of the party going to react to it,” said TheGrio.com managing editor Joy-Ann Reid. “I think you’ve seen with immigration, people aren’t necessarily going to follow just because it’s better for the party politically.”
A Washington Post-ABC News poll back in November showed that the base of the party remains resistant to change with 54% of Republicans “strongly opposed” to gay marriage.
“I think this evolution in the Republican Party is under way,” Wallace said. “It doesn’t get that much attention and maybe that’s a good thing.”