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02/27/2013

Republican operative Brian Brown forgets politics' 'do not harm' axiom

by Jeremy Hooper

Make no mistake: Brian Brown is a Republican politico. He's a partisan. Not only is his National Organization For Marriage a GOP-centered group, but Brian also runs a side project called ActRight, which has a mission of electing conservatives to office.

That being so, it's astounding to hear Brian's willingness to piss off his own party just so he can direct his single-issue myopia toward bully 201302270900candidates to have a differing view. Speaking to Capital New York, Brian says of pro-equality Congressman Richard Hanna (R-NY22):

"There's absolutely no doubt that we are going be involved in the next election for Richard Hanna's seat," said Brown. "What folks don't understand is that we have Republicans and Democrats who support us, but if a Republican betrays the party platform, betrays his constituents, and does what Richard Hanna does, you can bet we're going to primary him. And if a Democrat wins in the end, so be it." [Capital New York]
(h/t: J.M.G.)

And of course Brian's "so be it" aside is the reality that often comes to pass. In a number of cases where NOM has picked off moderate Republicans and replaced him or her with a more conservative candidate, the Democrat (a pro-equality Democrat, typically) has claimed the ultimate victory. For example, in those four races NOM targeted in New York, two ultimately went to the Democrats and one remained with the moderate Republican who supported marriage. Only one broke in favor of NOM's candidate (and even she has said she won't touch marriage).

201302270859-1But even though Brian is so obviously GOP, he has no choice but to play this card. As the head of a rapidly waning movement that supports marriage discrimination, a deeply conservative Republican party is Brian's last hope. It's a dwindling hope, but it's his only hope. On a practical level, he has to act as if the marriage cause is more important than even his own political consciousness or commitment to his chosen party. I see how this is true.

The problem for Brian: This is only going to further piss off a GOP that would actually like to, oh, I don't know—win elections, maybe?

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