Notes From Babel

Steve Schmidt Thinks Sticks and Stones Will Break Conservative Bones

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Former McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt says Republicans should drop the anti-gay marriage angle to avoid appearing “sectarian.” If the suggestion were purely strategic–i.e., to enlarge the tent–I could understand it (though I would still disagree). But I take issue that there is something wrong with holding “sectarian” views. After all, what else is there? We all hold deeply personal views and seek to demonstrate the rightness of them. Perhaps Schmidt is suggesting a framework that says moral views are irrelevant in the political arena, or that the only appropriate moral limit to one’s freedom is that which keeps it from harming another. Either way, Schmidt sounds like he needs directions to libertarian HQ. But everyone gets called a bigot and an elitist sooner or later no matter what views they hold. Even libertarians. It is hard to see any nobility or useful strategy in just conceding the point.

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Written by Tim Kowal

April 21, 2009 at 5:34 am

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