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Republicans are unanimous; they don't like Barack Obama's endorsement of gay marriage. They aren't quite on the same page as to why, but they'll work that out later.

The Log Cabin Republicans call the announcement "offensive and callous" and want you to know that the true hero of gay marriage rights was Dick Cheney, who during his tenure as important person did approximately jack-squat on the topic, as I recall, but no matter. When you're a gay Republican, every day presents these kind of challenges.

“That the president has chosen today, when LGBT Americans are mourning the passage of Amendment One, to finally speak up for marriage equality is offensive and callous,” said R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director. “Log Cabin Republicans appreciate that President Obama has finally come in line with leaders like Vice President Dick Cheney on this issue, but LGBT Americans are right to be angry that this calculated announcement comes too late to be of any use to the people of North Carolina, or any of the other states that have addressed this issue on his watch. [...]”
Interestingly, GOProud went with a nearly identical statement:
“It is good to see that after intense political pressure that President Obama has finally come around to the Dick Cheney position on marriage equality.  I am sure, however, the President’s newly discovered support for marriage is cold comfort to the gay couples in North Carolina.  The President waited until after North Carolina passed a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.”
Is Dick Cheney some sort of gay mega-icon that I never heard about? I knew about the secrecy stuff, the torture stuff, and the general "should be in prison for war crimes" stuff, but if Dick Effing Cheney counts as the touchstone of GOP tolerance of gay people, I'd say gay Republicans are even more hard up than I thought.

(More reactions below the fold)

Mitt Romney started the day clamming up on the subject, then clarified that he was in no danger of "evolving" on anything anytime soon:

"I indicated my view, which is I do not favor marriage between people of the same gender, and I do not favor civil unions if they are identical to marriage other than by name,"
I'm not sure Romney could have put that any more Romneyesque if he had tried. "Hello, Earth humans! I prefer my marital institutions to be reserved for differently-gendered individuals, and my preference for civil unions is dependent on whether or not they are marriages or not marriages, from the standpoint of nomenclature and relative comparisons between the two." All right, then.

... and then there's whatever this is:

“This is a very tender and sensitive topic, as are many social issues, but I have the same view that I’ve had since running for office.”
Well, cut Mitt some slack, I guess. Holding the same view throughout a campaign is practically Nobel Prize material for this guy.

The Republican National Committee, by the way, is going to hold him to that:

“While President Obama has played politics on this issue, the Republican Party and our presumptive nominee Mitt Romney have been clear. We support maintaining marriage between one man and one woman and would oppose any attempts to change that,” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.
You might recall that every good Republican presidential campaign needs a threatening, omnipresent villain to mount furious battle against. These are typically brown people, or "welfare queens," or people who don't like war enough, or when the Republicans are really hard up it's "flag burners," which was really a gawdawful low point for imaginary existential crises everywhere. This year it looks like Teh Gays are going to stand in for that existential threat to all that we know and love, since not hating gays sufficiently is now declaring "War on Marriage." Well, it was going to be them or the Occupy folks, I guess. It's not conservatism unless you're trying to condemn or oppress someone.

Meanwhile, social conservative nutcases are, predictably, expending vast amounts of spittle on making sure everybody knows just how deeply offended they are, and how Romney is going to surely lock up the social conservative nutcase vote:

Faith and Freedom Coalition on gay marriage:  "This is an unanticipated gift to the Romney campaign."
@ZekeJMiller via TweetDeck
Catholic League's Bill Donohue says Obama "has fully broken with his Christian moorings" & might endorse polygamy next http://t.co/...
@RightWingWatch via web

Question: Has Bill Donohue been designated as a hate group yet? Because that guy has about as much Christianity in him as a disease-riddled tick on a rabid dog paddling through a lake of sulfur, mercury, and crocodile spit. I don't think I've ever heard him say a non-spite-filled, non-batshit-crazy thing in years.

Erstwhile presidential Maybe Mike Huckabee immediately started fundraising on the news, which is just about the most goddamn Republican reaction I can think of, even more than the whole "find an existential enemy, and hate them" bit. Rush Limbaugh went with the Fox Newsish angle:

"We've arrived at a point where the President of the United States is going to lead a war on traditional marriage."
Rush Limbaugh is as much a friend of traditional marriage as Newt Gingrich is, but as a conservative, he knows that when you give someone else basic human rights it cuts down on your own rights. Civil rights are like Pez: if you give one to somebody else, that's one less for you.

Third Way says:

This is an historic moment for the nation for which we express our deepest appreciation to the President.
@ThirdWayTweet via TweetDeck

That's great, you pompous jerks. As usual, though, that's just one of the other two ways.

Fox News, on the other hand, is conflicted. Actually, that's crap. Fox News knows exactly how this is the worstest thing ever, no doubt gaining Mitt Romney eleventy billion bigot votes, etc., but anchor Shep Smith is apparently angling for a wrongful termination lawsuit or something:

“I am curious whether you believe in this time of rising debt and medical issues and all the rest, if Republicans would go out on a limb and try to make this a campaign issue while sitting very firmly without much question on the wrong side of history,” he asked reporter Ed Henry.
Hold the phone, fella. Not sure you're supposed to point out that Republicans are "very firmly" sitting on the wrong side of history on this one, at least not on the all-Republican, all-the-time channel.

Besides, "sitting on the wrong side of history" is the Republican Party motto. I think Trent Lott had the phrase embroidered into his socks.

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