I've spent a lot of time today, both on here and on Facebook, complaining about how it took his own son coming out for Senator Rob Portman of Ohio to support marriage equality. The severely localized nature of conservative empathy annoys the hell out of me. But I realized something just now. Come with me below the Orange Squiggle of Understanding...
This is going to be a short diary...probably it "isn't a diary" or at least will be called that. But it's something that I feel has to be said.
When the 200-odd Republican FORMER (with the exception of two Congresspersons from Republican but relatively liberal districts) officials (elected or appointed) submitted their brief to the SCOTUS advocating marriage equality (or at least the overturn of DOMA), I ranted about how they didn't have the nerve to do so while they were still active in politics, instead supporting the Republican party's official stance against the issue. What cowards! What moral midgets! Why couldn't they care more about other people than their own sycophantic careers?!
And now Rob Portman has come out as supporting marriage equality and I spend hours today thinking down at him because he didn't come to the realization until his own son came out as gay. Now, Republican localization of empathy is a problem, I'm not letting go of that belief. It leads to the vast majority of political problems we're having today. And that was my focus on this news item for most of the day today.
However, I realized...Senator Portman is actually DOING what I was wishing the Republicans who sent the brief to the SCOTUS had done. He's taking this risk WHILE HE'S STILL CAPABLE OF BEING HURT by it, professionally. He's actually putting his mouth where the smart money isn't, on the gamble that the GOP will be generally more liberal on this issue by the time he has to face his next primary. That's pretty courageous, especially for a relatively young senator. He could easily keep his mouth shut and glide on into another several decades in high political office. But his love for his son and his son's equality made him speak up.
For that, I'm not going to grumble about Republican localization of empathy (at least on the subject of Portman's "conversion" on this issue) and instead simply say, "Thank you, Senator."