Last week, Reince Priebus said
that he believed Mike Huckabee was a model for how Republicans should talk about social issues like marriage equality. Yesterday, Huckabee demonstrated what Priebus was talking about, answering a question about the possibility of the Republican Party endorsing marriage equality by saying
If they do, they’re going to lose a large part of their base because evangelicals will take a walk.
But don't worry, it's not because evangelicals are bigots or anything like that:
And it’s not because there’s an anti-homosexual mood, and nobody’s homophobic that I know of, but many of us, and I consider myself included, base our standards not on the latest Washington Post poll, but on an objective standard, not a subjective standard.
And he has the utmost respect for Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) who recently became the only Republican senator to support marriage equality, joining 45 of his Democratic colleagues:
I have great sympathy and extraordinary admiration for Sen. Portman. I consider him a friend and I value his work in the Senate and think he’s a great person. The mistake is that we sometimes base our public policy decisions on how we feel, how we think, maybe even some personal experiences, and we don’t regard a lot of these issues from the standpoint of an objective standard.
So there you have it. Reince Priebus's model for talking about social issues doesn't hate Rob Portman—he just thinks he's a poll-driven weakling making decisions based on emotion instead of the objective truth that gay and lesbian couples should not be allowed to marry. It's not that Huckabee wants to be anti-homosexual or anything, it's just that objectively speaking, heterosexual couples should have more freedom than everyone else. And if Republicans make the mistake of giving into the temptation of not being homophobic bigots, a big chunk of their political base will quit the party, and maybe vote for Ray Moore or something like that. But they'll do it with a big old affable smile, just like Mike Huckabee.