And the last horse crosses the finish line: GOProud co-founder Jimmy LaSalvia has announced that he will be leaving the Republican Party.
“I just came to the realization that the Republican Party doesn’t represent my principles and values,” LaSalvia told POLITICO. “I’m a small government conservative and they’re for big government. They’re happy to have big government as long as they’re in charge. More importantly, I don’t tolerate bigotry of any kind, whether it’s anti-gay bigotry, anti-Muslim bigotry. And they do and that’s just not OK with me.”
That may be the slowest damn realization in the history of people having realizations. I don't mean to pick on the poor guy, but this is a man who has spent five years with his hand on an oven burner suddenly phoning up a reporter and saying "You know what? Fire hot." Surely there has to be more to it than that, and LaSalvia has a long list of recent well-known examples, though I think he still misdiagnoses the problem
I was astonished when Ken Cuccinelli was embraced as an acceptable candidate. To me, his views about gay Americans or Americans who are different from him are simply unacceptable in this day and age. I was astonished to see the party embrace him as their nominee. I likened it at the time to David Duke running in the early ‘90s. That’s not acceptable now. The fact that that doesn’t register with them is disturbing to me. [...]
The whole culture of the party is just not what I had always worked for, and I think though that the fact that they are so out of touch culturally is the biggest issue for me. That’s something that can’t be dealt with with policy changes or messaging changes. That’s about who they are. To me, that is the biggest issue, that the leadership in the party is so out of touch culturally that I don’t think there’s any hope for them.
True enough, but the worse interpretation is that the leadership in the party is in fact precisely "in touch" with the culture of the party; Ken Cuccinelli did not rise to fame in a vacuum, and Mitt Romney did not distance himself from GOProud because Mitt Romney does not like gay people, but because Mitt Romney felt he could not gain the support of the Republican base if they saw him treating gay Americans with respect. The party leaders are subservient to the base, and it's the base that demands bigotry. The business wing of the party doesn't give a damn whether the party is bigoted or not, so long as the tax breaks keep coming.
Give LaSalvia credit, though, he's certainly blunt.
“I think there’s a cultural problem within the Republican Party that’s beyond fixing. [...] I don’t think they can win a national election again. Pull the plug on the patient, the party’s brain dead.”
See there? And you thought we couldn't find common ground.