WWW Opinion Times

Thursday, September 09, 2004

INDIANA--Rep. Governor Candidate angers conservatives

"In politics, nothing is contemptible." --Disraeli

The Indiana Governor's race took a strange turn this week with the revelation that Mitch Daniels, the Republican candidate, met with gay and lesbian activists at the homosexual Jesus Metropolitan Church in Indianapolis over the weekend. Conservative leaders took exception to the meeting which was billed as an "outreach" to constituents. Those conservative leaders were scolded by the Indianapolis Star in an editorial today for speaking out against the meeting. The Daniels campaign has denied any affront to the conservative movement in the state.

Adding fuel to the fire, the stated employment policy for the Daniels campaign (listed at the bottom of the contact page of the www.MyManMitch.com website) recommends an anti-discrimination policy which exceeds Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines and standard business practice for discrimination based on "sexual orientation." Daniels campaign extends anti-discrimination practices to such issues as "gender identity." His website asserts that a Mitch Daniels administration would "implement this [anti-discrimination] policy in state government."

Conservatives are concerned about Daniels' meeting especially in light of his decision to implement a pro-homosexual employment standard. This puts into question Daniels stated support for laws in Indiana defining marriage as between one man and one woman. And they are concerned that the implementation of his anti-discrimination policy in state government would effectively require companies who do business with the state to implement the same policy themselves.

Harry Truman said, "whenever a fellow tells me he is bipartisan, I know he is going to vote against me." Conservative Republicans know by experience that "moderate" Republican candidates who seek the support of liberal groups will always "vote against" conservative causes if elected. It is not a flaw in the character of Christian Conservatives to feel betrayed by these actions as the Indianapolis Star claims in its editorial today. They cannot "get over it" because they know Daniels will betray their support if he is elected under these circumstances. They suddenly can see no difference between Daniels and his opponent who strongly supports gay rights as it is. It is negligent on the part of the Daniels campaign to assume conservatives could support such actions.

Dwight Eisenhower said, "A people that value its privileges above its principles soon loses both." The same can be said of politicians. Candidates must build a base in natural constituencies to be successful. To do so requires ideological consistency in words and deeds. Seeking acceptance from un-natural constituencies always ends in betrayal and at the same time causes a breakdown in alliances with natural supporters. That is the sin of the Daniels campaign. Mitch Daniels himself should clear the air by assuring his supporters that they need not "get over it."

Related Stories:

Daniels' outreach is leaked

Indy Star Rebukes Leak