Showing posts with label Politics-USA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Politics-USA. Show all posts

February 25, 2019

Get to Know This Mayor For President, You will Like Him He Talks Facts and Plans for This Nation






 



When 50 or so curious people gathered in a living room here the other day to meet Pete Buttigieg, the first question he got was: What makes a 37-year-old mayor of a modest-size Midwestern city think he is qualified to be president of the United States?

That is one question that Buttigieg — a Rhodes scholar and Navy veteran who was not yet 30 when he was elected mayor of South Bend, Ind., in November 2011 — has had to answer many times.

“Look, you could be a senior senator and have never managed more than a hundred people in your life,” he said. “I not only have more years of government experience than the president of the United States, but I have more years of executive experience than the vice president of the United States and more wartime experience than anybody who arrived in the office since George H.W. Bush.


“As cheeky as it sounds coming from the youngest guy in the conversation,” he added, “I think experience is one of the things that qualify me to have a seat at the table.”

Except cheeky is not how he sounds at all. It is an understatement to say, Buttigieg — known as “Mayor Pete,” because his Maltese last name is practically unpronounceable — is a long shot. That does not mean he isn’t a serious candidate.

He’s got a point when he notes that the rapidly growing field of 2020 Democratic contenders is thus far light on executive experience. He’s also got a good story to tell about his role in guiding the resurgence of a Rust Belt city.

And Buttigieg has what could be a compelling message for Democrats, with a riff that seeks to reclaim one of the right’s favorite words.

“ ‘Freedom’ means a lot to conservatives, but they have such a narrow sense of what it means. They think a lot about freedom from — freedom from government, freedom from regulation — and precious little about the freedom to,” he said. “Freedom to is absolutely something that has to be safeguarded by good government, just as it could be impaired by bad government.” 
Among those freedoms, he cited: being able to leave a job and start a business without losing health coverage; a woman’s ability to make her own reproductive choices “without a male politician or boss imposing their interpretation of their religion”; and the right to marry the person you love.

“Allow me at this moment to introduce my husband, Chasten,” he added, bringing a round of applause. (Buttigieg announced he is gay when he was running for a second term in 2015, and got more than 80 percent of the vote in his socially conservative city.)

Another reason Buttigieg’s is a voice worth hearing in this election season is that, having been born in 1982, he represents the leading edge of the millennial generation and its unique set of life experiences.

He was himself in high school in 1999, when a dozen students at Columbine High near Littleton, Colo., were murdered by two of their classmates. In the aftermath of that massacre, active-shooter drills became a regular exercise in classrooms across the country.


His cohort also provided most of the troops for the wars that were started after 9/11. Among those who served was Buttigieg himself, who deployed to Afghanistan during his first term as mayor.

And people his age, he noted, “will be on the business end of climate change, for as long as we live.”

Buttigieg is not well-known enough to even register in the early polling. But at a time when Donald Trump sits in the White House, who’s to say what is improbable anymore?

“We get that the path is narrow and that this is an underdog project, but it seems to me there is a path, or we wouldn’t be doing it,” Buttigieg told me. “This cycle is going to test which of the rules are broken forever, and which are going to snap back into place.”

So for now, he’s trying to win voters one living room at a time. And judging by what I saw here in Merrimack, he is making headway, even with people who are old enough to be his parents.

“He’s like a nobody, but I hope he’s going to be a somebody,” Jeanne Gall, 66, said afterward. “He’s a man of substance, not just the blowhard cliches.” But this being preseason in New Hampshire, she’s still keeping her options open and is eager to see whether former vice president Joe Biden gets in the race.

Still, everyone that day came away at least knowing how to pronounce his name (“boot-edge-edge”). Which is a good thing? Because we all might be saying it more than we imagine.

January 25, 2019

A Vet, A Mayor, A Gay Man and Running For President




 Mayor Pete Buttigieg, for President




By Tim Fitzsimons


Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, became the first openly gay candidate in the 2020 presidential race Wednesday, joining an already crowded field of Democratic hopefuls.

Buttigieg, whose name is pronounced “BOOT-edge-edge,” is better known as “Mayor Pete” in South Bend, where he was elected in 2011. He’s 37, which makes him a millennial and just old enough to become president (the minimum age is 35). He married his partner, Chasten Glezman, in 2018 and live-streamed the wedding.

For the past several years, Democratic leaders, including former President Barack Obama, have called him an example of the future of the Democratic Party. His status as the first millennial presidential candidate is central in the video he released Wednesday announcing the formation of an exploratory committee.

"We can't look for greatness in the past," Buttigieg said in his announcement video. "Right now, our country needs a fresh start."


I launched a presidential exploratory committee because it is a season for boldness and it is time to focus on the future. Are you ready to walk away from the politics of the past?

Join the team at http://www.peteforamerica.com .


 
While Buttigieg has not released his platform, he says it will focus on three pillars: freedom, democracy, and security. In a conversation with NBC News, he spoke favorably of Medicare for All and the Green New Deal.

Buttigieg said that members of the millennial generation like himself “have a different sense of urgency about fixing our country’s problems.”

The millennial generation is not only the first to make less than their parents, Buttigieg said, but it also “grew up with school shootings,” will have to “pay the bill of these tax cuts for the wealthiest” and will have a “lifetime of impact from climate change,” all of which he called “time bombs” for his generation. 

When he was elected mayor eight years ago, Buttigieg was only 29. He described South Bend as a very diverse, largely low-income community that “never recovered from losing auto factories” — in this case, a Studebaker plant that closed in the 1960s. But under his leadership, he says, the city has “changed its trajectory.”

“The national media often misrepresent us as a part of the country where looking backward is all we know how to do,” Buttigieg said. Riffing on the president’s “Make America Great Again” slogan, Buttigieg said that in the most successful Midwestern cities, “there’s no such thing as ‘again’ — you can’t turn back the clock.”

One “again” he hopes to avoid: repeating the “horrible mistake” of the 2016 election when Hillary Clinton ignored the industrial Midwest in the race for the White House.

“I’m from the Midwest, so these issues of making sure that we have a positive way forward for workers and families in the industrial Midwest — this is not theoretical for me, it’s my home,” Buttigieg said. 

Democratic mayor Pete Buttigieg running for president; would be the first openly gay nominee
If Buttigieg were to overcome the long odds and become the Democratic nominee for president, he would be the first openly gay nominee and the first veteran of the Afghanistan War, where he served a tour as a Naval Reserve officer. When he was elected mayor in 2011, he was still in the closet. Just before the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in 2015, Buttigieg came out in a column in the local newspaper.

“I was well into adulthood before I was prepared to acknowledge the simple fact that I am gay,” Buttigieg wrote at the time. “It took years of struggle and growth for me to recognize that it’s just a fact of life, like having brown hair, and part of who I am.”

Buttigieg told NBC News he "believed that coming out might be a career death sentence."

“It's extraordinary — the changes that we are living through right now — that I was able to come out in the middle of a reelection campaign and win with 80 percent of the vote," he added. “I think it shows that in a place like Indiana, which is deeply conservative, that people really are opening their minds." 

Buttigieg's career in politics was jumpstarted back in 2000 when he was an undergraduate student at Harvard College. The teenage Buttigieg won an award for an essay he wrote about then-U.S. Rep. Bernie Sanders, bemoaning the “cynicism” of politics and calling Sanders an example of “public integrity.” Buttigieg met Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., at the essay award ceremony and was offered an internship by the late lawmaker.

“I have heard that no sensible young person today would want to give his or her life to public service,” Buttigieg wrote in his essay almost two decades ago. “I can personally assure you this is untrue.”


January 7, 2019

What is Worse Than Clinton or Sanders Running Again?




   






Columnist
Washington Post
When word oozed out last month that both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders might be considering another run for the presidency, I admit my first thought was “Nothing could be worse.”
I voted for Clinton, and I think she’d make a good president, but … you know. Last time around, she somehow managed to lose to a guy who had the maturity of a petulant adolescent, the temper of Yosemite Sam, the bluster of Foghorn Leghorn, the sensitivity of a burlap condom and the nastiness of an enraged honey badger, and physically resembled a Baby Huey pear-shaped punching bag. And Bernie Sanders — well, he had lost to the person who had lost to that guy.
But then I second-guessed myself. After canvassing some friends, I decided I was being unfair: There are lots of ideas worse than a Clinton or Sanders candidacy:
"Carbonated chicken soup"
“Drive on the Wrong Side of the Road Day”
"Replace the seventh-inning stretch with … nap time"
"Stormy/Trump: The Porno!"
"Trump in Russia: The Porno!"
"Habanero enemas."
"Seeing-eye rhinoceroses."

"Gefilte fish ice cream."  ⏬
                    Image result for "Gefilte fish ice cream."

October 24, 2018

On FL. Mayor of Tallahassee Gillum Disagrees :" No Trump is Not a Good Role Model for Children"


On Race for Governor: Mayor Andrew Gillum 54% to 42% GOP DeSantis 


Image result for andrew gillum
 DeSantis Left, Gillum Right
                                        



Washington (CNN)Former GOP Rep. Ron DeSantis and his Democratic challenger in the Florida gubernatorial race, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, offered starkly different takes Sunday on whether President Donald Trump is a good role model for children.
At a CNN debate moderated by Jake Tapper, DeSantis, a former member of the House of Representatives and a Trump supporter, was asked if he considered the President a good role model for children in light of a campaign ad that featured him reading Trump's "The Art of the Deal" to his son. DeSantis wrote the ad off as a joke, saying that the book isn't necessarily his son's "cup of tea." 
Instead, he said, the President's fulfillment of a key campaign promise demonstrates his ability to be a good role model. 
"Every president for 25 years has promised that on the campaign trail," he said of Trump moving the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. "Once in office, they didn't do it. Donald Trump promised it, and he followed through with it. And so to me, when you give your word, and you follow through with it as an elected official, that is the model that we're supposed to do." 
    "He was right to move the embassy to Jerusalem ... to me, that was true leadership," he told Tapper. 
    DeSantis and Gillum spar over race, Trump in contentious Florida governor debate
    DeSantis and Gillum spar over race, Trump in contentious Florida governor debate 
    Gillum, who has called for the impeachment of Trump, appeared to be amused by the question. 
    "I'm confused by the question," he said to Tapper with a puzzled face. 
    "The question was whether or not he thinks President Trump is a good role model for the children of Florida." 
    "Oh, that's what I thought. Originally I got confused," he said, laughing along with members of the audience. 
    "So, no, he's not. Donald Trump is weak. And he performs as all weak people do," Gillum said. "They become bullies. And Mr. DeSantis is his acolyte. He's trying out to be the Trump apprentice." 
    Gillum said that if he were elected, his opinions on the President wouldn't impact a decision to accept federal funds for the state. 
      DeSantis also said that he would work with Trump if he were elected. 
      "I'm not going to be involved in the Washington food fight anymore. I've been there, done that, got the T-shirt," he said. "But I think I will be better positioned to advance Florida's priorities because I have a productive relationship with the administration."

      October 4, 2018

      Beto O'Rourke is Dazzling The Democrats



       Beto is taken for his own what was considered a secured seat for GOP Texas but it really wasn't. All it needed was the right candidate. Take a look at this Cuban-something. I'm not even sure because for a while he tried to pass as totally Anglican even change his name. Ted Cruz, it's even just a big balloon of hot air and it's been one since he came to Congress with the Tea Baggers. Besides preaching for immigration what else has he done? He barely got his snake boots wet during the stormwater floods. The only place you find him is when there is something national that he can talk about because that is something he does well, talk. But he preached Texas and Texas needed both Senators to be if only verbally to be working for the state. Afraid to lose a seat in the Senate the RNC always came thru with help and money. But Having someone with ideas not just talk, someone real not just someone made up to look like a good worker for the people, that is all Texas needed and it seems is getting it.



      A rising star in the Democratic Party could pull off an unlikely victory in the upcoming US mid-term elections by unseating a big-name Republican in the traditionally conservative state of Texas.
      O'Rourke supporters
      Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke is bouncing on a small stage in Edinburg, waving his arms wildly, all 6ft 4ins (193cm) of his gangly frame crackling with energy.
      His toes are well over the edge of the boards and his suede shoes are soaking up dark splashes of sweat from his brow.
      Mr. O'Rourke, who has represented El Paso and its surrounds in the US House of Representatives since 2013, is running for the Senate - and you can't fault him for effort.
      "Everyone is welcome," he smiles to the packed audience, insisting that the invitation even extends to "the dude in the Make America Great Again cap".
      For today at least, the offer is rhetorical. 
      There are no red-and-white Donald Trump hats in sight and, one suspects, precious few anywhere in Hidalgo County, where Edinburg bakes in the Rio Grande Valley, just north of the Mexican border. 
      This is deeply Hispanic, deeply Democratic territory. You can spend a long time here before you hear a word of English.
      While Texas voted for Mr Trump as president in 2016 by 52% to Hillary Clinton's 43%, Hidalgo County went for the Democrat by 68% to 28%.
      Mr O'Rourke may not have Latin roots but he is fluent in Spanish and he leans heavily on his "Beto" nickname - a common contraction of Roberto - which he picked up as a child in El Paso.
      But the congressman is not only campaigning on favorable ground. He has spent much of the past year crisscrossing Texas, boasting that he has visited all 254 of its counties. It appears that he is following a twin-track strategy, enthusing his left-wing base by calling for reform of criminal justice and immigration laws while also trying to attract disillusioned Trump supporters by promising improved education and universal healthcare - and appealing to both groups by accusing the White House of lavishing a giant tax cut on millionaires at the expense of ordinary Americans.
      The biggest cheers come when he vows to end the nexus between politics and big business, to drain the swamp if you will.
      He is almost drowned out as he looks out at the audience and declares "I see people instead of corporations! I see people instead of special interests!"
      Mr. O'Rourke's passionate delivery along with his good looks and background as a skateboarder and a punk rocker has endeared him to liberals across the country, earning flattering comparisons with another Irish-American, that hero of modern American liberalism Bobby Kennedy.

      Mr O'Rourke held a campaign concert with famed country musician Willie NelsonImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
      Image captionA huge crowd topping 50,000 greeted him and Willie Nelson

      Mr O'Rourke has said he is "open to" replacing the controversial Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE), he favours tightening restrictions on guns and has said he would vote to impeach President Trump.
      On Saturday, he took to the stage in the left-leaning state capital Austin with the country music legend Willie Nelson, briefly joining in on the chorus of On the Road Again. Tens of thousands of Texans flocked to watch.
      Mr O'Rourke's speech was described by the Dallas Morning News as "impassioned" and "brimming with his trademark optimism." 
      "We will be defined not by our fears - when we allow that to happen we build walls, we ban people based on their religion, we describe the press as the enemy of the people," he said, rebuking President Trump.
      "We should be defined by our ambitions, our aspirations."
      Mr O'Rourke has benefited from a flurry of small donations from all over the United States, raising millions of dollars more than his rival in a race which may help determine who controls Congress for the next two years of the Trump presidency.
      The Democrats are favored to win control of the House of Representatives but are in a much tougher battle for the Senate, where they need a net gain of two seats but are defending 10 seats in states which Mr. Trump won in 2016.
      The man trying to fight off this challenge is Ted Cruz, a former (and perhaps future) presidential candidate who ran Mr. Trump close for the Republican nomination in 2016. 
      Mr Cruz is in many ways the opposite of his rival, an astute lawyer with a studied, precise delivery and a bête noir of the left who is also infamous for attracting the enmity of some Republican colleagues in Washington.
      Yet with his campaign slogan "Tough as Texas", he epitomizes the strong streak of conservative self-reliance which runs through the heart of this vast rural state, as much a part of its identity as cowboy boots and barbecue sauce. 
      He should be strolling towards re-election.

      Cruz and O'Rourke debateImage copyrightPOOL
      Image captionCruz is a darling of the evangelical wing of the Republican Party

      Either way, in Buddy Holly's hometown of Lubbock, in the north-west of the state, Mr Cruz isn't taking any chances.
      He spends most of his stump speech lambasting Mr O'Rourke whom he accuses of taking "radical" positions on drugs, policing, immigration and the right to bear arms.
      Mr Cruz punctuates his criticism with the crowd-pleasing phrase "and that ain't Texas!"
      "This is a debate between two approaches," he tells his overwhelmingly white audience, "between socialism and the American free enterprise system. Between tyranny and liberty... between the crazy left wing and the great people of the state of Texas."
      That draws a big cheer. Here they love the style of the man in the ostrich skin boots.

      Mr Cruz's ostrich skin boots were regularly seen during stump speeches during his 2016 presidential campaignImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

      When asked what he likes about the senator, one member of the crowd, Monti Bandiber replies with just three words - "his conservative values".
      "I just really like his morals," says another supporter, Lyn Vandiver. "I think he's a very Christian man. And that's the most important thing to me."
      By contrast, she regards Mr O'Rourke as "a liar" both for his account of the events around a youthful conviction for drink driving and in the way he has spoken about his support for black athletes who kneel at sporting events during the national anthem to protest against police violence and racial inequality.
      This stress on morality is interesting given the identity of the current president, a man who was heard bragging that he can force himself on women because of his fame.
      Ms Vandiver is not fond of Mr Trump personally, well aware that Mr Cruz exchanged insults with the New York property tycoon during the presidential campaign, calling him a "pathological liar," "utterly amoral," and "a serial philanderer" among other things.
      Now the Texan senator is caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. Mr Trump's dominance of his party is such that a Republican candidate cannot be rude about him and expect grassroots support.
      And so Mr Cruz finds himself praising the president and his policies, swallowing a dollop of hypocrisy mixed with a measure of humiliation.
      It is another reason why he is spending as much time as possible attacking Mr O'Rourke as "a socialist", a dirty word in much of the US and particularly in Texas, which prides itself on a disdain for government.
      When I point out to Mr Cruz that his opponent hasn't actually advocated state ownership of the means of production - a widely accepted definition of socialism - the senator shoots back "he supports socialized medicine".
      The senator adds that "as Margaret Thatcher said, the problem with socialism is eventually you run out of other people's money".
      Intriguingly when I ask Mr O'Rourke the same question - do you support common ownership of the means of production, he is coy. 
      It is hard to think of another mainstream US politician who would answer with anything other than the word "no". But even given several chances, Mr O'Rourke does not disavow socialism as a creed, instead insisting "the party labels just do not matter anymore. I'm convinced of it. It's not Republican or Democrat. It's Texan and American and that's what we're standing for in this campaign".
      "Investing in the ability for everyone to be well enough to live to their full potential," does not need a label, he says, adding "it's also the most fiscally conservative thing possible".
      Matthew Wilson, associate professor of political science at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, says Mr. O'Rourke is "well to the left" of other Texan Democrats and yet is managing to sound more moderate.
      Prof Wilson says it will be interesting to see whether voters are "more interested in someone who has a conciliatory style" or "in evaluating the ideological substance of the positions".

      A trucks sponsored by a pro-Democrat group features a Trump tweet critical of Mr CruzImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
      Image captionA trucks sponsored by a pro-Democrat group features a Trump tweet critical of Mr Cruz

      In the Dallas suburb of Deep Ellum, there are plenty of young people who are interested in both.
      In The Three Links, which offers drinkers the chance to try their hand at punk karaoke (we are treated to a decent rendition of Kids in America), supporters of Beto O'Rourke gathered to watch the two candidates go head to head in a televised debate.
      "You can't go a mile in Dallas without seeing Beto signs," said Chris Cude, 29, a lawyer. "They're attracting people who want to be a part of it. He associates with a younger, more adaptable, accepting, millennial crowd."
      Sunny Gruber, 30, a technology worker said she too had noticed a profusion of black and white Beto signs in the city and "a lot of folks campaigning for Beto" whose campaign she describes as "really invigorating and exciting for America".

      Cruz supporters snap a selfie ahead of the September debateImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
      Image captionCruz supporters snap a selfie ahead of the September debate

      Success in the big cities of Dallas, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio is one thing but Mr O'Rourke faces a formidable challenge if he wants to win over rural voters too.
      Whereas Ted Cruz plays on fears about the impact of a Democratic Senate victory in Texas, comparing his challenger unfavorably to the democratic socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, Beto O'Rourke is projecting a message of hope, trying to tap into the same disenchantment which propelled Mr. Trump into the White House.
      Mr. O'Rourke's task remains very tough. 
      For years, Democrats have been waking up disappointed from dreams of victory in Texas, where they haven't won a US Senate seat in 30 years.
      Still, Texas is changing, becoming more urban and less white, and assuming Mr. O'Rourke can generate a high turnout among his base, a liberal victory in the Lone Star State no longer looks impossible, which in itself is pretty remarkable. 


      September 6, 2018

      Politics Upside Down: LGBTQ Support Used As A Wedge Against Anti Gay Pols in Red States



                                                                               

       


      , USA TODAY

      When Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly was elected to the Senate in 2012, he asserted that marriage is between a man and a woman. But as the endangered Democrat campaigns for re-election, Donnelly is touting his support for gay rights.
      “Joe is proud to stand with LGBTQ Hoosiers,” his campaign said in a fundraising appeal in June that led with a photo of Donnelly marching in the Cadillac Barbie Indiana Pride Parade.
      Donnelly is not the only red-state Democrat who went from opposing same-sex marriage in 2012 to viewing it as an issue that could help boost him over the finish line this year.
      Others include North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp, Missouri’s Claire McCaskill and Montana’s Jon Tester. They represent the unity the party now has on gay rights, which still divide Republicans.
      "We must end discrimination in any form," Heitkamp said in June in a  tweet that included a photo of her with the message "NO H8" written on her cheek.  
      In a midterm election in which Democrats have more Senate seats to defend – including several in “Trump states” – vulnerable Democrats like Heitkamp could benefit from the growing political power of the LGBTQ movement. A record number of LGBTQ candidates are running for office. And the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has significantly expanded its grassroots activity in an effort to “pull the emergency brake on the Trump-Pence administration’s hate-fueled agenda.”
      Top-priority states are Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin –mostly swing states that play a big role in presidential elections as well as having Senate, gubernatorial or other important races this year.
      But even red-state Democrats could benefit from HRC’s effort to identify – and target – millions of “equality” voters across the country who are more likely than others to support “pro-LGBTQ policies” and to oppose candidates who don’t.
      The group has identified more than 500,000 sympathetic voters in Indiana and Missouri, for example, and nearly 100,000 in Montana.
      “LGBTQ people do not just live in New York and L.A.,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC’s senior vice president for policy and political affairs. “We live all over this beautiful country.” 
      Donnelly, Heitkamp, Tester and other Democratic senators switched their positions on same-sex marriage in 2013 as the Supreme Court began considering the question.
      “I’m proud to support marriage equality because no one should be able to tell a Montanan or any American who they can love and who they can marry,” Tester wrote on Facebook in March 2013. In the 2012 campaign, Tester had said that while he backed civil unions for committed same-sex couples, “in Montana, marriage is between one man and one woman.”
      “This is an issue that in the last 20 years has seen such a shift legally, a shift politically, and just a shift in public opinion,” said Paul Helmke, an Indiana University civics professor and former GOP officeholder. “The politicians were trying to catch up with the courts as much as anything.”
      Only 37 percent of the public supported allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally in 2007, compared with 62 percent who did in 2017, after the Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry, according to the Pew Research Center.
      Among Republicans, however, opinion is still nearly evenly divided. The reasons are a combination of age and religion, said Geoffrey Layman, a political science professor at the University of Notre Dame who has written a book about religious and cultural conflicts in party politics.
      “Older people and more religious people tend to be less supportive of same-sex marriage, and the Republican coalition is both older and more religious,” Layman said.

      In fact, as Donnelly marched in the Indianapolis gay pride parade this summer, Indiana Republicans were fighting over whether the party should continue to back marriage as a union “between a man and a woman.”
      Mike Braun, the Republican hoping to knock off Donnelly this fall, joined social conservatives in fending off a change to the language included in the party's platform when Vice President Mike Pence was governor.
      “There was an overwhelming part of the party that wanted to stick with traditional marriage,” Braun said in an interview recently.
      Around the same time, Log Cabin Republicans in Texas succeeded in removing from the state GOP platform language calling homosexuality a “chosen behavior that ... must not be presented as an acceptable alternative lifestyle.” But the party continues to define marriage as a “God-ordained, legal, and moral commitment only between one natural man and one natural woman.”
      Still, Gregory Angelo, the national president of Log Cabin Republicans, said that while there remains a difference of opinion in the party, there is a consensus that opposition to same-sex marriage as the centerpiece of someone’s campaign is no longer a winning strategy.
      The larger problem for Republicans, he said, is that even if the issue is not front-and-center in elections, voters – especially younger ones – still look to a candidate's positions on equality  as a “cultural litmus test that can provide greater insight into where a candidate’s heart and conscience really lies.”
      “What you’re seeing in 2018 is Democratic candidates who are using their support for the LGBT community as a wedge issue to drive supporters to the voting booth,” he said, “and to vilify Republicans who oppose them.”

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