REIGNITING THE CULTURE WARS….It’s official: George Bush has now endorsed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. This has obviously been in the works since at least the State of the Union address and comes as no great surprise.

But while there are plenty of things to say about this ? you can head over to Andrew Sullivan’s site if you want to dive into the detail ? the thing that strikes me most about today’s announcement is that it’s so blatantly political. I don’t think that Bush himself is especially anti-gay, and I’m willing to bet that most of his advisors aren’t either. This decision isn’t one of principle but of careful political calculation.

And that calculation is this: the culture wars are good for Republicans. And not just in the background, but front and center, waved around like a bloody sheet. There are some pretty obvious risks to this strategy ? why risk losing votes in the center, after all? ? which means that Bush and his advisors must have made the calculation that they have no choice: they can’t win unless the hardcore culture warriors are fighting mad and on their side.

I haven’t thought through all the implications of this but wanted to toss it out half formed anyway while it was on my mind. Is reigniting the culture wars really a winning strategy for Bush? And why did he feel like he had to do it? I’ll probably have more thoughts on this later.

UPDATE: I thought this was clear in my post, but maybe not. All I’m saying is that I suspect that Bush is not personally especially homophobic. Rather, he’s supporting FMA mainly because he thinks it will help him win votes.

What’s more, this is actually more despicable than if he were acting out of genuine conviction. To me, it looks like he’s willing screw an entire class of people that he doesn’t really care about just in order to win a few more votes. That’s contemptible.

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