Plague Ship

Two items in the news really do provide for an interesting contrast. On the one hand, Politico’s Alexander Burns reports that it’s a big development that Brian Brown, president of the virulently anti-same-sex-marriage group the National Organization for Marriage, is now signalling the group will endorse Mitt Romney.

Says Burns:

[O]ne of the most urgent tasks facing Romney is consolidating support among social conservatives and somehow getting them excited about his nomination. While he may have a ways to go in terms of firing up the base, it’s a welcome development for Romney that a group like NOM is already prepared to get on board with him publicly, and that an activist like Brown is forcefully making the case that an Obama-Romney race demands intense engagement from cultural conservatives.

The timing of this acquisition of support by Romney may be less than ideal, however. NOM has been in all sorts of hot water over leaked documents revealing a cynical strategy to “wedge” racial minorities from supporters of same-sex marriage. Just today, the NOM web site and Twitter feed started featuring apologetic messages about the strategy and other NOM practices; it could be a sign of internal dissension or just of a hacker. The NOM site is currently “down for maintenance.”

Not sure the U.S.S. Mitt really wants to be boarded by sailors from this plague ship at this particular moment.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.