The Rise and Fall of the National Organization for Marriage

NOM’s Roback Morse: ‘Driving a wedge between gays and blacks’ = ‘strategic genius’

April 02, 2012, by Jeremy Hooper

The National Organization For Marriage's strategic Screen Shot 2011-08-26 At 9.41.39 Amattempts to "drive a wedge between gays and blacks" and "provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots" (among other cynical ploys) have been rightly condemned from various corners of the political world. But leave it to NOM's own Jennifer Roback Morse (of NOM's Ruth Institute) to add an extra level of insult to the obvious injury.

Not only is Roback Morse, unlike other NOMmers, standing firmly by the language as written -- she is actually positioning the "drive a wedge" game as smart political strategy:

"If I were an investor in social conservative causes, I would put Brian Brown on my speed dial because these documents are showing that Brian Brown is basically a strategic genius, and he's doing what any sensible person ought to do in his situation" [ONN]

Really? A political "genius" acts in a way that draws strong rebuke from the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization? These, the denounced tactics of a group that admitted it wanted to provoke certain kinds of people in order to further its own agenda, are the kinds of things that Roback Morse thinks should be exalted within socially conservative circles?  That's pretty sad, if true.

Actually, that Roback Morse is even looking at this through the political lens rather than a human one tells me all I need to know about the stated strategy and NOM's concern (or lack thereof) about the fallout. This organization has been caught putting its own quest for (highly partisan) gain above what should be our shared quest for respectful treatment, even in spite of political differences. I've said from the beginning of this whole scandal that one need not even be a marriage equality supporter to find outrage in NOM's stated plan. NOM's desire to stand high atop a sideline perch and chant "Fight, fight, fight!" while keeping its own organizational nose clean?  That's noxious enough to transcend traditional divides. 

Dangerous enough, too.