Bare knuckles political consultant Karl Rove was famous for advising former President George W. Bush and other conservative clients to attack their opponents’ strengths, rather than their weaknesses. For instance, Bush’s 2004 opponent John Kerry was a war veteran and hero, while Bush got a draft deferment. But before Rove was done, Kerry’s heroism somehow was twisted to be a political weakness, rather than the strength it should have been.
Fortunately, gay marriage supporters have taken Rove’s strategy to heart, and this time are using the power of the strategy for good instead of evil. Two ads they recently released go directly at the strengths of the groups trying to ban the freedom to marry – the skepticism of the elderly and aggressive opposition of some religious leaders.
These ads counter the conventional wisdom that religious leaders and seniors are universally opposed to gay marriage. It frames the issue as a referendum on love, individual freedom and religious freedom. It shows that skeptics’ opinions are evolving, and that even historic opponents are seeing the issue in a new light.
These are outstanding ads, alternatively moving, funny and thought-provoking. And again, they go directly at the strengths of the marriage banners. If he could manage to get over his anti-gay bigotry, Karl Rove would approve.