Former GOP political consultant Fred Karger has been giving gay marriage foes fits for the past couple of years, outing donors to their campaigns and organizing boycotts against them. Now, the openly gay California resident has decided to try a run for president, and already he's got his party in a tizzy over how to deal with him. So far, the party isn't exactly proving its "big tent" bona fides. Last week, one of the two Iowa members of the Republican National Committee, Steve Scheffler, sent Karger an email threatening to make sure his campaign goes nowhere. He wrote:
"you and the radical homosexual community want to harass supporters of REAL marriage. I am the Republican National Committeeman for Iowa. As a private citizen and knowing literally thousands of caucus goers, I will work overtime to help ensure that your political aspirations are aborted right here in Iowa. Have you studied our past caucuses–you have NO chance here in Iowa!"
Naturally, Karger immediately tipped off the Des Moines Register, which confirmed that Scheffler did indeed send the email and posted a blog item about it, which Karger circulated far and wide, along with his calls for Scheffler to apologize. But Scheffler, the head of the Iowa Christian Alliance and the go-to guy for any candidate hoping to woo Iowa's social conservatives, was doing no such thing. He told the Register, "I'm going to call a spade a spade."
Perhaps Karger should consider himself in good company. Scheffler also told potential candidate Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, that he, too, was "toast" in Iowa because of his leadership of the Republican Governor's Association and distaste for ideological purity. Last month, Barbour went so far as to suggest that the GOP should even support pro-choice candidates who were "good Republicans" because that's what party-building is all about. Clearly Barbour's chances of winning the GOP primary are about as good as Karger's at this point. Perhaps they should join forces to push a big tent platform. Potential running mates?