The "Duck Dynasty" controversy could have electoral consequences for Democrats in the 2014 midterm elections if it reignites the culture wars that are typically beneficial to Republicans, a liberal columnist writes.
"The left thinks everyone who opposes gay marriage is some bigot like Phil Robertson," Keli Goff says in The Daily Beast.
"That intolerance could come back to sting Democrats in November."
Goff writes that the Democrats would be making a mistake if they typecast all who oppose same-sex marriage as hating gay people, which isn't true.
She says that while several in her own family oppose gay marriage, the same relatives are just as quick "to congratulate my gay friends whose weddings I have attended."
That's because "they see gay people no differently than they would view a straight person . . . who decides to live with someone" before he or she is married.
And "there's a big gulf" between someone who thinks this way and someone who "hates" a gay person, Goff writes.
"The Democratic Party is in danger of being seen as increasingly intolerant by crucial swing voters in the culture wars," she says, if they fail to understand this perspective.
The danger is that "angry progressives" have become quick to condemn Democratic lawmakers who don't support gay marriage, such as Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu, whose Louisiana Senate seat is in jeopardy in the upcoming election.
"The alternative is a Republican senator who almost surely will vote against their interests 100 percent of the time," Goff continues.
If liberals are going to attack their own over these issues, then "the White House, the DNC [Democratic National Committee], and progressive activists could soon find themselves living in an America in which those who think like Phil Robertson
are calling the shots," she concludes.
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