Yesterday, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) became the third Republican in the Senate to endorse gay marriage.
Conservative media outlets haven’t been attacking her for it. They haven’t been praising her either. They’ve been ignoring her.
Memeorandum isn’t comprehensive, so I searched for “Murkowski” in the last 24 hours at conservative outlets. And I got a lot of this:
Nothing at National Review, the Weekly Standard, Human Events, the Washington Free Beacon, or the American Spectator. Breitbart.com ran two Associated Press stories. WorldNetDaily ran an NBC News story. The Daily Caller and RedState mentioned Murkowski in pieces about immigration reform, but nothing on gay marriage.
The only conservative outlet I found covering Murkowski was the Washington Examiner, which ran a straightforward news story about her announcement.
Four years ago, it was hard to imagine Republican senators supporting gay marriage. It was even harder to imagine conservative media outlets having no reaction at all to them doing so.
So what’s going on?
A substantial share of the staffers at these publications, especially the younger ones, are now supporters of gay marriage. National Review ran a feature piece arguing for gay marriage in 2011.
Those who oppose gay marriage are sick to death of talking about the issue. They know they are losing the fight over public opinion and that their complaints are not going to convince anybody. And making those complaints has become awkward, because opposing gay marriage has come to be seen as rude in polite society.
I also suspect that, deep down, many socially conservative writers are less confident than they used to be that gay marriage is wrong.
So they’ve abdicated any effort to argue against gay marriage or hold accountable Republicans who support it.
Of course, the fight over gay marriage in the Republican Party is far from over. State party activists are likely to cause trouble for Republicans who back gay marriage even if national writers won’t.
But the national conservative media is done with engaging on the issue.
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