I think you’re right—that the GOP is and should be focused on the economic message.
I also don’t think the GOP cares about this issue much. I suspect they look at the way the people are already voting against gay marriage, and then how the judges rule, and they don’t see a place for themselves in this fight. What are they going to do about it? Anything they say will allow the Dems to call them haters, which makes the middle uncomfortable and might lose GOP momentum.
I think they’re looking at the prevailing winds in terms of voting and know they’ve already got the support they’re going to get from folks on this issue, in this cycle. I suspect many people who vote against the issue do so without telling people; the defeats have been rather lopsided.
And the RNC certainly doesn’t seem to care about this issue, probably because they suspect how many gays are part of their country club set. Very Rockefeller Republican—moderate to liberal on social issues, caring only for tax cuts for themselves and their pals, and low-cost labor.
They may also be looking at the generational split in the vote, and positioning themselves accordingly. Getting in front of an oncoming parade and waving a baton is about the level of “leadership” they’re capable of.
I don't disagree. However, WE CAN DO BOTH! This is not an either/or. IMHO, this is a Trojan Horse for conservatives. A true conservative does not need to identify themselves separately (GOProud?) by what they perceive to be their sexual orientation. The mission of GOProud is decidedly non-conservative.