Blaming Social Conservatives - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Blaming Social Conservatives

I say this as somebody who supported Rudy Giuliani during the primary and has a libertarian streak on many social issues (including gay marriage): Kathleen Parker is absolutely nuts to blame the Republican defeat in this year’s election on “the evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP…”

Republicans went into this year heavy underdogs, with an incumbent president who an overwhelming majority of Americans thought sucked. The election was a referendum on Bush, and if the country wasn’t already upset enough by his foreign policy, the financial system collapsed about six weeks before the election. Social issues were hardly debated at all during this campaign, and to the extent that they were, Barack Obama felt the need to woo evangelical voters at the Rick Warren forum, run away from his radical pro-abortion record, and declare his opposition to same sex marriage (even if he didn’t support legislation to prevent it). Republicans nominated somebody who was initially seen as unacceptable to many social conservatives. It’s true that they also nominated Sarah Palin as vice president, but even if you were to buy the argument that Palin cost McCain the election, it’s important to keep in mind that the main problem with Palin was that a lot of independents didn’t think she was ready to be president, which raised question about McCain’s judgment and exacerbated fears about his age. If her social conservatism turned off indepependents, then she wouldn’t have experienced her initial boom of popularity.

This is the extent of Parker’s hard data:

Among Jewish voters, 78 percent went for Obama. Sixty-six percent of under-30 voters did likewise. Forty-five percent of voters ages 18-29 are Democrats compared to just 26 percent Republican; in 2000, party affiliation was split almost evenly.

Unfortunately, my co-religionists typically vote overwhelmingly Democratic, so I’m not sure what that’s supposed to prove. And is it any surprise that party affiliation among voters who came of age during the an unpopular Republican presidency shifted to Democrats? Why are social issues to blame rather than, say, enviornmental issues, or the Iraq War? It’s pretty clear that Parker is basking in her role as a conservative who bashes other conservatives. And no, Andrew, I don’t have a contempt for honesty, but a bias for arguments that are backed up by facts and evidence.

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