There’s A Culture War, And Democrats Are Winning

Somerby has a nice point about how pundits suddenly started caring about the overemphasis placed on predictions only when people hired by mainstream outlets started making predictions with actual rigor. But it also reminds me that, in addition to being obvious wishful thinking insulting to the intelligence of the show’s remaining viewers, syndicated columnist William F. George’s justification for a Romney win in Minnesota that had no chance of happening was based on some of the laziest hack anti-wisdom imaginable:

I forgot my exact number. I guess you have a graphic here. I guess the wild card in what I’ve projected is I’m projecting Minnesota to go for Romney…It’s the only state that’s voted Democratic in nine consecutive elections, but this year, there’s a marriage amendment on the ballot that will bring out the evangelicals and I think could make the difference.

Even when same-sex marriage was unpopular, there’s no real evidence that gay-bashing initiatives had the electoral payoffs that many pundits (and not just conservative ones) imagined. So why on earth would gay-bashing initiatives have huge electoral payoffs when they aren’t particularly popular? On what basis would anyone assume that this tactic would mobilize more voters than it would alienate in a state like Minnesota in 2012? Let alone have effects big enough to make up an 8-point deficit in the polls in a state Republicans haven’t carried since 1972? Talk about yer epistemic closure.

But this election as a whole should hopefully be the death knell for the very popular “Democrats desperately need to pander to cultural reactionaries” genre of punditry (my favorite example still being William Saletan’s assertion that Democrats losing the popular vote in 1 of the previous 4 elections proved that “abortion was no longer a winning issue,” federal elections being referenda on Roe v. Wade and all.) It might even be a while until we hear about Saint Bob Casey Sr., denied a speaking spot at the Democratic convention unlike all the many Republicans who are given prime-time slots to favor upper-class tax increases, again. The Democratic convention represented the repudiation of the “(sorta) safe, rare, (kinda) legal, rare, rare, and rare” discourse for talking about abortion rights, and this didn’t seem to hurt Democratic electoral prospects. While. conversely, the Republican insistence on running anti-choice crackpots who made the mistake of saying the quiet part loud cost them at least two Senate seats they should have won.

And an even bigger bust was the Republican attempt to gin up a spurious “religious freedom” issue around contraceptive coverage. Obama went on the offensive in the second debate, linking reproductive freedom and economic opportunity with rhetoric that was mild for feminist theory but aggressive for an elite Democratic politician who rose in an era in which Democrats are supposed to be timorous and apologetic about supporting gender equity. Romney responded with a non-sequitur, to his credit being well aware of how unpopular the war on contraceptive access is. And the result was…Obama again winning the Catholic vote, which isn’t terribly surprising given that Catholic religious leaders simply don’t represent lay Catholics on the issue.

Especially with same-sex marriage becoming increasingly popular, there’s no reason whatsoever to believe that progressive views on cultural issues are any kind of drag on Democrats in national elections. Hopefully this lesson will be applied going forward.

94 comments on this post.
  1. njorl:

    And the result was…Obama again winning the Catholic vote, which isn’t terribly surprising given that Catholic religious leaders simply don’t represent lay Catholics on the issue.

    I was a Catholic for about 20 years. One thing I learned is that nobody despises Catholic Bishops more than lay Catholics. The only possible exception are priests and nuns. They may have a lower opinion of bishops, but they keep it to themselves.

  2. joe from Lowell:

    Remember when Barack Obama made a terrible political blunder by crossing the bishops over contraception coverage?

  3. CD:

    Word is that here in Washington State, the marijuana initiative brought young voters out in droves and helped put gay marriage over the top, not to mention very narrowly get us another Democratic governor. Now we just have to figure out how to put dope on the ballot every four years.

  4. david mizner:

    Dems are also winning on immigration. This is huge politically cause now with the likes of even Sean Hannity says he was wrong, Dems are going to be able to drive a wedge through the GOP. Cause many on the right simply will not bend. At the risk of getting carried away, this could be the seed for a real third party on the right.

  5. david mizner:

    Yeah boosted youth voted in Oregon and Colarado but not as much as in Washington.

    http://justsaynow.firedoglake.com/2012/11/08/pot-legalization-on-the-ballot-dramatically-increased-youth-turnout/

    “in Washington State the youth vote went from just 10 percent of the electorate last election to 22 percent this time.”

  6. DrDick:

    Contra the dominant narrative, we really are a liberal nation and have been for decades.

  7. Lev @ LibraryGrape.com:

    My theory is that abortion delivers more actual votes to the left, but the right is satisfied with their position because it actually gives them an activist corps. Ain’t nobody going door-to-door for tax cuts for the rich.

    It really does feel as though something shook loose on the issue this year. You always hear about how mild heart attacks can actually be a benefit healthwise since they can convince people to start paying attention to their health and avoid a major one. Well, it seems as though Sandra Fluke, Komen and mandatory ultrasounds were the mild heart attack of the pro-choice movement, which could have led to something more severe had Romney won. Just from a subjective standpoint, the politics of the issue seem very different now from even a year ago, with Republicans on the defensive and not entirely sure of their footing. The Saletans are silent for now.

  8. Murc:

    Nah. The right wing doesn’t splinter in that fashion; instead they form nutty conspiracy groups/organizations (John Birch Society, Americans for Tax Reform, the Tea Party, Birthers, etc.) and work to subvert things from within.

    Oddly enough for crazy people they’re actually pretty smart about this kind of thing. I wonder if its a side effect of being authoritarian.

  9. Ed:

    My theory is that abortion delivers more actual votes to the left, but the right is satisfied with their position because it actually gives them an activist corps. Ain’t nobody going door-to-door for tax cuts for the rich.

    The status quo on abortion has been useful for both sides. The Dems use it as a scare tactic and the Republicans use it to light a fire under the rubes. This year, of course, there was something to be scared about and the Republican rape experts did not help.

  10. Gary K:

    Epistemic closure may be part of it, but what really explains GW is his certainty that math is beneath the notice of a serious intellectual.

  11. smith:

    The best comment I saw somewhere on the internets was this yesterday, “The culture wars are over. Culture won.” May be a little optimistic, but we’re clearly moving in that direction.

  12. njorl:

    From a historical narrative, every Democracy is an extremely left wing nation.

  13. mds:

    Now we just have to figure out how to put dope on the ballot every four years.

    The GOP somehow manages it.

  14. commie atheist:

    On Monday, The Washington Post’s columnist and liberal Catholic E.J. Dionne took, perhaps, the most unequivocal stand saying “Obama threw his progressive Catholic allies under the bus and strengthened the hand of those inside the Church who had originally sought to derail the health care law.”

    E.J. is pretty good in general, but that was pretty damn stupid and clueless of him.

  15. Count Ulster:

    Joe Biden is Catholic, btw, and is the first-ever Catholic vice president. Worth taking into account, I think.

  16. Brien Jackson:

    Far to the contrary of being a drag, I would think that this election clearly shows that running forcefully in favor of liberal cultural views, particularly on women’s rights issues, is a huge net benefit for Democrats who can both mobilize their coalition around it and, eventually, get their wingnut opponents to blow their own feet off talking about it. It was even a winning issue in flippin’ Indiana!

  17. Murc:

    You know, I’ve never really liked this explanation.

    Are there are a lot of people in the Republican PArty who are lukewarm at best about abortion because they only care about tax cuts? Yes. True.

    But it’s foolish to assume that the right doesn’t REALLY want to end reproductive rights in this country because it’s ‘useful.’ How the hell would that work? Would Republican Presidents go to great lengths to find SC nominees who really wanted to uphold Roe in order to prevent this useful issue from being taken away from them?

    The right genuinely does want to end reproductive freedom. It’s not a blind, or a front, or a position they’re ‘satisfied’ with, or something they’ll abandon if they think it’s no longer popular. It’s a deeply held ideological position.

  18. Charlie Sweatpants:

    “we really are a liberal nation and have been for decades.”

    Indeed. There’s a lot to be aggravated about when one remembers the Clinton years and the damage done by the endless series of pseudo-scandals that led up to impeachment, but one of the worst is the way seemingly everyone down at Democratic World Headquarters forgot that the Republicans got hammered every time “values” became a big issue. It happened after their goofy 1992 “pro family/culture war” convention, and then it happened again in 1998 when they were running the country ragged on account of a sex act that most of America stops thinking of as naughty around the time they get a driver’s license. It boggles the mind that vociferous support of something like contraception (use rate: 99%) is seen by anyone as politically dangerous. It’s like being in favor of sunshine and food, you can’t miss.

  19. allium:

    Huckabee was making noises like that this morning on his radio show, in between fanboying over some musician and justifying a government just small enough to fit in the bedroom.

  20. Holden Pattern:

    There’s funding for subversion, not so much for third parties. No funding for subversion on the left (nor for third parties, of course).

  21. Davis X. Machina:

    We’ll eventually have the freest poor people in the OECD.

  22. DocAmazing:

    My goodness, how times have changed. Seems like only three or four years ago that we were informed that Al Gore had to run to the right, and that pissing on organized labor was a winning strategy.

  23. Pithlord:

    Opposition to SSM pays diminishing electoral returns for the simple reason that as SSM is implemented, it demonstrably has no negative effects on heterosexuals at all. I can say from personal experience that despite SSM existing in Canada for almost a decade, it is no more difficult to be heterosexual now than in the nineties. (I don’t want to talk about the eighties, although some scholars attirbute the difficulties of that decade to acne and total lack of social skills.)

    This really becomes increasingly obvious to absolutely everyone as time goes on, so that my Albertan evangelical in-laws don’t even care any more (still don’t believe in climate change).

  24. Charlie Sweatpants:

    I didn’t want to bring up the Unpleasantness, but yeah, Gore picking Lieberman because “Real America Hates Blowjobs” is a testament to the triumph of pundit bullshit over data, even among people who should know better.

  25. Brien Jackson:

    No, there’s:

    1. A large number on Tea Party types willing to vote against insufficiently conservative candidates even in a place like Delaware.

    2. People interested in organizing those voters to do just that.

  26. DocAmazing:

    More than a few of us were brought up Dorothy Day/Oscar Romero Catholic, not Pius XII/Cardinal Spellman Catholic.

  27. Chris Clarke:

    Tip your waitress!

  28. Uncle Ebeneezer:

    I so wish that Maddow had pointed to the marriage and pot victories and said “So Chris, wanna explain how this proves we’re a Center-Right Nation? “™”

  29. AcademicLurker:

    I hear that coming out against sunshine and food is going to be a key part of the GOP’s strategy in 2014 midterms.

  30. DocAmazing:

    my Albertan evangelical in-laws…still don’t believe in climate change

    Obligatory hoary old Upton Sinclair quote:

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!

  31. Murc:

    There’s funding for subversion, not so much for third parties.

    Plutocrats, whatever their other damage, are usually decent at math, and understand that 40% liberal wins against 30% conservative plus 30% batshit insane conservative. And that 40% is actually really low, levels the left only sinks to during a blowout.

    So why fund a third party to kneecap themselves? Frankly, I’d love to see them try. Seeing a conservative third party that could take 10% of the vote would be glorious.

    No funding for subversion on the left

    Progressive victories in this country have never, ever happened as a result of having access to vast reservoirs of cash. The parts of society that have access to that tend to not be leftist. They’ve usually been people-powered, and have sometimes come about only as the result of implied threats of violence and revolution. The New Deal had a fair amount of “supporters” who only signed on because they didn’t want the proles rioting in the streets.

    You could make the argument that these days it is impossible for progressive change to happen without access to gobs and gobs of cash, but at that point you’re basically arguing for armed revolution.

    The apparatus of the left is always going to be outspent. Always.

  32. KadeKo:

    No, don’t forget 2000. Bring up the Unpleasantness

    It was the start of the modern bullshit exposed era, in which “Give it Up, Al” was the chant from the press corpse. Not in mid-November 2000, but on Columbus Day.

    Nobody in the corpse thought Gore had a chance. Every leftwards step, turn of phrase, rhetorical flourish, and policy idea taken after the convention registered with voters as it “disapponted” the Beltway Inbreds.

    This was the beginning of “can’t someone here call this horserace”? And with that, Nate Silver.

    So, yes, remember 2000.

  33. DrDick:

    A big part of the problem is the ongoing, and effective, demonization of the word “liberal” by conservatives, aided and abetted by the MSM. In consequence people recoil from the word, so that you get markedly different results if you label a policy “liberal” or just present the policy.

  34. Kurzleg:

    Personally, I was surprised that neither amendment (marriage, voter ID) passed. Both polled reasonably well prior to the election, though marriage was losing ground as the election approached. Voter ID was in a much better position. Thing is, MN topped the nation in terms of voter participation, and I suppose that’s why both amendments went down. Between Obama’s GOTV and the Vote No initiatives, they got a lot of people to the polls. I only hope this can be duplicated in the future (GOTV efforts, I mean).

  35. somethingblue:

    That’s ridiculous. They’re not against sunshine, for Pete’s sake; they love sunshine! They just want to privatize it to make it more efficient, so that it’ll be available for those who truly need it. What we have right now in this country is a culture of sunshine dependency, and that’s what we need to move away from, through an array of responsible, market-based solutions.

  36. Holden Pattern:

    2. People interested in organizing those voters to do just that.

    Yes, and those people are (a) poor, (b) moonlighting from their 60 hour / week job or (c) earning a decent living on some insane billionaire’s dime?

    It amuses me that the same people who accuse anyone to their left of magical thinking will happily trot out the “get organized” trump card.

  37. Scott Lemieux:

    In only Ralph Nader had gotten 5% of the vote, America’s plutocrats would have devoted their fortunes to radical left-wing causes.

  38. mds:

    I sure hope so, because I don’t see any way for Democrats to pick up seats otherwise.

  39. anniecat45:

    I really would love to retire this Upton Sinclair quote, because for many people their political beliefs go way, way beyond their paychecks, or their economic advantage.

  40. Holden Pattern:

    You could make the argument that these days it is impossible for progressive change to happen without access to gobs and gobs of cash, but at that point you’re basically arguing for armed revolution.

    The apparatus of the left is always going to be outspent. Always.

    It’s not impossible, but it’s very hard and takes decades of misery, both on the part of people generally and on the part of the organizers. The exceptions to this are those few areas where the plutocrats are indifferent (e.g., the freedom to marry), and even then, it can take a long time.

  41. Scott Lemieux:

    I’ve written this before, but people forget just how contingent the survival of Roe was. If Reagan just nominates Bork and Scalia in reverse order Roe would have been overruled in 1989.

  42. Holden Pattern:

    Really, fuck you.

    Again, I’ve never advocated for Nader, didn’t cast a vote for Nader, and didn’t vote third party this year, even though my vote doesn’t matter.

    I voted for the party of marginally less unnecessary suffering, with the expectation that marginally less unnecessary suffering is all that would be delivered, along with a heaping helping of “this is the best of all possible worlds” from the apologists.

  43. Holden Pattern:

    Fuck, the demonization of the word “liberal” doesn’t just come from conservatives.

  44. Scott Lemieux:

    Nor do Alberta conservatives particularly give a shit about abortion. More than 20 years after Morgentaler it’s not like there’s pressure on Harper to do anything.

  45. Scott Lemieux:

    Hah, Doc beat me to it.

  46. Holden Pattern:

    “This is a center-right nation” is a belief among Dem elites as well as conservatives. It’s a club that gets used to beat on anyone to the left of the current consensus.

  47. mds:

    Indeed. And if they had their way and made abortion illegal, they’d simply move on down the list to the next reactionary theocratic outrage. Abortion only became an issue of eternal Biblical importance to fundamentalist Protestants years after Roe v. Wade was decided. There’s still Griswold v. Connecticut (though Santorum would apparently cut to the chase with a two-for-one reversal), the creeping gay menace, the creeping Sharia menace, the creeping feminist menace … If nothing else, they can always go back to why they wanted to impeach Earl Warren rather than Warren Burger. Oh, wait, never mind.

  48. Darkrose:

    I read a conservative yesterday theorizing that as young people age, they’ll stop supporting SSM, and that even now, they aren’t passionate about it.

    Well, of course they’re not! Because they simply don’t care. And that’s why the conservatives are losing the battle. They assume that the only alternative to being passionately opposed to marriage equality is to support it with equal passion. When the people scratch their heads and say, “Um…why do I care if the nice gay boys next door/my lesbian co-worker/my cousin Fred get married?” it’s no longer a useful wedge issue.

  49. Brien Jackson:

    So…you don’t know anything about organizing then. I mean, I knew that, but it’s good to see it laid bare.

  50. Holden Pattern:

    So, you’re saying that movement conservatism’s permanent campaign institutions are poor? Really?

    Okey-dokey. Clearly, this is a center-right nation, everyone to your left is a magical thinker, and we live in the best of all possible worlds.

  51. TT:

    Are you sure? According to Chuckles Hammerkraut–who is a genuinely deep thinker, the seriousest of the Serious–all Republicans have to do to reassert the political, economic, social, and cultural dominance that is theirs by birthright is find candidates who can speak with “delicacy” about how ovaries can too distinguish between legitimate rape and plain old feminazi sluttery. (Of course, Chuckles is what we might refer to as a Politico person’s idea of a smart person….)

  52. mds:

    Well, except from a majority of his own party’s MPs, who voted to reopen the abortion issue just last month. Granted, they were voted down by the rest of Parliament, including Harper, but Canada is clearly not immune to the disease of having a legislature to the right of the electorate. Especially when one considers how little of the total vote was represented by that majority of Conservative MPs.

  53. Brien Jackson:

    It seems to me that you have the same basic problem that modern conservatives have: you’ve convinced yourself with absolutely no evidence that you’re the majority, and you’re casting about for explanations as to why you’re still not getting what you want. The real answer is pretty simple: there’s no real evidence of any sort of mass level of dissatisfaction with the national Democratic party or “establishment” candidates on the part of most Democratic voters.

    Or, in other words, you have to convince people before you can organize them.

  54. mds:

    To clarify, I meant “the total vote in the last federal election.”

  55. Links for the Weekend « Gerry Canavan:

    [...] 68 Percent Of American Voters See Global Warming As A ‘Serious Problem.’ There’s a culture war and Democrats are winning. Colorado Establishment: Republicans must improve or [...]

  56. John F:

    I know that as I’ve gotten older I’ve gone from thinking that gay sex was really really icky
    to now just thinking it’s really icky

    thing was, then or now I really didn’t care all that much… I assumed those who did care were either gays (for it) or in denial gays (who were against it)

  57. Brien Jackson:

    LOL. what permanent campaign institutions?

    Also, too:

    Clearly, this is a center-right nation, everyone to your left is a magical thinker, and we live in the best of all possible worlds.

    What the fuck does that have to do with anything? You’re not even trying at this point.

  58. JKTHs:

    Indeed. “You want to attack poverty?? Are you crazy??? That’ll never sell in Peoria. You’re just some bleeding heart liberal”

  59. Brien Jackson:

    I think that’s wrong. It’s true that there’s an apathetic view towards the nature of sex acts/relationships themselves amongst a lot of young people, but I think that a huge segment of my generation is either passionate about, or at least very strongly supports, the proposition that everyone should have equal rights on the matter.

  60. JKTHs:

    In this case, though, it’s pretty true. Alberta is inextricably tied with oil right now

  61. NonyNony:

    It’s not impossible, but it’s very hard and takes decades of misery, both on the part of people generally and on the part of the organizers. The exceptions to this are those few areas where the plutocrats are indifferent (e.g., the freedom to marry), and even then, it can take a long time.

    So basically what you’re saying is that it’s just as hard to push for a left-leaning agenda in 2012 as it was to push for a left-leaning agenda in 1912. Which was just as hard as in 1812. Which was just as hard as 1712. Which was just as hard as 1612. Which was probably significantly easier than in 1512, but only because by 1612 the people who were pushing finally had somewhere to push.

    I mean really. You think that there’s ever been a time in the history of the world where this shit was easy and didn’t take “decades of misery” to get it done?

    Look at the cause of gay rights – which has been one of the fastest transitions from “demon” to “acceptance” in history of a push from the left. And it has basically taken 40 years and a substantial investment by the lives of committed activists who put everything on the line to get it done. The Labor movement, Women’s Suffrage, Universal Male Suffrage, Child Labor, Abolition – any leftist cause you want to name took that kind of effort to get to the point where it was “normal”.

    I wish there were easy solutions too. But there aren’t and there never fucking have been. So pissing on people who are trying to fight to keep the half loaf that we’ve got because they’re insufficiently liberal for you does nobody any good. (And never fucking has).

  62. Brien Jackson:

    It wasn’t easy or fun campaigning against a pro-school crowding ballot initiative or getting 200 parents to turn out to a commissioner’s meeting to essentially demand that their taxes be raised, but we did it. Is it a huge win? No, but it’s important, and hopefully it gives us a base from which to get a new tax levy on the ballot next year or to knock off a couple of commissioners.

    And this is a red county.

  63. Wido Incognitus:

    there’s no reason whatsoever to believe that progressive views on cultural issues are any kind of drag on Democrats in national elections. Hopefully this lesson will be applied going forward.

    I can think of limits to this, but of course is very unlikely that any mainstream Democrat (by which I include both moderates and progressives), is going to try purges of clergy or Maoist criticism–self-criticism in the schools. It is much more likely that Republicans will continue to try to promote and impose rigid and exclusionary hierarchies of values.

    I know Lemieux is not saying that there are not limits, but I think it is relevant enough to point out in the often polemical and almost always abbreviated medium of blog comments.

  64. Leeds man:

    Evangelical is almost a cinch for climate denial, irrespective of tarsand proximity. Yes, some evangelical leaders are trying to change that, but I don’t think it’s trickled down to the salt of the earth yet.

  65. Jonas:

    Yes, there is a federal ban on D&X abortions (Vote Republican-Now With Even More Uterine Bleeding!), and constant state initiatives- which even if overturned in the courts can cause problems in the short term, constant fetal personhood legislation proposed, etc.

  66. CD:

    I guess I’ll take tolerance over intolerance, but why do you think this is about sex? The amendment was about *marriage* which, rather obviously, is not needed for sex.

    To make the positive point, these amendments are starting to work because cultural space is opening up to see gay people as deeply ordinary, just as interested in settling down in cozy domesticity as anyone else. It’s about love.

  67. Murc:

    LOL. what permanent campaign institutions?

    Uh.

    Brien, you’re aware of the existence of Fox News, the Heritage Foundation and its million offspring, talk radio, and the other various apprarati of the Mighty Wurlitzer, yes?

    The Republicans… DO have permanent campaign institutions. They’re good ones, effective ones. They’ve played a large role in the ongoing 30+ year advance of movement conservatism.

  68. Leeds man:

    Erm, have you spent a comparable amount of time thinking that a lot of straight sex is icky too? Because I’ve heard that straight folk do a lot of the same stuff. Shockininnit.

  69. Brien Jackson:

    Actually I’d say that’s an overly broad definition of “campaign institutions,” but be that as it may none of those entities engages in actual organizing on any meaningful level.

  70. Njorl:

    I’m pretty sure that since the dawn of time mankind has yearned to destroy the sun.

  71. John F:

    I guess I’ll take tolerance over intolerance, but why do you think this is about sex?

    There seems to be belief in some quarters that opposition to gay sex is being driven by people who think gay sex is icky…

  72. MAJeff:

    In my intro soc classes this week, we talked about marriage equality. When I informed them about DOMA and the like, these students were OUTRAGED. The “don’t care” thing is accurate, but they’re pissed as hell that their neighbors/friends/uncles can’t get married and don’t have the same rights they do. The theocrats are really fooling themselves if they think this is a winning issue for them.

    Although I’m in Pittsburgh now, a fairly large city with a sizable visible LGBT community, this was also true among my students in North Dakota. Yes, North Dakota. The bigot are losing the rural populace on this one. They may be taking longer, but, long term, this fight is going to be won and settled. It really won’t have the lingering issues that white supremacy has retained.

  73. Uncle Kvetch:

    Joe Biden is Catholic

    Well, he calls himself a Catholic. And the fact that he does so despite being “pro-abortion” drives my anti-choice Catholic parents into a veritable frenzy. In fact I think my Newsmax-subscribing dad may well hate Biden even more than he does the Kenyan Marxist Usurper, for that very reason.

  74. joe from Lowell:

    Older Democratic stalwarts offering advice that would have been absolutely true three of four decades ago. Stuff like this would have sent Italians on Long Island right into the arms of Alfonse D’Amato.

  75. GeoX:

    I’m entirely straight, yet I really don’t understand why anyone would think of gay sex as “icky.” In fact, to the extent that I think about it all, I am wholly indifferent about it. Not my thing, but so? There are a LOT of things that are not my thing but that nonetheless fail to make me recoil in horror. It’s just odd to me that anyone who’s not a raging homophobe would have that reaction.

  76. joe from Lowell:

    I like Erik Loomis’ idea: push immigration reform, make the Republicans kill something good and reasonable, and turn out Latino voters in 2014 at much higher levels than usual for midterm elections.

    Remember those big anti-anti-immigrant rallies in 2006 that the right freaked out about so much? The Republicans thought that they were going to win on immigration in the 2006 midterms, and they were on the run over the issue by that fall.

  77. joe from Lowell:

    +1

    This was the beginning of “can’t someone here call this horserace”? And with that, Nate Silver.

    Very insightful.

  78. Hob:

    Your parents must really hate most somewhere between 40% and 60% of Catholics in America.

  79. Hob:

    ??? “most somewhere” = “somewhere”

  80. CD:

    One more time: gay sex was not on the ballot.

    The post by darkrose you responded to was about marriage.

    Marriage.

    As Darkrose explained, if you vote for SSM you are voting to allow gay people to get married.

    Voting against it means you are voting to stop them getting married.

    Married.

    It’s not a euphemism. Married just means married. Why is this hard for you?

  81. joe from Lowell:

    I would say they ran forcefully against conservative cultural views, more than they ran forcefully in favor of liberal ones.

    Most of their culture-war message was “Get a load of this freak!”

  82. joe from Lowell:

    Ditto in Massachusetts.

    The sky not falling really did change people’s minds. That, and seeing gay couples spilling coffee on themselves while trying to move a child from a stroller to a car seat, just like everyone else.

    People know what a family dynamic looks like, and when it hits them that what they’re looking at is a family, their minds change.

  83. STH:

    This made me realize we didn’t have much in the way of abortion referenda this time, did we? The only one I know of was one in Florida to prevent any government funding for them, and that failed. Any others I don’t know about?

  84. Anonymous:

    Part of this is Alberta conservatives getting younger and younger. Albertans sure still hate poor people, but racists and homophobic people and even misogynists are slowly dying out. Conservatives will keep the province because of oil (climate), the desire to put all the people in prison, and dislike of the poor, but it’s like a whole new way to be annoying (and one that frankly I find it a lot easier to cope with or convince).

    Not to say that Bishop Fred doesn’t still have an outsized effect on policy down Calgary-way.

  85. brewmn:

    Gays were helped enormously by the fact that they were much whiter and wealthier than the marginalized groups that struggled for equality before them.

  86. rea:

    If only Ralph Nader had gotten 5% of the vote, America’s plutocrats would have devoted their fortunes to radical left-wing causes.

    See here. “Only the Super-rich can save us!” says Ralph

  87. chris:

    Gays aren’t any whiter than women; membership in both groups is 100% independent of race. (In fact, gays now are slightly less white than women then, but that’s because the nation as a whole is less white, so probably doesn’t count in the same sort of way.)

  88. environment:

    Well elite DC social circles are center right.

  89. list:

    hierarchy of Catholic hate*

    1)other Catholics esp. the ones that attend that church across town
    2)people who talk shit about Catholics
    3)everyone involved if mass lasts more than an hour
    4)Protestants

    * shared hierarchy of both liberal and conservative Papists

  90. str8 guy:

    blowjobs and pussy eating are awesome not icky
    something like 45+% of heteros under 45 have tried anal

    if you don’t want a cock in your ass that is fine but pretending there something disturbing about homo sex that would not also be nasty if heteros were doing it is some type of mental block cop out

  91. brewmn:

    (to chris): I didn’t say “whiter and/or wealthier.” women’s economic dependence on men is a big part of the reason it took the as long as it did to achieve the level of equality they enjoy today.

    To claim that gays didn’t suffer the same structural impediments to achieving equality that blacks or women suffer seems obvious and uncontroversial to me. But if you want to claim that all three struggles were equally arduous, have at it.

  92. Another Halocene Human:

    Don’t forget about the Bishop. He’s always doing something wrong, like sending that awful new priest to the parish, or yanking that wonderful new priest out of the parish.

  93. Another Halocene Human:

    I don’t think so–no copays on birth control, preventing my employer from playing MD and deciding what birth control it will and won’t pay for instead of me choosing what works for me–that was HUGE.

    What, you think we’d forget about March in November? Get out.

  94. Warren Terra:

    It’s The Bishop!

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