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Attitudes Towards Gays & the Future Success of the GOP

When I followed Glenn’s link to these five ideas for the future of conservatism, I thought the student who penned pixeled them was onto something.

Or maybe that’s just because he recommends that David Petraeus run for president in 2012. That great general is my man for the GOP nomination.  He accomplished more in 2007 alone–and under most unfavorable circumstances, political as well as military–than did the president-elect in his entire political career.

That is, unless, you count election to office as an accomplishment.

While I share Armin Rosen’s (the author) enthusiam for Petraeus, I think his best point is his second, “DON’T GIVE UP ON SOCIAL CONSERVATISM. BUT DON’T EMPHASIZE IT EITHER.”  Anyone who has worked in GOP politics outside the coastal areas knows the energy and enthusiasm social conservatives bring to Republican campaigns. While I disagree with Rosen’s characterization of Rove-Palin “divide-and-conquer policies,” I agree when he writes that

conservatives have a lot to lose from giving up on them [social conservaives] altogether. A “hate the sin, not the sinner” tack should win back to the social center that’s been voting blue in recent years: basically, conservatives should promote traditional values without championing measures that would punish those who don’t.

Exactly.

In many ways, his point reminds me of a theory I have on how the party’s attitude toward gays will determine our success. It’s not that we’re likely to crack more than 35% of the gay vote (well, maybe 40%). But, to win back the suburbs, Republicans can’t alienate suburbanites. And anti-gay attitudes don’t resonate with individuals who have known gay people in college –and maybe even in the workplace–and even in their own families.

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62 Comments

  1. I dunno, Dan. I think Petraeus has done a superb job at CENTCOM but I’m not so certain this would translate well into the political arena. Eh, maybe as SecDef but as President? Who knows. We have had 12 presidents who were once generals:

    1. George Washington, Revolutionary War
    2. Andrew Jackson, War of 1812
    3. William Henry Harrison, War of 1812
    4. Zachary Taylor, Mexican War
    5. Franklin Pierce, Mexican War
    6. Andrew Johnson, Civil War
    7. Ulysses Simpson Grant, Civil War
    8. Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Civil War
    9. James Abram Garfield, Civil War
    10. Chester Allan Arthur, Civil War
    11. Benjamin Harrison, Civil War
    12. Dwight David Eisenhower, World War II

    Washington, Jackson, Ike and maybe even Arthur usually get kudos for doing a good job while in the White House. Yet, then some of our real stinker presidents were once generals as well like Johnson, Grant, & Hayes. It’s a bit of a crapshoot. I think the lesson we can take from this is that just because Petraeus has been a great general does not mean he’d make a great president. Perhaps, perhaps not.

    Comment by John — November 23, 2008 @ 8:54 am - November 23, 2008

  2. “DON’T GIVE UP ON SOCIAL CONSERVATISM. BUT DON’T EMPHASIZE IT EITHER.”

    With all due respect, this is exactly what we did this year — and in 2006. Neither turned out very well for us.

    This idea that social conservatives have anything whatsoever to do with our loss is complete rubbish perpetuated with urban liberal and moderate conservatives who are uncomfortable defending social conservaitsm at liberal dinner parties. (No, I dont mean you, Im guessing youre more than willing to do so)

    But, you live in LA, I live in Seattle, I wager the author in question lives in a large metropolitan area as well (is he gay also?). Noonan, Buckley, and the others — same deal.

    The point being, it is very easy to get a false picture of how the nation as a whole feels about traditional values when youre living in a leftist city, surrounded by leftists, watching, listening to, and reading leftist media.

    But it is nonetheless a false picture.

    What is was the most oft cited reason Republicans won in 2004? “Values voters”! (In fact, Democrats did enormous, albeit phony, outreach to values voters as a result. Obama appeared at Saddleback and made an ass of himself for largely that reason.) What was the only conservative candidate/initiative/ANYTHING to pass in CA? The marriage amendment.

    Where are Republicans hurting for votes most? Blacks, hispanics and other minorities. Yet these people overwhelmingly share values with conservatives not liberals. They wrongly think Democrats will serve their economic interests best, and the same liberal media that has so many conservatives afraid to stand and be counted with social conservatives has also convinced these minority groups that Republicans are racists. Take away conservative social values and these people think we have nothing in common with them.

    No, this horsehockey about needing to downplay the social conservatives is absolutely 100% bass-ackwards. They are not the problem! That is simply socially liberal conservatives misrepresenting the electoral results to suit their own purposes.

    The problem is that the left has painted a picture of social conservatives that simply doesnt match reality, and a large chunk of the right has bought into it.

    Are social conservatives racist? no. bigots? no. homophobes? no. You know as well as I do that they are far more tolerant than the left. Yet that is the drum consistently banged by liberals, hollywood and echoed by the news media.

    And then there is this insipid “Christianist” lie, started by miss Milky Glutes, that social conservatives are the ones trying to force their social agenda down everyone elses throats. Where? The only political action they have taken is trying to prevent the left from redefining marriage without the consent of the people.

    But we lost this election because the economy tanked and the majority of Americans blamed the party they wrongly thought was in power in congress.

    And yes, I think we lost this election, at least in part, because social issues WERENT on the table. Obama is for not only unfettered abortion, but infanticide, so the media didnt utter the word abortion the entire campaign. I know this is hard to believe since you live in CA, but the rest of the country hardly even mentioned gay marriage. …McCain is about as tight-lipped on religion as they come, and while the left couldnt stop spreading lies about Palin’s religion (book burning, Jesus riding a dinosaur etc), she and McCain didnt campaign on any social issues.

    These are the issues minorities recognize they have in common with Republicans, they were completely off the table, and Obama and Democrats did better with them than ever before. Could we have peeled off some of that support had we connected with them on the issues we share? Im certain of it.

    So the answer is not to lock social conservatives in the cellar and hope no one asks about them, as Democrats do with gays, but to support them and publicly and forcefully correct the lies liberals have been spreading about them.

    Comment by American Elephant — November 23, 2008 @ 9:24 am - November 23, 2008

  3. Damn, filtered! :(

    Comment by American Elephant — November 23, 2008 @ 9:24 am - November 23, 2008

  4. Take your powder, take your gun, report to general Washington.

    Sorry John, your post reminded me of that. 10 points to anyone who knows what comes next.

    Comment by American Elephant — November 23, 2008 @ 9:27 am - November 23, 2008

  5. “Hurry men, there’s not an hour to lose”?

    Comment by Polly — November 23, 2008 @ 9:31 am - November 23, 2008

  6. very good ;)

    Comment by American Elephant — November 23, 2008 @ 9:45 am - November 23, 2008

  7. Isn’t this from School House Rock? If so, I loved those cartoons!!!

    Comment by John — November 23, 2008 @ 10:34 am - November 23, 2008

  8. It is! 10 points for both of you. Course they have no value, but knowledge is its own reward, no? ;)

    Comment by American Elephant — November 23, 2008 @ 10:51 am - November 23, 2008

  9. As for the social conservatives – here’s Mark Steyn:

    …Reagan established the principle. There are three legs to a successful Republican election. There are social conservatives, there are fiscal conservatives, and there are national security conservatives. And if you chop off one of those legs, the whole things falls down. And the problem at that last election was that all three of those legs became loosened and weakened, and the idea that we can get by without any of them at the moment, I think doesn’t bear scrutiny… if Evangelicals don’t show up to the polls, Republicans lose…

    Yup.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 23, 2008 @ 10:55 am - November 23, 2008

  10. Along the same line of thought, here’s Karl Rove:

    Barack Obama [unimpressively] got 2.1% more than George Bush got last time, 3.1 points better than Al Gore got in 2000, and 4.6% better than John Kerry got four years ago… [the Republican 2008] campaign did not inspire people to turn out… 2.7 million fewer veterans turned out to vote in 2008 than 2004. Over 4 million fewer people who go to Church more than once a week failed to turn out to vote. And then Barack Obama… went after [small but significant slices of] Evangelicals, he ran ads on Christian radio talking about his personal faith, suggesting that he was more pro-life than he was… Look, he ran a center-right campaign.

    …With the assistance of a media determined to abet Obama’s frauds, of course, rather than expose them. Now Americans must learn the hard way.

    The 2.7 million fewer veterans voting, was interesting. It must have helped the Democrats that (1) this time, they didn’t nominate an infamous backstabber whom generatations of veterans have rightly hated for 35 years, and (2) President Bush has been so successful in fighting terrorism that most people have gone back to sleep about it.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 23, 2008 @ 11:04 am - November 23, 2008

  11. Petraeus? I can already hear the left negative ads saying “the general who failed in Iraq”… We know better, but “he worked for Bush, and we don’t need another Bush, and he’ll keep us in Iraq for another 100 years like McCain”… Like love, politics is a hard game to play…

    Comment by The other Peter H — November 23, 2008 @ 1:12 pm - November 23, 2008

  12. I was discouraged to listen to Huckabee being interviewed on te future of the Party. While he was being critical primarily of those he called Faux-cons, he also basically said that there was no-place in the Party for “non-conservatives”; which he defined as those who don’t support:

    1. An absolute right-to-life from conception.
    2. The sanctity of traditional marriage.

    And he took a fairly absolutist-position on those two points being non-negotiable and non-uncompromisable for a “Republican”. For all the claims of a Big-Tent Party, that’s the Revival Tent GOP Party, not the Big-tent that can win elections…certainly not here in the Northeast. You can’t reach-out to the fiscal-conservative Republicans and the National Security Republicans if that’s your litmus test.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — November 23, 2008 @ 3:31 pm - November 23, 2008

  13. “she and McCain didnt campaign on any social issues.”

    Yeah, and it’s too bad they didn’t then Obama would have won by an even higher percentage. The disdain on here for the citizens of this country is repulsive. Because we didn’t vote your way we are fooled and duped – grow up. ‘A “hate the sin, not the sinner” tack’ is an even bigger lie than Clinton “didn’t have sex with that woman”. It’s an attitude that is covered in the blood of innocents. It’s an arrogant attitude that fools only those who are willing to accept that their lives are “sin”. The social center has been voting blue because they don’t like what they see on the right – not because they are blinded by lies. If they were to stand up against the AEs in the party they could perhaps save it. Tell me when the social right (there is nothing conservative about them) walks AE, will you go with them? They’ll surely welcome you – they always have need f*ggots to keep their fires burning.

    Comment by a different Dave — November 23, 2008 @ 3:57 pm - November 23, 2008

  14. I think the problem will eventually resolve itself. Social conservatives will accept same-sex marriage where and when it’s voted in by the people via referendum. Until then, they won’t accept it when it’s pushed on them unwillingly by courts or out-of-touch legislatures.

    There’s a case that can be made for same-sex marriage, and I think it will win out eventually if presented respectfully and patiently by persuasive messengers. Tantrums like the ones erupting after Prop 8 set the cause back by years, if not decades.

    Just MHO, speaking as a private-sphere social conservative and a public-sphere libertarian-hawk.

    Comment by AngelEyesGBU — November 23, 2008 @ 5:53 pm - November 23, 2008

  15. Ted: Agreed. I understand that both parties have their factions which need to be given something, but when one gains power at the expense of the others and is damned arrogant about it, why the hell should I back the party then? If we need social cons to win the reverse is true, equally if not more so. The irony here is that in some areas I find agreement with social cons about the importance of faith and protecting religious freedom. Yet the same courtesy is not extended.

    Comment by John — November 23, 2008 @ 5:54 pm - November 23, 2008

  16. Yeah, and it’s too bad they didn’t then Obama would have won by an even higher percentage.

    Which is why, of course, Obama went to Saddleback and said that marriage was a “sacred union” that was only between a man and a woman, tried to spin away from abortion, even establishing front groups that tried to claim he was pro-life, and ran ads like this.

    And it’s also why Obama is running AWAY from the promiscuous gays who insist that their inability to stop themselves from violently attacking religious people, from vandalizing churches, using racial epithets against black people, and unprotected promiscuous and public sex should be no barrier to their serving in the military.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 23, 2008 @ 5:57 pm - November 23, 2008

  17. Absolutely spot on. The GOP needs to get back to fiscal conservatism, and a more libertarian attitude. This is the party of Abe Lincoln. The party that abolished slavery. This party should stand for less government in our lives. Surely it can be the party that embraces the equality of gay people (much like it did the equality of blacks), and support same-sex rights in ways that don’t alienate social conservatives too badly.

    Comment by Mike — November 23, 2008 @ 6:00 pm - November 23, 2008

  18. Don’t all three “cons” come down to a respect for self, for others and for our country? Respecting life is central to social conservatives, respecting integrity and self-reliance for fiscal ones, respect for our children and our ancestors – and feeling a duty to what we have been given and what we will give – leads to national conservatism. It hasn’t been my impression that social conservatives hate gays – they do, however, value children and believe that raising them requires a traditional home and some privileging. I’m not sure they are right, but I also think this may well be two goods in battle – those who value tradition in the form of a family and those who value tradition in the form of couples going through life together.

    Comment by Ginny — November 23, 2008 @ 6:03 pm - November 23, 2008

  19. Social conservatives in the Republican Party are a bit like blacks in the Democratic party. They don’t really have an alternative but turnout can swing an election. Huckabee is no conservative, judging by his record in Arkansas, and he can safely be dismissed. He is eloquent, and so is you-know-who, but Huckabee doesn’t have the biography. The stumbling block for a while will be gay marriage, which has become a symbol to both sides far more important than the reality. The next election or two will be decided by how Obama does. If he fails, as I suspect he will if tested, the GOP nomination in 2012 will be of value. If not, not.

    Comment by Mike K — November 23, 2008 @ 6:22 pm - November 23, 2008

  20. Mark Steyn, is for once, incorrect.

    There is a Standard Conservative. He is strong on values, national defense, and fiscal responsibility. There are rather small outliers who are Communitarians and the like, True Hawks, and fiscal conservatives. All these outlier groups have problems with being seduced by the Left.

    In other words, scratch a social conservative, and you’ll find someone who’s pretty libertarians, and strongly in favor of national defense.

    Its not like there’s two equal wings…one socially liberal, but fiscally responsible, and the other socially conservative and fiscally irresponsible. No, there’s a big mass of Conservatives, and there’s a little tail of Not Quite Conservatives.

    Now as to GP’s post…I have to agree with A Elephant. I know Petraus is a good, capable general. I don’t know much else.

    So…let’s figure out from a Standard Conservative pov what our position should be instead of letting the Media define us as ‘anti-gay’.

    Let’s compare homosexuality and overeating. I can testify against both based on the Bible and on ancient tradition. Science also supports me in this indictment.

    However, prudence and freedom are important values in the Bible and in ancient tradition.

    I’m a few?? pounds overweight, and I certainly would not want the government intervening. It would be more damaging to the nation than letting me struggle on my own. Same for homosexuality.

    Gluttony and being gay are not wise, but they don’t rise to the point where we have to restrict them because of the wider social damage they do. Trying to fix the problem would create more problems than it would solve.

    However, marriage is very much damaged as a social institution in America. We need to be pushing for methods to restore its strength rather than tossing one more straw on the camel’s back in a frenzy of morbid curiousity to see what happens next.

    I suspect this is a position that a lot of social conservatives could live with.

    To be clear, anyone who attacks someone because they’re gay, doesn’t get special hate crimes. Instead, they get what all lawbreakers get in a Conservative setup….the book thrown at them, unless the judge has real good reasons for mercy or cleverness. So murder a gay guy and you get the same punishement as murdering a straight guy, Mr. Sparky.

    And yes, I’m well aware that if you accept the idea that homosexuality is essentially harmless that my position does not make sense. I think Revelation, Tradition, and Science all testify against its harmlessness, IMO.

    So, if we could put this plan forward as an end to the Gay Wars, and then I think we could win back the suburbanites.

    Comment by Tennwriter — November 23, 2008 @ 6:24 pm - November 23, 2008

  21. Too bad the demands of the social conservatives look like bigotry and hatred to the fiscal and national security conservatives–when they are.

    Comment by JR — November 23, 2008 @ 6:35 pm - November 23, 2008

  22. The biggest collection of loose voters on the American political scene are the “Leave Us Alone” voters.

    And why are they loose? Well neither party seems much interested in them. The Republicans certainly can’t hold them with their record on economics.

    Obama has eased my greatest fears re: national security. And despite his tack to the right the Democrats remain the more socially liberal party in practice.

    We shall see how his administration does. If it does OK and Obama is just a big spender I might vote for him in 2012.

    If the Republicans can stand up to him on economics I might consider voting for them again. And if they don’t have the votes to resist him? Tough s***. They had their chance and blew it.

    I look forward to the day when the Republicans actually want my vote bad enough to court it. Around 2020 I figure. Currently all I have been getting from socons is withering hate (have a look at my blog). I’m not feeling wanted. No problem. I can sit the next few elections out.

    Comment by M. Simon — November 23, 2008 @ 7:23 pm - November 23, 2008

  23. ” But, to win back the suburbs, Republicans can’t alienate suburbanites.”

    That much is certainly true. Republicans cannot win elections without the suburbs. I am not sure how important the gay angle is though. I think it is the perception of the Republican Party as being too tied with Southern culture — from Southern Baptism to NASCAR — that is killing the Republicans in the suburbs.

    Comment by DR — November 23, 2008 @ 7:27 pm - November 23, 2008

  24. M. Simon: Funny ‘seeing’ you here. I was just at your blog and laughed at this reply of yours to a social con:

    Any way how could True Conservativesâ„¢ elect such a bad example for President. You know. That Reagan guy. He was an adulterer. He is not going to heaven. And he got married to that fornicating woman after divorcing his first wife. It says so in The Bookâ„¢. In fact according to the book he is just as bad as those homos.

    I remember there was a time when divorced people were if not shunned then held in disrepute. Our moral standards are definitely on the decline.

    I blame the printing press and their spawn from hell the dime novel.

    I too am weary of social cons but at this point I just can’t see myself voting for Obama in 2012. We shall see how he does and also how the GOP reforms itself. If it chooses to repeat 2004 I may not vote for Obama but I’ll refuse to vote for them.

    Comment by John — November 23, 2008 @ 7:56 pm - November 23, 2008

  25. #17-#18 Sounds like somebody (M.Simon) is stuck in outdated stereotypes about social conservatives.

    #12 – F*ck Huck. He’s a big-taxing, big-spending, “compassionate” Government as Big Brother a*hole. Come to think of it, his domestic agenda and Bush’s are the same in outline, except (1) Huck wouldn’t want to be too closely tied to Bush right now, and (2) Huck probably means it more. F*ck him.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 23, 2008 @ 8:48 pm - November 23, 2008

  26. [...] by Ron Coleman on November 23, 2008 Instapundit: THOUGHTS ON gay rights and the G.O.P.’s future: “It’s not that we’re likely to crack more than 35% of the gay vote (well, maybe 40%). But, to [...]

    Pingback by “Anti-gay”: Rights, wrongs and everything in between « Likelihood of Success — November 23, 2008 @ 9:42 pm - November 23, 2008

  27. If the GOP were to move back towards an individual rights position, they’d probably win at least the votes of those gays who see through the charades going on in California over Prop 8 right now.

    But then, such a movement would be opposed by the social conservatives, whose defining attribute is the belief that society has jurisdiction over morality — which it does not.

    “But we can’t win an election without their votes” is the whine heard across the Right.

    Well, the first question for those people to answer is: what is this all about? is this about principle and what is right, or about power (getting elected)?

    Social conservatives are, by their paternalistic principles, hostile to the secular American principle of the morally sovereign individual. They have much more in common with the Left than they do with Americanism there; the differences thereof pertain mainly to the details of what sort of parent the State is to be.

    As Paul Hsieh recently pointed out, booting out social conservatives would gain many votes to replace them, from those independents and some Dems who shun the GOP because of the social conservatives.

    Now wouldn’t that be a wonderful realignment: on one side, the secular American principles of limited government and sovereign individualism on one side, and the State-as-parent types (social conservatives and their Leftist counterparts) on the other. Clarity at last!

    Comment by Seerak — November 23, 2008 @ 10:14 pm - November 23, 2008

  28. Because we didn’t vote your way we are fooled and duped – grow up.

    A Differently-Abled Dave,

    Sorry, facts are stubborn things. And the facts are that you Obama supporters are indeed misinformed, ignorant and just plain stupid:

    Almost 60% of you dont even know what party controls congress for crying out loud. And you have to figure that of the few that got it right a large percentage just made a lucky guess.

    Obama made the astonishing claim, on video, that his energy policies would make energy prices skyrocket and bankrupt the coal industry, and nearly 90% of Obama supporters not only didnt know it, but couldnt even guess right.

    Obama won his first election by getting his opponents kicked off the ballot, not only did nearly 90% of Obama supporters not know it, but they guessed it was McCain or Palin.

    and on and on and on….not only wrong about the most basic facts, but actively attributing all Obama and Bidens corruptions to McCain and Palin.

    Thats not just ignorant, thats willfully ignorant, thats KoolAid drinking ignorant.

    But to paraphrase Tina Fey as Sarah Palin, dont worry about the polls, polls are just a fancy way of systematically recording what people know.

    If they were to stand up against the AEs in the party they could perhaps save it. Tell me when the social right (there is nothing conservative about them) walks AE, will you go with them? They’ll surely welcome you – they always have need f*ggots to keep their fires burning.

    You truly are psychotic with hate.

    I love social conservatives. They’re good people — far better people than left wing hate mongers such as yourself, and I think you know it. I think thats where all your hate comes from, the hate that drives you to live in a world of such preposterous lies.

    Up here in Seattle the local talk radio traffic reporter got bashed (by a drug addict mind you), and the social conservatives, knowing full well he was gay, were calling up in droves offering to put together a posse and go kick the bashers ass. They didnt want to put the “sinful” gay guy on their fires, they wanted to defend him. They were offering to help pay his medical bills, knowing full well he was gay, because they considered him part of their radio family.

    Your entire life is a lie. Everything you believe is a lie. Get help.

    Comment by American Elephant — November 24, 2008 @ 2:30 am - November 24, 2008

  29. GPW,

    This entire thread proves my point. Look how much outright delusion there is about social conservatives. Hateful bigots who want to burn gays at the stake, take away everyone’s civil rights and force their religious beliefs on everyone if one is to believe many of your readers.

    Nevermind that none of that is supported by the facts.

    What the author you cite and others suggest doing is hiding, or abandoning social conservatives based, not on reality, but on misperceptions, smears and lies about them.

    Not a tough moral dilemma the way I look at it.

    Comment by American Elephant — November 24, 2008 @ 3:03 am - November 24, 2008

  30. [...] Attitudes Towards Gays & the Future Success of the GOP In many ways, his point reminds me of a theory I have on how the party’s attitude toward gays will determine our success. It’s not that we’re likely to crack more than 35% of the gay vote (well, maybe 40%). But, to win back the suburbs, Republicans can’t alienate suburbanites. And anti-gay attitudes don’t resonate with families who have known gay people in college –and maybe even in the workplace–and even in their own families. ++++++++ Flap disagrees. The GOP wpuld be better off to disassociate themselves from gay marriage and attempt to attract socon Latinos and African Americans. Gay rights is different from gay marriage. Suburbanites support gay rights but not redefining marriage. (tags: gaymarriage GOP) [...]

    Pingback by links for 2008-11-24 | FullosseousFlap's Dental Blog — November 24, 2008 @ 3:04 am - November 24, 2008

  31. But then, such a movement would be opposed by the social conservatives, whose defining attribute is the belief that society has jurisdiction over morality — which it does not.

    What exactly is it that you think all our laws, regulations, and even our tax code are based on if not morality???

    Comment by American Elephant — November 24, 2008 @ 3:14 am - November 24, 2008

  32. John:

    Be careful about accepting the conventional wisdom about past presidents. U.S. Grant was one of our finest ever.

    He was responsible for stabilizing the currency, signing agreements that changed our relationship with Britain from a hostile rivalry to the special relationship it has remained until today.

    In his own day, he was admired around the world, and was the first ex-president to travel widely. But he has been dogged by exaggerated myths spread by his enemies about his drinking (in fact, he had a low tolerance for alcohol and was dismissed from the Army early for getting drunk at a remote Army post after years without his family, but was nothing like an alcoholic).

    His one great failing was trusting the wrong people in his administration, some of whom turned out to be crooks. But no taint ever attached to him personally.

    Comment by Gypsy Boots — November 24, 2008 @ 9:10 am - November 24, 2008

  33. American Elephant has got it right. 2008 was Obama’s to lose and he didn’t. The poll showing the ignorance of so many Obama voters it telling. We are really arguing here about how to get our own batch of voting dummies to out vote their batch of voting dummies. And, we have to give them a sucker line that pumps them up.

    The divide in politics across the country is so close that it has come down to manipulating the mechanics of voting and getting ballots to the senility wards and registering the homeless and voting in several states at a time.

    The Minnesota and Georgia Senate races are indicative of the voter temperament this year and skill of the Democrat machine.

    Obama ran a totally negative campaign. His people polled and polled and polled the people and they found everything that was irritating them and they ran against those things. He “connected” with the frustrations of many people and then promised to address those frustrations. He laid out no blueprints or carefully crafted plans. He just offered hope and change.

    And the cattle stood on perfectly good green grass and stuck their necks through the barbed wire to eat the grass on the other side.

    The Lord Obama is now positioned to ride some good breaks to reelection. I doubt that there is any crowd to be formed that will say: “If only we had elected Huckabee (McCain, Romney, Guiliani, etc.)

    The press is not going to let Obama suffer a major blow. That includes not letting the Republicans launch a counter offensive. The oldsters have their return to the New Deal and the aging hippies have their return to Camelot and young people have their suave prince who can dance with Ellen and pass out entitlements at the expense of other people’s money.

    When you create a reality as cynical as the Axlerod/Obama/ACORN campaign, it is hard work to imagine a principle laden opposition that will succeed. That is why there is so much talk about ditching our core beliefs and getting into the socialist mud so we can fight dirty.

    Whether a “Reagan” can emerge to appeal to adult reason is yet to be seen. The Nixon/Ford years resulted in the 1976 massacre and the Carter fiasco. Ironically, Iran is the wild card once again. Like Carter, Obama is going to find the CIA, the Pentagon, State, the NSA, etc. chock-a-block jammed full of people who have been itching to take the lead and put their ideas to the test. Like Carter, Obama has only his own ego and inexperience to inform him. He will have both Clintons, Biden and Brigadier Pelosi quacking at him and Axlerod reading the polls to him, but he will finally have to rise above voting present. That is when we will all discover the who this Obama really is and how to confront him.

    Comment by heliotrope — November 24, 2008 @ 9:41 am - November 24, 2008

  34. AE,

    You might want to have a look at The Government IS The Devil for a point of view that might win social conservatives over to a more libertarian view of government.

    Comment by M. Simon — November 24, 2008 @ 12:08 pm - November 24, 2008

  35. Another thing: Republicans need to hammer on what the Democrat Party considers normal and acceptable behavior.

    Pelosi defends this. Obama defends this. Reid defends this. People should know that the party that demands their taxes be raised to punish them is full of people who refuse to pay their taxes.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 24, 2008 @ 1:43 pm - November 24, 2008

  36. M. Simon,

    Sorry, but the only way to get the government out of marriage is to do away with divorce. As long as people separate with posessions and children in the mix, the government will be necessarily involved.

    And the idea that social conservatives are big government types, in general, is simply a myth. Miss Sullivan’s favorite word has become “Christianists”, and the word has taken root on the left, supposedly describing fundamentalists passions for using government to shove their religious beliefs down everyones throats.

    But where is the agenda? What have they forced on everyone else? Where’s the legislation? The policy? What are they even attempting to force on anyone else?

    The worst that can be said of them is that they are trying to return the right to make abortion law to the states and the people where it belongs. Time after time it is the left, not the right that is forcing their agenda on everyone.

    It was the left that tried to force change to the institution of marriage on everyone. It is the left that wants to force us all to pay for abortion. It is the left that wants to force us all to pay for embryonic stem cell research. It is the left that has been forcing pharmacists, for no rational reason, to sell prescriptions they are morally opposed to. It is the left that is trying to ban religious expression from all sorts of arenas in which it has existed for generations. It is the left that wants to limit voices, limit ideas, limit choices.

    What we are really faced with is a culture in which the left is constantly trying to force their agenda down everyones throats with the full force of the federal government, and then blaming social conservatives for opposing them, and maliciously smearing them as “Christianists”, and much, worse for daring to oppose it.

    Comment by American Elephant — November 24, 2008 @ 2:25 pm - November 24, 2008

  37. Amen @ NDT.

    Since Democrats took over promising “the most ethical congress ever” they have already dwarfed the real and phony Republican corruption that got them there in the first place.

    And even when their own necks are on the line Republicans remain silent. It is mind-boggling and maddening.

    Comment by American Elephant — November 24, 2008 @ 2:35 pm - November 24, 2008

  38. filtered

    Comment by American Elephant — November 24, 2008 @ 2:36 pm - November 24, 2008

  39. M. Simon, bingo. Most people on both sides of the aisle understand government is a necessary EVIL. Liberals and conservatives both have pet issues with government intrusion, but what disturbs me over the past two decades is that big government liberalism is no longer cloaked in terms social betterment. And libertarianism as I understand it used to be populated by those from both the left and right, but of the few Libertarians I meet, very few are from the left these days. Whatever happened to good old anti-authoritarianism?

    As for social conservatives, if they are a significant part of the party and their views are part of the platform, there is no reason to be embarrassed of those views or of them. Hiding them would be rightly seen as cynical and dishonest. But religious conservatives don’t seem to be bothered with Bush’s desire to spend taxes on religious programs and I see no difference between this and a liberal’s desire to spend on a secular program. Values voters don’t appear to hold liberty as a high value because they don’t see liberty as a matter left to Caesar — they’re only interested in spiritual values and they’re interested in them because they want to control them.

    Comment by Ignatius — November 24, 2008 @ 7:47 pm - November 24, 2008

  40. Just one addition to my comments: since conservatism is about non-interference, it shouldn’t really matter what “attitudes” conservatives have toward “gays” or any other group of people. I don’t see why conservatives should be framing their discussions in turns of “attitudes”, any more than they want government “feeling their pain”, or “caring”, or trying to insinuate themselves into our lives. Why isn’t being ordinarily courteous, considerate, helpful, and fair to all human beings enough?

    Don’t mean to sound nit-picky, but I’m still getting over a heated dinner conversation with an irate ignorant liberal last evening!

    Comment by Vivian — November 25, 2008 @ 2:24 am - November 25, 2008

  41. Um, American Elephant, not all gays see social conservatives as benignly as yourself. You live in Seattle, a leftist city where social conservatives have no real power. Try living in Oklahoma or Mississippi or Alabama. You’ll have to forgive the gays living in those states for not seeing those conservatives through rose-colored glasses. In those states, the SCs are doing real damage where they have no reason to hold back on virulent homophobia. There, civil unions are beyond the pale & banning gays from anything & everything is very popular.

    Comment by Jimbo — November 25, 2008 @ 11:48 am - November 25, 2008

  42. Stick to the basics….economic freedom/fiscal conservativism/less government, national security/energy independence and respect for life and personal freedom. That covers the 3 legs of the stool.

    As far as Gay rights, the GOP would be smart to say ok, leave traditional marriage for str8s but take the Dick Cheney approach of everyone is entitled to personal happiness and civil unions are fine and grant the same economic rights under federal law to gay couples (those nearly 1400 federal statutory rights) That ends the argument right there and then.

    It will take the likes of a Colin Powell and the GOP to say in times of the need to expand our military and fight terrorism, it is time to end DADT and allow Gays to serve openly in the military. There are rules against harassment that must be followed. Or if going to keep DADT, then observe it in the breach (if you come out, you will face no discharge, no harassment) since we know how stupid it was in the past to discharge interpreters etc and members of the military that were sorely needed in these troubling times.

    Time to follow the basics….and also say we will follow the Reagan Rule..that all are welcome and turn away no one…stress personal responsibility, less taxation to encourage more business and job opportunities.

    No need to invent the wheel all over again..just go back to what Reagan did (it worked)

    The GOP Congress morphed into the Dumocrats with ear markets, bloated programs (I am sorry but prescription drug programs when we had no money to pay for them and there was no consensus to pay for it (the House GOP leaders broke arms of their members and threatened them to vote for it) was not the way to go.

    Unfunded mandates and over spending didn’t help. Bush in the end tried to cut spending but he also when he spent it went over board.

    We need to rebuild the military and make it stronger. We need rebuild our intelligence system and make it stronger. We need energy independence and a Manhattan Project to do that.

    We need for government to get out of the way and come up with say cut personal tax rates, cut the corporate tax rate to say 10 percent, create a larger investment tax credit for research and development, how about eliminate the capital gains tax so that it stimulates investment and allows people to invest in Wall street and how about
    creating private initiatives for health care, solving the housing crisis (there are ways to do it without bail outs..etc)

    I would think with all those think tanks out there that it is time for conservatives to create bold colors/bright colors instead of me too

    Plus, time to rebuild from the ground up. Whatever one thinks of Howard Dean he was smart enough to realize you can’t be a regional party but a 50 state one….

    time to not look to Washington but to the states and local areas….and blossom and grow from there.

    Find what we have in common and accentuate that and not the differences….its really not hard..it is staring us right in our collective faces.

    so, this is a time for opportunity and not to wallow in defeat.

    Comment by Rocket — November 25, 2008 @ 12:27 pm - November 25, 2008

  43. I would also add that we can find common ground with evangelicals on “Compassionate Conservativism” (a shame Bush didn’t truly develop that) by saying we all agree on ending poverty, hunger, initiatives for local projects here and abroad for say in Africa creating local water systems, commerce (believe it or not PBS did a great piece on creating home grown capitalism in Africa), medical care at the local level, etc. and that we can work hand in hand on such issues (that not for profits can do well and encourage capitalism at the local levels, etc.) how about community medical centers here and give tax breaks to doctors and cut down on lawsuits.

    Merge our creative energies together…and quite frankly we can get 40 percent of the GLBT vote. McCain got 30 percent and we can work toward that end and we can find common ground in the Latino community and African Americans….use the old saying teach a person to fish and they can eat for a life time and point out that we have common values….hard work, the desire for family, freedom.

    Reagan stressed the positive and optimism and we should too….we don’t need to stand in a circle and shoot at each other….just extend our hands and join forces and fight for freedom!

    Comment by Rocket — November 25, 2008 @ 1:57 pm - November 25, 2008

  44. “Look how much outright delusion there is about social conservatives”

    Opinions based on fact are not delusions. Also you like so many here can’t understand the concept of SOME. I personally have never claimed all SC are hateful or dangerous – only those who are in control of the major organizations that you totally ignore – or maybe agree with. I don’t hate people, I despise actions and lies. You are in a dreamland, be happy there but don’t claim it’s reality across the country. If you bother to take some time and read what comes from these “pro-family” anti-gay groups you might see what I’m talking about. And don’t bother claiming they have no influence in the party or that their twisted beliefs represent the mainstream.

    As far as the polls you quote as gospel – did they contact all 50+ million that voted for Obama. And if they did the same type of poll with those who voted for McCain do you really think that those contacted would have more of a clue about their candidate? Well, of course you do but you’re wrong. Again with your dreamland.

    Comment by a different Dave — November 25, 2008 @ 1:57 pm - November 25, 2008

  45. so you’re willing to take the poll sponsor up on his bet, adDave?

    I didn’t think so.

    “Opinions based on fact”

    Hmm, I’ve an opinion that addDave needs to get out of his parents’ basement. So that he lives in their basement must be a fact then.

    Comment by The Livewire — November 25, 2008 @ 3:03 pm - November 25, 2008

  46. For some reason my rebuttal to Ignatius disappeared in this air, while the addendum I made (36) was posted.

    Ignatius, as a Christian conservative, fiscal conservative, etc. I disagree with you that social conservatives don’t care about fiscal conservatism. I don’t know any fellow social conservatives who are not equally conservative fiscally. This includes groups of people I have known in two other states where I lived prior to taking up residence in Seattle. If they do not talk about financial issues as much as they do the other things in your hearing it is probably that they regard those as a “given”. I don’t know any “values voters” who are happy with Bush, or who approved of what he has done with education spending, and all the other pork barrel spending. Most social conservatives just want government to get out of their lives, stop raiding their incomes, stop forcing them to support micro-managing government programs, stop driving up the prices of everything, stop meddling with the institution of marriage, stop forcing them to pay to end human lives, stop trying to re-structure society, stop forcing them to have their children indoctrinated in public schools which fail anyway, etc. And they want to be safe from the invasion of foreign nations. I don’t see a huge difference here in fundamental outlook with other conservatives.

    And I wish I could forever dispel the fallacy that there is an inherent divide between “social” and “fiscal” conservatives. If conservatism is really about government being constrained to those functions delineated in the Constitution, with the attendant freedoms accorded to all, then there is no real rift. That’s WHY I am a conservative–I believe that conservatism provides ALL Americans the greatest protections for their freedom, the greatest ability to allow people to thrive, and the greatest respect for all people. Conservatism is inherently a uniting force, as opposed to the philosophy of our opponents, which divides society into classes, genders, races, etc. in order to create the idea of victimhood so that their politicians can manipulate society to produce a nation of equal outcomes at the expense of everything else. We must NOT lose track of our basic viewpoints towards life.

    What I have noticed is that many so-called liberal and moderate Republicans may think of themselves as socially liberal and fiscally conservative, but in reality they are also NOT conservative when it comes to the economic issues. Perhaps THEY are the group who needs to understand what conservatism is.

    Another point I try repeatedly to make is that you cannot separate fiscal and moral conservatism, because moral issues determine individual behavior, and individual choices are never made in a vacuum. Corruption is a moral issue, for example. Does anyone believe that corruption does not affect each individual in society, in particular each member’s wallet? Poor moral decisions result in chronic ill health which overtaxes the health care delivery system and drives up costs for everyone across the board.

    Many people in the GOP (just like northern liberals) inherently dislike people from the South, and dislike Christians, and often dislike the average working guy. I see it as a kind of cultural snobbishness and it’s ugly, but whom you like to share cocktails with and hang with should not translate into who shares a similar vision of political philosophy.

    Why does it matter if your neighbors disapprove of you if they behave decently to you and mind their own business? I’m not gay, so I’ve got no idea what kind of treatment is accorded to those who are, just as I cannot personally know what it is like being African-American. However, what I do know is how much anti-Christian hatred is out there, and I can see it wherever I go, even in clubs where I’m a member. For some reason, society now thinks this kind of ugliness is acceptable, as long as it’s directed against Christians.

    I suspect in all of this discussion is the hidden argument for abortion, which those in favor of it are not willing to have with opponents. This is the single most dishonest issue I’ve ever seen. Everyone pretends that it’s a difference of opinion about when human life begins. What a crock! We know that a human fetus is human, and we know it’s alive. If it weren’t alive and growing, it wouldn’t need to be killed in an abortion. I can’t believe the stupidity going on today. The question is not IF a human embryo is a human being—we KNOW it’s a human being. The question is more appropriately framed as: what do we do as a society with mothers who are knocked up and don’t want their babies? Pro-choice Republicans aren’t willing to even have an honest discussion and they disdain those who understand the ugly implications of allowing societal whim to decide who gets to live and who has to die.

    I really believe that Republicans need to get a grip on what they actually believe, while we still have freedom to do so, and before we know if it’s even worth rebuilding the party.

    Comment by Vivian — November 25, 2008 @ 3:33 pm - November 25, 2008

  47. Vivian, I appreciate your well-written response and your frustrations. I’m a libertarian Republican and generally favor small or no government in most cases and re. the Constitution I’m a strict constructionist. The single biggest problem I have with Republicans of your ilk (and based upon your explanation, I don’t mean you) is that spiritual/religious/moral issues vastly outweigh all others to the point that ‘values politicians’ inevitably compromise their fiscal conservatism and in doing so become virtually indistinguishable from their liberal counterparts. Bush and Huckabee are extreme examples of this kind of ‘conservatism’; compassionate conservatism was just a campaign slogan and the laughter of liberals with which it was greeted was given context and justification.

    As I see it, without property rights you have no rights at all and as you recognize, there is no conflict between social conservatives and fiscal ones except when they collide without liberty. However, the drug war is a good example of good intentions becoming government policy that through money empowers government agents that then grow and consume more money and then exist as an end in themselves whose effectiveness is difficult to assess. We all agree that drug abuse is a moral negative and coarsens society, but I would argue so has the drug war and for many reasons. Every single person I know who I would describe as a social conservative also supports the war on drugs. And so we have a government policy that is seemingly impossible to change and to defund. It’s with us forever.

    I’ll finish just by stating that it’s better to eschew utopia in favor of liberty, despite that there are those who suffer. I’m not willing to sacrifice the ability of the diligent to get ahead just so we can slap ourselves on the back for attempting to rid ourselves of societal evils, an impossible goal and an immoral one because of the costs it incurs. The greatest moral agent in a free society is the moral hazard.

    I agree with you that there is a distinct, virulent anti-Christian bias among certain groups. However, I don’t agree that they are well-represented in the GOP.

    Comment by Ignatius — November 25, 2008 @ 7:10 pm - November 25, 2008

  48. The funny part about watching people like adDave is that they actually believe that what they spew is fact — such as this example of an email someone wrote me.

    I know one thing–if Palin had won (McCain won’t be around much longer, so let’s dispense with the fiction), my partner of four years, who is from Germany and working to get a green card, would be sent home in a rowboat, and you and I would be tattooed and sweeping floors in a concentration camp.

    This is “fact” to Dave and his ilk. They literally are completely and totally delusional. They insist that all conservatives want to put them in camps. They insist that all conservatives want gay people dead.

    You have to wonder; why are they so desperate to deny reality that they make up stories like these?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 25, 2008 @ 7:22 pm - November 25, 2008

  49. In many ways, his point reminds me of a theory I have on how the party’s attitude toward gays will determine our success. It’s not that we’re likely to crack more than 35% of the gay vote (well, maybe 40%). But, to win back the suburbs, Republicans can’t alienate suburbanites. And anti-gay attitudes don’t resonate with families who have known gay people in college –and maybe even in the workplace–and even in their own families.

    Here’s the problem with your formulation. The current modus operandi of liberals and the Left, as well as their media facilitators, and pretty much everybody else is to charge that anything other than complete and total acceptance and support of gays is “anti-gay.”

    Sorry, but as long as that is the response (at its mildest, if not “homophobe!!! BIGOT!!!”), then “hate the sin, not the sinner” won’t make any difference. As a practical matter, when the sinner’s sense of identity is completely wrapped up in their sin, the sinner can’t (or won’t) differentiate between someone hating their sin, and someone hating them!

    Comment by Bikerdad — November 26, 2008 @ 1:26 am - November 26, 2008

  50. And Bikerdad, if you’re gay and disagree with any jot or tittle of the gay left agenda, they call you self-hating.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — November 26, 2008 @ 3:10 am - November 26, 2008

  51. Bikerdad, Dan, I don’t wrap myself around my sexuality, but I do believe we should be well beyond the love the sinner, hate the sin regarding homosexuality. But it got me thinking about those who do hate homosexuality and love homosexuals and feel that should be good enough. How would that person feel if their Christianity should be hated, but they should be loved as a Christian? I’d venture the person would find it less than acceptable.

    Comment by Pat — November 26, 2008 @ 7:39 am - November 26, 2008

  52. sure livewire, where’s the poll I’ll take it. Also I said “opinions based on facts” not “facts based on opinions”

    I give in, you’re correct I am deluded. I actually thought that a group of appeasers and collaborators might possible be interested in who they were really supporting. Pretty stupid eh? The sad thing is you truly think you’re protected. You’ll see.

    Comment by a different Dave — November 26, 2008 @ 10:29 am - November 26, 2008

  53. I actually thought that a group of appeasers and collaborators might possible be interested in who they were really supporting.

    Ah, but you see, dave, we know that you have absolutely no problem with supporting and endorsing social conservatives who you have deemed “homophobic” and “hateful” — when it’s Democrat Party members who are doing it.

    Now, be consistent and denounce your Democrat Party as supporting and pandering to homophobes. Or make an even bigger fool of yourself by insisting that there’s nothing wrong with the fact that Obama and his Democrat Party endorse and support people who are against gay marriage, who support ex-gay therapy, and outside whose churches you and your fellow bigot gays are protesting.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 26, 2008 @ 12:04 pm - November 26, 2008

  54. Filter, GPW.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 26, 2008 @ 12:04 pm - November 26, 2008

  55. Ignatius, I am indeed thinking through your intelligent comments. I believe there are quite a few anti-Christian folks in the GOP, but not a majority–so I agree with you there. On the other hand, many of those who are anti-Christian are in power positions in some state party structures, so I believe their influence is actually somewhat greater than their numerical voting base.

    Where I have a bit different focus from you is that I don’t believe social conservatives actually think any better of Bush and Huckabee than you do. Naturally, considering how poor the pool of candidates is generally, voters try to muster a bit of enthusiasm about someone, and I think it makes it look as if these candidates have broad support. However, I’d say among my fellow Christian friends, support in this past primary was spread pretty equally between Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Fred Thompson, with no one being interested in McCain. I never thought the field was a strong one, and in the end, I think we ended up with the weakest candidate of all. Ron Paul has possible anti-Semitic baggage, Huckabee has inconsistent viewpoints that tell me he doesn’t understand conservatism, Fred Thompson was out of it energy-wise and doesn’t actually have a very strong conservative record, nor does Romney. I supported Romney, and I think the Mormonism was a paper tiger. In light of our financial problems, he would surely have come across as more credible than McCain. Well, it’s all academic anyway.

    The Compassionate Conservative label never deceived any of the Christian conservatives I know–we thought it was a typical pathetic attempt to pander to liberals and we turned up our noses. :-) I don’t think you’d get any argument from any of these folks either on the central importance of property rights.

    As far as the war on drugs is concerned, just because social conservatives are concerned about drugs and their affect on society, as we all should be, that doesn’t mean that the government “war on drugs” is perceived as the way to handle things, or as anything more than a typical government sop to make it look like it’s doing something. Most of the conservatives I know are clever enough to see through the empty, expensive and lame ways in which government attempts to solve problems it largely has created in the first place, such as our current economic mess.

    Perhaps you know more social conservatives than I do, but those in my experience are not really that naive. As a conservative, I see that drug use is just a symptom of strained, sick, dysfunctional families. Government programs have consistently undermined the family structure by rewarding dads who skip out, teenagers who become pregnant, and spending so much money that the cost of living is so exorbitant it takes at least 2 salaries coming in just to keep a roof over one’s head. This kind of pressure is destructive to family life, encourages divorce, leads to financial problems, poverty, children without stability at home. Add to this a consistent public school system which presents children with pressures and anxieties at inappropriate ages, creating an aura of doom and panic. (ie. books like 1000 Ways Children Can Save the Planet–for 6 year olds!). The literature prescribed for young people is full of death, hopelessness, despair. Many of the novels they read for school depict children who have awful parents but who meet up with a wonderful, caring school teacher who saves the day for the kids—one or two stories like this–no biggie. However, after time, the consistent propaganda is: don’t trust your parents, listen to us, the teachers, we are the ones who really care! Teachers often lie outright to parents to disguise what is happening in the classroom–that’s my own experience, attempting to undermine the relationship between children and their parents. Add to that a criminal justice system that makes it nearly impossible to prosecute drug-dealers or other criminals and keep them locked up. Didn’t mean to provide so much detail, but I just wanted you to see the sort of issues that really concern social conservatives. Rather than government slapping band-aids on issues, I’d rather see them remove impediments and respect the natural mechanisms society has to strengthen itself. Does this make sense?

    However, I’m in my 50s, and have had the benefit of listening to and reading a lot of conservative commentary as well as having lived through Reagan. Younger conservatives of all stripes, unless they do a lot of reading, may never have heard the essential core principals of conservatism, since leaders during their adulthood have not made the case. That’s one reason I don’t trust the exit polls recently which asked people to self-identify as “conservative”, “moderate”, and “liberal”. I honestly don’t think most Americans know what these labels mean–at least a lot of them don’t in the Seattle area. I hear Bush being described all the time as “ultra right-wing”. They cannot tell you which policies he implemented are ultra right-wing, and perhaps it’s just because he was known to hold Bible-studies in the Whitehouse, but these folks are adamant about their opinion, and I suppose they are simply parroting what they hear in the MSM. I don’t think you can overemphasize the importance of the GOP electing leaders who articulate the basic picture well.

    Many younger Christians are confused and ignorant. They, like non-Christian young people, sometimes buy into the idea that in order to help people, we must do it through government programs and it is always Democrats espousing this whom they hear. I believe many of them would support the right policies if they were taught free market principles and solutions. Conservatism takes longer to explain and can’t be shoved into a 15 second sound-byte.

    Comment by Vivian — November 26, 2008 @ 1:10 pm - November 26, 2008

  56. #51 Pat—The Bible actually tells Christians to expect to be despised. I have a lot of friends here in Seattle who harbor disdain for my faith. They are still my friends, and I don’t find it unacceptable–I just don’t make it my business to proselytize them. Of course, I may pray privately for their salvation :-), but I love them for who they are, not who they aren’t. If anyone is honestly looking at him or herself, that’s pretty much how we all as humans deal with ourselves. I have character issues with myself, faults I actually hate in myself, but it doesn’t conflict with my appreciating what is good and being grateful for it. I’m not sure it’s realistic to expect that people around us approve of everything we are and do.

    Comment by Vivian — November 26, 2008 @ 1:25 pm - November 26, 2008

  57. The sad thing for you NDT is you cannot point to anything I have said that would indicate to any rational person that would justify your claims of who I support or what I believe. And I have clearly said multiple times that the Democrats are NOT my party. I have also clearly stated that gay marriage is not a priority for me, that civil unions (which MOST of your allies are also against) are sufficient. I have also clearly stated that “ex-gay” counseling can be beneficial for some who cannot reconcile their faith with their sexual orientation but some of these “ministries” and pseudo-doctors are simply selling snake oil. Since I am not a bigot and I’m not protesting outside of churches your last sentence is just one more piece of excrement among so many you type. You cannot see the difference between associating with and pandering to, that’s your handicap not mine. If you haven’t learned by now I’m not going to appease your ridiculous requests for me to denounce one thing or another then it’s not likely to ever happen. And for the record – I haven’t used the word homophobe on here ever and rarely anywhere else. I’m bored with this.

    Comment by a different Dave — November 26, 2008 @ 3:10 pm - November 26, 2008

  58. Vivian, once again you’ve written great comments. I agree that our politica landscape would look far different if we had a better, more consistent pool of candidates and based upon what you’ve written, I’m nominating….YOU!

    I don’t know that many social conseratives, but of those I do know, there are consistent threads of thinking among them. I like them and we respectfully disagree, something nearly impossible to do with an immature, ignorant, slogan-spewing liberal. Perhaps it’s all too true that politics is extremely corrupting because my arguments are mainly with elected social conservatives and not with the rank-and-file (similar to my arguments with union representatives).

    Naturally, there are going to be areas in which Republicans of different stripes will differ. I think the interesting question is not whether we should downplay religion but rather how to emphasize those areas/issues whereupon we agree. What are those areas? Are we honest enough with ourselves and amongst ourselves to accept honest criticism from each other? How do we craft a consistent message that you and I can unite behind with enthusiasm? Are there systemic changes needed that ensure the party faithful select the candidates they endorse? Who are these candidates of the future?

    Since our recent electoral losses, it’s natural that we would question what went wrong. I’m not blaming social conservatives. But I tend to think individual religious decisions are private — that religious freedom is freedom of privacy, essentially. As long as we stick to the principles of our Founding Fathers, religious and non-religious alike will be best served.

    Comment by Ignatius — November 26, 2008 @ 6:23 pm - November 26, 2008

  59. I totally agree, Ignatius, with your points. It’s the beautiful thing about adhering to the Constitution–it truly is for everybody! In my opinion, that’s the essence of civilization, finding a way for all of us to live together where we can benefit from the diverse talents we have been given. It’s why I’m so adamant that conservatives understand the principles which truly do unite us. It is our political opponents who use divisive politics to pit groups of people together, creating angry mobs demanding special rights.
    By the way, thanks for your compliment, but there are many here much better qualified and more eloquent, which is why I hang out here!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Comment by Vivian — November 26, 2008 @ 9:01 pm - November 26, 2008

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