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Why do Gay Leaders Have this Compulsion to Out their Adversaries?

It seems gay leaders exist to make my point about their incompetence to appeal to those whose minds they most need to change.  Now, we learn that the leader of the No on 1 campaign in Maine, instead of learning from the campaign’s mistakes, intends to target those voters in the Pine Tree State:

No on 1 campaign manager Jesse Connolly pledged that his side “will not quit until we know where every single one of these votes lives.””

Yeah, that kind of rhetoric will really help you change minds.  How about saying something like this

We came up short this time, but who’d have thought that five years ago, we could have got 47% of Maine citizens to vote for gay marriage.  We need to look closely at our campaign, figure out where we went wrong and make a stronger case next time, telling voters why marriage is good and why it’s good for gay people.

Let me give Mr. Connolly a piece of advice, angry rhetoric is not going to change minds.  You need to make the case for gay marriage not against those who voted against it.  ‘Cause if you want to win next time, you’re going to need some of their votes.

Carly Fiorina: Reagan Republican

It seems some conservative bloggers are so devoted to defeat the more establishment Republicans in the race that they assume all contests on the right are between a “stimulus” supporters like Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio or Dede Scozzafava and Doug Hoffman.  Here, in the Golden State, some of my fellows in the rightosphere, including some very good bloggers are committed to Assemblyman Chuck DeVore in the race to replace our big-spending, California citizens-avoiding junior Senator Ma’am Barbara Boxer.

And because his opponent Carly Fiorina is backed by many establishment figures, they figure she’s not different than Dede.

While DeVore may be a solid conservative, he’s been in the race for the better part of the year and raised only $714,ooo while having one-tenth the cash on hand as does Mrs. Boxer.  Some conservative bloggers carp about Carly because she has “shown either an inability or an unwillingness to campaign to the Republican voters of this state.

Hardly.

While conservative Republican Senator Jim DeMint has backed DeVore, Dr. Tom Coburn, perhaps the most principled conservative in the United States Senate has backed the former HP Executive, calling Ms. Fiorina:

Our nation is facing serious economic challenges because we keep rehiring the same failed career politicians who have proven themselves incapable of making hard choices.  Carly’s common sense and fiscal conservatism will be a welcome addition to the United State Senate.

And to show just how much a fiscal conservative Carly is, within moments of announcing her bid for the Senate yesterday, she signed the Americans For Tax Reform “Taxpayer Protection Pledge.”  In signing the pledge, she has agreed to “oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses; and oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.” (more…)

Maybe Doug Hoffman Should Have Better Attended to Local Issues

Shortly after Bob Dornan lost his Orange County congressional seat by fewer than 1,000 votes (many of which turned out to be cast illegally), I was talking with a Republican political consultant who said that a number of his associates (in the political consultancy world) had warned the right-wing firebrand that he was in danger of losing to his Democratic opponent because he was neglecting the district.

But, the man who began the year by launching a quixotic quest for the White House, preferred to address his conservative fans across the country than to tend to his constituents in Southern California.  He saw himself first and foremost as the leader  of a conservative movement and not a representative of California’s 46th House District.  And that’s why he no longer represents a district that narrowly went for George H.W. Bush in 1992 and overwhelmingly rejected Barbara Boxer the same year.

With that history in mind, we can perhaps better see another reason Doug Hoffman narrowly lost a congressional seat earlier this week in a district that while historically Republican, went for Barack Obama last fall.

Jim Geraghty echoed a point made by a number of bloggers when he wondered yesterday if anyone asked upstate New Yorkers if they wanted their race nationalized?

Well, perhaps Hoffman’s botching of an interview with the Watertown Daily Times editorial board should have been a red flag.

We junkies of national politics overlook local issues way too easily.

No one ever really asked the voters of this district whether they wanted their House race to be a national fight. I’m slated to appear on Fred Thompson’s radio program today, and I’m a fan of him, and Sarah Palin, and all of the other big-name conservatives who jumped in to beat the drum for Hoffman. But maybe the locals wanted more than criticism of Obama and Pelosi and spending. Maybe the fact that he lived on the other side of the district line rankled with them.

Writing in a similar vein, Ann Althouse studied pictures of the two leading contenders in the race and observed

Owens, by contrast [to Hoffman], is big and rugged-looking. He’s an Air Force veteran and he has that military solidity, calm and self-possession. (more…)

Thank you, President Obama!

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:24 pm - November 5, 2009.
Filed under: Credit to Democrats,New Media

. . . and Rahm Emanuel and Anita Dunn and David Axelrod.

Fox News pulls huge election day ratings. Mr. President, White House aides, they couldn’t have done it without your support, er, condemnation. On election night this week,

Between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. (8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern time), Fox News grabbed 4.04 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.

The other outlets weren’t even close.

MSNBC had 974,000 viewers. The CNN-owned HLN (previously CNN2 or CNN Headline News) had 842,000, and CNN trailed with 826,000.

Even with the CNN networks’ combined 1.67 million viewers, it was still way behind Fox News in viewership.

Fox News even dominated in the younger 25-54 age demographic with 1.13 million. The three other networks combined don’t even touch that number.

Let’s see, more people who turned to news networks, got their news from FoxNews than from the other three networks combined. And that holds if we count MSNBC’s audience twice.

(H/t:  Jennifer Rubin)

Did Gay Issues Help Sink Hoffman?

Active in Virginia politics when living in Arlington in the 1990s, I reached a conclusion about most suburban “swing” voters, they are neither pro-gay nor anti-gay, but are rather anti-anti-gay, that is, they really don’t like candidates who make opposition to gay issues the centerpiece of their campaigns.  This applies even to voters who agree with the candidates on said issues.

I didn’t need to see the polls to know that Bob McDonnell was going to to well on Tuesday, I knew it from the e-mails I received and blog posts I read.  My gay friends in the Commonwealth were voting Republican.  It seemed that the gay Republican vote was a kind of barometer of electoral success.  When, in the 1990s, gay Republicans embraced the GOP candidate, he won statewide.  When they didn’t, he lost.  The only two GOP statewide candidates to lose in the 1990s, Mike Farris and Oliver North were perceived as anti-gay.

Now, I realize that New York State’s 23rd Congressional District has different demographics than does the Commonwealth of Virginia, but maybe some of the voters have similar concerns.  When we endorsed Doug Hoffman, I heard from a number of readers who said he had run an anti-gay campaign.  I could find no evidence of that.  (If I had, we would not have endorsed him.)  Still, the perception persisted.  If some voters in upstate New York thought as much, did they vote for Owens or stay at home because they didn’t want a representatives who emphasized gay issues?

Now, we know from the results in Maine as well as those in thirty other states where voters have considered the issue, that Americans reject gay marriage.  But, that doesn’t make opposing gay marriage a winning issue, that is, if said opposition is the centerpiece of your campaign (or is perceived as such).  If people think the GOP is the anti-gay marriage party, we lose.  Americans may oppose gay marriage, but it is not high on most people’s list of priorities.  They need to see us as the conservative reform party where our primary issue is, to paraphrase the Garden State’s Governor-elect, turning government “upside down.”

If they think Republicans prefer talking about the “evils” of gay marriage to putting together plans to reduce government spending, they’re not going to come out and vote for us.  But, if as Governors-elect McDonnell and Christie, they put forward reform ideas that don’t involve tax increases, but do include regulatory relief, then they can win even in “blue” regions of the country.

The Obama Democrats’ Real Dilemma:
When the Rubber, er, Rhetoric Meets the Road

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:46 pm - November 5, 2009.
Filed under: 2009 Elections,Freedom

Young people swarmed to the Obama bandwagon last year because of the Democrat’s hip campaign and powerful presence. Many had little idea what exactly their man stood for save the amorphous appeals to hope and change, but they sure liked the contrast between his image and that of then-the tongue-tied incumbent.

Well, poring through the exit polls after Tuesday’s Democratic rout in two states which voted for Obama, Michael Barone found that the youth vote dropped off substantially, with younger voters in the Old Dominion voting “about as Republican as their elders“:

The big-government programs of Obama Democrats evidently have less appeal than those trendy posters and inspiring rallies and cries of “We are the change we are seeking.” I have yet to see survey research showing that young Americans want to work under union contracts, with their 5,000 pages of work rules and rigid seniority systems. That doesn’t sound like a tune that appeals to the iPod generation.

Obama may not have been on the ballot in New Jersey, Virginia and New York’s Westchester County, to note just three jurisdictions which swung to the right on Tuesday, but his policies were.  And the more people look at them, the more they move away from his party.

On Conservatives & the GOP

Grover gets it:

Conservatives cannot win without the Republican party and the Republican party cannot win without conservatives. Everything else is commentary.

Reflections on the Impending Death of Obamacare

If President Obama and congressional Democrats want to prevent more Democrats from suffering the fate next fall as outgoing New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, outgoing Westchester County Executive Andy Spano and various Democrats across the Commonwealth of Virginia did last night, they would do well to ditch health care as an issue and focus on legislation designed to create jobs.

And as they work on that legislation, they need bear in mind that to generate job creation without further burdening taxpayers and their descendants, you need remove the burdens on employers.  No wonder Virginians and New Jerseyites voted, respectively, for Bob McDonnell and Chris Christie.  These men know that government regulation won’t help entrepreneurs in their states.  They knew that the big issue in their jurisdictions was Joe Biden’s favorite three-letter word, jobs.

In Virginia, forty-six percent said “that the economy and jobs are the most important issue to their vote. One in four indicate that health care reform is their most pressing issue,”  In New Jersey, voters rated health care the fourth most important issue, after the economy/jobs, property taxes and corruption.

And yet the Democrats in Washington, D.C. have made health care their most important issue.  From my perspective as a blogger who follows the news, the 111th Congress has devoted far more time to health care reform than it has to economic growth (which give the makeup of the current Congress is not necessarily a bad thing).

But, I do think politicians in Washington follow election returns.  They read the Washington Post and know that the Republican candidate for Governor of Virginia carried Fairfax County.  Republican Barbara Comstock even knocked off incumbent Democratic Delegate Margi Vanderhye in an inside-the beltway district.

And this is why as mayor of the gay conservative city in the county of the land of blogs, having found a few coroners who have thoroughly examined Obamacare and have thus averred it’s not only merely dead, it’s really most sincerely dead, I can let the joyous news be spread that Nancy Pelosi’s wicked big bill will soon to be dead.

Needing Gay Leaders Who Can Change Conservative Minds

The other night I attended a screening of a friend’s documentary-in-progress following a number of gay couples who, in 2004, went up to San Francisco to get married when Mayor Gavin Newsom allowed his city to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  A number of things struck me about the footage, but two things that my really stood out.  First, here were almost no attacks on social conservatives.

Indeed, when the various couples talking about how getting the license impacted their relationship, many sounded a lot like social conservatives.  And that was the second thing that really struck me.  One spouse realized she couldn’t just walk out the door after they’d had a fight or faced a trying situation.  They realized they had made a lifetime commitment.  Their relationship wasn’t just about love.  There was also a sense of mutual responsibility.  Not only did marriage bring the two individuals closer, but it also integrated each more closely together into the lives of his (or her) partner’s extended family.

In short, they talked about marriage as mosst heterosexual couples in traditional marriages have talked about it for generations.

I wish my friend every success with his film and hope it soon becomes available to a wider audience.  But, it hit home to me in large part because it stood in stark contrast t0 the imagery I have seen and the arguments I have heard in favor of state recognition of same-sex marriage.

It’s almost as if those “designated” to make those arguments (or those who designate themselves to make them on behalf of the “gay community) are afraid of sounding like social conservatives.  And that’s the primary reason, I believe, we need a complete overhaul of the gay leadership.  These people are versed in left-wing politics, more ready to bash “right-wingers,” the very people whose minds they most need to change. (more…)