A number of friends and family members regularly express frustration about meddlesome local, state and federal bureaucracies and still continue to vote Democratic. When I press them on this, they reply that the Republican Party wants to take control of their bodies and that should it gain power, women would be second-class citizens and gays persecuted.
Even when you remind them that George W. Bush had a Republican Congress for four of his eight years in power and still did not unleash this parade of horribles, they remain convinced that the GOP leadership would mean a return to social conformity. And there are also those who acknowledge that the Republican Party isn’t as bad as all that, but still remain committed to the Democratic Party, largely because of social issues.
“Despite economic anxiety,“, I wrote last month, “social issues keep some areas blue”. In his Saturday column in the New York Times, Ross Douthat addressed a similar theme, but this time from the perspective, not of the socially liberal vote, but of the Obama campaign, suggesting that its “pitch to women” was
. . . a weirdly paternalistic form of social liberalism, in which women are forever single girls and the president is their father, lover, fiancé and paladin all rolled into one. . . .
This paternalistic pitch assumes that liberalism’s traditional edge with women is built mostly on social issues, and that Democrats — especially male Democrats — win when they run as protectors of the sexual revolution, standing between their female constituents and the Todd Akins of the Republican Party
Read the whole thing. Not sure how this pitch amounts to much of a governing agenda.