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Nutshell Explanation for GOP’s Recent Failures

Last week, I linked Jay Cost’s Weekly Standard piece where he urged “Republicans to use their principles creatively—to generate new and compelling solutions to public problems.”

Today, Glenn Reynolds identifies the reason my party has failed in recent years, “THE PROBLEM ISN’T REPUBLICAN PRINCIPLES — it’s unprincipled Republicans. ‘Because Republicans didn’t stick, we got stuck.’

UPDATE:  In an excellent post showing how recent polling numbers show that while Democrats are doing worse, Republicans aren’t doing much better, Michael Barone offers what the GOP must do to take advantage of this potential reversal of political fortune:

That instability worked to Democrats’ advantage in 2006, 2007, and 2008. Now it seems to be working against them—I was going to write to Republicans’ advantage, but I think what we are seeing is more disillusionment toward Democrats than any positive feeling toward Republicans. In the short run, Republicans can benefit from this. In the longer run, they need to offer voters a better vision for the future, or they risk losing once again if there is a revival of enthusiasm among Democrats and warm feeling toward them among independents.

Read the whole thing.

Opponents of Prop 8 Outspent Supporters

Not quite sure what to make of this, but it goes to show that money alone does not a good campaign make.  Just read that opponents of Proposition 8 outspent supporters of the ballot measure by over $3.5 million dollars:

More than $83 million was donated to support or oppose the ballot initiative that abolished same-sex marriage in California, according to campaign filings released Monday.

The new filings cover the weeks immediately before and after the Nov. 4 election. They show that elected officials, businesses, churches and individuals poured more than $28 million into the campaigns during the contest’s closing days.

The final tallies show that opponents of Proposition 8 raised $43.3 million in 2008 and had a little more than $730,000 left on hand at year’s end. The measure’s sponsors raised $39.9 million and had $983,000 left over.

Of course those totals don’t include the “value” of the efforts by volunteers on both sides of the initiative.

Change, not Ideology, won the Election

At Disneyland, only one person, a woman working one of the rides, took note of my Ronald Reagan t-shirt.  (Well, at least she was the only one who acknowledged to me that she had taken note of it.)  She made an approving comment about the great man I chose to honor on this day.

I asked if she had backed the guy who lost the chance to take office today.  No, “we needed a change,” she said, but shared my warm feelings for the Gipper.

I found it hard to believe that someone who supported a man who faced a financial crisis by holding the line on federal spending could back a candidate who favors a vast increase in such spending, but there it was.

Yet, another sign that in a relatively ideology-free election, our new president had the right campaign slogan. People wanted change.  Let’s hope he delivers the right kind of change.

The Opportunity Bush & DeLay Gave Obama

For the past few days, I have been contemplating a few posts offering a kind of retrospective on the Administration of George W. Bush.  The more I think about this project, the more I realize how complicated it is.  The incumbent is hardly the caricature his opponents paint, yet he has blundered badly on a number of issues, particularly on domestic issues in his second term.

On the issue which will (likely) most define his term, particularly in the years immediately after he leaves office, he exhibited characteristics which reveal his greatest weaknesses and greatest strengths.  He stubbornly adhered to a failing strategy from 2004 through the end of 2006, then against widespread opposition from the political class (and even the military brass), shifted course, showing incredibly resolve in adopting a new –and ultimately successful–strategy.

And while I commend the president from learning from his father’s mistake and refusing to raise taxes, that’s all he learned from his father’s domestic record.  He didn’t fully understand that Ronald Reagan’s Vice President betrayed his predecessor’s legacy not merely by increasing taxes, but also by not holding the line of domestic spending.

It seems George Bushes don’t value fiscal discipline; domestic spending increased at a rapid clip during each man’s tenure in the White House.

And with a Republican Congress under Tom DeLay committed more to preserving political power than to promoting conservative policies, the party departed from the fiscal principles which led the GOP to electoral success in the 1980s on the presidential level and in the 1990s on the legislative level.  Our political fortunes would surely have improved had the principled Bob Walker defeated the opportunistic Tom DeLay in the 1994 election for House Majority Whip.

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On the Importance of Strategy in War & Politics

In between researching for my dissertation and writing this blog, I try to take some time each day to read a book related to my latest intellectual interests.  Currently, fascinated by the similarities one period in classical history, the fall of the Roman Republic, and my favorite period in American history, the founding of our republic, I am alternating between books on each period.

What amazes me is the sheer level of talent present at both those periods.  Just as there was a greater concentration of some of the most gifted American leaders in the revolutionary period than at any other time in our history*, so was there a similar concentration of wise (but not always noble) Romans in the last years of their republic–and the first of their empire.

Of course, the contrast is that one nation saw its republic extinguished as it gained strength in the world while the other saw a republic born in circumstances adverse to the development of a new nation.

About the conspirators who assassinated Cæsar now nearly 2,053 years ago in his Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome’s Greatest Politician, Anthony Everitt writes that they had “no plans for the aftermath of the assassination:”

The Dictator had maintained, if only in form, the constitutional proprieties and Brutus and his friends judged that, once he had been removed, nobody would seriously try to prevent the Republic from slipping back into gear.  Their assumption was that the constitution would simply and automatically resume its function.  The Senate would have little difficulty in taking over the reins of power.  This was not an unreasonable analysis and was confirmed in the event–for the time being.

History shows us how wrong that assumption was be. You need a strategy if you want to win.  You can’t expect things to happen on their own.

One of the reasons George Washington succeeded where Marcus Brutus (and his fellow conspirators) failed is that he had a strategy for managing American losses in the Revolutionary War. And now via Jennifer Rubin, we learn that, in its current war against Hamas terrorists, Israel seems to have learned from Brutus’s failure and Washington’s success:

This time, Israeli military commanders are leading from the front, not trying to direct the infantry from television screens. This time, the military has clear plans, in stages, drawn up with a year’s preparation. This time, there is no illusion about winning a war only from the air.

The Israeli military has clear plans. It has a strategy for victory. Something which Norm Coleman lacked in the Minnesota recount. And John McCain in the most recent presidential campaign.

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*When I have a moment, I wil track down Joseph Ellis’ remarks to that end.

Where the GOP is Could Be Better off than the Democrats

Today while reading the Wall Street Journal’s Political Diary (available by subscription), I realized that in one way my party is better situated than the Democrats, well, at least come January 20. As I wrote the day after the election, with George W. Bush on the way out, we conservatives “can start advancing our ideas once again.”

Basically, we have ideas which resonate with a majority of the American people. We just need to adopt policies which promote them and not lose sight of them as have all too many of our elected leaders over the past eight, perhaps ten years.

In the aforementioned Diary, John Fund quotes Republican National Committeeman Solomon Yue of Oregon who said, “Articulating a political philosophy is equally important as applying it consistently. . . . Failing to do so, we have today’s identity crisis, which resulted in our losses in 2006 and 2008.”

Exactly.

If we articulate that philosophy, apply it, campaign on it, we can win elections. In the campaign just concluded, the Democratic nominee appreciated that better than did the Republican. Barack Obama campaigned on tax relief for the middle class and rooting out excess government spending. Not just that, voters were upset with the GOP for letting federal spending grow at almost unprecedented rate.

Note how, in election cycle after election cycle, Democrats obscure their party’s big-government philosophy. They didn’t campaign on scaling back welfare reform, implementing “card-check” labor union elections, expanding affirmative action or bringing back the “Fairness Doctrine.”  They campaigned against the spendthrift Republicans, with some Democrats even faulting their Republican rivals for supporting the Wall Street bailout.

Should Democrats govern as Senate Majority Leader Reid and House Speaker Pelosi would like, pushing for an ever larger federal government, they will certainly turn Americans against them.  Well, that is, if Republicans have learned the lesson of the past two elections and stand up against Democratic policies and make the case for more responsible fiscal policies.

Looks like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is off to a good start.  He recently called the President-elect’s $850 billion economic “stimulus” plan, “unprecedented government spending[:]  I believe the taxpayers deserve to know a lot more about where it will be spent before we consider passing it.”

Now, he needs to rally Republicans to oppose this billion-dollar boondoggle as they explain why it’s bad for our country’s fiscal health . . . in terms the average voter can readily understand.

Will Al Franken Steal Minnesota?

While most pundits are focused on the scandal surrounding the Democratic Governor of Illinois, few people are paying much attention to the shenanigans of the Democrats in Minnesota.

Shortly, after November 4, when all the ballots were counted, Republican Norm Coleman led his Democratic challenger Al Franken by about 300 votes.  As the recount concluded, Coleman led by a smalerr margin, minuscule in terms of percentage of the vote, but a margin nonetheless.  So, you’d think that Franken would concede defeat.

But, no, not for Democrats in close elections.  Just like in Washington State in 2004, Democrats weren’t satisfed when Republican Dino Rossi led the first count and then the recount, so moveon.org paid for yet another recount, ballots were discovered in King County (Seattle–the most liberal juridiction in the state) and, presto chango!, Democrat Christine Gregoire eked out a win.

Or, recall Florida in 2000.  Each successive recount showed George W. Bush with a lead, but Al Gore wanted to keep counting.  You see, Democrats want to keep counting until they win (while they seek to exclude ballots which tend to favor Republicans).

And they’re trying that in Minnesota, with Franken raising the issue of the “Fifth Pile” of rejected absentee ballots only as it was becoming clear that he would not win the recount.

On Friday, the Minnesota Canvassing Board “recommended that all counties include the absentee ballots that were unfairly rejected on Election Day in the recount.“  On its face, that sounds like a good decision.  The only problem is that the board didn’t set a uniform standard, thus allowing election boards in each of the state’s 87 counties to use their own discretion in determining which ballots to count and which to exclude:

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More on Absence of Introspection of “No on 8″ Leaders

In a post today, left-of-center blogger and activist Michael Petrelis alerts his readers to an editorial in the Bay Area Reporter raising the same sorts of questions he, I and other bloggers of various political stripes have been asking about the failure of the leaders of the “No on 8″ campaign to engage in any instrospection since the proposition passed:

The Yes on 8 campaign, in many ways, out-maneuvered No on 8, period. What we need is an examination as to why that happened and move forward, preferably with a consensus not to make the same mistakes again. . .  . If the No on 8 leadership isn’t willing to open up about what went wrong, the community can’t be expected to buy in to another costly ballot fight.

It’s that simple.

The heads of gay organizations seem more interested in protecting their hides and sinecures than in actually taking any responsibility for the ballot measure.

Who will hold them to account?

Advice for John McCain and Prop 8 Opponents

Via the Jewish Athena, I come across this comment from Rick Moran, “People who don’t take responsibility for their own failures aren’t worth spit. And there seems to be a lot of them in the McCain campaign.

He points out that McCain’s campaign pollster called Frank Luntz a “moron.” Gosh, sounds just like the kind of name-calling we hear from the sore losers of the Prop 8 battle.

While some on the McCain campaign seem to be trying to pass the buck, thankfully, those likely to run the next Republican campaigns do seem to be engaged in serious reflection and self-examination.  We’re trying to grapple with why McCain lost–and what Republicans could have done to prevent it. Now, if only the leaders of gay organizations would try to consider why Prop 8 won — without calling their adversaries “haters.”

If a Republican did this, MSM would demand he be fired

Haven’t heard much about Charlie Rangel’s failure to pay taxes on property he owns?  Barack Obama’s campaign fundraising shenanigans?  Of course not.  The MSM seems to ignore or bury scandals when the participant has a (D) after his name.

I guess that (D) provides some kind of shield against unethical or illegal behavior.

Well, now, as more information comes out about the extent to which Ohio officials investigated Joe the Plumber because he dared asked a tough question of then-Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, at least the Columbus Dispatch is taking notice.  An inspector general’s investigation found that Helen Jones-Kelley, director of the Department of Job and Family Services

. . . had no legitimate reasons to check on Toledo-area resident Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, who was popularized as “Joe the Plumber” by Republican presidential candidate John McCain. It also confirmed she improperly used her state e-mail account to raise campaign money for President-elect Barack Obama.

Ohio’s Democratic Governor Ted Strickland is standing by Jones-Kelly, announcing that she’ll be “placed on unpaid leave for one month.”  State Auditor Mary Taylor urged “Gov. Strickland, who campaigned on the promise of running an ethical administration, to ask for the resignation or terminate Ms. Jones-Kelley immediately.”

I mean, c’mon, the governor “issued a directive to state agencies to better control access to information the state holds on Ohioans.”  State employees would realize he means business if there are consequences for improperly accessing such information and using state resources for partisan purposes, such as losing your job.

Can you imagine the outcry if a Republican governor has failed to fire an official who improperly investigated a critic of a Republican?  The MSM would have canonized the critic as a courageous man who speaks truth to power.  So that any investigation of this noble soul would smack of heresy punishable by excommunication.  Or worse.

(H/t Instapundit.)

What Gay Groups are Taking Responsibility?

In the immediate aftermath of Republican losses in the 2006 midterm elections, Ken Mehlman announced his resignation from the chairmanship of the Repubilcan National Committee.  It is commonplace in politics for leaders of such organizations to resign in the face of electoral defeat.

Two weeks ago today, citizens in three states approved amendments to their respective constitutions to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.  Nearly every gay group across the nation rallied to defeat these ballot measures.  This was not the first time they had failed to sway voters.

Only one leader of gay organization committed to defeating such initiatives has stepped down since November 4.  (That leader is the head of the only national gay Republican organization.)

Instead of clearing the decks and making way for new leadership and new strategies, the other national gay organizations (as those in the Golden State) are retaining their current leadership and have so far given no indication that they intend to develop a new strategy to promote their agenda.

Since the institution of marriage involves assuming certain responsibilities in order to receive benefits from the state, shouldn’t gay organizations show their understanding of this concept by taking some responsibility for their failure to defeat these propositions?

Will we ever contain the size of the federal government?

I first begin to feel disappointment with President Bush in the spring of 2003 when my friend David Boaz of the Cato Institute alerted me to an Op-ed he had written detailing the Republican’s spendthrift ways.  Instead of containing the size of the federal government as our party had long committed to do, Bush had expanded it — and not just for national security.

I had initially hoped that with Republicans in control of the executive and legislative branches of government for the first time in two generations, we could finally start cutting a federal government which had grown so rapidly during decades of Democratic legislative dominance.

And now with Democrats returning to power, controlling the executive as well as the legislative branches, it seems they’ll continue to push the growth that my party failed to contain.  Even after the GOP’s brief sojourn in power, they didn’t succeed in eliminating any significant federal programs.  Instead of Democratic policies restoring some kind of status quo ante, they’ll just build upon the growth long since in place.  Our government will be bigger than ever before.

So, herewith the great irony of the 2008 elections.  We’re about to have the most left-wing government in recent history, elected to replace one perceived as conservative but which was, in practice, particularly on domestic issues, anything but.

The problem is that while Democrats (and sometimes even Republicans) succeed in expanding the size and scope of the federal government, Republicans (when they are at their best) succeed only in containing its growth, not reducing its size.

With the media on the side of the Democrats and bigger government, it seems we’ll never succeed in returning to the Jeffersonian ideal of limited government.  Alas for our economy, for our nation, our freedom.

2008 Elections: The Republicans’ DUI

One of the biggest mistakes my party made this year was not to learn from the results of the 2006 elections.  In the immediate aftermath of that defeat, party leaders should have done on domestic issues what the president did on Iraq, acknowledge past mistakes and implement a new strategy.

Maybe we needed the electoral shellacking we took earlier this month the same way an alcoholic “needs” a DUI arrest.  Only when he suffers a serious consequence of his drinking to realize how destructive his habit has become.  The penalty makes him realize he needs to change.

Given the failure of the GOP to hold true to conservative principles, we deserved what we suffered on November 4.

But, the problem for our nation is that the Democrats haven’t been doing much better.  They succeeded largely because they were the non-incumbent party on the executive level.  At the same time that Democratic legislative candidates enjoyed significant electoral successes, their party’s legislators had approval ratings which made the last Republican Congress and the incumbent president seem popular by contrast.

As Democrats did not suffer defeat for their Congress’s low approval, we can expect more of the same.  They did not experience any adverse consequences for their unpopularity.  Given their leadership’s eagerness to increase federal spending (proposing to bailout the domestic automobile industry and to enact a multi-billion dollar “stimulus” package), it seems they’re hell-bent on going on a bender.

Alas, that the American people won’t be able to cite them with a DUI for two more years.

Of Anger & Electoral Loss

As an emotional guy with a short temper, I can clearly relate to those gay activists who angrily demonstrated in cities across the country yesterday as they had all across California in the immediate aftermath of the passage of Proposition 8.

Like those protesters, I too have had to contend with some difficult feelings in the wake of electoral disappointment.  Of course, in my case, it was Democratic victories across the nation.  I’m sure many others on the right experienced similar emotions.

It is easy to give into our emotions.  And sometimes giving in helps us deal with difficult situations.  But, it’s not always productive.  Indeed, more often than not it can be quite destructive.

When I reflect on the times I let my anger get the best of me in the past twelve days, moments when I snapped at or ignored friends, I wish I had exercised greater self-control, as do many who sometimes say or do something based on a momentary impulse.  Yet, the activists who protested yesterday turned their anger into a mass movement as manifested by the myriad rallies yesterday.

We all have to learn to understand our emotions and learn to contain them when they prevent us from moving ahead in life.  That appeals to political movements as it applies to individuals.  I might be more sympathetic to the rallies had they been held before the election in order to persuade people to vote, “No.”

(That said, some of the protesters’ antics might have had the opposite effect.)

The issue should be channeling that activity into a productive endeavor.  Take a gander at the current discourse on the right.  The subhead, for example, of Karl Rove’s piece in Newsweek applies to gay marriage advocates as much as it applies to the conservatives he is addressing:  ”We’ve been walloped in consecutive elections*, but we can’t just dwell on the past. The future is already here.

As the future is already here, we need be forward-looking to face it.  And the demographics look good for the repeal of Proposition 8.  Just as they look good for holding the line on federal spending and containing (if not constricting) the size of the federal government.

The goal must be to develop strategies to effect those changes, not to wallow in our misery.

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*The consecutive elections for gay marriage advocate would be the passage of every intiative seeking codify the definition marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

To Make the Case for Gay Marriage, Protests are Counterproductive, Persuasion is What’s Necessary

While I disagree (strongly) with Dale Carpenter’s suggestion that juvenile gay activists should move their protests from Mormon Churches to marriage license bureaus, he makes an excellent point about the protests:

Here’s my advice to righteously furious gay-marriage supporters: Stop the focus on the Mormon Church. Stop it now. We just lost a ballot fight in which we were falsely but effectively portrayed as attacking religion. So now some of us attack a religion? People were warned that churches would lose their tax-exempt status, which was untrue. So now we have (frivolous) calls for the Mormon Church to lose its tax-exempt status? It’s rather selective indignation, anyway, since lots of demographic groups gave us Prop 8 in different ways — some with money and others with votes. I understand the frustration, but this particular expression of it is wrong and counter-productive.

I think that any protest would be counterproductive. Instead, we should see a housecleaning at gay organizations and the selection of new leaders who refuse to demonize social conservatives, but seek instead to persuade them.

Once these new leaders take office, they will say something like this:

Look, Proposition 8 won because we failed to make the case why gay marriage is good for society. We understand the very valid concerns some people have about gay marriage; they believe the institution as an exclusive union between individuals of different genders. It is out task to convince them why it’s time to expand the longstanding definition of marriage to include same-sex as well as different-sex couples.

Let me repeat, they’re the ones pushing a social change.  They need make the case for gay marriage, if that’s what they really want.  They can’t keep blaming others for their failures.  I mean, this is not the first time voters have passed an initiative amending their state’s constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.  Voters in every state, every state, which has considered such an initiative (narrowly drawn) have passed them.

They need a different strategy, a better narrative.

For as long as I’ve been blogging about gay marriage, I’ve been saying we need make an affirmative case for gay marriage. I doubt most heads of gay organizations have paid much attention because, well, because of my partisan leanings.

Now that they’ve lost in California, maybe they should pay more attention to gay conservatives. At least we have associated with social conservatives opposed of same-sex marriage.  We speak their language.  And it’s they we need to convince, through gentle suasion not angry protests.

Making the Case for Gay Marriage

In the wake of Proposition 8′s passage, the folks at Pajamas Media asked me to offer my thoughts on the initiative.  I did.  And they posted it.  Let me offer you the first three paragraphs:

While a strong supporter of legalized abortion, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has long been critical of the court’s 1973 decision Roe v. Wade preventing states from banning abortion.  She believes the ruling prevented the nation from reaching a consensus on abortion and contributed to societal divisions which continue today on the controversial issue.

Last month at Princeton University, she said that, in handing down Roe, the court “bit off more than it could chew.” She would have preferred a more incremental decision which “would have been an opportunity for a dialogue with the state legislators.” With more input from elected state representatives, we might have moved closer to a national consensus on abortion.

As it is with abortion, so too should it be with gay marriage.  The issue will continue to divide us unless we bring the people, either directly or through their <em>elected</em> representatives, into the process.

Click here to read the rest!

Angry Gay Activists Demonize Mormons

I updated a previous post to include a comment from Todd Zywicki, a year ahead of me at the University of Virgnia School of Law and my predecessor as Vice President from Programming of our chapter of the Federalist Society.

Believing Todd’s post merited more attention than an update, I decided to devote an entire post to his piece, excerpting rather generously.  Like me, he wonders at opponents of Proposition 8 picketing the Mormons:

So let me get this right–those who are upset about the passage of Proposition 8 in California have decided that the thing to do is to pick on the Mormons? So one marginalized group decides that the way to go is to vent their outrage against another marginalized group in society? Unbelieveable.

And he asks for understanding of those who have different views on the topic:

Whatever one thinks of same-sex marriage, this is a question on which thoughtful people of goodwill can and do disagree. It is a perfectly reasonable and good-faith position to believe that marriage is a unique institution formed around childrearing. And to see same-sex relationships as fundamentally a bilateral partnership between two adults that can be governed by legal institutions like civil unions that create and preseve rights and obligations between two adults and to give the opportunity to form a long-lasting mutually-supportive loving bond without it being centered on the fundamental organizational principle of childrearing. And it is significant that married people with children apparently simply see this issue differently from everyone else–I speak from experience that marriage and children simply can and should change you as a person and your worldview. Maybe one disagrees with this argument or these people. But it is a perfectly compassionate and coherent position and it simply is not necessarily bigotry or gay-bashing to believe that. Barack Obama says he is against same-sex marriage–does that make him a bigot?

That’s not to say that some anti-gay bigots voted for Prop 8. But apparently the pro-8 side does not have a monopoly on bigotry.

Read the whole thing!

Via Glenn who adds “It occurs to me that picketing a mosque would be per se racist. Except that they’d be afraid to, anyway.

Why Prop 8 Passed

I just received yet another mass e-mail from Lorri L. Jean of the LA Gay and Lesbian Center, whining about the “reprehensible role that the [Mormon] Church hierarchy played in directing members to fund the campaign of lies and deceit promoted by the Yes on 8 leaders.”

In her missive, she spent more time blaming her opponents’ campaign for its success than she did looking at her own team’s failures. Perhaps, she should take a gander at some of the sensible conservative blogs as we look with admiration on the Obama team’s amazing organization and take stock of the mistakes the McCain campaign made. Yeah, we’re bummed about the election, but we’re trying to figure out where our side went wrong.

That’s what Ms. Jean and other opponents should be doing now instead of venting at Mormons. Since they’re not going to look inward, let me try to do so for them.

First, their slogans just didn’t work. “Equality for All” doesn’t resonate with people outside social and political activist circles of the left. A later slogan, “Unfair and Wrong,” did little more than express anger at the initiative. It didn’t do anything to convince voters opposed to discrimination yet favoring the traditional understanding of marriage. If anything, it suggested people were wrong to believe that sexual difference is a defining aspect of marriage.

Indeed, I believe, the “No on 8″ campaign failed primarily because its leaders did not appreciate those who favor that traditional understanding not out of anti-gay animus but due to their belief that sexual difference is essential to marriage. Opponents of the initiative needed explain why we should expand the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples and acknowledge that this expansion would indeed promote a social change.

Social change can be a good thing, but is frightening to some. You need to reassure those who might fear such change by showing how it is good for society and do so in a manner which shows respect for those who espouse the traditional understanding of marriage.

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How conservatives and gay activists face defeat

It has kind of taken me by surprise how sad I feel about the results of the presidential election just concluded.  I mean, given John McCaIn’s great difficulty in articulating a coherent message on the chief issue in this campaign, the economy, his loss was to be expected.

Yet, media bias also contributed to his defeat, well at least to the margin of that loss.

So, maybe I should take a page from the gay activists storming the Mormon church and head downtown to protest the LA Times (much closer than the headquarters of its more biased counterpart in the Big Apple).

Dejected as we are by our loss, however, at least we conservatives accept the results of the election.  We’ll lick our wounds, congratulate the winners, critique our past strategy, take a break from politics, then start rebuilding for the future.

I suggest gay activists take a page from us.  The angry anti-Mormon rhetoric of the past two days does little to advance the cause they claim to support.  Indeed, it only serves to set them back.

On the whole, conservatives are handling Obama’s victory with grace as we should.  I suggest gay activists take a page from us and not their left-wing fellow travelers who had a different reaction to Bush’s reelection four years ago.

Gay Marriage and the 2008 election

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 12:33 pm - November 7, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Elections,Gay America,Gay Marriage

The Washington Blade asked me to write an Op-ed on the results of the election just concluded.  So, bleary-eyed on Wednesday morning, I offered my thoughts, just in time for their deadline that day.  They have now posted it on their web-site.  I believe DC readers can find a dead-tree copy at news stands around the capital area.

Here’s a taste:

IF YOU LOOK at the election returns, it seems to have been a bad day for gay issues. Popular initiatives amending state constitutions to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, thus blocking recognition of same-sex marriage, passed in Arizona, California and Florida. Arkansas voters banned gay couples from adopting children.

But, look deeper at those numbers and at the two presidential campaigns and you see a sign of how far we’ve come. The demographic breakdown on Proposition 8 provides a key indicator of a very real social change. Voters under 30 opposed the initiative by margin of 3-2, the identical margin by which voters 65 and older favored it.

We can also measure our progress by comparing the results of this year’s initiative with a similar one in 2000. That year, 61 percent of Californians voted to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. This week, only 52 percent did.

To read the rest, just click here.