Thursday, November 6, 2008

Obama's Victory And How The Culture Warriors Used It

Here's the Catholic Values folks assessment of Barack Obama's and the Democrats land slide win. I mentioned at the end of my post yesterday, that the passage of the anti gay initiatives pretty much insured the 'dominionist take the world for Jesus folks' would let those victories blind them to the truth of the election.

Conservatives see same-sex marriage victories as proof of Americans' values

Ken Blackwell / Connie Mackey

CNA STAFF, Nov 6, 2008 / 03:01 am (CNA).- U.S. conservative leaders reacted to Tuesday’s election results by noting that although Americans elected Barack Obama as the next president, they also agreed with conservative values on same-sex marriage.

In a phone conference on Wednesday morning, President of Let Freedom Ring Colin Hanna summarized the election by describing what it was not. “The election was not a landslide, the election was not a realignment election, and the election was not an ideological election.” (I don't have a clue how to respond to this, this is a staggeringly blind assessment. Even Idaho elected a democratic senator. See this map)

“It was not an ideological election because the winner campaigned entirely on an argument of new politics, a different kind of rhetoric, a moving away from left versus right, red versus blue, conservative versus liberal. So clearly the reception of the American people of a bi-partisan, non-partisan approach was a major factor in Obama’s success.”

No one could observe this and conclude that it was also an ideological election, Hanna remarked. (This is true, only if you Ms. Hanna, are desperately trying to convince us that you and your associates aren't ideological.)

Ken Blackwell, the vice chairman of the 2008 RNC Platform Committee, agreed with Hanna’s observation, saying, “What I found interesting was California and Florida where Barack won overwhelmingly and where our issue won convincingly.” (More on this later.)

Referring to the California Proposition 8 and the Florida Proposition 2, Blackwell clarified, “It’s important that some folks understand that we don’t put these issues on the ballot because they are wedge issues or issues to use as political tools. We really put them on the ballot because we think it’s important to get public policy that reflects the desires of the body politic.” (Is this why your consortium of followers had to spend upwards of 50 million dollars in California to 'educate' the body politic?)

Connie Mackey of the Family Research Council Action also stressed that Americans had not changed their values. “Of the 134 races that we did endorse, we only lost 16. And four are undecided right now.” “We don’t just endorse somebody with just an ‘R’ next to their name. They have to be using our issues as they campaign and they have to be devoted to our issues when they’re up on the Hill.” (And how many people with a D after their name did Family Research Council Action endorse? By the way, your numbers don't impress me. All it says is you spent money after very careful assessment. I suspect all these unnamed successes are in very red districts. Show me the names.)
Mackey believes that this success rate shows that “the social issues and the culture of the country still matters.” (At least in selected red districts. The Republican party only gained voters over 2004 in Appalachia and along the Mason/Dickson line in Southern states.)

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, described Obama’s election as a success for the civil rights movement before pointing out that the battle to protect the unborn from abortion is also a human and civil rights battle. (Except for gay civil rights.)

Although, she sees the election results as a political setback, Dannenfelser argued that, “The pro-life movement is just as strong as it ever was and this is not a repudiation in any way of the issues that we are lobbying on in the pro-life movement.” (How is the defeat of every single pro life initiative not at least a strong repudiation of your tactics?)

CNA asked Dannenfelser what she believed was behind the failure of the South Dakota initiative to limit significantly abortion, given the strength of the pro-life movement.
“You do have to reach people where they are, and it could have been a miscalculation of where the consensus is in the state. But also, it could be that the consensus was overwhelmed by being far out spent, which we are every single time in these propositions,” she told CNA. (You mean you lost here exactly the way you won in California? And what your really saying is it's not about a public consensus, it's really boils down to money--a form of tyranny by dollars.)

Shifting back to the general election, Dannenfelser said the biggest question that president-elect Obama will have to answer is whether he will go forward with his promise to sign the Freedom of Choice Act or whether he will try to find common ground with pro-life advocates.

The SBA List president summed up any losses suffered by conservatives as due to economic conditions and not because of conservative principles. “We lost on a different battleground. We lost on an economic playing field, not on the merits of the pro-life issue,” she emphasized. (Excuse me, you lost because your 'conservative principles' pro life values voters elected the neo con republicans who have destroyed our economy, placed us in two unwinnable wars, callously abandoned New Orleans, assaulted our constitutional rights, and fomented unbelievable division in this country on IDEOLOGICAL principles. You were instrumental in creating the very playing field you were trounced on, and your standard bearer Ms Palin, was a major factor in torpedoing McCain's election chances amongst moderates and independents. You lost because of the face you see in the mirror.)


Ken Blackwell's observation is fascinating to me as well:

“What I found interesting was California and Florida where Barack won overwhelmingly and where our issue won convincingly.”

I too find it fascinating that in both states the religious right went after minority voters, especially black and hispanic. They were hoping for a 'Barack effect' for their anti gay intiatives. To foster that effect, the pitch they used was that the 'gay agenda' was not marriage equality. It was to get into schools to teach their children about the 'gay lifestyle'. To preach heresy concerning the 'sanctity of marriage' as God intended it from Adam and Eve, (that between one man and one woman), and to teach our children it's OK to indulge in biblically condemned sexuality. The underlying unstated message of the school argument was to engender thoughts of pedophilia and sexual predation by gay teachers using this message to groom young victims--their children.

As much as it pains me, I must also admit their strategy worked partly because of Barack Obama's constitutional understanding of civil marriage vs sacramental marriage. This allowed Obama to be both for civil unions and against gay marriage. Needless to say, the right didn't make this distinction and proponents of gay marriage completely missed the ball until it was too late.

So it shouldn't come as a shock that the demographic with the highest voting percentages for prop 8, were minority groups of child bearing and child rearing years. Blacks and Hispanics, themselves the victims of biblically inspired bigotry, have now become righteous purveyors of biblically inspired bigotry. I guess this now makes them full blooded American bigots.

That makes me sad. What makes me mad, is this whole campaign was masterminded and principally financed by the two mainstream religions which have the most abysmal track record when it comes to child sexual abuse, Roman Catholicism and Mormonism. Both of the ruling elite of these churches have used gays as a smoke screen to hide their own pedophilia problems. No wonder there's so much glee when defeating gay marriage proposals.

Progressives will have to deal with the 'take the world over for Jesus' people for quite a while longer. The righteous right still have their wedge issue, and they spent millions to make sure they did. Their lone victory is more than enough to blind them to the truth of the much greater Obama victory because they got democratic minorities to vote WITH THEM.

No the culture wars aren't over. More's the pity.


  1. "Referring to the California Proposition 8 and the Florida Proposition 2, Blackwell clarified, “It’s important that some folks understand that we don’t put these issues on the ballot because they are wedge issues or issues to use as political tools. We really put them on the ballot because we think it’s important to get public policy that reflects the desires of the body politic.” (Is this why your consortium of followers had to spend upwards of 50 million dollars in California to 'educate' the body politic?)

    Blackwell thinks "it's important to get public policy that reflects the desires of the body politic." I have an issue with this. Why does Blackwell make such a big stink about gay couples? It is such a waste of money. Such people just seem to thrive on putting others down.

    These cases will undoubtedly be going to a higher court. No, we haven't heard the end of the neocons. And we haven't heard the end of civil rights for gays. Civil Rights is an issue.

    I don't understand how these propositions got on the ballot? Propositions that are obviously against civil rights for people should not be put to a public vote. Since many people are still very confused about gays these groups have pushed through a hateful agenda into the public square.

    I don't blame you for being angry Colleen. It's pretty unnerving, to say the least.

  2. There is an interesting parallel in all of this and with the process of enlightenment. Whenever a person makes a conscious choice to move toward enlightenment, one of the first things to happen is that all of their "stuff" that has been hidden and buried for so long is suddenly exposed and "in their face". Many get discouraged and give up at this point.

    Truth is, it is "in the face" so that it can be released and progress on the path can continue. As disappointing and disgusting as these siturations are, they are an essential part of the process, an essential part of progress toward acceptance. I see them as the "in the face" things that are now in the open where they can be addressed and dealt with. What was previously hidden, is now in the light for everyone to see.

    For example, the catholic bishopric who supported mccain, all of their actions are in the open and documentated by a wide variety of sources. Unlike Pius XII activities during WWII which continue to be hidden behind papal shrouds, the hate rhetoric and hate actions of the bishops in this country are a matter of public record now. That is a public record that will haunt the Vatican and the Catholic Church for decades to come. At the very least, they backed the losers. That makes them losers as well. Now they have to figure out how to deal with the winners. Winners who they vomited hate rhetoric on during the campaign. Winners who they villified.

    The money in the CA campaign etal is also public record now. The money trail is the gift here. Follow the money wherever it leads, and the corruption behind the election results will be, exposed for everyone to see. Then we can move forward.

    As sad as I am about the outcome, I also see it as a gift of the Holy Spirit. Just as the Holy Spirit said "no more hate" in the presidential election, ultimately, that will be the same message with LGBT issues as well .... "no more hate".

  3. Colleen, important evidence that the religious right tends to raise more hell over these issues, to undermine the mandate for change in the new administration.

    I hadn't thought of it, but I like very much your right-on observation about the extreme irony of the two religious groups who chose to play the children-being-recruited card in this election. You're right, they're both religious groups with some very unsavory "stuff" in their own houses, vis-a-vis issues of sexual abuse.

  4. Butterfly, I've read where various legal groups like the ACLU are filing court briefs against prop 8 on those very grounds. That removing judicially mandated constitutional rights for one specific group is beyond the legal scope of the propostion process. In order for prop 8 to be legal it would have had to have gone through the legislature.

    Carl I agree with you. The hate is in the public domain and I sincerely hope that the minorities who voted for gay discrimination will use this opportunity to take a real look at themselves. The reality is, taking something from one group adds nothing to the normative group. Extending marriage rights to gays does not take anything away from straights.

    Bill, I saw in some post somewhere that the Episcopal Church in California may consider filing a brief about how prop 8 interferes with their Church/State separation rights by denying them the use of the entirety of their marriage rituals. Isn't that a neat turn around on one of the Roman Catholic Churches big arguments about gay marriage?