Whither the Whiter GOP?
The most dramatic development of Nov. 6, was that it marked the first time in a national election that LGBT issues were front and center for the electorate. Even better, we came out ahead everywhere we had something at stake.
When Pat Buchanan thundered about a "cultural war" to thunderous applause at the 1992 GOP convention, he was referring to feminism, abortion and especially what he called the "homosexual rights movement."
What Buchanan and the party faithful didn't realize was that they might end up losing that war.
After years of heartbreaking defeats, we saw victories for same-sex marriage in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Iowa and Washington. Maine residents overturned a previous vote. Minnesota voted against a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Such a law remains on the books there, but signs are good that, given the chance, voters will overturn it if the state Legislature doesn't do so first. In Iowa, voters reversed themselves:
After previously voting out three state judges who ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in the Hawkeye State, they chose to retain the state's chief justice and the unrepentant architect of same-sex marriage there.
True to form, the National Organization for Marriage complained that its side was outspent, as though such an important decision merely came down to who had more ads on local TV stations. NOM also maintained that these states are all vivid blue, which is nonsense.
Maryland is the only one that falls into that category. Minnesota has moved between the two parties for years. Until very recently, Maine had two GOP senators and a GOP governor. Dour Down Easterners were known as being among the most rock-ribbed Republicans. Washington and Iowa, while leaning increasingly Democrat in recent years, can hardly be counted as solidly in one camp or the other.
'Social Issues': Women
Right-leaning media, from Fox News and "The Wall Street Journal" to the policy-oriented magazines "National Review and "Weekly Standard," have been full of furious arguments about what to do about thorny problems of women's issues, specifically abortion, and of gay rights, exemplified by same-sex marriage. Both are pushed under the umbrella of "social issues."
The ham-handed comments about rape by Senate candidates Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana were only the tip of the iceberg that the GOP struck when it came to women. The party spent (wasted, most now say) most of its convention playing to women.
Instead of countering Obama's successful painting of the party as hostile to women, however, many pundits and senior party members derided such talk as pandering. The Democrats were the real misogynists, they said, the ones who believe that women care only about access to birth control and easy abortions.
The results may have proved them wrong. Predictably, now that the dust has settled, many party faithful are once again proclaiming the "human rights" of the unborn; the "holocaust" of abortions since the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade; and the ridiculousness of people like Sandra Fluke, the college student whom Limbaugh memorably called a "slut" for advocating health care coverage for birth control in situations where it is needed for disease prevention and medication.
Next page: 'Social Issues': The Gays