Tuesday, July 1, 2008

We're Not Afraid Anymore

Yesterday, Gary Bauer wrote a piece for Politico in which he warns the vast left-wing homosexual conspiracy not to underestimate the power of homophobia in mobilizing sheep voters to the polls. In his article, he repeats the argument that anti-gay marriage amendments helped rally evangelical conservatives to polls to vote for homophobia and fear (George Bush). The argument that fear of gay nuptials pushed President Bush over the top is not without its detractors:

Many analysts at the time credited a large turnout of social conservatives in Ohio as being responsible for Bush's razor-thin victory in the state. Kenneth Sherrill, a political science professor at Hunter College in New York, has analyzed the Ohio election returns and concluded that was not the case.

“If you look at county-level election returns, you see that Bush's improvement over his 2000 vote was greatest in the counties where the amendment didn't do well,” Sherrill said.

Building on that flawed argument, Bauer argues that the recent California Supreme Court ruling will send angry voters to the polls not just in Florida, which has its own gay marriage amendment on the ballot, but also Ohio and Pennsylvania:

Polling, however, suggests otherwise. Only two states (Florida and California) will vote on marriage protection amendments in November. But a 2007 Quinnipiac poll found that homosexuality remains important among voters in Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania. No candidate has won the presidency since 1960 without carrying at least two of these states. In all three, a much higher percentage of voters (34 percent to 10 percent in Ohio, 28 percent to 10 percent in Florida and 28 percent to 11 percent in Pennsylvania) said they would be “less likely,” rather than “more likely,” to vote for a candidate who received an endorsement from a gay rights group. Importantly, these margins diminished only slightly among independents in each state.

Ok, so let's get this straight (no pun intended). In 2004, when gay marriage was not on the ballot in Pennsylvania (but was next door in Ohio), John Kerry won Pennsylvania by 2.5% and lost Ohio by 2.11%. In 2008, two years after Democrats in Ohio retook the governors mansion and ousted an incumbent Republican Senator, two years after Democrats in Pennsylvania ousted an incumbent Republican Senator, in a year in which the nearest gay marriage amendment is 900 miles away, John McCain is going to outperform George Bush in Pennsylvania and Ohio? Huh?

Earth to Gary Bauer. We're not afraid anymore. No more politics of fear. In 2002, the politics of fear gave Republicans control of the Senate. In 2004, the politics of fear gave George Bush a second term. In 2006, voters repudiated the politics of fear and gave Democrats control of the Senate. In 2008, voters will again repudiate the politics of fear and keep John McCain in the Senate, where he belongs.

If you have any doubt about what we think of your agenda, allow our nominee, the next president of the United States, Senator Barack Obama to explain. From his speech at the Iowa Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in November 2007:

And if those Republicans come at me with the same fear-mongering and swift-boating that they usually do, then I will take them head on. Because I believe the American people are tired of fear and tired of distractions and tired of diversions. We can make this election not about fear, but about the future. And that won't just be a Democratic victory; that will be an American victory.

Mr. Bauer, read my lips: We're not afraid.

Yesterday, Barack Obama made that clear when he came out against the gay marriage amendment in California:

In a letter to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club read Sunday at the group's annual Pride Breakfast in San Francisco, the Illinois senator said he supports extending "fully equal rights and benefits to same-sex couples under both state and federal law."

"And that is why I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states," Obama wrote.

Is Florida an important battleground state? Yes. Is there a gay marriage amendment on the ballot? Yes. Are we afraid? HELL NO!

Your movement, Mr. Bauer, is on the defense. As I wrote last week, there are experts who believe that Barack Obama's appeal to younger voters could spell defeat for the anti-gay marriage movement in these states.

So Mr. Bauer, it is not us who should be afraid. It is you who should be afraid. Very afraid.


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