Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Why yesterday's election was not a repudiation of cultural conservatism

The victory of Barack Obama in yesterday's election is already being called by some (notably those in whose interest it is for people to think such a thing) a "repudiation" of conservatism. Here are several reasons why that isn't so:

#1: McCain was far from a classical conservative.

#2: McCain did not make the election a referendum on conservatism, in fact, other than supporting the troops, he ran away from traditionally conservative issues.

#3: Although a very high Democratic turnout resulted in narrow losses on ballot initiatives that restricted abortion, same-sex marriage bans passed in states Obama won--Florida and California.

#4: In California, although 95 percent of black voters went for Obama, they supported Proposition 8, the ban on same-sex marriage 70 to 30, indicating that even social conservative voters were willing to go for the "One."

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

MC: In California, although 95 percent of black voters went for Obama, they supported Proposition 8, the ban on same-sex marriage 70 to 30, indicating that ...

most of them went to public school.

jah

Art said...

The pro-life agenda "narrowly" lost? 4 points in CA, 46 points in CO, 6 pts in MI, 10 pts in SD - them's the scores. I would say that the electorate has shouted out that the "pro-life" agenda is not in line with the opinions of the overwhelming majority of voter.

I suggest, Martin, that you return the calculator that the Discovery Institute loaned you. It doesn't work for you any better than it does for them.

Anonymous said...

MC: Although a very high Democratic turnout resulted in narrow losses on ballot initiatives that restricted abortion, same-sex marriage bans passed in states Obama won--Florida and California.


I read Art's comment and looked up some numbers.

Personally, I don't see a significant difference between 52 and 52.5. Yet in California, the abortion proposition had a "narrow loss" (48:52) whereas the marriage limit "passed" (52.5:47.5). Either "narrow" is < 5% difference only or Mr Cothran is not objectively reporting results but using adjectives to give a biased opinion.

California:

abortion notification
48% for; 52% against

gay marriage ban
52.5% for; 47.5% against


jah

Martin Cothran said...

Art is right about the abortion figures. I actually wrote #3 intending to go check the Colorado result, which I hadn't seen, and never did. My bad.

But I'm not getting Jah's point at all. Is he saying that I said the abortion measure lost narrowly and the same-sex marriage won by some kind of landslide? Again (and this has gotten to be a habit with him) he's reading things into what I said that I never said.

Anonymous said...

No, I am saying that both are narrow or neither is. To apply the adjective "narrow" to one only suggests that there is a significant difference. [Mr Cothran again misinterprets the simple English words I wrote.] As I've pointed out before, he seems to be the sort of person who would say that of legitimate candidates the Palin ticket came in second whereas the Obama ticket came in second to last.



jah

Anonymous said...

To elaborate on Mr Cothran's perhaps unconscious bias, consider this from one of his most referenced blogs:


Robert Novak on on Nov. 6, 2004 after Bush won a narrow victory:

Q: Bob Novak, is 51 percent of the vote really a mandate?

NOVAK: Of course it is. It's a 3.5 million vote margin. But the people who are saying that it isn't a mandate are the same people who were predicting that John Kerry would win. ... So the people who say there's not a mandate want the president, now that he's won, to say, Oh, we're going to accept the liberalism that the -- that the voters rejected. But Mark, this is a conservative country, and it showed it on last Tuesday.

Robert Novak on Nov. 5, 2008:

The first Democratic Electoral College landslide in decades did not result in a tight race for control of Congress.

When Franklin D. Roosevelt won his second term for president in 1936, the defeated Republican candidate, Gov. Alf Landon of Kansas, won only two states, Maine and Vermont, and Democrats controlled both houses of Congress by wide margins.

But Obama's win was nothing like that. He may have opened the door to enactment of the long-deferred liberal agenda, but he neither received a broad mandate from the public nor the needed large congressional majorities.

reader comment:
Republican pundit in 2004: "3.5 million votes, 51% = mandate from the people"

Republican pundit in 2008: "Just 7.5 million votes, only 53% = no mandate, narrow victory"

Republican pundit in 2000: "Control of both houses and the presidency by narrow margins (2000) = universal support for the conservative agenda"

Republican pundit in 2008: "Control of both houses and electoral college landslide = moderation and compromise is necessary if Obama wants to succeed."





http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2008/11/what_a_difference_four_years_m.php#more



jah

Martin Cothran said...

Jah,

Your point is dependent upon my having said that the Proposition 8 victory was not a narrow one. Never said it. Of course it was narrow. The point is that it passed at all among people who voted heavily for Obama.

But if you want to amuse yourself by arguing against something I didn't say, you just go right ahead.

Anonymous said...

I can understand if Mr Cothran doesn't understand what I write; however he should be able to understand what he wrote.

He described a loss as "narrow" but used no adjective for a win which passed by approximately the same margin.

If he would attempt to explain what is so difficult to comprehend about that, I can try to explain again.

jah

Art said...

Revisiting the subject of repudiation, I would think that the rejection of the pro-life agenda has to be more worrying for the cultural conservatives than their gay-bashing victories. "Pro-life" is THE one unwavering litmus test for the Republican Party, and we learned on Tuesday that it's a losing proposition.

I think it's time for the true conservatives - small government, fiscally responsible, government out of my bedroom types - to take back the party from the theocrats. Because the latter are going to doom us to one-party rule. This is not a good thing.