Social Conservatism

Republicans are Shifting on Social Issues. That's a Lesson for Democrats.

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Photo credit: National Constitution Center / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Over the past week or so, we've seen two strong hints as to how the Republican party will handle social issues going forward—the combined effect of which is to offer reminder of how thoroughly political coalitions and party power dynamics can change over time.

The first came from Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who said at least weekend's Values Voters Summit, the annual confab of the GOP's socially conservative wing, that gay marriage, long a social conservative priority, is "not an issue. In fact," she said, "it's boring."

Since then, Bachman has downplayed the remarks, noting her continuing "belief that marriage should be between one man and one woman." The two statements aren't actually inconsistent, however. Even if Bachmann, who has in the past aggressively supported legal prohibitions on same-sex marriage, maintains her personal opposition to same sex marriage, that doesn't mean she's making an issue of it anymore. Judging by the scant mentions of gay marriage at the Summit, neither are many other Republicans.

The second came from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who, in response to a question about whether Plan B should be legal, said on Tuesday: "I am not opposed to birth control… Plan B is taking two birth-control pills in the morning and two in the evening, and I am not opposed to that." Paul, a sponsor of the Life Begins at Conception Act, extended his remarks to suggest that the vast majority of Republicans would be with him. "Plan B is taking birth control… I am not against birth control, and I don't know many Republicans who would be indicating that they are against birth control."

Not surprisingly, that remark angered Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, one of the sponsors of the Values Voters Summit, who tweeted that Plan B's function "is to create conditions hostile to human life." But Paul hasn't softened his stance. Instead, his office expressed dismay with Perkins' criticism. An adviser to the senator told Olivia Nuzzi of The Daily Beast that Paul's camp is "fuming," especially after Paul spoke about his opposition to abortion at least week's Summit. "[Perkins] reaches out when he needs a speaker for his conferences, but apparently not when he wants to attack Sen. Paul for no good reason," the adviser said to Nuzzi.

What these incidents suggest is that while GOP opposition to abortion remains strong, and is likely to stay strong for the foreseeable future, the Republican party wars over same-sex marriage and contraception are essentially over—and social conservatives lost.

This is not to say that skirmishes will not continue, that the debates won't persist at some level, perhaps even loudly at times. But it's clear enough where the arguments are going, and what the outcomes are likely to be. The GOP probably won't come out as the party of gay rights and the pill in time for the 2016 election, but those issues won't be front and center. If anything, judging by the Summit, most Republican politicians are likely to try to avoid talking about gay marriage whenever possible. And when it comes to contraception, many will emphasize support for greater access by making it available over-the-counter

The causes behind the Republican party's shift are complex—changing social norms, the shifting demographics of the electorate, and the decline of religiosity in American life are all factors. But rather than trace the reasons for the transformation, I think it's worth dwelling briefly on how rapid and drastic the shift on these issues, especially gay marriage, has been, and what that shift suggests about the stability of internal power dynamics in political parties.

Go back just a decade, and contraception was barely on the radar as a national political debate. And far from declaring same-sex marriage a boring non-issue, Republicans were hoping that opposition would bolster their political prospects.

In 2004, the Bush White House believed that opposition to same-sex marriage would help to get out the vote. "To the degree it energizes people who might otherwise not vote, it tends to help us," Bush's campaign guru Karl Rove said of a ballot initiative intended to amend the state constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage. There were 11 such measures that year, and Bush eventually went so far as to propose a national constitutional amendment restricting same-sex marriage. (Whether or not the strategy worked as well as intended is a matter of some debate, but that was very much the animating idea.)

This, of course, was around the same time that Rove was famously imagining a "permanent Republican majority," an unbeatable GOP for years to come. And that majority was to be built in no small part on social conservatives and their strength of their vote, which was critical in 2004.

Certainly, this was the understanding within segments of the media at the time. Rove drove Bush to election with "an army of Christian foot soldiers," declared a 2005 PBS Frontline documentary. That same report quoted Dana Milbank of The Washington Post saying that "evangelicals didn't just come out and vote for him, they were his campaign." The thesis of the documentary, explained by the announcer in its introduction, was that "it took 40 years, but [Rove] changed the political landscape" in his quest for endless Republican victories.

This was the widely-if-not-universally assumed future of the Republican party: electoral dominance as far as the eye could see, driven by the votes of committed social conservatives.

A decade later, essentially the opposite is not only true, but obviously so. The Republican party is weak nationally, and the conventional wisdom is that it will remain weak for years to come. Meanwhile, the influence of social conservatives has dwindled to the point where a likely presidential candidate such as Rand Paul does not back down when criticized by a prominent social conservative leader, and even hardcore social conservatives will barely discuss an issue—same-sex marriage—that just a decade ago was assumed to be a surefire political winner for the GOP.

All of which is to say that the factors that look likely to push a party into permanent majority status can just as easily dissolve and become weaknesses in a relatively short time, and that the factions that look certain to maintain a heavy influence within a party may not have as tight a grip as widely believed.

This is a lesson for Republicans, obviously, as they attempt rethink and reshape the party image in a post-Bush, post-Obama era. But it's also a cautionary tale for Democrats, many of whom now project a similar sense of certainty and confidence about the party's chances at political dominance going forward—and a reminder that victories which may initially seem inevitable can quickly and unexpectedly turn into certain losses. 

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  1. The second came from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who, in response to a question about whether Plan B should be legal, said on Tuesday: “I am not opposed to birth control? Plan B is taking two birth-control pills in the morning and two in the evening, and I am not opposed to that.”

    Except he also says he favors a personhood ammendment that would make Plan B illegal. So either he’s being dishonest, or he doesn’t know the details of his own policy proposals and just goes around saying stuff he thinks people want to hear.

    1. Sounds like Rand Paul is a politician. I hope nobody expects differently.

      1. Politician?! The hell you say!

      2. He’s also said he isn’t going to push for that unless there is a major shift in public opinion towards the pro-life side.

        Which is to say never.

      3. Yes, but does everyone seem so sure Paul is actually libertarian-leaning?

        1. Because there is more to being a libertarian than ass sex and abortion?

          1. Yeah – Mexican pot!

            1. Nobody smokes Mexican pot anymore, do they?

              1. I hope not. Stuff sucks. Headaches and nightmares.

          2. Pray tell what?

            1. Deep dish pizza and circumcision?

    2. Plan B is a contraceptive, not an abortifacient.

      1. It works by preventing implantation, rather than preventing fertilization, and thus would be banned under the law Paul sponsors.

        1. Given his rebuff of Perkins, I’m not too worried. I think he’s just playing SoCons for the tools they are. It’s good really. Puts them in their place: the toolbox.

          1. Maybe he’s playing libertarians, too?

            Is this going to be like Obama supporters – “I know he says – and does – these things I don’t like, but in his heart I know he must be on my side because he’s so dreamy! He’ll dump those sluts on the other side and he’ll be *my* boyfriend!”

            1. He’s going to have to play everyone if he wants a real shot.

          2. I agree he’s just using the socons as tools. My concern is that how do we know we’re not also in the toolbox.

            When there’s a sudden swell of public sentiment opposing something the government is doing, Paul is great as being a spokesman for that swell on the national stage. However I’ve notice recently that when the swell is going the other way, he seems unwilling to risk taking a political hit to speak up for libertarianism (see his sudden wish-washiness on ISIS).

            He’ll probably still end up being the most libertarian candidate, but if he’s only willing to be libertarian when there’s no cost involved, he’s firmly in tallest midget territory.

            1. how do we know we’re not also in the toolbox.

              His voting record.

              Re ISIS: he’s probably just rational enough to know that giving the IslamoNazis there own state wasn’t a good idea in 1980 and is an even worse idea today. This is more than I can say for most of Reason’s writers who can’t do reality on this subject.

              1. Giving the IslamoNazis their own state wasn’t a good idea in 1980, but it was way better than our attempts to keep them from having one in the 20001.

                Short of occupying big chunks of Syria and Iraq for decades with hundreds of thousands of troops, we can’t stop ISIS from having our state. We’d be better off coming up with a realistic strategy to contain them, rather than farting around with airstrikes pretty much everyone admits won’t solve the problem.

                Paul could be the person making that argument, but he chose the easy way out and flip flopped on the issue in the face of public pressure.

                1. It’s a lot of time – but anyone who has not watched the VICE youtube vids on ISIS and Syria should do so.

                  These guys are NOT going to get beaten. Period. In some ways they are actually correct….that is, they don’t accept the carving up of countries by the Brits when THEY (muslims) should be able to travel freely within their lands. One vide shows them removing the border berms and fences between Iraq and Syria and the local citizens seem happy about it.

                  I guess they could be beat – if Iran and the Saudis put 100’s of thousands of their people on the ground.

        2. Except you just quoted him saying otherwise, not all prolifers think Plan B is an abortifacient as Juice just said.

          And no it has not been scientifically shown that Plan B prevents implantation. As of now we just know that it prevents fertilization and might prevent implantation.

          1. The problem is the text of his law:

            Text of S. 583

            doesn’t match with the text of his speech.

            If he doesn’t want it to cover things like Plan B or IUDs, why not explictly say that in the bill?

            1. You still don’t get it, Plan B DOES NOT prevent implantation as far as we know, and Rand Paul just stated he doesn’t interpret it that way. So the bill does not apply, if you read the text.

              And this is all nonsense anyways, there is no agreed libertarian position on abortion, and him being prolife has no bearing on whether he is “actually libertarian-leaning” as you said.

              1. Except there’s a lot of people who think it does apply. Surely Paul is aware of that? So why leave it deliberately vague in the bill?

                And this is all nonsense anyways, there is no agreed libertarian position on abortion

                So you think there’s a legitimate libertarian argument for a federal ban on contraceptives that prevent implantation?

                1. Were discussing Paul’s position on the bill that he drafted. His interpretation is what matters, not yours.

                  Yes, but Plan B doesn’t prevent implantation.

                  1. Even the manufacturer says otherwise:

                    How Plan B One-Step Works:

                    Plan B One-Step? works primarily by:
                    ?
                    Preventing ovulation

                    ?
                    It may also work by:
                    ?
                    Possibly preventing fertilization by altering tubal transport of sperm and/or egg

                    ?
                    Altering the endometrium, which may inhibit implantation

                    Should the legality of Plan B hinge on what the ultimate answer to that last “may” ends up being?

                    1. All the latest science says that it doesn’t prevent implantation. It was unknown and its becoming more clear that it doesn’t. Your original statement was that it only works that way and not by fertilization. You obviously have been talking out of your ass on the subject the whole time. Rand says he doesn’t think it does and doesn’t want it to be illegal. It’s obvious he’s put far more effort into learning about it than you have, because the distinction matters to him.

                      And yet, you premise your whole argument on this horseshit. An argument which is moot because even if it did prevent implantation and he wanted it banned it would make him no less of a libertarian.

        3. It’s the same medicine as the daily pill. You can’t ban off-label usage. You can only ban off-label marketing.

          If the daily pill becomes over-the-counter, you can’t stop women from buying it and using it as the way “Plan B” is currently dosed.

      2. That depends on what your preferred deity says. SCOTUS told me so.

  2. Peter it is not a lesson at all. It doesn’t matter if the Republicans shift on social issues. As soon as the Republicans shift, the Democrats will just shift farther and the whole thing will start over again. The Republicans have already shifted. When is the last time you heard a Republican come out in favor of sodomy laws or against no fault divorce?

    Gay marriage is yesterday’s issue. The new issue is transvestite rights and single gender bathrooms. The Republicans haven’t shifted on those issues. So, as far as the Democrats and their low sloped forehead followers are concerned, they are evil bigots.

    Seriously, do you not understand the game here?

    1. When is the last time you heard a Republican come out in favor of sodomy laws or against no fault divorce?

      Technically, Im a republican (I registered that way to vote for Paul Sr, and kept it to vote for Rand) and I have opposed no fault divorce here multiple times.

    2. The Republicans have already shifted. When is the last time you heard a Republican come out in favor of sodomy laws or against no fault divorce?

      Last year during the Virginia governor’s race?

      1. Ah not really.

        http://www.politifact.com/virg…..-make-it-/

        You however serve as an example of a good point that I hadn’t thought of; it doesn’t really matter if the Republicans shift because the low sloped forehead Democratic voters can just be told otherwise.

          1. Yea, because the Huffington Post is totally an unbiased opinion regarding the issue. And at best you have one bill he introduced years ago that never got out of committee that his campaign and the Washington Post of all places said didn’t mean what the Dems said.

            Again, you are an example of what I am talking about. If they tell you something, you can be counted on to believe it. So I am not really seeing the significance of any Republican “shifting” on these issues.

            1. *updates to Johntionary*

              “When is the last time you heard a Republican come out in favor of X?” == “When is the last time you heard a Republican come out in favor of X that I’m not going to pretend never really happened?”

              1. I gave you a link to politifact that said he never supported no fault divorce. Which part of “here is a link to an unbiased source that says that isn’t true” do you not get?

                Again, if it fits your narrative, you will believe it. You are serving as a great example of why these issues are not worth fighting over. Even if you take the right position, the dems will just tell people like you the opposite and you will believe them.

                1. The assertion “X never did A or B” isn’t proved by evidence they never did B, particularly in response to an argument that they did do A.

        1. Still doesn’t absolve Coochi for his evil sodomy stance.

          SD 1 John 0

          1. Except that, that is not what we are talking about. And even he didn’t demand it be criminalized in any meaningful way.

            1. “Meaningful”?

              In any event, you can’t do that in the 21st century. Nope nadda. The GOP is learning though. Slowly.

            2. The hell? Less than a month before the election, he was still fighting to keep the old sodomy law from being overturned:

              http://www.washingtonblade.com…..aw-ruling/

              I suppose in an extremely pedantic sense, you could argue that someone trying to KEEP something illegal technically isn’t “demanding it be criminalized”.

              1. John’s powers of rationalization and hair-splitting are like an X-men superpower.

    3. That’s what I thought. I’ve seen this movie before, and honestly, it won’t end well.

    4. That’s mostly true. Heck, Republicans have seriously come out in favor of OTC birth control and the Democratic and feminist response was to bitch about it not really being “accessible” because Republican woman-haters won’t let government subsidize it.

      1. that’s just because, for feminists, if men aren’t subservient to women, they hate them and for democrats in general, if the government isn’t doing something, nothing is being done.

    5. Seriously, do you not understand the game here?

      And just to be clear here, are you suggesting Republicans SHOULD still be coming out in favor of sodomy laws? If not, why is the fact some are shifting on this issue a failure to play the game properly?

      1. I didn’t realize I had to dumb down the post for slow readers. The game here is that since the Democrats are forever the cultural aggressors, politically at least it doesn’t matter if the Republicans shift because the Democrats will just invent a new issue to go after them on.

        The culture war will never end even if the other side completely surrenders, since the Democrats will forever move on to a new issue. It is both all they have (since their policies inevitably fail) and essential to their entire self image. Without the culture war Democrats can’t see themselves as being forces for tolerance and good fighting intolerant bigots. The point for them is not to win on any particular issue. The point is to forever fight it because as long as the fight goes on they can feel superior and have a sense of self worth.

        1. My, you danced around that question nicely. It’s a simple yes or no question: do you think Republicans SHOULD still be coming out in favor of sodomy laws.

          1. I don’t really care. They can come out however they like. I don’t think sodomy should be illegal. I, however, am not really bothered by there being people out there who disagree with me. That is because I am, unlike you, a tolerant person and thus don’t feel everyone must be absorbed into the hive mind.

            1. Slippery as an oiled fish.

              1. Which part of “I think Sodomy should be legal” do you not understand?

                You are as a rule one of the least intelligent people who post on here. But even I always figured you could read sentences, provided they used small words and didn’t contain too many clauses.

                1. So you think the fact Republicans are starting to stop backing sodomy laws is bad because you’d rather ban something you don’t think should be illegal than give the Democrats the appearance of having won an issue. In your mind the Team Red-Team Blue point spread is far more important than the actual content of the laws being fought over.

                  1. I think John is saying the issue is pointless politically for the Republicans because no matter what side they take they will still be painted as bigots by the democrats and the media.

                    Look at how supporting businesses’ rights not to be forced to subsidize birth-control became translated into “the republicans hate women, and want to ban birth control”

                    1. Correct, Bard. The fact that birth control is readily available is meaningless. What is meaningful is that the Democrats created a wedge issue out of a non-issue, all to further their hold on power.

                    2. they will still be painted as bigots by the democrats and the media.

                      But you repeat yourself.

                  2. I am saying exactly what Bard Metal is saying that I am. It is a very simple point. Stormy Dragon is just a leftist troll who sees the point and doesn’t’ like and is now shitting all over the thread to try and obscure it.

                    1. But you’re wrong. Conservatives in Canada accepted gay marriage and *poof* that wedge is gone. Lefties tried using it and there was nothing to use. Everyone moved on.

                2. John, I am very intelligent and know more about things like the scientific method than you ever will. You can be intelligent but too often your logic discombobulates and you get fixated on rationalizing patently false or unproveable BS.

                  1. It is not that you are stupid Cytotoxic. It is that you won’t admit any truth, no matter how obvious, that doesn’t support your prejudices.

                    Here, your prejudice is that the Right is at fault and always wrong in the culture war. The truth that it is the Left who are the aggressors in the culture war and the ones who most need to fight it doesn’t fit your prejudices. So you can never admit that no matter how obviously true it is.

                    1. CITATION NEEDED

                    2. I don’t need a citation. You are denying it aren’t you? And one need only to look at the Left’s view of sex to see that no issue can ever be settled with them. The Right totally surrendered to the sexual revolution. And here we are still fighting over sex because the Left has decided the sexual revolution they demanded and got is really just a rape culture.

                      Again, you don’t like that truth, too bad.

                    3. The Right didn’t surrender to the sexual revolution. They lost. So what if ‘no issue is ever settled with them’? Doesn’t mean that the next issue will get the support that gay marriage did.

                      Please stop lying about my positions. It is bad enough to be a fruitcake, worse to be a lying fruitcake.

                    4. Doesn’t mean that the next issue will get the support that gay marriage did.

                      Yes it will. Why wouldn’t it?

                      “So what if the German people were okay with banning Jews from public office? That doesn’t mean deporting them will get the same kind of support.”

                      Cytoxic in 1935.

                      Further, you tell me where the line is for you? Are you going to stand up and say Trannys don’t get full protection? If not why not?

                      And since you are for gay marriage, I assume you are on board with bankrupting any business that refuses to play along? If you are not, then why didn’t you demand protections against such as a condition of your support for gay marriage?

                    5. The Right didn’t surrender to the sexual revolution. They lost.

                      Kind of beside the point, isn’t it? Either way they aren’t fighting the issue any longer.

        2. Eh, that’s true but there are probably diminishing returns. It’s harder and harder to get casual voters stirred up over, say, gender-neutral bathrooms than even gay marriage, which itself is paltry compared to abortion.

          1. Yeah, abortion and gay rights can get people going, but the transgender stuff is such a niche issue that I don’t see it coming to dominate politics the way gay marriage has done.
            I could be wrong, but I think there is a threshold of ridiculousness that the Democrat base won’t readily cross. Yeah, the college SJW types will always jump on the newest issue. There are still plenty of democrats who are not particularly socially liberal.

            1. John WANTS to believe otherwise because he wants to justify or at least excuse the GOP’s gay marriage intransigence. Rationalists gotta rationalize.

              1. I am not justifying or excusing anything. And gay marriage is without doubt the dumbest and most idiotic issue ever created. It is absolutely an example of a made up issue designed to get people to feel smug and stick it to the other side.

                You can be married now. It is not illegal to call yourself married. The only thing gays couldn’t do is use the force of the gun to make everyone else recognize their marriage. And that is what gay marriage was all about. It was never about equal rights it was always about taking the bakery in Oregon and fining them out of business for holding the wrong views. If gay marriage didn’t avial the left the power to do that, they never would have given a fuck about the issue. The entire concept would have remained a footnote at the back of old Reason magazines.

                1. Your ability to saddle millions of gays who legal equality with married straight people with the sins of a few assholes is an impressive feat of assholery and delusion John.

                  Here we see Johns problem: he can’t even begin to understand or empathize with the other side. The access to legal protection is not even visible to this lawyer…of the military. This is a microcosm of ‘why SoCons lose’. They don’t even try to understand.

                  1. Can you do anything but project Cytotixic? Here you are dismissing the fact that no on America now who owns a business can do anything but recognize and support gay marriage without facing the prospect of being run out of business no matter what their beliefs as just a few eggs broken to make the omelet. But I am the one who can’t see the other side.

                    Yeah, I just don’t understand the horror of not paying a marriage penalty and having to make a fucking power of attorney and not having to have to go to court if you break up. I just don’t understand.

                    You of course do. And that is why you are gleeful at the prospect of robbing the entire country of the freedom to act in accordance with their religious beliefs without the government putting them out of business.

                    1. the fact that no on America now who owns a business can do anything but recognize and support gay marriage without facing the prospect of being run out of business

                      This is not a fact. Anyone can believe whatever he wants. They just can’t operate a business that caters to the public and discriminate against customers based on race and several other characteristics (not including sexual orientation in all places).

                      What about the country is wrong as a result of the Civil Rights Act? Specifically, what does it lack? Not enough racist business owners employing taxpayer-funded cops to expel black customers for your taste?

                    2. I eagerly await your outrage when a gay baker decides he doesn’t want to do straight weddings anymore.

                    3. I’m not outraged over this. I don’t get outraged. I gave up emotions in college. I would, however, fully support the law coming down on that baker for violating the civil rights of his customers.

                    4. Or when a black baker doesn’t want to do a clan wedding…

                2. If gay marriage is all about using the force of the gun to get other people to recognize your marriage, then so is regular marriage. Why should anyone be allowed to use force to get other people to recognize their marriage?

                  If you object for whatever reason, fine. But stop pretending that everyone who favors gay marriage is either a sucker or a big fan of public accommodation laws.

            2. Yes, Biden said it was the Civil Rights movement of our time, we’ll see if he’s right. I don’t think it’ll make a dent even with increasing media attention.

              Democrats will quickly move on to something else or quietly bundle it with several other issues, maintaining a grip on their strange base for national elections at least.

          2. Does the gender of bathrooms really matter if you have stalls? Be glad you aren’t in China and have to wonder if you’ll get a proper toilet or one of those.

        3. When you’re right on the issues, you are superior and you should feel better about yourself.

          Of course there will always be a new fight, because there is not perfect political equality and justice in the world yet. And because there Republicans will be, being on the wrong side of every issue (an impressive feat, actually), screaming apocalypse at every attempt to advance society toward something healthier, happier, and more peaceful.

          1. and more peaceful

            It is indeed quite peaceful after you’ve murdered all your opponents, but they usually don’t let you get that far.

      2. I am in favor of sodomy laws that lift the restrictions on high school girls sodomizing me.

    6. This is John’s favourite delusion. He loves it because he thinks it’s unfalsifiable and needs no evidence. Sad for him Canada has accepted gay marriage and there has been no firestorm for trans-whatever rights.

      1. So fucking what. There is one here. And if it is not Trans rights it will be something else. The left used to be for free love. Today any sex that doesn’t get written consent is rape. Hugh Heffner was once a darling of the Left. Today he is a purveyor of the rape culture. The Left won the culture war over sex completely. Did they stop? Did it settle anything? No, they just moved onto something else and now are arguing completely the opposite of what they were saying 50 years ago.

        The left is forever at war with something. These people are totalitarians. That means politics rules every aspect of life. You can’t have politics without an enemy.

        If you think gay marriage is great, good for you. I am not saying you are wrong. What I am saying is you are a fucking moron if you think having universal gay marriage and on demand abortion or anything else is going to end the culture wars and prevent the left from moving onto something else. If that fact bothers you, take it up with the Left.

        1. There is no evidence that the GOP was threatened by those battles in the culture war or that not accepting gay marriage would have prevented those culture battles. Try to focus.

          1. There is no evidence that the GOP was threatened by those battles in the culture war
            \

            Except that their supporters didn’t like those things and didn’t want them to change.

            I get it you think anyone who disagrees with you has no right to say so. Well the rest of the world doesn’t agree. They have this weird habit of having opinions and liking things to be as they are and wanting a voice in their government.

            The left are the constant aggressors in the culture wars and will just invent new ones to ensure they never stop. Even if the GOP had followed your advice and told their supporters to fuck off, the left would have just moved onto something else. It is what they do. So shifting won’t end it. Why you can’t comprehend that is a bit mysterious but ultimately your problem and not a particularly interesting problem at that.

            1. ?I get it you think anyone who disagrees with you has no right to say so. Well the rest of the world doesn’t agree.

              What the sam fuck are you talking about? Christ Randian was right you really are a fruitcake.

              The left are the constant aggressors in the culture wars and will just invent new ones to ensure they never stop. Even if the GOP had followed your advice and told their supporters to fuck off, the left would have just moved onto something else.

              What you can’t or won’t comprehend is that it doesn’t matter. The left has moved onto a niche issue that probably won’t have the same punch as gay marriage, which you simply can’t oppose if you want to do politics in the 21st ce. Canada legalized gay marriage eons ago and these culture battles are LESS intense here than in the states. Seems KulturKons just keep feeding their enemies. So stupid. Libertarians are always having to save their enemies from themselves.

              1. The left has moved onto a niche issue that probably won’t have the same punch as gay marriage

                And you are dead wrong about that. Gay marriage was unthinkable 20 years ago. Then the fight was gay rights. And no doubt if anyone had said the next issue was gay marriage, people like you would have said “that is rediculous”. Yet, here we are.

                You underestimate both the hold the left has on the culture and how easily lead people like Stormy Dragon are. Their entire self image depends on being in a tolerant elite. If everyone is tolerant, they can’t feel superior anymore. To avoid that they will invent a new issue.

                I am not sure whether to laugh or cry that you are so naive that you think people supported gay marriage because they cared about gays. They didn’t. They supported it because it was a way to feel superior and stick it to the people they hate. They will happily latch onto the next issue to keep that feeling.

                1. Again, if you think sodomy shouldn’t be illegal, why do you care that the Republicans lost the gay rights fight 20 years ago?

                  1. I don’t Stormey. I do, however, care that the left will never stop fighting the culture war because it is only a matter of time before I become one of the people they are after. If they manage to wipe the SOCONS out they will just move onto someone else and eventually they will get to me. Today you, tomorrow me.

                    1. No, John. Stormy can cut down all the laws in England to get after the devil. He’ll never turn ’round on him.

                    2. Have you ever actually seen “A Man for All Seasons”?

                      John is the one taking the William Roper side of the argument that led to that quote: Republicans have to keep fighting the culture wars, otherwise we’re giving the devil (in the form of the progressives) the benefit of the law!!

                    3. The frustrating thing about the culture war is that over the long run, it’s exactly the way John points out. There is no end goal, no pole to which they can point and which the rest of us can see if we can accommodate. Rather, it’s around & around, continually stirring the pot. Anti-liquor, pro-liquor, anti-drug, pro-drug, anti-sex, pro-sex, anti-natal, pro-natal, anti-assimilation, pro-assimilation. That’s why conservatism is about losing as slowly as possible. There are the people seeking to preserve the status quo, and the people seeking to upset it and move…in whichever direction they just decided to move in.

                      Charitably one could perceive it as being the status quo besieged on all sides by interests seeking to move it in different directions. At any given time, it is. However, John has spotted the nastiness within the pattern, namely, that many of the same people who wanted to move society that way before want to move it this way now, just to stir the pot and make enemies.

                    4. The key then is to select your position on principles rather than reflexively taking the opposite side to whatever the progressives are currently fore.

                    5. How about this end goal: the government stays out of culture issues.

                    6. The problem with the direction this conversation has taken is that the “SOCONS” as you call them are aggressors in the Cultural War. According to the Constitution, a person can only invoke their beliefs to define their Own options. The Religious Right have been tireless in their demands that laws be enacted to punish people who believe differently than them (including other denominations of Christians). If it comes down to a choice between you and the Constitution, you shouldn’t expect to win.

    7. Pretty much agree. With regard to the Kultur Woawr, the social conservatives, or at least the smarter ones, pretty much know they’ve lost if by victory you mean being able to install their own vision on everyone else. Really, the only question going forward is whether the progressives are going to be able to install their particular social values on everyone else. It’s a shame so many libertarians can’t recognize that means the smarter socons are a hell of a lot better choice for allies.

      1. Neither are suitable as allies.

        1. Of course not and since you are one of those “freedom only for those who use it how I like” types, you will happily watch the Progs do their worst. Don’t worry, I am sure the Progs will never turn on you. They like you. They really do.

          1. Stop projecting onto me John. Just stop.

        2. I hate to break it to you, but if you want to argue that people should be free to live as they see fit, you pretty much are allied with the people you are saying should be free to live as they want against those who are trying to dictate the terms of their lives. Whether you want to acknowledge that alliance or not.

          The alternative, of course is to say “Screw them. I don’t like them and don’t give a tinker’s damn about their liberty.” Just don’t take that position and call yourself a libertarian.

          1. But, as I point out below, you are creating a false dilemma. No libertarian is scratching his chin, trying to decide whether progressives or socons are better allies. It’s not a binary choice. Nor a choice that must be made.

            1. Of course not, Zeb.
              https://reason.com/archives/201…..-more-than

              https://reason.com/archives/201…..-to-racism

              No one at all is pushing any such thing.

              1. No, they aren’t. Where is he suggesting that libertarians ought to ally with progressives or social conservatives?

            2. But the Progs are most certainly out to deprive the SOCONS of their rights. So Libertarians must necessarily stand up against that or rightfully be called hypocritical.

              1. Exactly. But, I think it goes farther than that. It isn’t just fear of rightly being called a hypocrite. If you’re a libertarian, you believe in freedom. Period.

                Freedom for people you like to do things you don’t have a problem with isn’t freedom. Hell, even Mao, Hitler, and Stalin were down with that.

              2. Yeah, find one libertarian who thinks it is OK to deprive socons of their rights.

      2. Wait, what libertarian has ever suggested that progressives are any kind of ally? Progressivism is pretty much diametrically opposed to libertarianism.

        1. Well, pretty much anyone who pushed the “liberaltarian” meme in the oughts. And pretty much the bulk of the advocates of “thick” libertarianism.

    8. It’s true. Trans-rights are the next big thing.

      After that? Otherkin

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otherkin

      1. After that, they will just turn around and go after some group they had already forced acceptance of just like they have turned on the sexual revolution now with the “rape culture” crusade. There is no compromising or making peace with them.

      2. Otherkin are never, ever going to get public support. They’re clearly delusional in a way that’s easily apparent to even the least informed layman.

        At the very most they might get, “eh, they’re not hurting anyone, so who cares?” Which is true. Or, “It’s pretty weird, but I don’t care enough to make a big deal about it.” But asking people to legitimize clearly baseless claims about animal spirits in Otherkin bodies… that’s not going to fly. I wonder if proggies are stupid enough to try?

    9. don’t foget, yours is the party of stupid

    10. “The new issue is transvestite rights and single gender bathrooms.”
      ————-
      Whoa, whoa. If that’s how the Democrats are going to roll, they’ll be off the cliff in no time. Really, how are you going to hold Independents and minorities by being the party of trannies and shitters?

      Or were you making some point that I’m missing?

      1. The Left is insane. But if five years ago I told you that they were going to be the party of “anything but affirmative consent to every sex act is rape”, you would have said the same thing. And I would have agreed with you. Yet today, they are exactly that.

        They own the mass culture. And people desperately want to feel superior and tolerant. They can only do that if they have something to feel superior about. So, don’t under estimate the left’s ability to force a new issue, no matter how insane it is.

        1. “And people desperately want to feel superior and tolerant.”

          I think this can be said about Americans in general…and to some extent, westerners.

      2. Really, how are you going to hold Independents and minorities by being the party of trannies and shitters?

        The same way gay rights became an issue. Some tranny will get beat up for being a dude in a women’s bathroom, and stories will come out about how “she was always a woman on the inside but couldn’t afford the surgery and she didn’t deserve to be killed for expressing her inner self” and a movie will made and a law will be passed, and then it will be discrimination to force a person to use the restroom appropriate to their genitalia.

    11. “The new issue is transvestite rights and single gender bathrooms.”

      You can’t be serious. The only social policy that is and will remain a growing threat to R’s and their ability to be elected is their relationship with Latin@ voters.

  3. Derp.

    Meet the new boss….

  4. Are the Republicans shifting on statistfuckism?

    1. No, you big silly goose.

    2. Why would they do that? That would mean they have less power when it’s their turn to rule. The point of being in power is to get more of it, not less.

  5. Since when was there ever a discussion of contraception except over bankrolling it via the state or via compulsion?

    1. Not in quite a while.

    2. “Since when was there ever a discussion of contraception except over bankrolling it via the state or via compulsion?”

      So all that “slut” and “put an aspirin between your legs” stuff was a dream?

      1. Show me any statute or case law (via state) or stories of guns to the head (via compusion) where “aspirin between the legs” was forced upon a person.

        Unless you can show me the Lowering Disease And Pregnancy Through Aspirin Act, I think they were merely suggesting abstinence as an alternative to compulsory provision of birth control

        1. Don’t mind craig, he’s an idiot.

  6. Yes, but when will the Republicans just admit that capitalism is bad so we can all move on to building the socialist utopia we’ve been waiting for?

    I’m tired of how we just keep winning on issues like gay marriage and civil rights, but people stubbonly keep thinking that private property is a good thing.

    Waaaa!!!

  7. Not surprisingly, that remark angered Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, one of the sponsors of the Values Voters Summit, who tweeted that Plan B’s function “is to create conditions hostile to human life.”

    Well, you know what else creates conditions hostile to human life? Government. Is Mr. Tony Perkins in favor of reducing that as well, or just the part that is getting in his way?

  8. “Go back just a decade, and contraception was barely on the radar as a national political debate.”

    You know who made it into a national political debate?

    If you said “Democrats,” you don’t get a prize because it’s so obvious, but yes, you’re right.

    And what do the Democrats want? They want to use the threat of fines/penaltaxes to make businesses put abortion in employee health care plans. They want orders of nuns to be bankrupted because they fail to file the wrong exemption form to get out of these regulations.

    So if contraception is off the radar as an issue, do you know what this means? It means another victory for the supporters of the omnipotent, omnicompetent state.

    And if gay marriage is no longer an issue (assuming for the sake of argument it’s true)? That means the public is reconciled to fining/penalizing bakers who don’t give gays their cake.

    1. And like John says, yielding on this or that culture-war issue by Republicans won’t make the culture war go away, because the Dems will simply fix on a new cultural cause, and anyone who doesn’t immediately get on board will be a bigot. And so on to the next cause, and the next. And these causes aren’t going to be about expanding liberty.

      1. So Republicans should continue fighting Democrats on an issue where the Republicans are wrong to avoid having to fight them on an issue where the Republicans are right?

        1. The Republicans are *wrong* to oppose contraceptive mandates and mandatory cake-baking?

      2. They’ll go on the next cause anyway. There is no reason to believe that contraception going away as an issue leads to it being mandated. I think Ocare had more to do with that. You are reaching SO HARD and for such transparent reasons here it is quite laughable.

        1. “There is no reason to believe that contraception going away as an issue leads to it being mandated.”

          It *was* mandated, and the mandate was only blunted (though not eliminated) by a 5-4 vote over the dissent of liberal justices.

          1. Today we (will have to) learn the difference between correlation and causation.

            1. If Republicans drop their fussin’ and frettin’ about contraception, yes the contraceptive mandates will become more firmly entrenched. Cause-effect. If something doesn’t get resisted, it is more likely to happen. Duh.

              1. See social security, income taxation, scope of interstate Commerce, drug war, the Fed’s inflation policies, federal usurpation of state privileges, etc.

      3. I’m not so sure that they will succeed in continuing down the culture war road. As someone points out above, you are likely to see diminishing returns as the issues get more and more fringe.

        1. Hopefully, yes, but it won’t stop the progs from pushing the envelope. Culture war crap has blown up in their faces before, and hopefully it will again.

        2. you are likely to see diminishing returns as the issues get more and more fringe.

          Of course, the difference between a fringe issue and grave social injustice that only troglodytes have a problem with is….about ten or fifteen years.

          Think about it. Ten years ago, anyone who claimed that the absence of “affirmative consent” justifies a claim of rape would have been seen as utterly, totally, fringe. Hell, fifteen years ago, “No means no” was a little controversial. Do you really think we’re not going to quickly enough wind up with “enthusiastic consent”?

          1. I’m waiting for the ‘affirmative consent with a witness’ requirement.

            Well members of the jury, Mr. X and Ms. Y both signed the affirmative consent form, but let it be noted that the Witness line was not signed. Furthermore, Ms. Y states that she was under the influence of alcohol at the time and numerous witness indicate that both X & Y had been drinking. Clearly Mr. X took advantage of her impaired judgement and thus is guilty of rape.

          2. 15 years ago I heard the same shit at college that we are hearing now. It’s really not that new.

    2. That means the public is reconciled to fining/penalizing bakers who don’t give gays their cake.

      And that means that you must also oppose the removal of miscegenation laws because bakers can’t refuse to make a cake for a couple who are of mixed race.

      It is just plain fucked to argue for limiting the freedom of some people because some other people want to limit the freedom of another different group of people. Public accommodation laws existed before gay marriage was legal anywhere. They were exactly as wrong before gay marriage as they are now. It’s a completely separate issue.

      1. The courts *exiled the Lovings from their homes* for living together as husband and wife. Can you find a case of the courts, even in Texas, banishing a gay “married” couple from their homes? Or are you inflating the rhetoric unnecessarily?

        1. There have been many instances of living wills being ignored and gay “spouses” being denied any role in the end-of-life decisions for their loved ones.

          That absolutely does rise to the same level as the Lovings, but it is really about contract law, which is a fight nobody seems to want to have.

          1. William Buckley, rest his soul, wanted to allow full testamentary freedom to gays without having the government recognize their relationships.

          2. There have been many instances of living wills being ignored and gay “spouses” being denied any role in the end-of-life decisions for their loved ones.

            And that is just not true. There isn’t a state in the union that will ignore an otherwise valid living will or POA because it names a gay partner. The media claims that but they never produce and example of it or when they do it turns out to be the result of the document not being executed properly or later revoked.

            Moreover, even if it were true, the solution to that is to pass a law making sure courts and hospitals recognize such documents no matter what.

            1. Any will that leaves a large portion of your estate to someone who’s not a direct family member or a widely known public charity is not going to survive intact if a family member challenges it.

              Perfectly legal wills get broken all the time because probate judges insert their views on how estates should be handled into cases in ways that go far beyond just the same-sex couples issue.

              1. Perfectly legal wills get broken all the time because probate judges insert their views on how estates should be handled into cases in ways that go far beyond just the same-sex couples issue.

                Which basically means the entire issue you raised with regard to same sex couples being denied the rights of everyone else on the issue isn’t accurate. As you note, the same is done to heterosexual couples.

                1. As you note, the same is done to heterosexual couples.

                  Only if they aren’t married.

                2. Which basically means the entire issue you raised with regard to same sex couples being denied the rights of everyone else on the issue isn’t accurate.

                  You’re confusing me with kbolino. I’m the one obssessed with sodomy.

        2. No, you miss the point. You are using the fact that public accommodation laws have forced people to bake cakes against their will or something to argue against gay marriage being legally recognized. The mixed race marriage case is exactly parallel. Allowing people of different races to marry puts the exact same legal burden on cake makers as does gay marriage. It is not relevant here whether anti-miscegenation laws did more actual harm to couples. I agree that they did. But it had exactly the same effect on bakers and flower arrangers, which is what you brought up.

      2. “It is just plain fucked to argue for limiting the freedom of some people because some other people want to limit the freedom of another different group of people.”

        I suppose it really sounds fucked up when the SoCon in your head says things like that.

        1. Even worse are the millions of real SoCons including you it seems who do EXACTLY THAT.

          1. I’m going to have to ask for an example.

            1. I’m waiting…

            2. Every thread on gay marriage where the usual suspects moan that letting gays get married means more forced cake sales?

              1. You say I “argue for limiting the freedom of some people because some other people want to limit the freedom of another different group of people.”

                What freedom have I proposed to deny to same-sex couples?

                Of course, you could assume the conclusion by saying same-sex couples have the right to govt recognition of their relationships.

                But if you’re going to invoke the comparison of the miscegenation laws, you’re going to have to come up with something a wee bit stronger.

                1. OK, freedom is perhaps the wrong word in the case of marriage (though I might argue that it is freedom of contract). How about “equal protection of the law”.

              2. You say that like it’s not a big deal. “So what some assholes got forced to do something unpleasant? Serves ’em right!”

                1. It’s a different issue.

                  1. No, it’s really not.

        2. But that’s exactly what you said. You said gay marriage is bad because there are some other laws that might require bakers to make cakes for events they don’t approve of.

          1. No, government-recognized SSM is bad for other reasons, too.

      3. Thread-winner right here. SoCons are so morally and intellectually bankrupt that they know it. How else to explain this patently phoney ‘stop liberty to save it’ BS?

        1. Many socons actually offered amendments to many of the SSM bills to provide religious exemptions for private companies. These exemptions were defeated.

          So who is refusing to distinguish between the SSM movement and the “I want cake” movement?

          1. Many SoCons = a few legislators. This is not representative or even copacetic with the ‘no gay marriage’ movement. The amendments/push to make private exceptions for The Civil Rights act also failed but overturning Jim Crow and anti-miscengenation laws was still the right thing to do. Were those uppity negroes just after free cake too?

            Maybe KulturKons should have focused their energies on getting government out of marriage. Instead, as is typical of these authoritarian dumbfucks, they went all in on a 3-legged horse and lost. Now they’re crying to us about intrusions into private business. A dollar short and a day late.

            1. So, you don’t mind if bakers lose their liberty because their kind had it coming.

              1. the liberty to discriminate?
                that’s pretty dumb

                1. So, you’re perfectly happy to give people you like freedom to do things you approve of. Congratulations. You’re as much a friend to liberty as Hitler, Stalin or Mao.

                  1. Godwin’s law #2 instance

            2. Hmmm…in practice, the “anti-private discrimination” provisions of the “civil rights acts” have taken a heavy toll on freedom.

              So that’s a good point – the provisions limiting private business should *not* have been included in the civil rights acts alongside the legitimate provisions against state-sponsored discrimination.

              1. all americans have the same rights
                that really bothers you sorry
                you don’t get to be “special”

          2. I don’t give a fuck about the SSM movement. I have a view on the matter independent of any movement.

            1. Good for you.

              1. Well, you keep talking about it as if support for gay marriage implies support for some grand movement.

        2. Short Cytotic.

          Some day there will be an issue in the culture war I don’t agree with the Left on. Really I promise.

          1. WHAT IS GUN CONTROL? for $500.

            WHAT IS RAPE CULTURE? for $500.

            What is the point of engaging John when his head is so far up his logical fallacy? No amount of money is worth that.

            1. Okay. Fair enough. But neither one of those require you to defend the dreaded SOCONS or really anyone you don’t like.

              As long as the Left restricts itself to going after people you hate, you think they are a OK.

              1. socons think they have the right
                to tell everyone else how to
                live their lives, sorry, it doesn’t
                work that way, they aren’t the
                sharpest knives in the drawer

                1. No. Its a free country. They have the right to tell anyone anything they like. They just don’t have the right to force people to listen to them.

                  Someone is not the sharpest knife here. But I don’t think it is the SOCONs.

                2. socons all progressives, whether on team red or blue think they have the right
                  to tell everyone else how to
                  live their lives

      4. That would be a good point Zeb, except for one thing. Libertarians never insisted on the repeal of the public accomodation laws as a condition of supporting gay marriage. They happily supported gay marriage unconditionally even though they knew in practice it would result in businesses being forced to support it or go out of business.

        Given that, I can’t see how their chin scratching and saying “gee we really don’t like that this is happening” is anything but bullshit rationalization on their part. If they cared about the rights of people like the bakery in Oregon, they would not have supported gay marriage unless it was done in a way not to infringe on other people’s rights. But they didn’t do that.

        1. And if socons cared more about the concrete rights of the baker than in abstract social policy, they would have pushed for freedom of association amendments instead of for anti-gay marriage amendments.

          Both sides are responsible for shaping how the fight gets framed.

          1. So what? Who ever claimed the SOCONS were for freedom? And since when is being for freedom a requirement to enjoy freedom.

            The Libertarians are the ones who claim to be for the protection of everyone. The SCONS not throwing their lot in with the right to be a racist doesn’t excuse the Libertarian’s failure to live by their own stated principles here.

            1. I never said the socons were for freedom, I said they need to pick their battles, just like you are saying libertarians need to do.

              1. Yeah, if libertarians should have all been making strategic decisions based on what public accommodation laws there were, then so should SoCons. And non-socons like John should have even more.

                In any case, it doesn’t fucking matter what any libertarians thought about the issue. Sad to say, but public accommodation laws are almost certainly here to stay. I think that some freedom of association stuff could have been put into the gay marriage laws, but the anti-gay-marriage side blew their chance on the gamble that they would be able to stop it, which seems terribly foolish in hindsight.

                Anyway, if I wanted to be all practical about politics, why would I be a libertarian verging on anarchist?

                1. “I think that some freedom of association stuff could have been put into the gay marriage laws, but the anti-gay-marriage side blew their chance on the gamble that they would be able to stop it, which seems terribly foolish in hindsight.”

                  But some SoCon legislators *did* offer religious-freedom amendments and got voted down. That’s the fault of the people who voted against those amendments.

        2. You also neglect the possibility that some libertarians who don’t altogether reject consequentialism might weigh the harm done by public accommodation laws against the harm done through unequal recognition of marriages and come up favoring gay marriage with or without restrictions on cake makers.

  9. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who said at least weekend’s Values Voters Summit, the annual confab of the GOP’s socially conservative wing, that gay marriage, long a social conservative priority, is “not an issue. In fact,” she said, “it’s boring.”

    Well, she should know.

  10. What makes you say the Republican party is weak nationally?

    1. The fact that people are actually talking about Mitt Romney being the nominee again in 2016 – does that suggest a healthy party?

      1. I’ll see your Mitt and raise you one Hillary.

        1. At least Hillary isn’t publically representing herself as the champion of my cause, so her failures don’t get blamed on me.

          1. Unless your cause is the GOP party platform, I don’t think Mitt Romney is representing himself as the champion of your cause, either.

    2. “What makes you say the Republican party is weak nationally?”

      Yeah, that claim seems a bit ridiculous, considering that Republicans have a majority of governorships, a majority of the House and are likely to have a majority in the Senate by the start of next year.

    3. “What makes you say the Republican party is weak nationally?”

      They are not. But there is a lot of infighting and questionable alliances which could bring fireworks at any time. I’d say the party is not united – although they tend to unite pretty quickly because, after all, their reasons for voting Republican (God, etc) are not going away.

      Libertarians hardly move the needle – but without the SoCons the party wouldn’t even get close to winning.

      As far as winning the Senate, since the majority of Americans don’t care who controls the House and Senate NOW (and they have a 15% approval rate), it’s a reach to say that – if and when they win both – that it’s because The People ruled.

      1. Sometimes I’m not sure what to think, but then I read your comments! How do you know so much? Where did you go to school? Is your name Craig too? Are you also from Mass? Its like we are brothers from another mother! Right on!

  11. The Republican party missed a HUGE opportunity 25-30 years ago when they could have championed the gay marriage issue. Republicans tout “individual freedom from government” except when they don’t agree with that freedom. THAT is hypocrisy of the worst kind. What better way to put your money where your mouth is than to defend someones rights/choices even if you personally disagree. Even Barry Goldwater the bastion of conservatism came around at the end and saw the light.

    Our foot dragging on this issue has created a monster called
    “Marriage Equality” when it could have and should have been Marriage FREEDOM!!

    1. And the dems have tried to grab it, but the PC game is now starting to backfire in their faces.

      Gay rights are no different from black liberation or women’s lib; they all focus on the individual rather than the difference.

  12. Yikes.

    Really, you’ve got to be kidding, Peter.

    “Even if Bachmann, who has in the past aggressively supported legal prohibitions on same-sex marriage, maintains her personal opposition to same sex marriage, that doesn’t mean she’s making an issue of it anymore.”

    Yeah, that’s because its a loser in elections. But if you don’t think people realize what the agenda will be if the GOP gets control AFTER the election, you’re quite na?ve. The same holds true on abortion. What’s the agenda on abortion in red states right now, Peter? We see it play out time and again, every week, regardless of Rand Paul’s take. Its not protecting access, its not pro choice…its all about eliminating access and choice. Let’s see how Rand Paul answers those questions in the debate…he’s been known to unprincipled. And let’s see what’s in the GOP platform on abortion and marriage.

    Give me a break that the GOP is shifting on social issues. They haven’t shifted at all…they’re just mum about it right now, because its pre-election.

    1. Totally. You have t hem pegged. How can anyone forget how gays were routinely locked up and even looking at porn on the internet would send you to prison back during the Bush Administration.

      The Democrats must love having such a poorly educated and easily lead base like you.

      1. And that has what to do with marriage equality, genius?

  13. So, Social Conservatives lose…..

    However, it might be wise to consider that social conservatism also touches on stuff like whether all US Citizens should have good access to health care. That’s a “social” issue and it’s conservative to NOT want people to be covered. Same goes for lots of other stuff.

    Immigration is a social conservative issue. So is creationism in schools and many other issues.

    All in all, I’m glad some are coming around to our way of thinking. However BatChit Crazy Bachman and “Say or Do anything” Paul are not really the best examples of a change.

    1. No they are not. I think it would be wise. What you said about social conservatism. You are the wisest person on these forums. I’m glad you’re here to help us be wise too. Keep it up!

  14. I don’t get how, if they abandon so-called social issues, the Republicans will convince idiots to continue to vote in support of tax cuts for billionaires.

    1. They could just follow your model and peddle inane talking points.

      1. “I don’t get how, if they abandon so-called social issues, the Republicans will convince idiots to continue to vote in support of tax cuts for billionaires.”

        This is easy. They will remind those voters that someday THEY TOO may be billionaires and therefore they should vote that way.

        Also, those Guns, God and Gays crowd wouldn’t vote for for most Dems in any case…because they don’t simply think they are wrong on policy, but that they are aliens (from space or Kenya), the AntiChrist, Muslims, etc.

        That’s a high bar to get over!

        Of course, if we get a candidate like Jim Webb, a new type of voter is likely to emerge. Webb Republicans.

        1. Of what appeal is Webb to the average Republican voter?

          1. White, shoots things, not Mormon?

            1. I said “Republican”, not “American”.

          2. “Of what appeal is Webb to the average Republican voter?”

            From South of the Mason-Dixon
            Long term military – Combat Vet
            Naval Academy Grad
            White
            Relatively well spoken and dynamic
            Not afraid to cross the aisle
            Was 100% right on saying Iraq was the biggest blunder in modern history…

            He would appeal to any reasonable Republican more than the likes of Santorum and all the other clowns likely to enter the GOP Race.

            Would Mittens really make a better POTUS? I’d say a lot of Republicans would vote for Webb over Mittens.

            1. YOU are well spoken! YOU are not afraid to cross the aisle! Those sound like qualities that describe YOU! You must be describing YOURSELF! I’d vote for you! I’m 100% super serial! You’re the smartest person on these boards bar none! Your analysis is 100% spot on! How did you get so intelligent?

          3. Dude Craig said it is likely. That’s what matters. Listen to him. The dude knows. he’s only like the biggest expert practically in the whole world on the subject of voters likely to emerge. He knows about emerging. He is expert in it. Its been e-verified. Ask the dude anything about emerging, and you can be sure you’ll get not just an answer. You will get the right answer!

          4. He’s not appealing to average republican voters. He is appealing to a NEW type of voter. One who is likely to emerge. Listen to Craig. He’s got the same name as me and he is a certified public expert in emerging voters and webb republicans. So many people should listen to him and then they would know what is up. If they dont listen to him they can only blame themself.

        2. WTF are you talking about? They will remind voters of shitty tax policies leading to things like Burger King moving their headquarters to Canada.

        3. You go girl!

          1. Mr.Koch, is that you?

            I’ve heard that you self-sooth in this way!

            1. There are probably at least 50-60% of the people here are really Koch anonbots posting fake libertarian arguments and trying to sound smart. I say sound smart because you always school them because you know the facts and how to argue whereas they are not smart and dumb. You clearly went to the best school and have real life experience unlike these toothless rednecks on the Koch payroll posting here and support fake libertarian Rand Paul and non emerging voters.

    2. Billionaires win as long as the issues remain identity politics rather than class politics.

      1. Ah, yes, the solutions to our problems are definitely to be found in Marxism. That’s worked so well throughout history…

        1. “That’s worked so well throughout history…”

          If you think our problems are going to be solved by tackling the issue of toilets for transvestites, I have to admire your optimism.

  15. All this and no mention of “least weekend” and “least week”?

  16. So where is Drug Prohibition in the mix? A socons giving it up? Or not?

    1. So where is Drug Prohibition in the mix? Are socons giving it up? Or not?

  17. “Values voters” and neocons are are done and dead as the “moral majority”. The GOP will win or loose by moving back to its roots of individual responsibilities and rights (a.k.a. libertarianism) or not.

    1. “The GOP will win or loose by moving back to its roots of individual responsibilities and rights (a.k.a. libertarianism) or not.”

      Are you talking about moving back to like it was during the Harding or GW Presidencies….where “Greed was Good” and then we all paid the price?

      Try as I may, I can’t find the modern POTUS other than GW who even partially fits your example.

      1. I remember those GW Bush days! Greed was good! That was all you heard. Greed greed greed greed! And look where it got us? Into the hands of the Koch brothers! At least no one heard any of this greed stuff back when there were nonfake republicans, like when Reagan was president and everything was more equal and if you were a billionaire you were supposed to dont ask, don’t tell. And if you can’t find a modern PTSD other than GW then probably no one can, since you are probably the foremost expert ever on the subject of emerging voters and jim webb republicans and bush. maybe not as much on bush as On the Road to Mandalay, that guy is scary smart too! But at least on the other 2. Oh and on Scalia too. That guy is a hoot!

  18. The part about “religiosity” doesn’t fly because the idea that the Religious Right are the Only ones who can claim the term “Christian values” is and always has been an example of revisionistic denial. There are devout Christians along every point of the political spectrum.

    The Culture War has never been a struggle between two groups but three. Libertarians, incidentally, Aren’t morally ambiguous or for everything. We believe that people need to be responsible for themselves and not have the state meddle in your private life. The Bill of Rights applies to everyone, not just those who agree with us.

    The Religious Right has its counterpart on the Left in the form of those people who rant about privilege and rape culture. They’re both wrong. It’s one reason why Independents are both the biggest and fastest growing demographic.

    1. The Culture War is a term with a 100+ year history, and it has always been about only one thing: the role of the Christian church in government, not Christian values, or religiosity, or social conservatism.

      1. Flag burning is a classic culture war issue that has nothing to do with “the role of the Christian church in government”.

      2. Right, and since Scalia just said it’s in the Constitution for the SCOTUS to prefer religion (one, of course) over secularism, we know that War is still on!

        1. Scalia said that? dude, I was wondering for a long time if he said that but I never knew for sure. Scalia sure is crazy! Its awesome that you are here to point us in the right direction, especially about emergent voters and everything else! You’re like the best expert on everything! how did you get so smart? Share your secret so I don’t have to stay in the dark!

  19. Oh give me a break! If I wanted to read DailyKos I would go there. The Democrats are not a strong party! They are the ones petitioning to silence their opposition. Their apparent strength will only last until the groups they say they “benefit” take an honest look at what Dems have done.

  20. This is largely a generational shift. Young folk – even if they identify as Christian evangelicals – are not interested in opposition to gay marriage or to birth control. The GOP has finally figured out that the oldest voters have been driving away the youngest. No party can long survive such a demographical disaster.

    1. “No party can long survive such a demographical disaster.”

      Sure they can!

      Fear can always be whipped up in one way or another….

      EBOLA
      Obama

      Sort of rhymes, doesn’t it?

      Even young people are human beings and republicans tend to just throw shit at the wall until a turd sticks. They will prod and poke and find the next scary thing to fearmonger about….and that will become the center of their platform.

  21. I suppose that abortion, birth control are among some issues that national politics really has no business bothering with, but they do. They can’t help themselves because they want issues to energize THE base. Very base and radical these voters turn out to be. Such a shame and waste of campaign energy and money.

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