Still in Shock
(archived broadcast )
The Civil Rights Revolution is over. The culture war has begun.
This comment by August J. Pollack of Xoverboard.com was so powerful and so dead-on that I am sharing it with all of INSIDE SCOOP NATION.
The numbers don’t lie (just some Republicans)
I’m finding it very ironic that a slew of “moderate” Republican and pro-Bush webloggers are suddenly talking about what the Democratic Party needs to do to readjust itself after Tuesday’s defeat.
For one thing, this “Bush received more votes in any election” line is kind of silly, considering the person who recieved the second-largest amount of votes in any presidential election, if I’m not mistaken, was John Kerry. The attempt to cast Bush’s 1%-in-Ohio victory as a Reagan revolution is laughable.
Now don’t get me wrong- Bush won. He won the pupular vote, and while sides will debate on how much of a “mandate” the margin was, there are certain facts that warbloggers are really, really trying to avoid mentioning:
Bush didn’t evoke change. With the exception of swapping New Mexico for New Hampshire, there was no change in the 2000 distribution of states. The North didn’t swing for Bush any more than the South swung for Kerry. Bush didn’t create a mandate of the people- he proved that we have a divided nation because of his policies, and that’s really hard to defend as good, for either the country or its safety.
Why did Bush win? Here’s why:
Three-fourths of white voters who described themselves as born-again Christians or evangelicals supported Bush. Those white evangelicals – a crucial voting bloc for the president – represented about a fifth of all voters. Their top issue was moral values.
Kerry was supposed to win. No, that doesn’t mean there was vote fraud, or anything like that. But by any logical model, any analysis of Bush’s record, all these signs pointed to Kerry defeating Bush.
And then they started telling people Kerry would ban the bible.
Check the numbers: moderates swung for Kerry by ten points. Bush won because more hard-right conservatives voted than ever before. But Bush didn’t suddenly get a massive increase in support for the war. Or for the economy. Or for education.
Moral values. 22% of the electorate claimed “moral values” as their prime reason to vote. Of those, 80% voted for Bush. 11 states passed anti-marriage bills, several of which full-on deny civil union and domestic partnership rights, in some cases even to straight couples. Two new virulently anti-gay and anti-abortion Senators have joined the Republican Party, and Barack Obama was challenged by a GOP-handpicked right-wing nutjob in Illinois.
For all the talk from the warbloggers about “hateful, angry liberals,” it’s laughable how these self-proclaimed “moderate Republicans” have deigned to tell Democrats how they think their party structure should be evaluated, when they’re in abject denial of how little Bush cared about them.
In the end, this didn’t turn out to be about Iraq. Or Swift Boats. Or job losses and Hoover. Or any of that. There is a stereotype of liberal Democrats all being anti-war, elitist urbanites. There is a stereotype of conservative Republicans being homophobic, religious fanatics. Between these two cases, in only one did several million exist, and show up en masse to put one of their own in the White House.
Does this mean all Republicans are homophobic bigots? Of course not. But they control the party now. And the numbers can’t be twisted to deny that, no matter how hard some warbloggers are going to try. Gay panic won Bush the White House. The God Hates Fags Party has been established, perhaps for a generation, and until “moderate Republicans” acknowledge who they’re officially subversives of, they have no right whatsoever to tell Democrats how to organize their own party.
If there is one casualty of the blogosphere this week, it is the right for conservative warbloggers to ever use the term “the hateful left” again.
–August J. Pollack
Mark’s notes: John Kerry did receive the second-most amount of votes in American history. Ronald Reagan, in his 1984 re-election landslide, was third. The fourth-most amount of votes received in American history was Al Gore in 2000.
The message is clear and scary: more Americans hate blacks and gays and Muslims than hate Bush. And these Americans control the Republican Party. Poor white rural Americans care more about using the government to force their religion down others’ throat than care about their own economic well-being. They will suffer under Bush’s policies as long as they can make blacks and gays and Muslims (and Jews and Latinos and artists and intellectuals and anyone that does not conform) suffer more.
Thus, they preserve their religious “moral values” from the “democratic, liberal elite” that they believe want to take their Bibles away from them. (Think of the cynicism of that Republican ad campaign in Arkansas and West Virginia. The Republicans Party actually believes that poor white rural Southerners are so stupid that they think that Democrats want to actually confiscate their Bibles. Maybe the Republicans are right to never underestimate their supporters’ ignorance!)
We have nothing to fear but fear itself. And so, now, it is time to fear.
I fear for America and its future under its new Taliban rulers.
But here’s the silver lining:
Young people (and independents) overwhelmingly supported Kerry.
Young people can see through the rhetoric of Bush’s lies and propaganda.
Young people don’t even understand racism and homophobia.
We Shall Overcome Someday.