I'm happy to say that within 24 hours, my first goal seems to be coming true with Ashcroft reportedly stepping down. I had no idea he reads this blog and would be so immediately influenced.
The insendiary title of this post aside, I ask as a truly open question--if one, like most of us on this list, believe in equality regardless of sexual preference (unlike overwhelming majorities in 11 states), believe that a woman's right to choose shouldn't lead an abortion doctor to the death penalty (see Oklahoma voters), and believe in fundamental principals of division between church and state, why shouldn't this hypothetical "one" call out these voters for what they are--bigots. We do so when the French vote to prohibit Muslim headscarves, when southern Democrats voted for segregation, and when the Taliban denied rights to women. If, and I know this is a big if around the US, one believes in equality, how does one stand by and respect the right of voters to support bigotry?
On this point, I ask our fearless supreme leader, Sir Doctor Klinkner--where is the outrage that you so boldly expressed when whites in Louisiana were voting for Duke? How is this different? I like the tactic of showing that the mandate wasnt all that, but I think political scientists have for too long pooh-poohed the rising importance of the Christian Right. Its real, its increasing, and it needs to be addressed.
I guess the answer is that democracy is a more important value than human rights and equality. Maybe it is--I believe in democracy as much as the average blogger. But when voters support bigotry they need to be called out, yelled at, told they are idiots. This can be done with respect, love, and a long shaking. No list of facts is going to convince the Palookas of the world of anything--they can always find some ridiculous 'fact' from some equally ridiculous blog and say it is just as credible as the New York Times, LA Times, and Washington Post. In neo-fascist reality world, who's to say that nutville.com is any less respectable. (of course there are plenty of smart GOP out there-I'd kill for Bob Dole to be president right now; and of course there are some smart people in the red states--some of my best friends live in red states (more seriously, every state is a 'red state' 10 miles outside its major cities--check the NYTimes map for NY and California as just two examples of this)).
More "political science" related, doesn't Bush's success call into question the Downs model of party dynamics that so many of us are scrambling towards by looking for a more conservative Democratic candidate? Bush has never been mainstream, has been proud of his extremism, and he got support for being a straight shooter. When's the last Democrat who was a straight shooter? Maybe that's worth a try? Does anyone really doubt that even if we nominated John McCain to be our candidate that the Bush campaign would have turned him into the second coming of Karl Marx? We saw Bush do just that in 2000 to McCain. Kerry's liberal record would challenge Nixon's but we keep coming up with someone more mainstream and the Republicans keep pushing the mainstream further to the right. Before we blame Massachusetts judges for inserting gay rights onto the campaign, we need to ask why scandal after preposterous scandal related to Bush seemed to bother none of his voters who were more afraid of two men or women getting married.
The Downsian model is 20-20 Monday morning quarterbacking but is almost impossible to figure out before the election. John Kerry did everything people say he didnt. He talked constantly about jobs, health care, his support for murdering terrorists. He hardly ever mentioned gay rights and didnt support gay marriage. He still lost. What else was he supposed to do?