02 September 2006

Ignore The Voters And They'll Go Away

From Slate, we get an article by Amy Sullivan wondering why the Democrat's relationship with the religious of all stripes, including black protestants, is crumbling. Ms. Sullivan claims that "the Democrats' crumbling credibility on religion wasn't caused by one thing." She then runs through a series of "framing" issues, all the while assuming that, in fact, the Democratic Party would be a perfectly welcoming home for the religious.

And yet she does not even mention gay marriage.

It takes a certain wilfull blindness to note that even black churchgoers are starting to have problems with the Democrats, and yet not mention the one big issue that has driven the religious vote for the last two years. (Her treatment of abortion is about as blind, as she only mentions it in the context of Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton's campaign to reduce abortion rates. But abortion is old news, and doesn't explain why the religious continue to desert the Democrats.) In fact, the Democrats treatment of gay marriage has been a nice demonstration of the worst possible way to handle a political hot potato. The Party doesn't endorse it, few candidates will talk about it, John Kerry insisted that his position on gay marriage was the same as President Bush's, and yet everyone knows that the Democrats are the party of gay marriage. Maybe the lesson is not framing, or media bias, but that you really can't eat your cake and have it, too.

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