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Poll shows Iraq, not the homostraw man, was focus of voters

No surprise. Fundies and the Rove Machine, it’s time to put away the bibles and the homostraw man. While Dear Leader was f*cking up Iraq — and you were focusing on everyone else’s bedroom proclivities — the swing voters you needed for a GOP win slipped from your slimy grasp. The voters are simply not in sync with what your “moral issues” when it comes to priorities.

An exit poll, commissioned by Faith in Public Life and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, has been released, and it shows where faith voters stand on major issues — and the priorities would like to see addressed in the new Congress. Punishing gays and lesbians is not at the top the agenda, no matter how hard you are bleating to the sheeple already in your camp.

Some of the findings:

— Faith groups urging people to vote according to kitchen table moral issues had a 20-point higher national favorability rating and a 20-point lower unfavorable rating than religious groups urging people to vote according to abortion and same-sex marriage. This difference was even starker between Catholic groups.

— In Ohio — an epicenter of faith organizing — religious groups urging people to vote according to kitchen table moral issues had a 25-point higher favorability rating and a 26-point lower unfavorable rating than those urging people to vote according to the wedge issues.

— Iraq was considered the “moral issue that most affected your vote” by 45.8 percent of voters, almost 6 times as many voters as abortion and almost 5 times as many as same-sex marriage.

— Poverty and economic justice topped the list of “most urgent moral problem in American culture.”

— Asked to name the most important value guiding their vote, 67 percent of Catholics chose “A commitment to the common good — the good of all not just the few” while 22 percent chose “Opposing policies such as legal abortion, gay marriage, and embryonic stem cell research.”

How will this shape the candidates the GOP will field in 2008, or are they going to stick to the usual boogeymen of the “brown menace”, sexually wanton women aborting their fetuses (so they can f*ck), and the gay predator to scare up votes?

***

What we can learn about Arizona’s marriage ban failure
?

The always excellent Glenn Greenwald has a piece up at Salon talks about the libertarian streak in the state and how, even the result wasn’t a clear message of support for marriage equality, those casting a ballot against the measure sent an equally important message — get out of my bedroom and stop trying to control our lives.

…the successful campaign to defeat the Arizona referendum was based on a generalized libertarian aversion to governmental intrusion into the private sphere, rather than support for gay marriage per se. And therein lies the most significant lesson to be drawn from the weakening support for these referendums in 2006 — namely, the rejection by Western states of the activist social conservative agenda that has fueled the Republican Party’s dominance of the South.

It is becoming increasingly apparent that evangelical social conservatism as a political doctrine sharply conflicts with the libertarian political ethos of the Mountain West. In South Dakota, for example, only 17 of 66 counties voted against the gay marriage ban, but 11 of those counties were west of the Missouri River, where the Great Plains begin to become Badlands and the Midwest turns into the West. “As you move west, voters tend to be less evangelical and more libertarian,” said Jon Schaff, who teaches at Northern State University in South Dakota. “They’re saying they simply want government to leave them alone.”

The fundies simply don’t understand why they lost, particularly in Arizona (and in South Dakota on the abortion ban). Take a look at the comments by some of the Concerned Women for America activists.

We in Arizona do not feel that the defeat of the Protect Marriage Amendment is a victory for the homosexual agenda. Our state law recognizes marriage as only between one man and one woman. Nevertheless, we will continue to educate our fellow citizens on the fact that judicial actions, such as in Massachusetts and New Jersey, can happen here in Arizona if the sanctity of marriage is not protected in our state constitution.
— Sally Mikesell, CWA of Arizona State Director

All I can say is that if this election is any indication of the moral state of this nation, then the church has a whole lot of work to do! I’m so glad I know that partisan politics is not the solution to our nation’s problems. As always, prayer is the essential element to restore this nation to its roots.
— Maureen Richardson, CWA of Washington State Director

The abortion ban lost 55 percent to 44 percent. I believe that the practice of abortion has been entrenched in our culture for 33 years. A whole generation has grown up under this culture of death with the assumption that if it is legal it must be right. It’s difficult to change that mindset. Looking on the positive side, we raised awareness. We educated citizens to the fact that abortion kills a unique human being, and it hurts women and families. Women who have kept the secret of their abortion for years have felt comfortable to come forward to tell their story of regret. This has initiated the healing process of their emotional pain.

The marriage amendment passed with a 52 percent to 48 percent vote. That margin is very embarrassing. The other side confused the voters regarding the language of the amendment. They falsely claimed that it would deny benefits and protections, such as domestic violence protections and legal protections to non-marital persons, homosexual and heterosexual. They touted the discrimination line, too. However, in the end, we still won, and for that we are grateful.
— Linda Schauer, CWA of South Dakota State Director

Republicans suffered many casualties in 2006 election, but the wounds were self-inflicted. They abandoned the moral issues that brought them victory in 2002 and 2004. Yet, these issues continue to win at the polls. Voters passed bans on “same-sex marriage,” and voted against legalizing marijuana. Voters proved they are not beholden to any party, but values will be upheld!
— Tamara Scott, CWA of Iowa State Director

Tuesday was a wake-up call. We must rebuild and regroup as we look ahead to the legislative session, educating the electorate and encouraging our grassroots to stay in the important battle for our children. We stand on solid ground. If we unwaveringly hold to our principles, we will ultimately prevail.
Cathy Gibson, CWA of California – Southern Counties Area Director

I do hope they continue on this clueless path; it will serve reality-based people well in the next election cycle.

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Pam Spaulding

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