Bush’s Political Salvo

Mitch Berg thinks that Bush’s gay marriage decision was a politically smart move on behalf of the President. While I’m dubious as to the substance of the FMA, I tend to agree.

In 2000, 2 million evangelicals stayed home on Election Day. That margin would have been enough for Bush to have easily captured the popular vote and would have cemented his lead in key states. With 20% of the electorate self-described evangelicals, this is a key voting bloc.

If Bush captures a majority of the evangelical vote, he will be reelected. The social conservative base of the GOP may be waning in direct influence and may be far more moderate now than in the past, but they still count for a lot. Karl Rove realizes, quite correctly, that getting that evangelical vote is critical. Bush has lost support with his base, and that’s not healthy. This initiative will likely prove to be far more popular with the electorate than with the chattering classes.

4 thoughts on “Bush’s Political Salvo

  1. But I’m sure Mitch and you have plenty of other options to fall back on….

    Bush now has to discuss this issue incessantly. While that might save him from having to talk off the cuff about the economy and jobs, it will mute his message on other issues. And, in case you guys missed it, MODERATES HATE AMENDMENTS! Bush’s daddy blew it in 1992 with the Flag Desecration designed to desecreate the Constitution, and now they’re trying the same tactic. It won’t pass, it won’t even get close, and now moderates are alienated while evangelicals are probably still hungry.

    When even Andrew Sullivan is off the reservation, you know stuff’s going to get interesting.

  2. “If Bush captures a majority of the evangelical vote, he will be reelected.”

    Because he did poorly with them last time? No, he got them–it was the mushy middle that made the difference. They’re going to feel a lot closer to Kerry than Bush.

    And lest we forget, this isn’t the only issue Evangelicals care about. A lot of the born-again crowd is also politically conservative enough to not want an amendment (Bob Barr and Tom DeLay, for example, are conservatives agains the Amendment).

    talk about an Amendment to end Roe v. Wade and you’ll see the Evangelicals in force and lose the Middle. I think we’re seeing the same effect we would then.

  3. JR,

    He does NOT have to talk about this incessantly! He’s gone on the attack, seizing the initiative – which is how you control what DOES get talked about.

    Bush has triangulated Kerry on this issue – Kerry also opposes gay marriage, he’s just a weasel about it.

    Bush is in position to take the offensive about gay marriage (to solidify the base), the war (to solidify the swing voters), the economy (which most people know is improving), all areas where Kerry is pathetically weak. If Bush plays it right, Kerry will be on the defensive non-stop.

    And against the full-court press of the media and entertainment industries, he’ll need to be!

    And by the way: But I’m sure Mitch and you have plenty of other options to fall back on….

    Leave the comedy to the professionals, lil’ fella.

  4. Bush Supports Civil Unions

    Q Now, there’s some — but there’s some question about that, whether that would allow — whether that would prevent civil unions. Is the administration going to back an amendment that permits states to allow civil unions, or is —

    MR. McCLELLAN: I think the President’s views have been very clear on that. He believes that states have the right to enter into legal arrangements that they so choose, and that would include civil unions.

    Q And he believes that the amendment that you just mentioned protects that?

    MR. McCLELLAN: It does — he does — he does believe that. But again, the specific language we need to continue to work with Congress on.

    EY: There’s division in both parties on this. Kerry is on all sides of this issue – but so is Bush. During a South Carolina Debate in 2000 – he said that the states should decide on gay marriage. Now he wants to federalize marriage.

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