Don’t worry, tremulous conservatives, those nasty “moral values” didn’t win the election

A good case is made by Charles Krauthammer that, notwithstanding claims by liberal (and conservative) pundits, opposition to homosexual marriage was not the key factor in the Bush victory. Bush’s vote, he says, increased less in the states with homosexual marriage referenda than in other states; while Bush’s overall vote increased 3 percent over 2000, in Ohio it increased by only one percent. However, Krauthammer accepts the underlying liberal assumption that if people did vote for Bush because of opposition to homosexual marriage, then Bush’s victory was driven by religious bigotry. Krauthammer’s adoring conservative fans at and elsewhere somehow never pick up the fact that Krauthammer, notwithstanding his support for a strong U.S. foreign policy and his defense of Israel, is a social liberal. In fact, conservatives themselves seem to be divided among those who celebrate the idea that “moral values” won the election for Bush, and those who see it as a smear.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 12, 2004 08:10 AM | Send

I nmever liked him much because in 1996 he wrote an article on the assault weapons ban (an attempt to lift which had just failed) where he essentially said that all guns should eventually be confiscated from privte homes. I can link to an excerpt, but the article itself is not online (I have printed it from microfilm though, and read the whole thing).

Posted by: Michael Jose on November 12, 2004 9:56 AM

Krauthammer has referred to white Southerners as “white trash.” Yes, it was a column about Howard Dean but Krauthammer has shown his loathing for Southerners in many columns. James Webb has written that Krauthammer despises the very people most willing to fight the war(s) he favors.

Posted by: David on November 12, 2004 11:15 AM

Krauthammer is smart and his columns are worth reading; but he’s a nasty piece of work, no doubt about it. On every social and moral issue, he’s on the left, often shockingly so. Or maybe the shock is just due to the “conservative” label that he has maintained over the years despite all evidence to the contrary.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on November 12, 2004 11:28 AM

In conversations with so-called neoconservatives like Krauthammer, I notice there is an unconcealed sense that the West has been basically sick until the enligthenment and that, to the extent traditional conservatives adhere to emotional attachments to religion, time and place, or race, they are part of the problem. They are essentially 19th Century Liberals (and hawks) at best.

Many are Jewish and participated in the civil rights movement and basically are strongly alienated from their fellow Americans and American history, other than in its post-Roosevelt form.

Posted by: Tyrone Washington on November 12, 2004 11:41 AM

My own evaluation of Krauthammer is that he is a relatively rightwing, sometimes maverick neocon, but with a marked streak of … well, insanity. I was particularly struck by his columns right after September 11. While quite a few other neocons were bending over backwards to absurdly insist that American support of Israel had NOTHING to do with Muslim hatred of the US, Krauthammer went to the other extreme to describe the people killed on September 11 as martyrs to Israel!

Posted by: Alan Levine on November 12, 2004 11:41 AM

If I’m not mistaken, Krauthammer was one of the journalists highly offended by, and opposed to, Mel Gibson’s “The Passion”, claiming it was deeply anti-Semitic, and so on. This, from a supposed conservative…

Posted by: Will S. on November 13, 2004 7:59 PM

Actually Krauthammer has not proved his assertion . It is somewhat surprising giving that Krauthammer is an MD and should know a thing or two about statistics. Here is what K said:

” George Bush increased his vote in 2004 over 2000 by an average of 3.1 percent nationwide. In Ohio the increase was 1 percent — less than a third of the national average. In the 11 states in which the gay marriage referendums were held, Bush increased his vote by less than he did in the 39 states that did not have the referendum.”

If statistical sample is sufficiently large, say we have 1000 states and 250 randomly selected states have referendums, then and only then his assertion would be correct with some probability of error.

But. Sample size is small. States that had referendums very likely were NOT randomly selected (clearly Repubs thought that having gay marriage on the ballot would mobilize their base).

So, K assertion is NOT justified by the data. In other words, from data available we cannot say that Ohio for example, would not go to Kerry without gay marriage on the ballot. Perhaps Bush ran in referendum states worse than in other states because referendum states have bad economy. Who knows. I believe that Bush benefited by gay marriage on the ballot, how much I cannot say. But I do know that Krauthammer did not prove his assertion.

Posted by: Mik on November 16, 2004 3:13 AM
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