Saturday, August 06, 2005

Socially Liberal

Strong majorities support abortion rights and stem cell research. Big majorities were horrified by Schiavopalooza. Yes, too many in this country hate the gay and, yes, polls tend to find some support for limiting abortion rights. The former is something which requires leadership, and the latter is just a reflection of the fact that lots of people are uncomfortable with abortion and don't quite understand the "choice" issue. We've had a definite failure of leadership on this in recent years. I truly believe that, no matter what the poll responses to certain questions are, a strong majority are pro-choice. Americans are pro-choice for me but not for thee on certain aspects of abortion, but I blame the fact that it's been quite some time since prominent politicians really faced this issue head on. Once people are made to understand what choice, or specifically the absence of choice, means they're on "our side."

So, other than hating the gay and maybe the evils of video games the nation is pretty much on our side. Why are we always running from these issues? As Digby writes:

A thought to ponder as we debate whether we should be moving toward more social conservatism. The number one Republican in the US Senate just endorsed stem cell research and the number three Republican in the Senate just backed off his previous support for intelligent design.

This would indicate to me that these two politicians, one of whom is running for president and the other who is trying to keep his seat in a swing state, have seen numbers that indicate the religious right is hurting their chances. They are sistah sojah-ing like madmen pretty damn early in the game.

I suspect that some democratic strategists think this is a good reason for us to "meet them in the middle" by running as social conservatives --- just without James Dobson. But anyone who thinks this is someone who hasn't been watching politics for the last 20 years.