California and The Nation
As a Republican, I am very happy this morning – as a Californian, not so much. The losses for Governor and Senator are disheartening, but when combined with results on the propositions they represent fiscal suicide. Virtually all restraint, what little there was, on runaway government and its unchecked spending have been removed. These results from a state which, were it not sovereign, would already be bankrupt leave me simply speechless.
There is but one happy conclusion that can be drawn. A state that is this daringly and heedlessly liberal in the face of a massive conservative tide nationally is the state that passed Prop 8. Same sex marriage may be the biggest political loser in our nation’s history since slavery. Only heavy-handed, aristocratic judicial fiat can bring it to pass.
It is time for proponents of same sex marriage to pack it in. They have made tremendous gains in terms of social acceptability, but they are not in the foreseeable future going to get more than civil unions.
What About POTUS 2012?
Well, the snap analysis is almost unanimously and glowingly a near coronation of Sarah Palin. But then snap analysis lacks the depth of significant insight and the events to transpire between now and then. Palin’s influence was significant this cycle, no question – virtually assuring she will run. But beyond that there is a lot of ground to cover. We have seen wild swings in the voting public’s mood in just two years – who knows what the next two years have to hold. Others endorsements did very well too, even if not quite as publicly – but then a FoxNEWS contract and a forthcoming TLC show will do that for you.
It’s just too early to analyze this with any meaning. (Well, except for the fact that Barack Obama is currently ripe for the pickin’.) So listen to what people are saying, but not too hard. Let’s see what happens in the next few months.
What About Religion In This Election?
Well, some say the Religious Right is dead, and this election is the nail in the coffin. Some say the Religious Right is the hidden hand behind the Tea Party. All I know is it is probably some of both. Simply put, there is a general, though not universal, correlation between religious conviction and political conservatism. It is, however, unlikely that religious people will ever organize into a stable political force save on an specific issue or measure basis.
I think the heart of it lies in the fact that to do so means churches must become political organizing centers and they are very resistant to that because frankly, they are institutions with a different purpose.
The other thing is that I think religious people are learning that in some sense we have been winning battles but losing the war. Many of the liberal agenda items that upset us so – abortion, same sex marriage – are not the heart of the problem; there is something deeper at play. We must fight the political fights in order to keep that deeper battleground open, but straining an analogy just a bit, the political fights are diversions and protecting the supply lines. They are not the front.
I think the Religious Right is growing smarter and will therefore be more effective in the future. Sometimes clandestine special forces platoons can do what entire battalions of armor cannot. It’s not always how much force you bring to bear, but how you bring the force to bear that matters.