counter statistics

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Dale Carpenter Gives a Failing Midterm Grade to the Democrats

Read it all here.

By my scorecard, the Democrats have earned just 8 out of a possible 100 points at mid-term, which means that so far at least they’re taking gay support entirely for granted. While they still have a few months to go, it seems unlikely they’ll accomplish much in an election year when they have to worry about reelection and are likely to let gay rights take a seat even further back on the bus.

The Democrats’ anemic performance so far does not necessarily mean you should vote for Republicans this November. If you support the Democrats’ views on taxes, the Iraq war, national healthcare, and other issues, you’re likely to back them even if they get nothing more done on gay rights.

But the Democrats’ failure to produce does liberate voters who intensely support gay rights but disagree with the Democrats on other important issues. Many of these voters, subordinating their strong feelings about non-gay issues, have supported Democrats in the past because they believed the Democrats would actually accomplish something positive for gay rights.

Now these voters will find it harder to support a Democrat they would otherwise oppose just because the candidate says she supports civil unions, employment protection, ending the military ban, and the like. For them, voting Republican is not a strategy to punish the Democrats for their faithlessness on gay issues. It’s a vote of principle.

Soothing words are nice, and the Democrats excel at such kindnesses. But results matter much more. On this, so far at least, they’re failing.