Reality Check

Tattoosydney pointed out this Michaelangelo Signorele clip where he schools some gay men who voted Republican.

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130 replies
  1. 1
    RalfW says:

    That first caller just sounds like an idiot. That he’s gay (well, bi) is secondary to his stupidity.
    Being gay does not make a person any smarter. And we all know that there are plenty of stupid people, gay, straight, black, white, male, female.

    Some people are smart, some are stupid, some vote strategically and some vote in a gut-feeling, counter-productive way.

    Frustrating, but I would really like to move on from the “gays voted for GOP” nontroversy. My understanding is that the LGBT vote was 75% Dem. Should it have been 90% Dem like the African American community? Probably. But it isn’t why Dems lost.

    (And I get that this post is about Signorile schooling these people. Can we let this cap the discussion and move on to schooling some Republican electeds?)

  2. 2
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @RalfW:

    My understanding is that the LGBT vote was 75% Dem. Should it have been 90% Dem like the African American community? Probably. But it isn’t why Dems lost.

    Not the sole reason, I agree. If, however, you start adding up a small percentage here and a small percentage there among traditional Democratic supporters it starts to amount to something significant.

  3. 3
    Tattoosydney says:

    Thanks, mistermix.

    Now, if you don’t mind, I’m busy ranting in the other thread.

  4. 4
    Punchy says:

    OT:

    If this precedent doesn’t sink this country, I’d be stunned:

    Former President George W. Bush was asked during an interview last night why he believes waterboarding is legal.
    ……..
    “Because the lawyer said it was,” Bush said. “He said it did not fall within the Anti-Torture Act.

    OK, back to teh ghaze…

  5. 5
    RalfW says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Glad you agree that traditional Democratic supporters of all orientations voted differently (or stayed home) this election.

    If’n we’re gonna discuss (again) gays and not voting for Dems, I’m more interested in what to say to Dems who want to vote green. I get that this is a more effective way to send a message to Dems than teh stoopid of voting GOP. Greens are unabashedly pro-gay.

    But they just never win elections to anything beyond city councils (as far as I know. Maybe in other parts of the country the greens are surging???).

    So beyond protest votes and some pie-in-the-sky dream of a third party (but look at the much more left Europe, and the Greens there are minority parties), what gives?

  6. 6
    13th Generation says:

    Do people out in there not realize that Republicans are no better (if not worse) with regards to spending and deficits?

    And that their “protest vote” means exactly nada?

    For years now, I’ve been trying to convince my ghey republican neighbor to come over from the dark side, but I guess some people could never call themselves a Democrat.

    You can probably sum it up with the caller who said money trumps civil rights.

  7. 7

    I would like to hear specifics about this “wasteful spending.”

    Which federally funded projects are so useless that they could be labeled that way? And which of these projects would the Republicans do away with?

    I have some nominations for that list but they probably wouldn’t be on his list. I’d like to see military spending cut back sharply but you know the Republicans won’t do that.

  8. 8
    Blue Neponset says:

    @RalfW:

    So beyond protest votes and some pie-in-the-sky dream of a third party (but look at the much more left Europe, and the Greens there are minority parties), what gives?

    It is because they are idiots. Don’t worry though, idiots won’t be allowed to vote in 2012. Therefore, we can just make fun of them and not try to understand what motivates them to vote against their interests.

  9. 9
    Tattoosydney says:

    @RalfW:

    the Greens there are minority parties

    We have those over here too. You guys really should try them (noting that I am aware of at least some of the systemic issues minor parties have in participating effectively in your pretty fucked up political system).

  10. 10
    themann1086 says:

    @RalfW: The Southwest Latino vote says “Hi!” They turned out, and not coincidentally we won those races (Boxer, Reid, Bennett). I need to do some math still on the IL and PA senate races to see if teh gheyz, the damn kids on JC’s lawn, or the uppity inner city folk (you know, THOSE people) are to blame.*

    *Sarcasm meters should be set to kill.

  11. 11
    Tattoosydney says:

    @Blue Neponset:

    It is because they are idiots. Don’t worry though, idiots won’t be allowed to vote in 2012. Therefore, we can just make fun of them and not try to understand what motivates them to vote against their interests.

    As I said in the other thread, except more ranty, some people can be changed by educating them and some people are just arseholes. Unfortunately it’s hard to tell the difference sometimes.

    What would you suggest we do?

  12. 12
    Ash Can says:

    Gays weren’t the only ones voting against their self-interests in the midterms. Women weren’t using their heads, either.

  13. 13
    mk3872 says:

    Awesome clip, many thanks for sharing. Send a copy of Sully …

  14. 14
    Blue Neponset says:

    @Tattoosydney: Like I said in the other thread, we should stop making fun of these people and try to understand what motivates them to vote against their own interests. It isn’t idiocy. It is probably misdirected anger and frustration. If the Dems want to do better in 2012 they should find a way to address that anger and frustration.

  15. 15
    eric says:

    Let me move the discussion slightly. The real delicate balancing act is not the protest vote versus meaningful vote in Kentucky; rather, it is tonal. Turnout would have been much higher for Dems if the constituent groups had been praising Obama for all of his “accomplishments” against the tide of GOP obstructionism. Yet, during the same period, Obama’s tone and the process (as reported) put Obama and those same constituencies at odds, such that when the process ends, it does not appear at all harmonious. And, if even if some perceived slights are exaggerated, there were some very real slights by Obama, the House, and the Senate (and by slights, I am referring to meaningful policies being discarded without debate).

    So, for example, DADT is something where not everyone agrees on the proper mode of reversal. And, in the end it is about civil rights, about as meaningful a “something” as you can have in politics. And while this may only disenchant a small percentage, you then add in single payer, state secrets, continued renditions, etc.

    All of this adds up so that the tone is negative rather than positive going in to the election; yet you just cant give up on those issues or they would never get pushed.

    Unless one just has blind faith in the “leadership” or abject hatred of the other guy, disenchantment is a real outgrowth of caring about your politics. Were there no disenchantment we would all (1) not care and welcome the brownshirts or (2) be getting ponies. There are no ponies and we dont want the brownshirts, so we will have to deal with the delicate balance of caring and frustration.

    sorry for long rant.

  16. 16
    aimai says:

    The whole argument that one vote here or there doesn’t matter–Maine or Kentucky, blue state or red, what’s one gay vote (or woman’s vote or black vote or whatever) is sort of like the paradox of thrift. What makes sense for a single individual can, in aggregate, drive the whole system into collapse. To the extent that your vote matters, or any single vote matters, it matters as much as everyone elses’s. If you aren’t voting for the party that is closest to your goals, no matter how flawed it is, and you vote for the guys who are farthest from your goals you are fucking yourself over, not “sending a message.”

    This is especially galling because by this time every sentient person should realize that if one party is trying to do some good stuff and the other party is basically trying to drown the country in a bathtub and get most people to stop voting entirely then not voting, or voting for the “party of drowning the country” are both really stupid things to do.

    aimai

  17. 17
    RalfW says:

    @Tattoosydney: I’m up for the wacky fun of minority parties. We got Instant Runoff Voting done here in Minneapolis not long ago, and other Minnesota jurisdictions are coming along.

    With IRV, minority parties have at least a chance, and especially in local elections, to win and start building an actual power base. Cracking the state house or the Congress will remain very difficult, even if we managed IRV at that level, as long as we have the current overall system – maybe Keith Ellison and Nancy Pelosi’s districts could go green, but not more than a handful of lefty urban cores will ever muster the combo of a gerrymandered district and enough greens.

    Ironically, might some more-homogeneous suburban districts be more effective at using IRV to elect uber-righties? I dunno.

  18. 18
    RalfW says:

    @aimai: Yup.

  19. 19
    burnspbesq says:

    @Punchy:

    This tears it for me on this issue. Bush has admitted ordering torture. There is no longer any excuse for the United States failing to live up to its obligations under the Convention on Torture. If it doesn’t happen, I don’t see how one can say that Obama is taking care to see that the laws are faithfully executed.

    I think I will be writing some letters to remind certain people of their obligations. One of those letters may be to Anthony Romero, wondering why the ACLU isn’t making more noise about this (I’ve been an ACLU member since high school).

  20. 20
    Tattoosydney says:

    @Blue Neponset:

    Like I said in the other thread, we should stop making fun of these people and try to understand what motivates them to vote against their own interests. It isn’t idiocy. It is probably misdirected anger and frustration. If the Dems want to do better in 2012 they should find a way to address that anger and frustration.

    I agree with all that, with the proviso that some people deserve to be mocked.

    All three of the people on that clip deserve mockery. The only reason they didn’t get mocked is because Signorile is a gentleman and a much nicer person than me, and instead was polite and engaged in cogent argument with them instead of telling them either that they were an idiot or a small, small unpleasant person.

  21. 21
    eric says:

    @aimai: I dont completely agree. It is clear from the objective results and the anecdotal evidence, that many members of Obama’s constituency are not happy. Now, the key is how that information is processed. If Obama and the dems see the election as requiring a greater push to the center-right, then we are all worse off; if, however, Obama and the dems rightly (in my view) see the results as demanding a more confrontational and progressive legislative push, then we can be better off in the long run. it is not automatically a self-defeating position.

    from my many years watching American politics, sadly, I think the message the dems will take after hearing and reading it for the next few months is that they went too far left and must retreat to the imaginary center.

  22. 22
    Upper West says:

    @13th Generation:

    Wherein we learn that gays who voted Republican are no smarter than straights who voted Republican, except that they have added an additional, drastic “against their own interest” factor.

    Do these people make more tha $1 million?

    If not, they are being royally screwed just like all of the other idiots who still believe that Dems are taking “their money” and giving it away to those who “don’t work as hard as them.

  23. 23
    Tattoosydney says:

    @RalfW:

    I’m up for the wacky fun of minority parties.

    Lucky you. Congratulations. It’s the same old shit, but at least it’s a little more entertaining.

  24. 24
    GregB says:

    Republicans are consistently worse when it comes to the deficits.

    Some of these clowns had best realize just how far right some of these new GOP-ers have become.

    The one caller who states he lives a happy life best understand that persecuted minority groups have often lived happy lives up until the moment the majority decides they shouldn’t have lives at all.

  25. 25
    burnspbesq says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    Which federally funded projects are so useless that they could be labeled that way? And which of these projects would the Republicans do away with?

    I think we know that the Republicans would start with OSHA, the EPA, and the NLRB, and move on to the SEC, the CFTC, the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Antitrust, Public Integrity, and Civil Rights Divisions at DOJ. The IRS would be allowed to live, so long as they can get a minor change in Code Section 6103 that would allow them to use taxpayer information to harass their enemies, a la Nixon.

  26. 26
    Upper West says:

    @Tattoosydney:
    \
    What motivates them is a barrage of misinformation, with a soupcon of racism and xenophobia for some.

  27. 27
    RalfW says:

    Semi-OT, but can someone please explain to John McCain that he’s no longer actually in active military service so he won’t have to bunk with homos, and that the privacy of his wee-wee is secure?
    ‘K, thanx.

  28. 28
    Napoleon says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    Which federally funded projects are so useless that they could be labeled that way? And which of these projects would the Republicans do away with?

    On that subject I have been wondering how the Reps rejecting train money are going to avoid being tarred with turning away jobs and we now see the opening salvos in Ohio. Kasich is trying to brow beat Strickland into basically cancel it, and he is trying to get Obama to redirect the money to other Ohio projects or “retire the federal debt”. Of course this is to avoid the prospect of XXXX jobs going to California or NY ads running against Kasich next time. Obama is just a big enough wimp to fall for it. If he and the Dems have any brains they pass an automatic reallocation of the funds in the lame duck session.

  29. 29
  30. 30
    victory says:

    Maine democrats are fucked.

    They went into the election holding all 3 branches and came out holding none.

    It’s going to be a very interesting next couple of years in Maine…..

    Prediction: Expect billboards to be legalized.

  31. 31
    Corner Stone says:

    @Napoleon:

    On that subject I have been wondering how the Reps rejecting train money are going to avoid being tarred with turning away jobs and we now see the opening salvos in Ohio.

    I can tell you how the wingnut followers are dealing with it because I had that conversation last night.
    Here’s the answer:

    That is exactly what he is supposed to do. Just like you and I, he has
    to make some tough decisions about the state’s budget. When we run out
    of money, we have to make tough decisions and cut back. Unlike the
    federal government, the states can’t just print money. He’s looking at
    an 8 billion dollar deficit, what should he cut?
    __
    Remember: Smaller Governement is better…. We need to trim the
    government rolls and get these folks off the dole.
    __
    We could always play kick the can like GM did and have the feds come in
    bail out the unions.

    I further explained that this wasn’t about “the dole”, this was about paying jobs and revitalizing local economies. Didn’t matter.

  32. 32
    roshan says:

    People need to stop using the argument that the Dems had 2 yrs of mega-majority and didn’t do much. 2 yrs is nothing in your march towards obtaining civil rights. You’ve got to put more years in and need to stick with the party which will get you to your goal. Voting for an anti-gay candidate is like wiping those 2 yrs off the board and adding an additional obstacle on the road to your goal.

  33. 33
    mark boggs says:

    Dear last caller Ralph,

    The republicans have been icons of economic management in this decade, haven’t they?

    Yours truly,
    The National Debt

  34. 34
    Corner Stone says:

    @Napoleon: I’m glad Strickland is continuing the project. It’s what the WI Gov should’ve done as well instead of putting it on hiatus. Make the R Gov own the job losses.

  35. 35
    RalfW says:

    @Napoleon on a train: I am hopeful that Ray LaHood will continue to be the balls on this one for Obama. He’s already told the WI idiot-elect that he can’t “redirect” the money. I’m hoping LaHood has the cojones to actually take back every penny of the $810 million so that WI actually has to pay, out of their own coffers, the money already expended on early construction work.

  36. 36
    Napoleon says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Good luck with your friend selling that when the news is going to play “Gov X turns away $400m which will create XXXX jobs, Fed Gov redirects money to New York.” That is basically what the news here said today, and is why Kasich is trying hard to get Strickland to pull the plug on the program now. You just know if Strickland does that then 4 years from now when someone brings it up Kasich will say “But Strickland agreed with it and in fact he cancelled the program”. On top of that if he browbeats the Feds not to redirect the money he cuts off the story line of “Kasich sent XXXX jobs to NY”. He is not an idiot, he knows your friends story line is a little harder to sell.

  37. 37
    A Duck says:

    I strongly reccomend the pursuit of individuals to scapegoat for the current state of political affairs. What could possibly go wrong?

  38. 38
    Napoleon says:

    @Corner Stone:

    It’s what the WI Gov should’ve done as well instead of putting it on hiatus.

    What a moron. You are right, they have to make the Reps own the job losses.

    @RalfW:

    I’m hoping LaHood has the cojones to actually take back every penny of the $810 million so that WI actually has to pay, out of their own coffers, the money already expended on early construction work.

    The Obama Admin would have to be even more spectacularly incompetent then I think not beat up every single Gov who rejects the money to the maximum amount possible on this.

  39. 39
    Lynn Dee says:

    Well that was depressing. I see Fox News’ lies are everywhere and contaminating everything.

  40. 40
    Nikki says:

    What motivates them is a barrage of misinformation, with a soupcon of racism and xenophobia for some.

    Thank you. This was made evident by the caller who claimed that he worked hard for his money; sounded to me like “States Rights” lingo. Closeted, melanin-challenged gays can vote against their own self-interests without any immediate repercussions, unlike the blacks and Latinos.

  41. 41
    toujoursdan says:

    Speaking as a gay person, it seems to me that as gays [apparently] assimilate and bigotry [apparently] decreases, they/we turn into the ethnic voters along the lines of everyone else.

    This means wealthy, blue collar, Southern, rural gay White voters increasingly believe the same rhetoric and vote the same way as their heterosexual neighbours.

    Gays used to be almost as Democratic as African Americans, but that started to drift away in 2006.

  42. 42
    Chyron HR says:

    @A Duck:

    I strongly reccomend the pursuit of individuals to scapegoat for the current state of political affairs.

    OH MAH GAWD SCAPGOATING REPUBLICAN VOTERS FOR REPUBLICANS WINNING ELECTIONS YOU ARE LIKE DOUBLE NAZIS.

  43. 43
    Corner Stone says:

    @Napoleon: The true nutters don’t care about job creation. They’ve been conditioned to understand that any and all Govt debt is EVIL and only goes to pay lazy blacks and corrupt unions.
    As evidenced by my many discussions of this topic, they completely fail to consider what will happen when those hundreds or thousands of people lose their paying job and go on public assistance. Because they don’t care.

  44. 44
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Nikki:
    That phrase, “I work hard for my money,” is at the root of a shit ton of mischief because it’s shorthand for, “I work hard for my money and it’s not right that the government takes it away to pay for all of those bums who don’t work hard for their money.”

    The conservatives use a variation of it to keep their constituency at a constant low boil. The time tested “You know better how to spend your money than the government does.” And it works every time; roads, schools, unemployment benefits, any social welfare program, are now an imposition by a heavy-handed, spendthrift government.

    This has been going on since the Reagan era and our side has yet to find an effective counter-message.

  45. 45
    Keith G says:

    It can be hard to keep a social/political minority group together once that group starts making progress. We queers have always been a special case in that we already have been born into all ethnicities, religions, economic classes, etc.

    In the late 70s, I became involved in gay activism. Then, the internal enemy was usually the closet. Now, it is a normal American “I’ve got mine” attitude

    @Tattoosydney: Yes, mocking them is very good. Certainly better than keying their BMWs.

  46. 46
    Napoleon says:

    @Corner Stone:

    The true nutters don’t care about job creation.

    No they don’t, but they also vote one way all of the time and rarely are the reason someone wins. The people who are persuadable do care about job creation, and the Dems have to drive what the Reps are doing home to them (added bonus, if it causes Rep office holders to backpedal it POs their base).

  47. 47
    beergoggles says:

    Gays not immune from the crazification factor. Hoocoodanode!

  48. 48
    Corner Stone says:

    @Napoleon:

    The people who are persuadable do care about job creation

    Oh.
    I don’t have any of those here.

  49. 49
    A Duck says:

    Chyron HR: You disappoint me. If you had just called the m self-hating assholes a couple more times, surely they would have voted Dem. You really let us down.

  50. 50
    priscianus jr says:

    @RalfW:
    Being gay does not make a person any smarter. And we all know that there are plenty of stupid people, gay, straight, black, white, male, female.

    Actually I don’t think this phenomenon has anything to do with gay issues specifically. It has to do with being stupid. Let’s not kid ourselves, we see it here: Republicans are far from having a monopoly on teh stupid. And by the way, the second guy was no smarter than the first one, he just thought he was.

  51. 51
    aimai says:

    @eric:

    This has been canvassed again and again. The Dems don’t react the way their voters want them to. The Dems always run to the center/right when they are chastised from the left. In addition, it was clear from the general chatter before the election that the Dems weren’t doing their own polling, or not taking that seriously, because they never responded directly to the very clear instructions/anger of their own base. In fact, the base was lectured about getting on board with the program and not “sulking at home.” To think that Obama and the top dems were going to wake up to the need to placate their own base and move left was absurd. They showed us over and over again that in a crucial base election they were going to either run to the center or simply fail to articulate a progressive/left agenda. Its not clear that they really “did” much of anything in anything other than a very half hearted way towards the end of the two year campaign that the Republicans were waging.

    To vote to send a “wake up call” would make sense with a different party. The dems just aren’t on that frequency at all. If we want them to be we have to pay more, upfront, to get them to listen. LeftPACS and progressive PACS that corrall enough money to get to the table are probably the most sensible way. Angry individual votes against the party are probably the least useful way imaginable.

    aimai

  52. 52
    Konrad says:

    Judging by the attitude of the radio host, one would think that LGBT people do not have any rights whatsoever in this country, when what is at stake here is the right to have a government-sanctioned marriage. LGBT individuals have the right to vote, the right of free speech, free press, free religion, free assembly, the right to bear arms, they are covered by the protections of the Constitution and later judicial clarifications, like Miranda and Roe v. Wade, and in most ways homosexuals and heterosexuals are legally identical, except in the case of marriage, the ability to serve in the military, and when it comes to discrimination protection.

    The radio host compared the standing of LGBT people now to African-Americans before the Civil Rights Movement (When he said voting for a GOP congressman when gay = voting for an anti-civil rights congressman when African-American), which is exaggerated. No police force is beating and sending dogs on LGBT people (with the tacit approval of the government) when they try to vote or organize. LGBT people are not being sent to jail en-masse for organizing.

    Having government-sanctioned marriage that disqualifies some otherwise eligible individuals because of their gender is wrong, but call it for what it is. Say “gay people have no marriage equality”, not “gay people have no civil rights”

  53. 53
    Citizen_X says:

    That last caller continues to bug me. I know the bullshit about “all those people sitting at home not working” is nothing new, but I guess I’m surprised to hear it from gays. A form of mild prejudice on my part, I suppose.

    But still: at the beginning of the Depression, were right-wingers constantly on about “those lazy people who won’t get jobs?” When does it start to penetrate into their consciousness that we’re in the worse economic state since the Depression; that we’re going to have masses of unemployed people out there for the time being, no matter what?

  54. 54
    Napoleon says:

    @aimai:

    To vote to send a “wake up call” would make sense with a different party.

    The wake up call vote needs to take place in the primaries. BTW, one silver lining of the blow out is it opens up a lot of spots where you can send a more progressive candidate to the general election then would have gone otherwise.

  55. 55
    Allan says:

    @toujoursdan: Good point.

    Thanks to the OP for creating a thread where these topics can be discussed without the prosecutorial tone of scapegoating.

    To me, the paradox of LGBT voting patterns comes down to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. That one caller has a job and a partner and plans to adopt, would like to get married but isn’t obsessed with it, and thus feels free to vote in what he believes is his economic self-interest. He’s not thinking through the consequences of how Republican rule could chip away at the rights he’s already won. (Remember too that the Rs he encounters in Maine are mostly the kind who send Snowe and Collins to the Senate.)

    He looks around his neighborhood, where all the neighbors just love that darling gay couple down the street, and can’t imagine that they would deprive him of the right to his relationship or adopting children. And at the pot-lucks and BBQs, he bonds with his neighbors in complaining about big-spending Washington politicians and the welfare state.

    In other words, he’s a pretty typical Republican voter. If his existence in the LGBT community means that you think Democrats shouldn’t waste any energy or political capital on LGBT civil rights, then you’re only into us for our votes.

  56. 56
    Nick says:

    @Blue Neponset:

    we should stop making fun of these people and try to understand what motivates them to vote against their own interests. It isn’t idiocy.

    You can’t “understand” irrational.

  57. 57
    Pangloss says:

    @themann1086: Alexi Giannoulias and Pat Quinn both got about 75-77% of the Cook County vote, but failed to carry any other Chicago collar county. The difference between Giannoulias losing and Quinn winning was about 110,000 votes– ticket splitters– in the collar counties where the Republican in the Senate vote got 55% but the Republican in the Governor’s race only got 52.8%.

    As for the house races that we got smoked in, Democrats in the suburbs either didn’t show up or the Independents went heavily GOP.

  58. 58
    themann1086 says:

    I promised maths, and math I have! All data from the 2008 and 2010 CNN National House Exit Polls.

    In 2008, 3% of the voters identified themselves as “Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual”. This is the same as the number in 2010, so gay turnout was proportionally the same in both elections. In 2008, GLB voters preferred Democrats to Republicans 80-19 (+61); in 2010, this number was 68-31 (+37), a 24 point swing. For comparison’s sake, the straight vote went from 53-44 (+9) to 46-52 (-6), a 15 point swing. In other words, the gay vote swung more towards the GOP than the straight vote (although I gotta ask my fellow straights: really people? Come on)

    What about the wimminz? The topline numbers in 2008 were 56-42 (+14) [Males: 52-46 (+6)] while 2010 was 48-49 (-1) [42-56 (-14)]. So women swung 15 points towards the GOP, while men swung 20. But dig deeper, into the race and sex numbers, and some of this vanishes. Format below is Group: 2008 breakdown (Dem-GOP) % of electorate [2010 breakdown (Dem-GOP) % of electorate] Swing to GOP.

    White Women: 46-52 (-6) 39% [40-58 (-18) 41%] 12 points
    White Men: 43-54 (-11) 36% [35-63 (-28) 37%] 17 points
    Black Women: 94-4 (+90) 7% [93-6 (+87) 6%] 3 points
    Black Men: 91-7 (+84) 5% [85-14 (+71) 4%] 13 points
    Latino Women: 68-30 (+38) 4% [68-30 (+38) 4%] 0 points
    Latino Men: 69-28 (+41) 4% [60-38] (+22)] 4% 19 points
    All Other Races: 68-28 (+40) 5% [55-42 (+13)] 5% 27 points

    How about the Young?
    18-24s: 62-35 (+27) 10% [58-39 (+19) 5%] 8 points
    25-29s: 64-34 (+30) 8% [56-42 (+16) 6%] 14 points
    30-39s: 53-44 (+9) 18% [48-49 (-1) 14%] 10 points
    40-49s: 52-46 (+6) 21% [44-54 (-10) 19%] 16 points
    50-64s: 52-46 (+6) 27% [46-52 (-6) 34%] 12 points
    65+: 49-48 (+1) 15% [38-59 (-21) 23%] 22 points

    Well, there ya go. My conclusions? Men killed us for shifting heavily to the GOP, the youth vote killed us because we didn’t show up (I did, and my circle of friends had a voter rate of 90+%. Unfortunately, we’re not typical), older people killed us (“death panel” lies worked), “other races” hurt us a lot, and gay voters hurt us a lot, too. So in other words, “blame” the youth for not showing up, “blame” “other races” and gays for shifting so heavily to the GOP, and blame the media for spreading Palin’s bullshit and tanking our standing amongst the elderly.

    ETA: the 2010 exit poll doesn’t have age/race breakdowns or I’d compare those, too. Sorry folks, blame CNN!

  59. 59
    Corner Stone says:

    @Napoleon:

    one silver lining of the blow out is it opens up a lot of spots where you can send a more progressive candidate to the general election then would have gone otherwise.

    How so? The Democratic Establishment is certain to handpick and run more right leaning conservative candidates. As has been stated, they will learn nothing by the Blue Dog losses or the general message that should have been sent by this election.
    Get ready for a lot more pandering Manchinesque wannabe’s running, all of whom will have the party infrastructure and funding behind them.

  60. 60
    Corner Stone says:

    @aimai: And aimai is told she isn’t “really” part of the D base and stop claiming it all for herself in 3..2..

  61. 61
    Bokonon says:

    Hey, this caller wants to keep his hard earned money! Hands off, government! And clearly he feels that’s more important than, say, his civil rights, or the way other gay people are treated. He’s got his.

    As Lenin once smirked, their are many useful fools among the bourgeosie who can be convinved to support the revolution agains their class interests. And they can then be dealt with – or liquidated – later on.

    Remember that the GOP was actively encouraging the left to be disappointed with Obama over things like Guantanamo, the lack of a public option, DADT, immigration reform, and so on. They wanted to chip off Democratic constituencies and have them not show up at the polls – in some case, like in Arizona, they were EVEN RUNNING ADS encouraging Hispanics to punish Obama by not voting. It was the flip side of inciting their own base. And clearly, the messaging worked with some people.

  62. 62
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Has anyone yet established that Democratic underperformance was due to base dissatisfaction (of any particular variety, over any particular issue or set of issues) rather than a surge of Republican turnout or a flip of certain “independents” to the Republican side?

  63. 63
    ruemara says:

    I really wish we could stop expecting certain populations to vote Democratic. I am not surprised that 1/3 of gays who voted during midterms voted for Republicans. The voters who turn out are often white, older, more conservative. The gay part doesn’t make them more liberal; the liberal part is what makes them liberal. Now, if those guys vote for republicans-mock away. For a major election, more people will turn out which means more democratic and liberal voters will turn out. We lose during midterms because of the mistaken belief that electing the President is the only big deal and voting isn’t all that interesting. We also lose because truth as an effective message isn’t easy to condense into bumperstickers or 30 second spots. We lose because we expect a President to provide the analysis and explanations that the news used to do. And god help progressives, if they’re anything like our local party spokesman who shows up year after year for the debates, goddess, we have such earnest, well-meaning types who look like they might get lost in a paper bag and can’t speak to people who aren’t wonks. The republicans have the smoothest car salesmen types, we get that lovable dumpy professor who knew his shit but gave easy A’s for trying.

  64. 64
    General Stuck says:

    it is pointless to argue with ideologues. Best to let retards be themselves and go on about ones own business.

  65. 65
    General Stuck says:

    @FlipYrWhig: No. they haven’t, except in the netroot fever swamps of pretend political analysis.

  66. 66
    cat48 says:

    The Right has consistently had an antigay message in the US. The Left has consistently tried not to be anti- any group in our coalition. After winning, the Republican leadership immediately stated that they had a mandate to enact their policies because “the American people” had resoundingly rejected ALL of Obama’s policies. ALL of them! That includes you & whatever policy it is that wasn’t enacted quickly enough by the Dems that might be favorable to you & your group; even if your vote was a “protest vote.” You folks gave the Republicans a mandate to ignore YOU & YOUR interests.
    Whoever you are and whatever your interests! Go figure. Since Hispanics helped the Dems elect 3 Senators with their excellent turnout, I expect Immigration Reform for them & the economy for all groups are the first things that should be worked on by Congress.

    (As for folks who are butthurt because they didn’t get single payer for all, no one promised you that! It certainly IS NOT in the Democratic Platform released every 4 years by the DNC. I don’t care how many times Ed Schulz says it is……..It was NEVER in there and was available online for all to read b4 the 2008 election.)

  67. 67
    themann1086 says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Other than the youth vote, whose past turnout in midterms is pathetic, and the black vote, who also doesn’t vote as heavily in midterms? Not as far as I can see. Democrats went from 40% to 36% (and GOP from 33 to 36; independents held steady at 28%) but that could be explained by the lower youth and black vote. Also:

    Democrats: 92-7 (+85) 40% [92-7 (+85) 36%] 0 points
    Republicans: 9-89 (-80) 33% [4-95 (-91) 40%] 11 points
    Independents: 51-43 (+8) 28% [38-56 (-18) 28%] 26 points

    So, our base voted its usual numbers for midterms, the GOP base was out in force and more solidified than in 2008, and independents were Not Happy with us. Doesn’t look like a base problem to me…

  68. 68
    Nick says:

    Ralph in Portland, Maine

    Probably the saddest example of a gay person voting against their own interests though came from a caller named Ralph in Portland, Maine. Ralph’s main concern was over rampant government spending, and he blames the Democrats for having an “open checkbook.”

    Signorile is understandably flabbergasted by this line of thinking, asking Ralph if he’d take “money over your civil rights?”
    “Yes,” Ralph replied.
    “How greedy are you, Ralph? Money over your civil rights?” Signorile said. It seems Ralph and those gays and lesbians who “sent a message” to Obama with their votes in this past election are feeling at home on the plantation. Ralph went on to justify his support of Republicans, including a vote for the new governor—Tea Party-backed Paul LePage—by saying: “I live a happy life, yes, I can’t marry my partner. We are adopting a child together. We can live our life. I am happy. It would be great if we could get married, but …”
    At this point Signorile interrupted him to say, “Do you know that the Senator that was elected in New Hampshire wants to take away the right of gay people to adopt? Do you want me to bet you the governor you voted for in Maine would support taking away that right? How can you vote for people who would take away your rights?”
    That’s a weighty question for any gay or lesbian person who voted for Republicans in this past election. As Ralph said, “It would be great if we could get married, but…”
    And in that “but,” Ralph has revealed that gay and lesbian voters, like their white, evangelical Christian bedfellows in this past election, are mere humans like everyone else. We are susceptible to the same misleading campaign slogans, we have short-term political memories and don’t know who is really to blame for what, and when we get in the voting booth all we really care about is who we think will get us a job, and make us feel more secure.

    What is there to “understand” about this Blue Neponset?

    One can argue nationally the Dems haven’t done enough on LGBT rights, thought you can’t argue they’ve done nothing, especially in the House, but the case in Maine is very sad. Ralph voted AGAINST a party that brought him the right to marry with considerable political expense, and instead of having their backs, he abandoned them.

    When Gov. LePage and his new Republican legislature elected by people like Ralph makes it illegal for him and his partner to adopt a child, why should I feel bad?

    You wonder why Democrats don’t stand up for their principles. Why? It’s not like anyone is going to back them up.

  69. 69
    dww44 says:

    @Dennis SGMM: Yep, I think you’ve hit on the real base issue by highlighting our (I am a lifelong Democrat) inability to clearly counter this message from the right wing. The longer this low-boil issue continues to percolate and if we don’t find a way to offset it, our federal government will be the size of a bathtub and outsourced, except for the military which will still be outsourced.

    There’s a fellow arts non-profit board member, a reasonably intelligent, non Southern native (she’s from Ohio I believe) who a year or so back went to the local Post Office to get passports for her young twin daughters for a planned family trip out of the country. She said that she instructed the PO at the outset that her 2 daughters were twins, but not identical and to be careful with the photos. When the passports were issued, both had the photo of the same twin. She looked at me said, “I hate the government” with a level of vitriol way out of proportion to the mistake.

    Which is why I also come to the defense of the Post Office as they get blamed for every failed delivery. At my PO most employees are African American and work very hard and very efficiently. Most of my relatives are Republicans and more than one of them was once a rural mail carrier and full time farmer. They were grateful for the needed monies and never saw their support of the GOP as being counter to their own self interest.

  70. 70
    nepat says:

    It’s bad enough that the callers into this guy’s show are uninformed, but it’s a bigger bummer that the host is also uninformed. At no point did he point out to the caller who wanted more in his paycheck that he actually has more in his paycheck as a result of the Obama tax cuts.

  71. 71
    General Stuck says:

    @themann1086:

    Seniors made up fully 24% of the total vote for this mid term, setting an all time record. And they voted 58 to 39 in favor of repubs this time. Ten point turn around toward the GOP. Exit polling suggested it was mainly because of HCR and fears from false memes planted in their heads by the wingnuts, but it is not farfetched to also consider higher racist tendencies of that generation for motive.

  72. 72
    Nick says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    our side has yet to find an effective counter-message.

    There is no effective counter-message. “It’s your responsibility to take care of your fellow man” doesn’t work in a country of selfish assholes.

  73. 73
    Allan says:

    @themann1086: To summarize those results, and putting the genders back together since we don’t have a breakout for LGBTs, the following is a list of the voting demographics ranked in order of their loyalty to the Democratic Party in 2010:

    1. Blacks
    2. Gays
    3. Latinos
    4. All other races
    5. Whites

    Clearly, we need to have more 400+ comment threads on whether LGBTs who vote Republican are history’s greatest monsters.

  74. 74
    Allan says:

    @nepat: Really? Signorile’s uninformed because he didn’t raise a specific counter-argument to that caller in that moment?

    Steve Kroft asked Obama why he was going to raise taxes on a poor shlub who’s just making $250,000 a year, and Obama failed in his answer to point out that the poor schlub would in fact be part of the group who gets the Obama permanent middle class tax cut on his ENTIRE income, and that if he started earning MORE than $250K, then yes, the tax rate on the overage would be a bit higher.

    Clearly, Obama is uninformed.

  75. 75
    MattR says:

    @Allan: Interestingly, that is pretty close to how things would rank if the criteria was “who has the most to gain from a Democratic victory”

  76. 76
    Mike E says:

    Never vote angry.

    C.R.E.A.M. is in full effect, yo!

    Self-delusion is not gender specific; sexual orientation doesn’t determine whether one can see past themselves, or, not.

    I thot the big giveaway was how the one caller felt secure enough in his financial world to “buy” his own rights in house title and adoption (mebbe he calls them his ‘privileges’?) w/o a care toward anyone else’s. Dude is such a republican!

  77. 77
    themann1086 says:

    @General Stuck: Yup, I had that in my one post (#58) and the only time I used the word blame without the scare quotes. Most of those swings can be explained simply via a poor economy and midterm voting patterns. For the older and white demographic, you have to look at death panel fear mongering and racial resentments.

  78. 78
    Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people) says:

    @Konrad: The right to adopt is also being challenged in many states, as he pointed out to the last clueless guy from Maine, so it isn’t just about marriage equality.

  79. 79
    Laura says:

    Before giving Michael Signorele props for shooting these guys down, keep in mind that Michael is one of a handful of LGBTQ activists who helped suppress the “gay vote”

  80. 80
    Catsy says:

    “I voted straight Republican TO SEND A MESSAGE.”

    Nope, stop right there. This is the point in the conversation at which you can unequivocally tell this person: “You are an idiot.”

    People need to burn this fact into their brains until it sticks: You cannot send a message by voting that is any more complex than “I voted for this candidate rather than the other”.

    You can’t. It is fundamentally impossible.

    It is impossible because, unlike your personal checks, there is no “memo” field on the ballot in which you can describe your motivations, pet issues, or the fact that Candidate B pissed in your Cheerios.

    The only message sent by the distribution of votes in the final tally is this: “Candidate A won. Candidate B lost.”

    Anything that any given person reads into it beyond that is the product of their own biases, imagination, and preconceived notions of what the election means. And you, as the voter, have precisely zero control over what that person thinks about the anonymous pile of ballots that contains your vote.

    So yes, if you are voting a given way in order to send a message of any kind whatsoever, you are a fucking idiot. You are selling yourself a line of bullshit to rationalize a decision to vote against your own interests out of spite. At best you’ve simply deluded yourself into thinking that you matter more than you really do.

  81. 81
    Suck It Up! says:

    that last guy was full of shit. Not only did he vote for a pol who wants to take away his rights, he voted for the party that ballooned the deficit for the past 8 years. He doesn’t know what his priorities are.

  82. 82
    Weezie says:

    @Catsy: Yes. This.

  83. 83
    TR says:

    @Catsy:

    Exactly.

    These send-a-message people act like the pundits and the politicians wake up the morning after an election like this and say, “well, clearly the conservative teatard landslide means voters want to see more liberal action on gay rights.”

    Sorry, nope. The pundits and politicians see voters opt for conservative over liberal and they’ll take that as a sign that politics should move in a more conservative direction, not a more liberal one.

    And why shouldn’t they? You just voted to put conservatives in power. Why would anyone react to that by moving left?

  84. 84
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @RalfW: But not in all elections, obviously. I don’t get to rank my choices when I vote–and believe me, I want to do so. I had people tell me they were considering voting for Horner for whatever reason–and my response was, “Eight years of Pawlenty wasn’t enough? You want to let Emmer complete the destruction?” We need it across the boards. Seriously.

    @Tattoosydney: Your rant in the other thread was righteous. Spot on. One reason I fake-married you.

    And, I will say this. I have not watched the clip. I know the speakers are gay/bi, and I am presuming white. From the two threads, I’ve gleaned that one talks about money trumping everything else. Another quote (and I paraphrase) is how he was working hard and those lazy, shiftless folks deserve nothing.

    Excepting the guy who said he voted for Rand Paul to send a message (which is stupid and idiotic), the rest of this shit is straight out of the GOP handbook. I have been a one-note wonder about this issue, but it’s an important issue–there is a subset of gay white men (and yes, I’m making a generalization, deal with it) who think of themselves as the majority who just happen to be gay. They have the same entitlement attitude as other privileged white males–just like Sully. The ones talking about money probably won’t be as adversely harmed by the policies the GOP put into effect, so they just don’t give a shit.

    This bullshit is more of the same of “black people hate the gays and bolstered Prop. 8 to victory”. Feh.

    @Blue Neponset: I’m not making fun of them. I’m fucking pissed off at them for being too fucking lazy to actually ferret out the truth. Look, I am pissed off and tired because I have heard for a week how Obama did not cater to the base so we’re all gonna be pissy at him. Obama was not the magic pony, he’s not the magic Negro, and he is not doing exactly what I want him to do on my time-frame–so I’m going to stamp my foot and take home my toys. Having been a multiple minority, I never get fucking catered to, and yet, I vote straight Dem most of the time (with a few third-parties thrown in). It is especially galling to be lectured at how I need to be tolerant and understanding of these drama queens or the Tea Partiers or whomever because their delicate feelings are just too hurt for them to think sensibly. I am willing to engage in discussion with people, but people have to be willing to pull their own fucking weight once in awhile and use whatever brain they have.

    /rant.

  85. 85
    Weezie says:

    @Nick: Word. Everyone always dissects the pathos of the Democratic politician. No one ever looks at WHY Democratic politicians are so odd and terrified. It is because they are out in the wilderness alone. We sit and type on our Mac Books about how they ought to stand up for this or that, but when it comes down to to taking action in the ballot box, we – just like our counterparts on the opposite side of the aisle – vote with our wallets and our prejudices.

    How much you wanna bet that Mr. Gay Guy Who Works Really Hard was not picturing his hard-earned money going to some strapping black young buck eating t-bone steaks that he got with his food stamps (driven to the store by La Quisha in her Caddillac that she got with her generous monthly welfare check).

  86. 86
    sherifffruitfly says:

    It’s not teh gheys that are the problem, it’s white folks as an aggregate that’s the problem. Plain and simple.

  87. 87
    Weezie says:

    @Blue Neponset: Trying to indulgently explain important things to intellectually lazy people has gotten us exactly where? I am sick of trying to understand these lazy, mean, and stupid shitheels. They KNOW what is right, but right is too hard….they would rather just be gutless, insular, and mean because it is easier.

  88. 88
    toujoursdan says:

    @Laura:

    Yes. I had to mask his comments on Facebook because it was all so unfairly anti-Obama. I don’t know if any of the activists “suppressed” the gay vote, because I don’t think most gay people could even tell you who they are, but this kind of turnaround after the stridency disgusts me.

  89. 89
    beergoggles says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    there is a subset of gay white men (and yes, I’m making a generalization, deal with it) who think of themselves as the majority who just happen to be gay. They have the same entitlement attitude as other privileged white males—just like Sully. The ones talking about money probably won’t be as adversely harmed by the policies the GOP put into effect, so they just don’t give a shit.

    Yes, I mentioned this in a previous ‘blame the gays’ thread as well. Dems can whip out all the threats they want about the Republicans wanting to jail gays, take away their kids, take away their spouses, stop them from having sex, etc. But as long as it’s directed at a white gay, it’s gonna be like water off their back because shit like that only happens to non-white minorities. If it happens to a white person, there’ll be lawsuits and hell to pay.

  90. 90
    Kryptik says:

    The distinct problem that this underlies is something that’s been a problem for a while, but is just now showing itself as something that’s going to be impossible to change for years upon years to come:

    Policy does not fucking matter. It never does, and it never will.

    Now I don’t mean that in a ‘nothing changes’ way or that it doesn’t matter, in a long run, whether good policies or bad policies are enacted. What I mean specifically here is that electorally and politically, policy is about as extraneous as the points in a game of Whose Line. Policy doesn’t matter a fucking single iota when it comes to getting elected, especially now.

    The proof is in the pudding. Look at surveys where people end up in favor of very progressive things like gay marriage, ending DADT, lessening the economic inequality gap, health care availability. But the moment you actually attribute that policy to someone, or attach a label on that policy, all of a sudden it becomes the greatest threat to the whole of civilization EVAR since Jimmy Carter. “Oh, I want more health care access, but I can’t dare vote for a tyrannical Isla-homo-secular LIBERAL!” “Oh, I want better roads and services, but that guy’s a DEMOCRAT! Don’t you know they’re the worst fucking monsters ever?!”

    All this episode proves is that no group is immune to the stupidity of political character and policy assassination. Republicans always win, because they’re the ‘good party’, Democrats will always lose because they’re the ‘EVIL’ party, and policy will always always fucking lose because no one gives a shit about good policy if it’s proposed by the ‘EEEEEVIL!!!” party.

  91. 91
    BobS says:

    @sherifffruitfly: You’re right. White is like a fucking mental illness in the United States.

  92. 92
    Bailey says:

    @Ash Can:

    Neither were older people who presumably like social security.

  93. 93

    Full disclosure: I’m gay and I voted the straight Democratic ticket here in Texas.

    It’s time to stop bashing the stupid gays for our stupid temper tantrums, Balloon Juice. A target far more numerous and with the same motivations has presented itself, and I’m looking forward to the posts with clever titles like All The Single Ladies:

    “A lot of the things that were promised, in my opinion, didn’t happen, and I wasn’t satisfied,” said Sutter, who noted that many of her female friends, feeling let down and ignored by politicians, did not even bother to vote.
    __
    That disappointment and apathy translated into a jolting drop in female support this year for House Democrats, who won just 48% of the women’s vote, down from 55% four years ago, according to exit polls. Republicans edged them out with 49% of the overall female vote, the best showing for the GOP — other than in 2002 — since the gender gap emerged in the 1980s, when women began to vote more Democratic than men.
    __
    That’s in part because married women, who usually split their vote between the two parties, leaned more strongly Republican this year, according to Democratic voter surveys.
    __
    But Democrats also lost ground among single women, historically one of the party’s most loyal demographic groups. Unmarried women still voted overwhelmingly for Democratic candidates this year, but by a narrower margin than in recent elections.

    And why this loss of ground? The article lists several reasons – economic insecurity and the swing of seniors over insecurity about healthcare and retirement issues (yes, widow women do vote!).

    But this one caught my eye.

    But some women’s groups favoring abortion rights said that Democrats could have motivated more women if they had focused on issues such as healthcare and abortion. In particular, activists said liberal women were demoralized by a measure in the new healthcare law that will restrict how private insurance companies can offer abortion services.
    __
    “The Democrats really lost a lot of credibility with women because of the restrictions on abortion care,” said Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women. “The White House did not fight for women in healthcare. We consider it a betrayal.”
    __
    O’Neill said that made it harder to rally her members, who had been incredibly energized in 2008. “Women did not go door to door and they did not get on the phone in large numbers,” she said. “A lot of women said, this is same old, same old, this is not helping me.”

    There you go. Legislative priorities ignored or beaten up translates into GOTV and donation apathy. How about that? Democrats participating in the stigmatization of abortion, anchoring the Hyde amendment in stone – well, that has an effect.

    Of course economic insecurity is the main issue. But what keeps someone voting Democratic in this election when economics are spooking them? Holding the line on signature Democratic issues? COULD BE.

    Meanwhile, back in the gayborhood, I keep reading story after story about how DADT repeal is going to be dropped now that we’re past the election, just like I said, and just like I was told not to expect because somehow the Democrats could still do it, even though they never scheduled a vote on DADT repeal when they had 60 votes in the Senate. And somehow the gay community’s disillusionment is our fault. Yeah.

    I now return you to your regularly scheduled reality check.

  94. 94
    SlyFox says:

    What the hell is the message again? Vote Rand Paul because we know he will not help? Thats just like taking arsenic to get rid of cancer. Please don’t associate yourselves with the Civil Rights Movement. They weren’t stupid.

  95. 95
    themann1086 says:

    @Joseph Nobles: The White House is opposing efforts to remove DADT repeal from the Defense bill. Have you called any of the key Senators involved?

    It’s not the disillusionment, it’s the self-fulfilling prophecies of defeatism that annoy me.

    P.S. I went through the stats of female voters above. The main problem was youth turnout and lied-to (and/or racist) seniors turning out. Other issues like the massive drop in teh ghey support for Dems hurt at the margins, though.

  96. 96
    Blue Neponset says:

    @Nick:

    What is there to “understand” about this Blue Neponset?

    Lots. It might be useful to understand how “Ralph” came to believe he will do better economically with the Republicans in charge when history tells us the complete opposite. It might also be useful to know how a guy who wants to adopt a child with his partner didn’t know that the guy he was voting for wants to outlaw gay adoption. Or we could just assume this guy and the millions of other American who routinely vote against their interests are idiots and dismiss them.

  97. 97
  98. 98
    Blue Neponset says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    I’m not making fun of them. I’m fucking pissed off at them for being too fucking lazy to actually ferret out the truth.

    Things aren’t going to change. In 2012 these same people will still be too lazy to ferret out the truth. IMO, our party and its leaders should find a way to emotionally connect with these people because that seems to be how they make their voting decisions. My preferred tactic would be to go the class warfare route, and tell them how the rich are fucking them over. That would have the added benefit of being true, but our betters in the party don’t seem to want to piss off the rich for some reason. I really don’t like to think about why that is for too long.

  99. 99
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    Meanwhile, back in the gayborhood, I keep reading story after story about how DADT repeal is going to be dropped now that we’re past the election, just like I said, and just like I was told not to expect because somehow the Democrats could still do it, even though they never scheduled a vote on DADT repeal when they had 60 votes in the Senate. And somehow the gay community’s disillusionment is our fault. Yeah.

    Good thing the media is always accurate and never uses anonymous sources to push a right-wing story to try and create a self-fulfilling prophecy. I mean, it’s not like the Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal would lead you wrong on something like that.

    I don’t think your disillusionment is your fault — I think it’s something that’s being deliberately fostered and fed by the right wing. But I do get frustrated when people buy into the propaganda and blame the Democrats for a story promulgated by the Wall Street Journal that’s half-accurate at best while they ignore actual statements by the president and other Democrats to the contrary. Because, what, Rupert Murdoch has never lied to you?

  100. 100
    Pongo says:

    So now gay people have become ‘single issue’ voters, too? You know what message the Dems got from this? That they need to move further to the right. Good job, guys. Mission accomplished.

  101. 101
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Blue Neponset:

    My preferred tactic would be to go the class warfare route, and tell them how the rich are fucking them over.

    Good luck with that. Surveys consistently show that 25% of the population is convinced that they’re in the top 1% of earners, so when you start talking about “the rich,” at least 25% of the country hears you talking smack about them. And that’s not counting the people who are absolutely convinced that they will someday be able to leave $5 million to their kids even though they’re deep in debt from their $50K a year job so they want to make sure there is no estate tax in case that happens.

    Dollar amounts help, which is why it’s better to talk about the over-$250K earners and not just “the rich.”

  102. 102
    Nick says:

    @Laura: I don’t really care what he thinks of Obama. Gays can make that point in 2012 if they want to.

    But the point is, they voted out a caucus that was their greatest ally in the past 2 years, the House Democrats.

    If they did it because of Obama, or because of the Senate, or because they’re teabaggers who would rather be burned at the stake for cuddling with a man at night before paying higher taxes or expanding healthcare to those in need, they’re complete assholes and deserved to be called out.

  103. 103
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    __

    But some women’s groups favoring abortion rights said that Democrats could have motivated more women if they had focused on issues such as healthcare and abortion.

    There you go. Legislative priorities ignored or beaten up translates into GOTV and donation apathy. How about that?

    Dude, I’m sorry, but _every_ activist for _every_ cause will, when asked, attribute defeat to insufficient zeal for that cause. Everyone will have anecdotes, but this is a small slice of an already small slice. NOW is saying that some women who are normally Democrats didn’t vote for Democrats this time because of abortion, so if Democrats had stood up for abortion rights it would have kept those women in the fold. OK. So, the question is, _how many women are we talking about_ who fit that description? My instinct tells me, not very many.

    My instinct also tells me that, as much as I myself find abortion and reproductive rights to be important policy items, there could easily be many people _turned off_ by a stronger emphasis on those issues. Activists rarely seem to worry about that, because their cause is righteous, so you need to stand up for it. It’s the principle of the thing, and you don’t compromise principles. Excellent! But that’s _not the same thing_ as treating their issue as a obvious political winner.

    Anyway, did “women” turn against “Democrats”? Well, we have to be very particular about how we draw that conclusion, because all of the data is about _the women who turned out_. Did women who would normally vote for Democrats not do so because they felt slighted? Or did women who weren’t normally political turn out to vote for Republicans because they felt energized (either by something having to do with gender, or by something else entirely)? It is entirely possible that Democratic women did nothing out of the ordinary, but their composition of the electorate fell because of a surge in Republican women. And undoing or preventing an alleged back-stab over reproductive rights, I humbly submit, _would not have made a difference_. It may have pulled in some disgruntled liberal women, but how many of those are there? Not enough to swing an election.

    So I’m all for activists staking out a claim to why their issue is an important one to keep at the forefront of politics. I am hugely dubious about any activist group’s suggestion that foregrounding their issue more would have changed the election results. There just aren’t enough bodies to make the math work.

  104. 104
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Pongo:

    You know what message the Dems got from this? That they need to move further to the right.

    I realize I’m an incurable optimist (I have to be, or else I’d slit my wrists) but I keep hoping that, given the rout suffered by the Blue Dogs, this may be the one year that makes the Democrats realize that moving to the right is not the answer. If half the people who insisted on throttling things back through 2008-2010 got thrown out of office but the vast majority of the progressive retained their seats, a halfway sensible person would look at those results and think that going further to the right would lead to more losses, not fewer.

    The rationale for going right has always been that going to the right will make Democrats more “electable.” I’ll be interested to see if this year’s counter-evidence will be accepted or dismissed as an outlier. A girl can hope.

  105. 105

    @Mnemosyne: Thanks! I’ll hope one more time that the Democrats can get it done without the votes for cloture, even though they never brought it up when they DID have the votes for cloture. I won’t listen to what the Wall Street Journal is telling silly people like Josh Marshall. Silly Josh Marshall, for being part of the Rupert Murdoch media empire.

    Brass Ring, Bitches!

  106. 106
    Blue Neponset says:

    @Mnemosyne: So tell us what will work?

  107. 107
    themann1086 says:

    @Joseph Nobles: No, really, did you call the Senators involved? Cause I did. I’ll call tomorrow, too. And the next day. And every week day until the vote. Defeatism is for losers.

  108. 108
    Allan says:

    There’s a concise diary at the Great Orange Satan which helpfully lists the targeted Senators, offers some talking points, etc. Levin and the Maine Twins should hear from you if you’d like to prove the naysayers and Obama-bashers wrong and see his SOTU pledge to end DADT this year fulfilled.

  109. 109
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Joseph Nobles: The WH was asked directly, and said that they oppose any effort to strip DADT from the Defense bill. See Politico. Dayen at FDL decided to play semantic games with the word “oppose,” so I guess there’s still skepticism afield.

  110. 110
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    I won’t listen to what the Wall Street Journal is telling silly people like Josh Marshall. Silly Josh Marshall, for being part of the Rupert Murdoch media empire.

    Uh, you did notice the quote from the WSJ story in that TPM story you linked to, right?

    That story repeats what the WSJ reported. There’s no original reporting in it. Fruit of the poisoned tree, my friend. If you think the WSJ story was accurate, then you have to believe that the TPM story is accurate, too. If you don’t believe that the WSJ story was accurate, then that makes the TPM story extremely shaky, because there’s nothing else to it except what the WSJ said.

  111. 111
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Blue Neponset:

    So tell us what will work?

    I wish I knew. The media has really gotten far beyond what I ever expected, to the point of actually making up quotes that make the Democrats look bad (like when the NY Times blog took several Obama quotes out of their context in the NY Times Magazine). And we don’t really have a good counter-operation, especially since most people on our side still have to rely on outlets like the WSJ and the NYT for information despite the low signal-to-noise ratio coming from them.

    I think our best bet is to concentrate on corporations, not people. Complaining about “the rich” makes you sound like a whiner. Pointing out that banks are repossessing houses that they don’t actually own works a little better (though you can still get into the stupid circular argument of “why does it matter who owns it if the homeowner is in default?”)

  112. 112
    Mnemosyne says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    My favorite (or “favorite”) comment in that thread:

    He might even frown as he signs the bill advocating for the legal murder of gays and transgenders.

    Yes, that’s right, folks, not only is DADT legislation being personally blocked by Obama behind the scenes, his next step is going to be to sign a bill allowing LGBT people to be executed just for existing because he hates LGBT people just that much.

  113. 113
    Paula says:

    Geez. Can we stop talking about this now? Gay people are regular people too, and reserve the right to be as unenthusiastic and stupid as everyone else in their voting habits. And yes, due to certain economic advantages they may have, some can find more advantages in voting Republican regardless of the gay baiting they do as a party. While the drop in gay voters may have hurt D’s at the margins, that is not why Dems lost the House.

    Despite that, gay voters reserve the right to be as angry as they want at the party that neglects them. However, as agents who willingly place themselves into the process and conversation between all activists, people who agitate for gay rights are going to be subject to the criticisms that all fellow activists in the same general “side” levy to each other. Environmental activists don’t always agree that PETA does the right thing; people arguing for causes important to the black community don’t always agree with, say, the NAACP. Being a liberal activist IS indeed like herding cats, but having a difference of opinion on tactics is not tantamount to someone being evil.

    Someone should have done a Rally for Sanity specifically targeted to liberals and progressives.

  114. 114

    @FlipYrWhig: Yours is a much nicer and engaging handwave, but it’s a handwave, just the same. You don’t have the numbers either. And yes, abortion activates the other side just as much, but you know, could they have been more energized than they were? Could we have gotten a little of that?

    And I’m saying that between the bad economy, the fearmongering of seniors, and the pitiful spectacles of stigmatizing important issues, it was all three working together in synergy. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts here. And the NOW chairman is not talking about voting per se, but about GOTV and donations, which, yes, pulling in a few otherwise disgruntled workers does make a difference. Having fired-up, positive workers getting out the vote makes a difference. And was she saying that her issue was the most important one? I don’t see that. I see her saying that’s what she was dealing with most on her end.

    Let’s take this back to the main point of the OP: the swing in gay voters. We have some numbers here: 1 in 3 gay voters voted Republican this time, against their interests. How many actual voters does that account for, in the long run? And yet we get all the attention around here, we gays, we happy few, we band of brothers and sisters. Why isn’t the BJ ire focused on a much larger block of voters, one that very definitely affected the direction of the 2010 vote, and who voted based on the very same kind of reasons gay voters did – the economy, the fearmongering, and the shabby treatment of important issues? Every argument being used against teh ghezs applies equally as well to teh wimmens. All I’m asking for is a little more egalitarianism in how the licks are passed out, you know? From each according to his or her ability, to each according to his or her need, amirite?

    Sarcasm out. What I’m really saying is people here need to lay off the focus on gay voters. If you don’t want voters to be disillusioned, don’t make promises that turn out to be illusions.

  115. 115
    cyntax says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    a halfway sensible person would look at those results and think that going further to the right would lead to more losses, not fewer.

    Yep, a halfway senssible person would, of course it’ll be the usual suspects looking at those results so we know they’re gonna head to the right.

    Part of the problem is that you can’t make a protest vote in a primary cause you can’t vote for what you want. Nobody can tell the difference between the vote cast for Rand Paul beacuse the voter thinks Rand’s teh awesome and the vote cast because the Dems didn’t do more for fill-in-the-blank. Both votes can only be for Rand Paul–that’s all anyone, other than the people who cast the votes, can know about them.

    Epistemology is a bitch.

  116. 116

    @Mnemosyne: Yes, I did notice the link to the WSJ in the Josh Marshall article. Obviously he gives a different level of credence to that article than you do. Did you notice that?

  117. 117
    Nick says:

    @Blue Neponset: Like I said, you can’t “understand” irrationality.

    We can sit here all day and scratch our heads wondering why Ralph feels that way, what good would it do? It’s not going to change his mind.

  118. 118
    Nick says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    given the rout suffered by the Blue Dogs, this may be the one year that makes the Democrats realize that moving to the right is not the answer

    Moving the left doesn’t appear to be the answer either, otherwise progressives in swing districts wouldn’t have gotten swept away too.

    I’m not sure there is an answer, but the Democrats are going to react to whose voting.

  119. 119
    themann1086 says:

    @Joseph Nobles: “And I’m saying that between the bad economy, the fearmongering of seniors, and the pitiful spectacles of stigmatizing important issues, it was all three working together in synergy. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts here.”

    @themann1086: “My conclusions? Men killed us for shifting heavily to the GOP, the youth vote killed us because we didn’t show up (I did, and my circle of friends had a voter rate of 90+%. Unfortunately, we’re not typical), older people killed us (“death panel” lies worked), “other races” hurt us a lot, and gay voters hurt us a lot, too. So in other words, “blame” the youth for not showing up, “blame” “other races” and gays for shifting so heavily to the GOP, and blame the media for spreading Palin’s bullshit and tanking our standing amongst the elderly.”

    I think in another comment I mentioned the economy hurting Dems in all categories at some baseline, across-the-board level (5-7 points maybe?) and any other change could be attributed to other issues. We said basically the same thing: “a bunch of factors contributed”.

    ETA: White women was the only group that swung away from the Democrats. Latino women held steady and black women had a 3 point difference (rounding error).

  120. 120
    DaBomb says:

    @Joseph Nobles: But the whole DADT being pulled out of the bill was debunked by the White House itself.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/advoca.....adt_deal_1

  121. 121
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    Yes, I did notice the link to the WSJ in the Josh Marshall article. Obviously he gives a different level of credence to that article than you do. Did you notice that?

    You mean “she.” Josh Marshall did not write the article, it was one of the staff writers.

    And, yes, I have noticed that TPM is doing less and less original reporting and is parroting the MSM reporting more and more. I don’t see that as a good thing. There’s already one Politico, we don’t need a second one that’s branded from the left.

  122. 122
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Joseph Nobles: I actually don’t have a focus on gay voters, myself. I think we have virtually no evidence that base dissatisfaction played any significant role in that debacle of an election, so coming up with cleverer and cleverer theories about how to rejuvenate the base (or undo the “stigmatizing” you perceive to have happened) is all beside the point. It may be a good discussion to have in its own right, but it is not a useful discussion to have about the causes of defeat or victory. It properly belongs in a dialogue about how to advocate progressive policy and/or minority causes in a majoritarian system rather than in a dialogue about how to win elections. Because every Democratic politician this cycle could have been a firebrand lefty who punched every spot on the wishlist of the leftiest among us… and pulled in more disaffected people from the sidelines to being voters… and _we still would have lost_ if Republicans turned out in droves based on their own strategizing.

    This isn’t a “Democrats should be centrist” vs. “Democrats should be liberal” point. This is a “whatever Democrats do for the groups who comprise their coalition could be entirely beside the point” point. Some gay people who voted for Democrats before voted for Republicans this time, maybe. Well, OK, but we’re fussing with some very, very small numbers, and to not a hell of a lot of purpose.

  123. 123
    Mnemosyne says:

    @DaBomb:

    Ah, I see the old urban legend about the Republicans only opposing the DADT repeal because Harry Reid was so mmmeeeaaannnn to them has raised its ugly head again:

    But one repeal advocate challenged the remarks and suggested Sen. Reid had provoked the GOP leadership by limiting the number of amendments that could be offered to the NDAA.
    __
    “Senate Majority Leader Reid’s office is simply ignoring the well established fact that we indeed do have the votes to proceed on defense authorization, including Republican votes, if he would just bring the bill up under normal procedural conditions,” said Alex Nicholson, executive director of the gay veterans group Servicemembers United. “If he firmly believes the Senate should have this debate this year, then he will bring the bill back up next week and allow us to move forward on NDAA and DADT repeal.”

    So by this rationale, there’s no need to bring it up in the lame duck session because the Republicans are eager to vote for it, so it can easily pass in the next session as long as Reid doesn’t limit amendments to it, right?

  124. 124
    DaBomb says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    So by this rationale, there’s no need to bring it up in the lame duck session because the Republicans are eager to vote for it, so it can easily pass in the next session as long as Reid doesn’t limit amendments to it, right?

    Of course, that’s a load of crock. But this was one of several articles pointing out that the WH is against stripping out the repeal. I can’t believe so many people fell for the WSJ article.

    They have proven to unreliable time and time again.

  125. 125
    Elie says:

    @eric:

    Its a nuanced rant and I appreciate it.

    That said, we have to start appreciating cause and effect. If you sandbag your side, and demoralize them with criticism and no encouragement — you just suppress your own side’s morale and willingness to take on the real impact of making change. You also empower the opposition.

    I appreciate your nuanced and intelligent observation that we need to keep our side’s feet to the fire… but that has to be done with wisdom about the consequences…

  126. 126
    PaulB says:

    in most ways homosexuals and heterosexuals are legally identical, except…

    That is a *huge* except.

  127. 127
    LikeableInMyOwnWay says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    How about that? Democrats participating in the stigmatization of abortion, anchoring the Hyde amendment in stone – well, that has an effect.

    Apparently it has the effect of making them defiantly bone stupid, just like any gay … or for that matter anyone, gay or straight, who is not a Koch Brother …. who votes against their true interests just out of ennui.

  128. 128
    ItAintEazy says:

    I swear to God, that last caller Ralph was like Lee Atwater’s wet dream. Voting against his own interest just so those “lazy bums (nudge-nudge, wink-wink, dog whistle) won’t be getting any of HIS hard-earned money goddammit!

    I guess unlike Konrad, Ralph is playing Reverse Oppression Olympics and decides that everything must be hunky dory and he can continue to be a right-wing assclown since this country hasn’t quite turned into, say, Uganda.

    Yet.

  129. 129
    d.s. says:

    As long as Republicans operatives aren’t actively going to gay clubs and gunning people down and spray painting “FAGS” on the outside, there’s a large segment of gay people who are going to vote Republican.

    Lots of gays, especially gay white males, simply have far right views, and will vote for the party that they agree with on the vast majority of issues, even if they oppose gay rights.

    The modern conservative movement was founded on the idea of denying rights to blacks, and yet 10% of blacks still vote Republican. Gay people aren’t a racial minority group that can transmit its values from generation to generation, so they’ll obviously have less solidarity.

    A large segment of the gay population is born into families who adore Sarah Palin and hate Democrats for giving away all the money to “those people.” There’s nothing you can really do about that. Being gay isn’t going to make you liberal.

    Currently there are a lot of gay people who are conservative but still vote Democratic out of self-interest. As soon as gay people are granted civil rights on a national level, those people will ditch the Dems in a heartbeat and bust out the Sarah Palin bumper stickers.

    There’s not going to be a “gratitude vote.” Once their rights are guaranteed, it will be safe to vote against everyone else’s.

  130. 130
    Weezie says:

    @d.s.: Word.

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