Monday, June 9, 2008

Yank That Leash

I wonder how conservatives ever got elected before evangelical voters were manipulated to the polls by election-year ploys like this one:
Measure that could ban abortion on November ballot

DENVER — Whether the state constitution should define life as beginning at fertilization will be up to Colorado voters in November.

And unlike other ballot initiatives, it appears it will head to the ballot without having to go through the courts.

The Secretary of State's Office on Thursday certified that Peyton resident Kristi Burton collected more than enough signatures to put her Personhood Amendment to a statewide vote.

The newly renamed Amendment 48, which opponents fear could be used to ban abortions and is likely to make Colorado a national battleground, is the third citizens initiative to qualify for the ballot this year.


Protect Families Protect Choices Coalition spokeswoman Crystal Clinkenbeard said Thursday the organization doesn't plan to sue over Amendment 48, Instead, it will work to defeat it at the polls, she said.

Colorado is one of the Western states pundits say could swing to the Democrats in the presidential election, so it’s predictable that a piece of wingnut candy has found its way onto the November ballot. Conventional wisdom holds that pro-life evangelical voters who wouldn’t bother to show up at the polls for John McCain will make the effort for a pro-life amendment. The hope is that they’ll check the box for the Republican candidate while they’re there.

That could backfire, though, as BeliefNet’s interview with Mark DeMoss illustrates:

Barack Obama is trying hard to win evangelical voters. Does that effort stand a chance?

If one third of white evangelicals voted for Bill Clinton the second time, at the height of Monica Lewinsky mess—that’s a statistic I didn’t believe at first but I double and triple checked it—I would not be surprised if that many or more voted for Barack Obama in this election. You’re seeing some movement among evangelicals as the term [evangelical] has become more pejorative. There’s a reaction among some evangelicals to swing out to the left in an effort to prove that evangelicals are really not that right wing. There’s some concern that maybe Republicans haven’t done that well. And there’s this fascination with Barack Obama. So I will not be surprised if he gets one third of the evangelical vote. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was 40-percent.

In fact, a good bit has been written about young evangelicals swinging to Obama. The rules have changed with this election; the old GOP playbook no longer applies. The Bush-era political tactic of using Christian voters for political gain has backfired. You can’t give people hugs and kisses in person, then refer to them as “nuts” behind their back, and not expect to suffer the consequences.