November 07, 2008


CaliValleyGirl and I were talking last night about the interesting results out of California. Obama took California 61% to 37%. But Proposition 8 -- the amendment to define marriage as a man and a woman -- passed 52% to 47%.

Forgive my crude tables, but here are the results:


[Data found here and here.]

There are 81,986 more votes for Prop 8 than for the presidential race. My guess is that they voted for a third-party candidate; I wonder if anyone showed up to vote on Prop 8 but didn't vote for the president. (Knowing some of the conservatives' opinions about John McCain, it's possible.) Either way, that's less than 1% of the total, so let's just disregard for the purpose of this discussion.

For argument's sake, let's say that every single person who voted for McCain also voted Yes on Prop 8. That means that 1,547,718 extra people also voted for Prop 8. Even if we subtract those 81,986 votes, that's still a heck of a lot of Obama votes voting Yes on Prop 8.

Incidentally, I don't grant the premise that all Republican voters support Prop 8. If I lived in California, I would've voted straight ticket Republican but No on Prop 8. I imagine there are others in this world like me; many of them are bloggers I read.

So what I take from this is that politics is not nearly as cut and dried as it seems. A million and a half Obama voters presumably also voted to amend the state constitution to enshrine marriage as between a man and a woman. Whereas I, an evil Republican, would not have voted for Prop 8.

Leofwende also had a link up to an old NRO piece called The Fusionist that addresses these overlaps in politics:

For fifty years, most American conservatives have stood for three basic propositions: that American foreign policy should seek to end totalitarian regimes; that the domestic functions of government, and especially of the federal government, should be strictly limited; and that the moral precepts traditionally associated with Christianity (sometimes the formulation includes Judaism as well) should be upheld.

These propositions attracted distinct, though overlapping, constituencies to conservatism: defense hawks, libertarians, social conservatives. The coalition thus created has achieved some political success.

I see these three disctinctions, the three legs of the conservative stool (which substitutes "economic conservatives" for "libertarians"), as a Venn diagram. I am a defense hawk and a libertarian/economic conservative. I share little in common with the social conservatives, though I understand where they're coming from and don't begrudge them their say. I think most liberals, on the outside looking in, only see the social conservatives, or at least they overestimate how much weight the social aspect gets on every Republican's Venn diagram.

But the conservative's Venn diagram isn't on a separate piece of paper from the liberal one. Libertarians argue for legalized drugs and prostitution, a position more likely shared by liberals than social conservatives. That's how you got Ron Paul supporters ending up on the Obama side. Many Catholic Hispanics are pro-life but vote Democrat. (Don't even get me started on how I don't understand why Jews vote Democrat.) And apparently 1.5 million Obama voters have an overlapping Venn diagram with social conservatives when it comes to enshrining marriage in the constitution.

Ultimately, I think each voter has to decide what carries the most weight for him. I share two of the three stool legs, and the social stuff is far less important to me than the economic and defense, so I feel I fit comfortably on the right end of the political spectrum. Even when I strenuously object to some of the Republican positions.

If only the Libertarians could get more traction, and not the Ron Paul kind. I need a Libertarian party that is strong on defense. Boortz for President! I'd be on-board in a heartbeat. Hookers and blow for everyone!


Just got on IM with my husband and said that I had just finished a long post on Obama supporters and Prop 8. He goes, "Yeah, lots of people are talking about that today." Imagine me doing the AWTM: Waaa waaa.

Jonah Goldberg: Progressivism's Achilles Heel

In other words, Obama had some major un-progressive coattails. The tidal wave of black and Hispanic voters who came out to support Obama voted in enormous numbers against what most white liberals consider to be the foremost civil rights issue of the day.

Serves me right for thinking I'm original without checking major blogs first. Or thinking I could say anything half as eloquently as Jonah Goldberg.

Posted by Sarah at November 7, 2008 03:57 PM | TrackBack

This goes to my theory that a good number of Blacks and especially Hispanics are at heart truly Conservatives. But for more reasons than I care to go into now they vote overwhelmingly Democrat.

I hope that finally some of them will be able to at least be open to exploring some of the positions of the Republican Party now that that the country is truly colored blind in electing a President. They now need to demonstrate their willingness to be open minded especially since 95% voted for Obama while also half, roughly, of the White vote.

Only when the Black vote is split 50/50 D to R, or close, will this country truly be racially united. The shoe is now on the other foot, let us see how it plays out

Posted by: tim at November 7, 2008 04:09 PM

I really enjoyed reading this post; it is very much where I was trying to go with my post yesterday. Thanks for helping me complete my thoughts. :)

Posted by: Leofwende at November 7, 2008 10:03 PM