Scott Tibbs
blog post
February 18th, 2005

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Buchanan encourages Democrats

Pat Buchanan issued a letter of encouragement to Democrats in the wake of a strong Republican victory last year.

Buchanan has some good points, especially with the President's policies that increase the size and scope of the federal government. However, he is wrong on Republicans being "divided" on social issues. Yes, there are "country club" Republicans that do not want to be associated with the conservative Christian wing of the party.

But the momentum on social issues is decidedly rightward. Even Democrats are worried about alienating "red state" voters on issues like abortion. Democrats understand the damage they did to themselves with their stance on cultural issues.

The significance of this cannot be underestimated. It was just a few years ago when Republicans were debating whether to take the pro-life plank out of the party platform, worried that it would cost them votes with women. (Polls have consistently shown, by the way, that women tend to be less supportive of the "right to choose" than men.)

Now, Democrats find themselves debating the issue and wondering if their adamant stand for "choice" should be toned down. Rush Limbaugh was commenting on his radio program on February 16 that the Democrats have recruited two pro-life candidates to run for the U.S. Senate in 2006. It is widely believed that the mayor of San Francisco and the Massachusetts Supreme Court delivered a large number of votes to President Bush by inciting conservatives to put homosexual marriage on the ballots in several states.

I think what has happened here is that Buchanan, after years of withering attacks on his social conservatism, is starting to buy into the spin that Republicans are facing problems due to the party's social conservatism. In fact, the opposite is true.