In the wake of the Foley page scandal, the religious right is finding few people buying their spin -- that all gays are sexual predators and Foley was merely doing what gays do. A Human Rights Campaign poll, reported by Think Progress, is showing that the spin isn't taking.
Among the findings, 62% believe that "Foley’s behavior was 'typical of politicians,' as opposed to just 30 percent who believe his behavior was 'typical of gay men.'" I'm guessing that by 'typical of politicians', they mean abusing the office and covering up the behavior. I'm finding it hard to believe that 62% of americans believe that the typical politician hits up teenagers.
Other findings are that 70% say the scandal hasn't changed their opinion of gays. And real good news; "80 percent of Americans believe it is important to make 'sure that gays and lesbians receive the same rights and protections under the law as other Americans,' up from 77 percent in April 2006."
These sentiments seem to be working out in the real world -- and not to the crackpots' favor.
Focus on the Family has cancelled two of their “Stand for the Family Events” scheduled to be held in giant auditoriums in cities across the country — moving them instead to much smaller venues and in one case to a local church where the admission will be free of charge! Talk about desperate.
Unless Focus announces otherwise, there is no doubt that these are a result of a general disinterest in the Godfather of the religious right i.e. low ticket sales. This is not turning out to be the October they hoped for. Get all the details after the jump.
You’ll remember that in August, Focus on the Family announced a massive campaign to influence the elections in eight targeted states. The campaign was touted as the largest political effort by the religious right since the heyday of the Christian Coalition and reportedly combines a massive voter registration effort, the distribution of voter guides, and a series of high profile “Stand for the Family” events across the country featuring both Dobson, Family Research Council head Tony Perkins, and Gary Bauer.
We’ve heard through the grapevine that the voter registration efforts are struggling, but now here’s some hard proof that these groups are not being met with the fanfare they had hoped or planned for.
At one event, a hall capable of holding 18,000 was booked. Then, at the last moment, it was moved to a 6,000 seat hall and only filled half of it. That's a lot of no shows.
And it's being reflected in polls. While same sex marriage was a big issue in 2004, it's not a motivating issue in '06.
New York Times:
But this year shades of gray are everywhere, as eight more states consider similar ballot measures. Some of the proposed bans are struggling in the polls, and the issue of same-sex marriage itself has largely failed to rouse conservative voters.
In some cases, other issues, like the war in Iraq and ethics in Washington, have seized voters’ attention. But the biggest change, people on both sides of the issue say, is that supporters of same-sex marriage this year are likely to be as mobilized as the opponents.
Here in Wisconsin, a ban polls at a bare majority -- about 51%. it's nowhere near the slam dunk that it was predicted to be. If evangelicals stay home -- which there's every indication that they'll do -- the referendum could fail.
But that's not the fun part. As the religious right gets backed into a corner, they get more desperate. And, as they get more desperate, they get crazier. People For the American Way supplies us with a 'get out the vote' letter sent by evangelical nutcase Donald Wildmon.
Chock full of straw man arguments and out and out lies, Wildmon's letter warns that if dems take congress, there'll be a "push to make homosexual marriage and polygamy legal in all 50 states," that they'll pass "a new 'hate crimes' law making it illegal to refer to homosexuality in a negative manner," and will "shut down conservative talk shows."
You've got to feel sorry for anyone who'd believe this crap -- how does anyone that gullible survive to voting age? Louis Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition [PDF] is no saner in his predictions:
Liberals have a bizarre love affair with protecting the killing of unborn children; with normalizing homosexual sodomy; with protecting unrestricted access to pornography; with stripping our nation of its religious heritage; with coddling illegal immigrants; with opposing tough national security measures; and with other social policies that undermine morality and our national defense.
If liberals gain control of either the House or the Senate in 2006 or 2008, Christians and conservative Americans will find their nation once again at risk from international terrorism; victimized by radical leftist judges who impose their social agendas upon us; scandalized by a series of expensive and unnecessary hearings against the Bush Administration; traumatized by slavery reparations discussions; stripped of any possibility of becoming oil independent; and demoralized by policies that promote abortion on demand, homosexuality in schools, unrestrained pornography and more.
Plagues of boils and locusts are implied, I guess.
They're operating on the idea that people are more motivated to vote against something than for something -- and that's generally true. But the evangelical right is hampered by the fact that many of the issues it wants people to vote against don't actually exist. And, remember, this is supposed to be a movement. Political movements are pro-active, not reactive. Eventually, you have to give people something to vote for. Values voters vote and vote and vote and see very little progress. I'm going to pound this point into the ground, but the religious right votes for abortion and get tax cuts, they vote to fight gay marriage and they get social security reform, they vote for christian schools and they get torture. Who can blame them for getting fed up? I'm just surprised it didn't happen years ago.
And what's the message that's supposed to get them to the polls this time? "It could be worse."
Don't be surprised if evangelicals stay home.
Technorati tags: politics; elections; republicans; abortion; gay marriage; propaganda; the religious right thinks that a message like "it could be worse" will get voters to the polls