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Liberals again illicitly claim moral high ground
Deseret Morning News ^ | November 14, 2004 | Charles Krauthammer

Posted on 11/14/2004 10:03:33 AM PST by zamboni

Liberals again illicitly claim moral high ground

By Charles Krauthammer

WASHINGTON — In 1994, when the Gingrich revolution swept Republicans into power, ending 40 years of Democratic hegemony, the mainstream press needed to account for this inversion of the Perfect Order of Things. A myth was born. Explained the USA Today headline: "Angry White Men: Their votes turned the tide for the GOP."

Overnight, the revolution of the Angry White Male became conventional wisdom. In the 10 years before the 1994 election, there were 56 Nexis mentions of angry white men in the media. In the next seven months, there were more than 1,400.

At the time, I looked into this story line — and found not a scintilla of evidence to support the claim. Nonetheless, it was a necessary invention, a way for the liberal elite to delegitimize a conservative victory. And even better, a way to assuage their moral vanity: You never lose because your ideas are sclerotic or your positions retrograde but because your opponent appealed to the baser instincts of mankind.

Plus ca change . . . Ten years and another stunning Democratic defeat later, and liberals are at it again. The Angry White Male has been transmuted into the Bigoted Christian Redneck.

In the post-election analyses, the liberal elite, led by the holy trinity of The New York Times — Krugman, Friedman and Dowd — just about lost its mind denouncing the return of medieval primitivism. As usual, Maureen Dowd achieved the highest level of hysteria, cursing the Republicans for pandering to "isolationism, nativism, chauvinism, puritanism and religious fanaticism" in their unfailing drive to "summon our nasty devils."

Whence comes this fable? With President Bush increasing his share of the vote among Hispanics, Jews, women (especially married women), Catholics, seniors and even African-Americans, on what does this victory-of-the-homophobic-evangelical rest?

Its origins lie in a single question in the Election Day exit poll. The urban myth grew around the fact that "moral values" ranked highest in the answer to Question J: "Which ONE issue mattered most in deciding how you voted for president?"

It is a thin reed upon which to base a General Theory of the '04 Election. In fact, it is no reed at all. The way the question was set up, moral values was sure to be ranked disproportionately high. Why? Because it was a multiple-choice question and moral values cover a group of issues, while all the other choices were individual issues. Chop up the alternatives finely enough, and moral values is sure to get a bare plurality over the others.

Look at the choices:

"Moral values" encompasses abortion, gay marriage, Hollywood's influence, the general coarsening of the culture, and, for some, the morality of pre-emptive war. The way to logically pit this class of issues against the others would be to pit it against other classes: "war issues" or "foreign policy issues" (Iraq plus terrorism) and "economic issues" (jobs, taxes, health care, etc).

If you pit group against group, moral values comes in dead last: war issues at 34 percent, economic issues variously described at 33 percent, and moral values at 22 percent — i.e., they are at least a third less salient than the others.

And we know that this is the real ranking. After all, the exit poll is just a single poll. We had dozens of polls in the run-up to the election that showed that the chief concerns were the war on terror, the war in Iraq and the economy.

Ah, yes. But the fallback is then to attribute Bush's victory to the gay marriage referendums that pushed Bush over the top, particularly in Ohio.

This is more nonsense. Bush increased his vote in 2004 over 2000 by an average of 3.1 percent nationwide. In Ohio the increase was 1 percent — less than a third of the national average. In the 11 states in which the gay marriage referendums were held, Bush increased his vote by less than he did in the 39 states that did not have the referendum. The great anti-gay surge was pure fiction.

This does not deter the myth of the Bigoted Christian Redneck from dominating the thinking of liberals, and from infecting the blue-state media. They need their moral superiority like oxygen and cannot have it cut off by mere facts. And so once again they angrily claim the moral high ground, while standing in the ruins of yet another humiliating electoral defeat.

Charles Krauthammer's e-mail address is Washington Post Writers Group

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 1994electionbias; 2004electionbias; bushwins; kerrydefeat; krauthammer; mediabias; traitorslose; zogbyism

1 posted on 11/14/2004 10:03:33 AM PST by zamboni
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To: zamboni; Pitiricus; paudio; tpaine; Shermy; Allan
Krauthammer's view here about the issues underlying Pres. Bush's re-election matches Karl Rove's very closely, except that Rove is a bit more circumspect in his wording, as one would expect. Here's the Rove quote:
2 posted on 11/14/2004 10:14:14 AM PST by Mitchell
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To: zamboni

A brilliant observation.

3 posted on 11/14/2004 10:15:25 AM PST by Norman Bates (Game over. Bush wins.)
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To: zamboni

As usual my man Krauthammer hit it on the head.By choosing the category 'Moral Values', in a multiple choice questionnaire the respondents were actually saying that they refused to be lead or slammed by the pollsters bias. It's in the nature of polling that the questions have to be designed to yield some pre-concieved value. I know when confronted with most forms I always want to respond N/A. I guess then 'Moral Values' actually means (buzzer) None of the Above. Or maybe as the Great Sage Peter Jennings put it in '94: The Voter's had a Tantrum! Little did he know...

4 posted on 11/14/2004 10:18:04 AM PST by Calusa (Bush cooked Kerry's Goose!)
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Yehuda; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; ...
If you'd like to be on this middle east/political ping list, please FR mail me.
5 posted on 11/14/2004 10:20:27 AM PST by SJackson ( Bush is as free as a bird, He is only accountable to history and God, Ra'anan Gissin)
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To: zamboni
Great post. Another Lefty lie debunked.


Thanks for the logo Safrguns!

6 posted on 11/14/2004 10:36:39 AM PST by LiberalBassTurds (Islam is a religion of peace. Strange every murdering psychopath in the world is attracted to it.)
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To: zamboni
...while standing in the ruins of yet another humiliating electoral defeat.

I always like the bottom line...hahahahaha!


7 posted on 11/14/2004 10:47:07 AM PST by nothingnew (KERRY: "If at first you don't deceive, lie, lie again!")
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To: zamboni
When I first learned that Krauthammer was in a wheelchair I was shocked! He was not only not a liberal but a true conservative. I love him on Fox!
8 posted on 11/14/2004 10:52:19 AM PST by BellStar (Oyez, oyez! All rise for the Honorable Chief Justice Clarence Thomas)
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To: zamboni

Kruat rules! I'm sick of the media talking about "moral values" mockingly, and saying that Bush won by saying that Dems are baby-killers.... He went up in EVERY CATEGORY except single women, a category that no one ever expects to change.

9 posted on 11/14/2004 11:03:44 AM PST by zetapsi (Easy Choice)
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To: zamboni
Krauthammer nails it again!
10 posted on 11/14/2004 11:37:08 AM PST by EGPWS
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To: Mitchell

Democrats realized that they need a narrative. This time they try to sell "angry bigot christian men" story.

11 posted on 11/14/2004 12:41:29 PM PST by paudio (Four More Years..... Let's Use Them Wisely...)
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To: BellStar

Charles is also an MD who seems to oppose stem cell research.

12 posted on 11/14/2004 12:57:01 PM PST by votelife (Elect a filibuster proof majority, 60 conservative US Senators!)
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To: zetapsi

Today's democrats remind me of the schoolyard loudmouths that couldn't say a nice thing about anybody...

All they do is call people names.

13 posted on 11/14/2004 1:01:54 PM PST by gortklattu (check out thotline dot com)
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To: paudio
Mere projection on their part. There was violence and voter intimidation this time around. Shots fired into campaign offices, swastikas painted over signs and sidewalks, cars keyed, SUVs torched, schoolkids assaulted...

The Party of Hate (D) employed many brownshirts this year.

14 posted on 11/14/2004 1:13:22 PM PST by weegee (WE FOUGHT ZOGBYISM November 2, 2004 - 60 Million Voters versus 60 Minutes - BUSH WINS!!!)
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To: zamboni

Another punch in the fight over the phrase 'moral values'. On the one hand the fight is over what is meant by 'moral values', on the other it seems to be a horror over the use of the phrase by BOTH sides. Why is this? The whole purpose of the 'moral values' attack by the Left is too make everyone wary of the phrase--else its use draws leftist ire. The only thing the whole article does is play directly into the hands of those who have basically said "I'm going to fight the very notion of 'moral values' as having political power at all and my first weapon in doing so is to make a straw man of what it is and attack those who I say are that supposed reality." Now here this guy is, a victim of that lie and running away from moral values as having the very real political punch it has already demonstrated in the hopes of doing away with the phrase as his enemies use it and by doing away with the phrase, supposedly taking power from them. He stabs himself (and all those who know what real moral values are) in an attempt to merely blunt an attack by his enemies. He explains everything in his own mind in such a way as he cannot be attacked. He does not realize they do not attack out of any legitimate issue, they just attack. It is who and what they are. They won't stop merely because he apologizes for their mis-understanding for them by re-arranging polls and questions in such a way as to sidestep the onslaught.

15 posted on 11/14/2004 2:18:23 PM PST by telder1
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To: zamboni

Oh, gawd, another conservative ruining a perfectly good lib'ral myth with facts...;^)

I'm very comfortable with the dems believing it was religion that brought out the vote. Now they're either condemning people of faith or insulting them with their born-again act (Nancy Pelosi). Who told the dems it would be a good idea to insult 80%+ of the nation and expect to win elections? Whoever it was, give that man a cee-gar!

16 posted on 11/14/2004 4:45:10 PM PST by randog (What the....?!)
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To: zamboni

Let them keep thinking we are bigoted Christian rednecks, it will only further their decline.

17 posted on 11/14/2004 7:42:38 PM PST by vpintheak (Liberal = The antithesis of Freedom and Patriotism)
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To: SJackson


18 posted on 11/15/2004 12:31:51 AM PST by lainde
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