Ballot initiatives break against conservatives

Last night on MSNBC, Pat Buchanon argued that the voters were rejecting the GOP but were supporting socially conservative ballot initiatives. It turns out he spoke to soon. Conservatives suffered significant defeats in South Dakota, Missouri and Arizona.

In conservative South Dakota, the voters overwelmingly rejected a ban on all abortions by a 55-45 margin. This is a huge loss for cultural conservatives and a significant win for liberals and for libertarians. This, coupled with the outrage over the Terry Schiavo fiasco, makes it clear that most voters do not want government officials intruding into their personal lives. The social conservatives have reached too far. Hopefully Republicans will pay attention and start moving back towards the middle on social issues. As for Democrats, hopefully they will develope a backbone on these social issues. Their unwillingness to stand up to the Republicans during the Terry Schiavo controversy was shamefull.

Missouri provided the next big win for liberals by passing the stem-cell research initiative. This has become a huge wedge issue for Democrats. Hopefully this vote, along with the gains by Democrats in the House and the Senate, will lead to passage of federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research with margins sufficient to override a veto by President Bush.

Finally, Arizona is the first state to reject a constitutional ban on gay marriage. The proposed amendment would have also banned civil unions. Again, many voters apparantly believed that the social conservatives went to far. A wide majority of Americans oppose gay marriage, but more and more Americans are open to the concept of protecting legal rights for civil unions.

  

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