NRO: Why The Democrats Lost

Why did the Democrats lose?

It wasn’t Obamacare.

While 49 percent of voters said the health-care law “went too far,” just 25 percent of voters picked health care as their most important issue in this election, and they broke for the Democrats 59 percent to 39 percent, according to exit polls. Fears of Ebola and terrorism and a generalized feeling of insecurity were a factor, but 45 percent of voters said the economy was their most important issue.

And here is the biggest red flag for Republicans moving forward: After six years of Obama, these voters broke for the GOP by just 2 points, 48 percent to 50 percent.

After every election, whether Republicans win or lose, social issues get a disproportionate share of the “problem defining” blame.  But the GOP’s biggest branding problem, even in victory, is clearly the economy. GOP candidates are not yet naming the biggest problem voters are facing: wage stagnation and a pervasive decline in the average household’s standard of living.

Read the full article at the National Review Online

National Review: Losing the War for Women

Women today are not reliably liberal on social issues. 

It was a deft trick by the Left’s culture warriors over the last two election cycles: Persuade rich Republicans donors that social issues were the GOP’s core problem, especially with women.

Take high-end investor Mark Cuban’s word for it: “If I was going to give guidance to the Republican Party, . . . I’d say, ‘Stay completely out of social issues,’” Cuban said on CNBC’s Squawk Box.

Elections are where political wisdom can be tested and, if you are paying attention, falsified. And if you pay close attention, this is the election cycle that is going to definitively falsify the idea that social issues are what hurts Republicans and elects Democrats.

The AP/GFK poll released last week shows a strong movement of women toward the GOP. Asked whether they favor a Democratic- or Republican-controlled Congress, female likely voters have moved in one month from favoring Democrats 47 percent to 40 percent to preferring Republicans 44 percent to 42 percent.

Take note: Democrats are massively shedding support by women, just as they have poured massive amounts of messaging on contraception and abortion to the front and center of their campaigns.

USA Today reported that “Democrats in this trio of states [Colorado, New Hampshire, Iowa] have focused heavily on abortion rights, contraception access and other female-targeted wedge issues.” It’s not working.

Read the Full Article at the National Review Online

Your Incompetent Host

When I created a Disqus account I misspelled my own name.  Commenters asked me to verify that is me, it is.  I will now cease commenting until I”m competent enough to fix my Disqus. 

-Maggie

NRO: The Church’s Crises of the Faith, and Mine

Nothing has changed, they tell us.

But something has changed. Pope Francis, by hand-selecting these six men to issue an unprecedented public report on a discussion in mid-process, is sending a strong if indirect signal about how Catholics and our institutions should respond, practically, to the triumph of the sexual revolution, including its latest phase, gay marriage. The synod report, if adopted by the bishops, will change Catholic witness and teaching either on marriage, or on the Eucharist, or both.

{…}Look, I am a nobody in the broader scheme of things, and I do not relate my personal troubles as if they should be of interest to anyone else, except insofar as they may inform the fathers of my Church what, pastorally, they are doing now in Rome.

The priests who martyred themselves rather than permit powerful men to remake marriage need a public apology and possibly restitution. “We should replace the feast day of St. Thomas More with the feast of St. Henry the VIII,” one wag told me privately. After all, a desire for a child is one of the very good authentic “family values” he displayed.

The faith of millions will be put at risk, and among those millions are the ones who are sustaining the Church, as even Crux noticed. (Crux urges Pope Francis to make some kind of generous gesture to the orthodox Catholic community, as if we are children seeking a pat on the head instead of those whose steadfast faith rests in the belief the Church stands for the unbroken teachings of Christ.)

I hope Cardinal Kasper is wrong. I hope he is delusional, so that I need not fear for my church or his faith, or mine.

But the combined public comments of Cardinals Burke and Kasper make the “nothing has changed, no worries” position of Catholic commenters untenable and disconnected from the truth very publicly now on display.

There is a crisis of faith taking place in public, in real time, in Rome.

When the final synod report comes out over the weekend, we will have a first glimpse of how serious and sustained that crisis is.

Read the Full Article Here

NY Times Quotes Maggie Gallagher on Chris Christie’s Social Conservative Problem

At a confidential meeting over the summer, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey boasted to influential evangelical leaders that he was the state’s “first pro-life governor since Roe vs. Wade,” reminded them that he had vetoed legislation allowing gays to wed and, in a knowing reference to the Gospel of Matthew, spoke of his moral obligation to help the “least of us.”

But even as Mr. Christie sought to persuade them of his conservative credentials, his own deep-seated discomfort with ideological purity kept creeping in. He suggested that if the Republican Party wanted to win back the White House, it needed to look to a candidate with broad appeal, like himself or Jeb Bush, said one attendee, Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals. If it instead demanded orthodoxy, Mr. Christie’s message was “they can pick somebody else and lose,” Mr. Anderson recalled.

With the contretemps over lane closings on the George Washington Bridge on the back burner for now and Mr. Christie laying groundwork for a Republican presidential run, the persistent skepticism, unease and, in some cases, distrust that he faces from social and religious conservatives may be the biggest and least understood obstacle in his path.

…“He has appointed some really terrible judges to the State Supreme Court,” said Maggie Gallagher, a prominent social conservative, writer and senior fellow at American Principles Project, a right-leaning think tank.

Read the Full Article Here

NRO: 3 Things I Will Not Fear… And 3 Things I Still Do

We live in a world where we are urged to be in a constant state of fear. Through the Internet we are bombarded with horror stories, most of which are true, but most of which we and our loved ones will also never face. Some people want us to be afraid of this or that because they want to use our fear to elect the politicians they prefer. Managing fear rationally may be the cognitive and spiritual challenge of our times.

So for now, I’ve decided on four things about which I am not going to worry:

One: Unlike 46 percent of Americans, I am not very afraid of a terrorist attack on Americans on American soil. Yes, it could happen, and in fact has, whether it was September 11 or a lone Oklahoma beheader or a jihadist attack on Fort Hood. But I am personally tired of being afraid of a bunch of ugly fanatics gripped by a culture of death whose greatest weapon to date was the use of razor blades to turn our jets into bombs to be used against us. I fly a lot, and I may go down with a plane someday, but I do not choose to worry about this. Plain and simple: I refuse to be terrorized by this kind of stupid, low-tech, hateful, temporary, small, ugly triumph. Yes, we need to take terrorism seriously, but we also need to realize that this is just not the same level of threat as a worldwide Communist empire pointing massive armies and nuclear weapons at the West. Refuse to be terrorized.

Two: Unlike 36 percent of Americans, I am not very worried that someone is going to take away your daughters’ contraceptives. (I personally gave up the use of artificial contraception in favor of natural family planning when I married in the Catholic faith; but fear not, the worldwide Catholic Church has no plans to invade your bedrooms and prevent you from using contraceptives if you choose.) And don’t worry that your employer is going to take away your contraceptives either. Worst-case scenario from the Hobby Lobby case, if you work for a small, privately owned family firm whose owners object to funding abortion pills, they may tell the government they object to paying for such insurance coverage. The government will inform the insurance company, which will then provide the coverage for free, because paying for birth control and/or abortifacients is cheaper than paying for babies. Don’t worry, anxious moms, you can sleep easy at night about this one.

Read the Full Article at National Review Online