Bend it Like Benham

The best bit of good news I have seen is this report from the Hollywood Reporter suggesting multiple other networks are considering picking up the series “Flip it Forward” that HGTV cancelled.

Since Carrie Prejean was hounded off the national stage for the crime of answering the question, should every state have gay marriage, with a polite “no,” Hollywood and the entertainment industry have made their point of view crystal clear: The glamour of television and movies is not for people who believe marriage is the union of a husband and a wife.  (The pageant judge who videotaped himself and posted the video calling Ms. Prejean the “c-word” was welcomed back to judge more young would-be beauty queens—what does that tell us? And when Carrie’s not atypical California teenager’s sexual/romantic history was exposed for the clear malicious purpose of “slut-shaming” her to retaliate for her refusal to recant on gay marriage, not a single progressive voice rushed to her defense.)

Duck Dynasty’s survival was the first crack in this new and quite literal McCarthyism, the one sign of hope that the new blacklist was not impenetrable, some could seep through.  True, the Robertson’s Duck Dynasty was a monster hit network-sustaining franchise player.  But when the family who would not recant faced down a network whose economic survival depended on this hit franchise, the entertainment industry and its LGBT allies relented: that show at least could go on.

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Cooper, Mozilla, Arizona

A friend asked me, after reading my last interview with HuffPo, “So are you really stepping down from the marriage and religious liberty fight?”

No, I told him.  Sorry if it sounded like that.  What I am advocating doing is three very big, and very hard things: a) accepting where we are and b) learning from what we did not succeed in so that we can get to c) how do we build anew?

Right now most people who believe in the classic understanding of marriage are in shock, they are awed by the powers now shutting down the debate and by our ineffectualness at responding to these developments.

The temptation to shout and yell and stamp our feet in ineffectual ridiculousness is understandable, but it is to be resisted.

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National Review Online: More Moms Stay Home With Their Children

A decades-long trend that saw an increasing percentage of mothers working may have reversed itself. More moms are staying home full-time, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center.

After Decades of Decline, A Rise in Stay-at-Home Mothers,” a new study by D’Vera Cohn, Gretchen Livingston, and Wendy Wang, reports that the proportion of women staying home full-time rose 6 percentage points, from a historic low of 23 percent in 1999 to 29 percent in 2012.

Are more women getting what they want?  Perhaps.

Over the last generation, there has been surprising stability in women’s gendered preferences for motherhood over work: The proportion of mothers who say full-time work is their ideal in 2012 was 32 percent, just a nudge up from the 30 percent who said so in 1997, according to an earlier study by Wang, a research associate at the Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project. (In 2007, at the start of the recession, just 20 percent of mothers described working full time as “ideal.”)

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Fox News: Hey, GOP, want to win in 2016? Fix fundamental flaw in Republican brand

Reince Priebus recently sat down with Politico to review progress since the release of the RNC’s “autopsy” on the 2012 election one year ago: “We have ‘the tale of two parties’ that we’re contending with,” Priebus astutely said, “We’ve got a midterm party that can’t lose, and we’ve got a presidential party that’s having a hard time winning.”

The ObamaCare debacle looks to make 2014 a good year for the GOP.  But conservatives cannot afford to take 2016 for granted, nor to misdiagnose the fundamental problem with the current GOP brand.

While Democrats urge Republicans to drop the so-called divisive “social issues,” the truth is the GOP’s gender, youth, and Latino gaps are fundamentally driven by economic perceptions.

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What’s Next?

I did an interview wth HuffPo Gay Voices. Of course some might call this an admission of defeat—because I repeat my belief that it is clear they now have 5 votes for gay marriage on the Supreme Court.

But really it is about taking up the next battle. If true, what next for those of us who do not believe in gay marriage?

A taste here:
‘ What’s next? In my view people who believe in the traditional understanding of marriage, and believe that it matters, have to become a creative minority, finding way to both express these sexual views, culturally, artistically and intellectually and to engage with the newly dominant cultural view of marriage respectfully but not submissively.

Lots of thoughts packed into the latter sentence.

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Suicide By Consultant

The debate launched by our report “Building a Winning Coalition: Lesson from 2012” continues. Ramesh Ponnuru takes us to task for even imagining inflation is an issue, or that monetary reform could be a voting issue.

I am writing to you from the Tyson’s Corner Ritz Carlton.  Frank Cannon is on the panel making the case the social issues are an important part of a winning GOP coalition.
I spent the morning listening to folks say things like “we should be pro-life, but talk about it better, or preferably less.”

The belief that social issues are hurting us politically remains a fixed faith, hard to shake among the consulting and donor class, but is it grounded in hard political fact?  Or are we committing suicide by consultant?

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JS: Walker Shouldn’t Dismiss Social Issues

This article appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Monday:

Gov. Scott Walker shouldn’t dismiss social issues

By Francis Cannon And Maggie Gallagher

Dec. 9, 2013

The Democrats’ unfolding Obamacare disaster is in danger of temporarily distracting Republicans from their most important task. The Grand Old Party is in the middle of one of those periodic intellectual funks that will lead in the end either to renewal or to defeat.

The Democrats’ hubris in passing a fundamental health care transformation without a single Republican vote combined with President Barack Obama’s lethal combination of deliberate deception and utter incompetence in the Obamacare rollout has breathed new life into the GOP for the 2014 elections.

But the conservative movement, as a movement, cannot depend on reaction to overreach by Democrats as an ongoing governing strategy, and the smart political leaders are recognizing that fact.

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APIA Releases Autopsy Report

In October 2013, American Principles in Action (APIA) released an analysis of the 2012 election titled, “Building a Winning GOP Coalition: The Lessons of 2012″. This analysis stands in sharp contrast to the Republican National Committee’s report, “Growth and Opportunity Project”, popularly known as the “autopsy.”

“Building a Winning GOP Coalition: The Lessons of 2012″, takes a hard-headed, skeptical, and primarily political look at the lessons Republicans must learn from 2012 in order to build a winning national GOP coalition. It challenges the conventional wisdom that the national GOP’s loss in 2012 was a result of a focus on extremist social issues, which hampered candidates touting a winning economic message.

This document challenges the existing “truce model” and puts forward a case for integrated conservatism. It argues social issues are winning issues, and that a winning economic message must address the concerns of middle-class voters.

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