Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Disenfranchisement v. Watching People Marry

Christian Conservative Tony Perkins' Washington Update from today included discussion of one of the most important current issues in American democracy:
Making references to the results of the 2000 presidential election in Florida, Kerry said that Republicans are attempting to disenfranchise African-American voters by suppressing their vote. After his recent heart surgery, Clinton was making similar claims.
One might expect the conservative Perkins to dispute these very important allegations. Right-wing forces in Florida are being accused of illegally disenfranchising a group of mostly black, mostly Democrat, would-be voters. One would expect Perkins to disprove those allegations, or to claim that the liberals are the ones being bad, or to point out that the people raising the allegations did drugs when they were in college, or *something* to assure voters that conservatives in Florida are not the reprehensible criminals they're being accused of being. Instead, he says this:
Normally, this basic move out of the Democratic playbook works at this point in the "game". However, this time the odds that it will work have changed. The issue of marriage has opened up a tremendous amount of dialogue between white and black evangelicals in this country who are in agreement that marriage must be protected. When the focus stays on marriage, there is unity, so other issues have not been discussed. More and more black pastors are taking bold stands for marriage and refusing to support Kerry and other Democrats who refuse to protect marriage. This does not necessarily mean a windfall for Republicans, but it does create a turnout problem for Democrats.
So to summarize, Perkins' is telling us that although conservatives are allegedly attempting to illegally disenfranchise African-Americans, evangelical African-Americans aren't really very serious Kerry supporters. That kind of seems to miss the point a lot.

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