How Political Correctness may save Prop 8.
The bigotry of the Mormon Church may have been behind Proposition 8 in California, but political correctness may prevent the measure from being repealed.
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, which represents the Democratic Party more than the gay community, “is urging activists in California not to go back to the ballot next year to repeal the state’s same-sex marriage ban.” The ostensible reason for this is “that too much work remains to be done changing the minds of voters who supported the ban in November.” The same news story reports, “three groups representing black, Asian and Hispanic gays in California said they do not believe voter opinion has shifted enough to justify another costly campaign.”
This sounds plausible, and it is meant to, but the fact is that this is a big cover-up. In the world of political correctness you sometimes are not allowed to state the obvious. It was perfectly fine to discuss the role that the Mormon Church played in raising the millions to fund the campaign of lies that the Yes on 8 campaign ran. But it was a big no-no to mention that black voter turnout was a key factor in this bigoted measure’s passing.
Left-wing pundits have bent over backwards to recast the facts to try to hide the fact that anti-gay bigotry is higher in the black community than in other communities. And they are unwilling to discuss the role that the Obama campaign played in the passage of this measure.
If Prop 8 goes back to the voters in 2010 it is far more likely to fail even without a major shift in the prejudices of voters. The reason it is more likely to fail is that Obama won’t be on the ballot. Consider what Dan Walters, of the Sacramento Bee reported last November.
Supporters of same-sex marriage rights are fuming over California voters' approval of Proposition 8, which would place a ban on such marriages in the state constitution – especially since in other respects voters showed a somewhat left-of-center bent, including a massive victory by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.An overwhelming, but not surprising, 94 percent of the former supported Obama, exit polling indicated, while 74 percent of Latinos voted for the winner. But 70 percent of African Americans also voted for Proposition 8, as did 53 percent of Latino voters.
Ironically, however, a mathematical analysis of voting and exit poll data indicates very strongly that it was exactly that pro-Obama surge that spelled victory for Proposition 8.
The only conclusion, therefore, is that as Obama was running up a 2.6 million-vote victory over Republican John McCain in California – twice the margins by which Democrats won in 2000 and 2004 – a great many Obama voters were also voting for Proposition 8, sponsored by a very conservative religious coalition.
Proposition 8, in fact, garnered 1.6 million more votes than McCain received. And, it's apparent, many of those votes – enough to make the difference – came from African American and Latino voters drawn to the polls by Obamamania.
Walters concludes that that had voter turnout in the black and Latino community not been swelled by the Obamatrons “chances are fairly strong that Proposition 8 would have failed.” Wow! That had the Left in a tizzy. First, Obama is the messiah and second, we shouldn’t say that there are bigots in minority communities. Thus the cover-up started.
Nate Silver used a bit of slight of hand to help the cover-up. He wrote, “the notion that Prop 8 passed because of the Obama turnout surge is silly. Exit polls suggest that first-time voters—the vast majority of whom were driven to turn out by Obama (he won 83 percent of their votes)—voted against Prop 8 by a 62-38 margin.” Notice how Silver rather dishonestly changed the groups being compared. Black and Latino voters were not, for the most part “first time voters” at all. First time voters tended to be young people and young people did support Obama and did oppose Prop 8.
Silver continues with his dishonest analysis by saying “it would be premature to say that new Latino and black voters were responsible for Prop 8’s passage.” No one said that at all. Walters, who Silver was trying to rebut, never made that claim. What he said was that the black and Latino vote changed the result. That the turnout was unusually high in those communities does not mean that the additional turnout was mainly “first time” voters. I suggest Silver realizes his errors but political correctness is political correctness.
Over at the Left-of-center Daily Kos one Obamatron (the Left-wing version of the Rondroids) shrieked about a “hateful racist fingerpoint from a white gay person.” So the Obamatron “blew off work that needed to be done… [to] put to rest, once and for all, this virulently racist idea that Black people are to blame for the passage of Proposition 8.”
I should note that black voters are not to “blame” but that the higher black turnout most certainly changed the results allowing the measure to pass. Blame is shared by everyone who voted for the measure. But, if Obama had not run for office, and if black voter turnout had not surged well above normal, the results of Prop 8 would have been different.
The Obamatron at Daily Kos, using the name Shanikka fumes about “anti-Black offenders,” and “white gay persons who have engaged in hateful, racist rhetoric and scapegoating” and tells them to “shut the fuck up.” Shanikka’s cover up relies upon bad math. Not knowing Shanikka’s gender, nor caring, I shall refer to the writer as him/her, or the equivalent.
Black voter turnout of total voters is normally 6% of the vote. In the Prop 8 election it was 10%. Shanikka said that is impossible “unless a million or so Blacks (he/she consistantly capitalizes this incorrectly) snuck into the state just before the election so they could say they cast their vote for Barack Obama on sunny California shores.” That simply is false, bad math, and an indication that he/she doesn’t understand percentages. The simplest way to prove that wrong is this: if the same raw number of black voters voted in the 2008 California election, but all other races stayed home, then black voters would have made up 100% of the voters without anyone sneaking into the state to vote.
Shanikka doesn’t appear to understand that percentages are relative numbers and can change when other factors change. A lower white turnout would increase the percentage of black voters. Shanikka seems to think that the percentage of black voters in an election can’t be higher than the percentage of blacks in the state. That merely indicates a lack of knowledge about percentages. While black voters make up 7% of the population of California, they could easily make up 10% of the voters in an election if they turnout in unusually high numbers while white voters vote in lower numbers.
That Obama was on the ballot did increase the number of minority voters in California. And because the election results were pretty clear before the California vote that decreased the likelihood of other groups of turning out. Shannika went through similar gymnastics in other areas with similar results. He/she claimed that it is a myth that “All Black people in California are old enough to vote.” No one said they were and that once again confuses raw numbers with percentages. He/she also said it was a myth that “All adult Black people in California are eligible to vote.” Again that confuses raw numbers with percentages. At least Shannika is consistent—making precisely the same error over and over just in different ways.
Another PC inspired cover-up was conducted by claiming that “after taking into account the effect of religious service attendance, support for Proposition 8 among African-Americans and Latinos was not significantly different than other groups.” That black Americans are inclined toward both religion and anti-gay bigotry, more so than white Americans is a fact. But that doesn’t change the fact that the high turnout of Black voters is a prime reason that Prop 8 passed. Factoring out relevant facts creates this cover-up. As one gay site claimed: “African-American and Latino support for Proposition 8 not significantly higher when religious attendance is factored out.”
Is religion correlated with bigotry? Yes, I would say it is. But that doesn’t change the fact that black voters were more likely to vote for Prop 8. That they choose to be more religious than most Americans doesn’t change that fact. Religion and prejudice are choices people make. Some groups are more likely to choose both than other groups. This is true of blacks and Southerners both. None of that changes the fact that the higher black turnout in November is a prime reason that Prop 8 passed.
There was one somewhat prophetic article published at Salon before the Prop 8 vote by LaDoris Cordell, who is an African-American lesbian. She wrote:
The Obama candidacy has energized African-Americans. Black voter registration is up, which bodes well for him. But here's the rub: Could a large black turnout also bode well for the passage of Proposition 8? Those who would ban same-sex marriage certainly hope so. They are counting on the "Obama Effect" to enlist black voters, along with conservative Latinos, into their ranks. Frank Schubert, co-campaign manager for Yes on 8, says that, "[T]o the extent that they are motivated to get to the polls, whether by this issue or by Barack Obama, it helps us." As an African-American lesbian who has been in a loving relationship for over two decades, I have been made well aware of the black community's discomfort with things gay. Our long and courageous history in the forefront of the struggle for civil rights notwithstanding, the leadership of black America -- politicians, ministers, business leaders -- has not been as outspoken as it could be and should be on the issue of gay rights.Unfortunately Cordell was only somewhat prophetic. She recognized the widespread anti-gay prejudice in the black community but went on to write: "Black voters will, I predict, view same-sex marriage as the constitutional guarantee that it is, thereby giving new meaning to the 'Obama Effect.'" Ooops! Cordell was engaging in wishful thinking. She realized that antigay views were strong in the black community and may well determine the results of the election, but that was before the election, while she could entertain the hope that black voters would see the light at the last minute. It was safe to voice these fears before they became reality. Now, that they are reality, it is politically incorrect to say the same thing.
Over at Obsidianwings a blogger did a decent numerical analysis of whether the higher voter turnout among blacks shifted the results for Prop 8. His conclusion is that they did. Under normal turnouts black voters would be 6.7% of all voters. Under the abnormally high turnout for Obama they were 10%. This analysis finds that if blacks voted for Prop 8 in the same proportion as white voters the measure would have gone down in defeat. He notes that “if a small majority of black people voted against the measure it would have lost (49% Yes, 51% No gives the measure a loss of 50.4%).” But 69% of black voters supported Prop 8 so it passed.
No one thinks that there will be a huge shift in opinions before next year. That’s the problem. If there is no shift in opinions, or just a small shift, and if the repeal of Prop 8 passed, that would destroy the PC cover-up about the vote in the black community. NGLTF, and other fronts for the Democratic Party, don’t want to deal with the ugly truth about anti-gay prejudice in the black community. They wish to pretend it doesn’t exist or is irrelevant at best. A repeat election, with a lower black turnout, but one that repealed Prop 8, would destroy this pretense. So they made the choice to keep Prop 8 in place for a few years more in order to cling to their political correctness.
Even worse, if the repeal is not done in 2010 when will it be done? 2012? If 2012 that would mean during another presidential election and the Democrats will renominate their messiah, if that option is open to them. That would mean a larger black voter turnout again, though I suspect not as large as the glimmer of Obama’s smile fades. Delaying the vote to 2012 instead of 2010 will actually increase the likelihood of another defeat. But these Democratic-fronts are willing to risk that in order to keep their illusions alive.
I repeat that I am not saying that the black community is “to blame” for Prop 8. Most supporters of Prop 8 were white. But in a vote as close as Prop 8 it is the margins that matter. And black voters provided the margin. Most white voters opposed Prop 8. Most Asian voters opposed Prop 8. Hispanic voters were almost evenly split. Only black voters overwhelmingly endorsed the measure. And that was enough to change the results from “No on 8” to “Yes on 8.”
A lower black turnout in 2010, which is expected because Obama won’t be on the ballot, would be sufficient to allow the “No on 8” vote to win. But that is not the only factor that will bring about the repeal of Prop 8. Even a small shift in white opposition to Prop 8, which is likely, would cement that victory. In addition, it is questionable whether the Mormon sect would engage in the same sort of behind-the-scenes fund-raising campaign again.
The Mormon leadership wanted to hide their role in Prop 8. They did their best to deceive the public about their role in Prop 8. They used the church to raise funds for the measure and they provided the bulk of the funding used. They got caught. They lied about their role, they lied about their funding and they got nabbed doing so. They will be far more reluctant to get as heavily involved a second time around. Meanwhile the No on 8 voters are really pissed off. I’d double my contribution to a repeal and I suspect a lot of other people would as well.
My guess is that a repeal campaign would be better funded and the campaign to preserve 8 would have less funding. In addition, the number of states with marriage equality will be much higher than it was when Prop 8 went down to defeat. California was the second state with marriage equality. Now there are six and two or three more are likely by next year.
A third factor working in favor of any revote on marriage equality is that old people die. (I say that as a baby boomer who is old enough to worry about such things.) Old people were another anti-equality group in the election. In 2010 a number of the old people who voted for Prop 8 won’t be around to vote against the repeal. They will be replaced by young people who become old enough to vote for the first time, a demographic more likely to support repeal.
In addition we should note how weak Obama’s opposition to Prop 8 was in the last election. He did very little to oppose the measure. He didn’t want to alienate the black vote. What he has done is piss off the gay vote, and that is not insignificant for Democrats. Obama’s pathetic record on matters that impact the gay community, such as Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
I have yet to hear a good reason that the repeal of Prop 8 shouldn’t be put on the 2010 ballot. I am not saying that one doesn’t exist but I’ve not heard it. What we are getting from the Left are excuses. More importantly they can’t analyze the situation accurately because their desire to be PC prevents them from dealing with the facts. They would rather put PC sentiments first and keep Prop 8 for several more years. Based on the facts, as we know them, the repeal of Prop 8 is likely in any election where Obama is not on the ballot. Yes, that means that 2014 would be a good year for repeal, but then so is 2010, and why let the injustice last another four years?