Home / Culture and Society / That’s All, Folks: The Culture War Finally Meets Its Waterloo

That’s All, Folks: The Culture War Finally Meets Its Waterloo

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Well, it is over.

Nearly twenty years after Pat Buchanan’s infamous “Culture War” speech at the 1992 Republican National Convention, the final battle of his brainchild has been fought.

Needless to say, his side lost. Badly.

With San Francisco District Judge Vaughn Walker’s outlawing of California’s Proposition 8 — which banned same-sex marriage — on the basis that it “fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license”, it is doubtless that other judges will follow suit in their respective districts. Though it is hard to admit, in the not-too-distant future, same-sex marriage will be legal on a national basis, and that will be that.

It is probably very apparent that Judge Walker’s ruling leaves me feeling mildly disappointed. I have never been enthusiastic about the idea of same-sex marriage — although, unlike many of my right-leaning contemporaries, I certainly do not feel threatened by it on a personal level — due to the fact that marriage has been recognized as a sacred union between a man and a woman since, oh, say, the beginning of remotely civilized society. Nonetheless, there is a silver lining to Walker’s decision, in my opinion, due to the fact that it came at an extremely convenient time for the GOP. As America sits on the cusp of the post-Labor Day “home stretch” of its midterm election campaigns, last week’s turn of events should be treated in a cautionary manner by center-right politicos.


Because, now, the “God, Guns, and Gays” trifecta will be electoral suicide — at least the “Gays” portion of it, anyhow. It would be wise for GOP politicians to use Proposition 8’s ouster as a catalyst for focusing on what really matters: fiscal and national security issues. Going the Gary Bauer route will do one thing and one thing only for the Party — turn what might be an epic landslide victory come November into an unexpected comeback for the Democrats.

With America’s unemployment rate at nearly ten percent, that is something our country simply cannot afford.

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About Joseph F. Cotto

  • Baronius

    I think you’ve got it completely backwards, Joseph. Gay marriages have been voted down in every state that’s had them on the ballot, including progressive California. The issue brings out a lot of opposition. On top of that, since the issue isn’t being being debated but handled in the courts, individual candidates don’t have to take a stand on it and risk alienating moderates. It’s a win-win, except for that whole “destruction of our culture” part.

  • As Rachel Maddow has repeatedly pointed out, minority rights should not be decided by majority votes. If we had put the issues to a state by state vote, southern states would most certainly have retained segregated schools and bans on interracial marriages.

    If rights are enforced by law, public opinion will eventually follow.

    And if you had separate elections for voters under 50 and over 50, you’d have quite different results in those [destructive and unnecessary] gay marriage referendums.

    This will happen. It’s just a matter of time.

  • Joseph,

    We wouldn’t have an unemployment rate of 9.5 if we made something!

    The GOP wants to win the peoples’ vote? How about wind turbines, solar panels,or high speed rail?

  • Baronius

    Handy, it probably will. I’m surprised that California didn’t okay them.

  • I wonder about Cotto’s vision for America. Return to Reaganism, I suppose.

    Well, you’re not much of a visionary, but then again, what conservative is? So you’re in good company. Don’t ever feel like a lone ranger.

  • It’s natural for people to look back to a time when the government was run competently with a leader who was admirable and not corrupt and an economy which was strong. So yes, people look back to the Reagan years. Not at all surprising.


  • Cannonshop

    #3 Jeannie, the same people who claim to want those things, are the same ones who put up a protest when they find out what kind of pollutants are involved in the manufacture-leading directly to the manufacturing going offshore.

    It’s one of the main reasons your “Green Aware” celebs have their promotional merch produced in third-world sweatshops in places with neither labor, nor environmental regs-they don’t want to pay the workers to make it, nor the costs of clean-up from the process.

  • The economy wasn’t “strong” until the end of Reagan’s first term. Median household income remained stagnant until 1985. And Iran/Contra was not an example of “competence.”

  • Cannonshop

    #8 Indicating how deeply damaged the economy was from Johnson, followed by Nixon, followed by Ford, followed by (and radically exacerbated by) Carter.

    Reagan spent five to six years un-screwing what his predecessors screwed up. The surprise is that it took such a short time to un-do damage caused over such a long period.

  • Bill B

    The Reagan years were the beginning of the “deficits don’t matter” conservative revolution. Where’d all those disciples go???

    They finally decided they (we) spent enough??

    While a Democrat is in the whitehouse??

    During the worst economic collapse in 80 years??

    And lets just continue those tax breaks for the rich. Politics at it’s worst.

    And free from corruption? Puleeze…

    Not to mention he was pretty well cognitively out to lunch for the better part of his second term.