An interestingly different take, from a reader:
Brooks’ column contains a pernicious underlying assumption: He implies that, if it were true that Republican votes were largely motivated by values such as gay marriage and abortion, then the liberals would be correct in feeling morally superior. Brooks cites Pew Research findings that (fortunately) indicate that this was not the case. Republicans were chiefly supporting Bush because he has made them feel safer.
But what if it turns out that Pew is wrong, and that many Republicans were indeed voting socially conservative values. Why does Brooks concede to the liberals that these voters would then be morally inferior? What is wrong with wishing to preserve traditional marriage and to oppose abortion? Brooks doesn’t say; he simply accepts at face value the idea that such views would say something distasteful about Republicans. I am concerned that Brooks undermines the conservative movement with such assumptions.