The Corner

Wjb On Election 2004

Yesterday, William Bennett offered his reading of the election in an address at the Heritage Foundation. Here’s an excerpt: “…the charge that the right wing or the Christian right has taken over this country, and that this is what explains moral values, is false: In fact, what President Bush stood for, ran on, and won on is a center-right morality, what we might call common moral sense. America has not turned far right. What the president stood for is mainstream….I know the religious right, and President Bush is not the religious right. President Bush did not direct a devoted flock on evangelicals–in fact they were out in front of him and his campaign on many issues and were often very frustrated with what they regarded as the White House and the President’s indecisiveness….Evangelical support of President Bush is not even the largest part of the electoral story, because he drew very large support from Catholics, and Hispanics, and even raised his numbers among Jews….And the issues mirrored the numbers–like the numbers, they were largely center-right. President Bush did not campaign on ending abortion, he campaigned and spoke more about partial birth abortion (which John Kerry supports, but a vast majority of Americans oppose). President Bush did not suffocate stem cell research, he was the first president to fund it, and then barred further federal funding of it. President Bush did support a constitutional amendment to bar gay marriage–but so too did voters in every state where they could vote on it for their state laws. In short, the President campaigned from the middle, or the middle right. Not the far right. And he won.” Bennett’s full address will appear in the Winter edition of The Claremont Review of Books.


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