I was reading AmericaBlog a few minutes ago and they mentioned that Harry Reid (likely incoming Senate Minority Leader) had to be forced to sign onto ENDA. The GOP are already saying that ENDA and hate crimes laws will not go anywhere, and that doesn't really surprise me. They never went anywhere even when Democrats controlled Congress. I have no problem abandonding those.
But the idea that hacks and beltway whores like James Carville have that Democrats need to get the "rural" vote is misguided and almost impossible. These guys are so out of touch with the ground that they really do believe all you have to do is use code words against gays or against minorities, and the fundies will line up at your doorstep.
Even many people here believe that the party should stab gays in the back in order to attract more voters. The problems with that are:
- people who vote based on gay-bashing will always vote Republican.
- we lost many of these Senate races because of the blood red states they were in. We lost them even though half of the candidates were also anti-gay. In 2000, Mark Dayton, Maria Cantwell, Debbie Stabenow, just for starters, would not have been elected if not for support from gay voters. If gay voters stay at home in 2006 because the party has decided to let the Hate Amendment or far right judges through, then there will be even less of a chance for these potentially vulnerable incumbents to win. It will also make Santorum more likely to win reelection, since people will just vote for the enemy they know and gays won't bother to vote at all.
- gays are one of the biggest money sources for Democrats. Tim Gill is one of the main reasons that Dems won so much in Colorado yesterday. Gays helped give Howard Dean his start in the Presidential sweepstakes.