The Religious Right is understandably concerned about what a Barack Obama administration will mean for their influence and agenda in the coming years and its leaders are already hard at work trying to reign him in by suggesting that, despite his clear victory, he doesn’t have any sort of mandate:
Wasting little time, conservative Christian groups have already drafted open letters to Obama stressing their opposition to abortion, and are taking steps to reassure supporters that they will fight any attempt to give the new administration a blank cheque — especially on social issues.
“Barack Obama can clearly claim a mandate from the American people on the economy, maybe even our standing in the eyes of the rest of the world, but he cannot claim a mandate to impose or to advance a liberal social agenda,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council …
Though conservative Christians won’t have “the same type of relationship we had with the Bush administration,” Perkins said the passage of amendments in three states that banned same-sex marriage shows their values have staying power.
“This was, I think, more of a referendum on the Republican Party than conservative values,” he said. “We focused upon the marriage amendments in the three states … They passed in two states (California and Florida), which Barack Obama carried handily.”
Fair enough, but what about the various anti-choice issues that were also on the ballot and all lost? Those apparently don’t count:
None of the state referenda on abortion — including one on parental consent in California and a “personhood” amendment in Colorado — passed on Election Day, but [Richard] Land said conservative Christians will be undeterred by those losses at the polls.
“Pro-life Catholics and pro-life evangelicals aren’t going anywhere,” he said.
So the anti-gay amendments that passed prove that Obama has no “mandate to impose or to advance a liberal social agenda,” but conversely nothing at all can be concluded about choice issues even though every such initiative failed just because the anti-choice forces say so?