Lauren Ashburn and Howard Kurtz did a quick video (posted below) about last night’s huge gay marriage victories (and huge gay victories overall) and got into a discussion about whether the media has missed the ball, or as Howie puts it, “is still playing catch up,” on the gay marriage issue.
I do think the media hasn’t yet fully appreciated just how huge a victory last night was for the gay community in particular, and more generally, just how big a win the 2012 elections were for the left. I mean, legalizing pot, twice. A host of GOP nutjobs going down in flames, including “legitimate rape” Akin, “God intends rape-babies” Mourdock, Allen West and Joe Walsh. And not just gay marriage victories in four states, but a slew of new openly- gay and bi members of the House and Senate.
To some degree, the media was probably caught surprise last night – I know I was. And, to some extent, they’re still focusing on the the big story of the evening, the President’s re-election. But something else happened last night. Far too many Republicans, and conservative ideas, lost. And far too many – more than we expected – liberal ones won. And the question is “why?”
The Republicans spent a hell of a lot of money to win this election, buttressed by a heck of a lot of lies, a bad economy, and a President who didn’t always seem as if his heart was truly in the race. And they still lost.
If anything, once again, gay rights is helping the President rather than hurting him. Reportedly, 5% of the electorate was gay last night, and 77% voted for Obama (which is high, historically). And it was no secret that Team Obama realized earlier this year that “gay” was more of an asset to their re-elect than a liability. But I’m talking about something else. The fact that gay rights did so well last night, in addition to other liberal issues and candidates, and the fact that conservatives did so poorly (save in the House, which was redistricted into a win by the Republicans), feeds the perception that Obama’s win wasn’t just a fluke, wasn’t just a squeaker, and wasn’t only due to Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Christie. Something else, something bigger, seems to have been going on.
I don’t know what it is, yet. But that’s the story I’d like to see the media explore.
Here’s Howie and Lauren: