As Adam Nagourney and Janet Elder reported, however, the elections did not center on "moral values" at all:
[W]hen allowed freely to name the issue that was most important in their vote, [only] 6 percent chose moral values, although smaller numbers named issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. On a separate question in which voters were given a choice of nine issues, 5 percent chose abortion, 4 percent chose stem cell research and 2 percent chose same-sex marriage ("Americans Show Clear Concerns on Bush Agenda," New York Times, November 23, 2004)Unable to contemplate the fact that the Democratic Party cannot and will not present a clear pro-working-class agenda that excites working-class voters and makes them politically active, rank-and-file Democrats re-frame themselves as "Morally Sound Democrats." They believe, earnestly (albeit cluelessly), that it's all a matter of misunderstanding between their party and the rest of the nation.
Rank-and-file Democrats had better awaken to their own misunderstanding of the Democratic Party first of all, though. The party they support isn't their party -- it never was. As far as the Democratic Leadership Council is concerned, it's time for the Red Purge again: "[t]he problem is that many millions of voters simply do not believe that Democrats take their cultural fears and resentments seriously, and that Republicans do" (emphasis added, "What Happened," New Dem Daily, November 4, 2004); "Democrats who had warned [Gavin] Newsom against his act of civil disobedience [allowing gay marriage] last February expressed a combination of exasperation and vindication late last week. 'I believe it [gay marriage] did energize a very conservative vote,' said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. 'It gave them a position to rally around. The whole issue has been too much, too fast, too soon'" (emphasis added, "Blame it on San Francisco?" San Francisco Chronicle, November 8, 2004); "Democrats owe the country a muscular strategy of our own. We need to be the party of Harry Truman and John Kennedy, not Michael Moore" (emphasis added, Al From and Bruce Reed, "Get The Red Out," Wall Street Journal, December 8, 2004); and "We've got to repudiate, you know, the most strident and insulting anti-American voices out there sometimes on our party's left" (emphasis added, Al From, qtd. in Matt Taibbi, "No More Moore: The DLC Joins the Witch-hunt," New York Press 17.49, December 8-14, 2004).