Sex Panic, Welfare, and the Police State
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In the wake of the 2004 presidential election, one observer noted: “The Democrats' mistake was thinking that a disastrous war and national bankruptcy would be of concern to the electorate. The Republicans saw, correctly, that the chief concern of the electorate was to keep gay couples from having abortions,” (Ricardo Dominguez, personal communication, January 31, 2005). Instead of the election becoming a referendum on a war begun under the auspices of missing weapons of mass destruction which never materialized, a sex panic over abortion and a homosexual menace shifted the course of debate. Faced with the threat to their civilization, the electorate awarded Bush a second term. With victory in hand, Bush claimed a mandate to dismantle core foundations of the U.S. welfare state.