March 23, 2006

Value Addled

Patrick Hynes responds to an AmSpecBlog post of mine by fleshing out his criticism of David Brooks and Charles Krauthammer. I don't think he defeats what I said in my post-election AmSpec column was the best refutation of the it-was-all-about-values CW, John Hood's; I'd note in particular that I am not ignoring Weekly Mass attendees, because Hood addresses them and other regular churchgoers:

I found that the percentage of voters sampled who said they attended church at least weekly was the same—42 percent—in both 2000 and 2004. The percentage never attending church was also the same, at 15 percent. The middle group, those attending occasionally, was, you guessed it, 42 percent each time. Interestingly, while Bush slightly improved his standing among frequent churchgoers, by about a point in 2004, his support grew by 3 to 4 points among those attending seldom or never.
It is interesting to note that Hynes has gone over the Brooks and Krauthammer columns in the course of research for his book, and therefore must know that the thrust of their argument wasn't that values voters were a myth, but that their importance was overstated. The question becomes: When Hynes wrote...
David Brooks, writing in the New York Times, declared the moral values voter a "myth." Over at the Washington Post, Charles Krauthammer said moral values voters were a "myth."
...was he just being a sloppy writer, or did he make a conscious decision to lie?

Posted by John Tabin at March 23, 2006 11:46 PM