Obama’s re-election leaves social conservatives feeling as if the earth trembled and shifted. Writing in the Weekly Standard , Christopher Caldwell explains why: Obama won as a values candidate. It’s just that his values are opposite those of religious conservatives.

When Obama “set out to pick a fight with the Catholic church over contraception,” it looked like a political flub, but Obama “understood that ‘reproductive rights’ are similar to ‘gun rights.’ Even if the number of people who care about protecting them is small, all of them vote on the issue.” Obama’s clarity on other social issues galvanized key constituencies. Caldwell writes, “Barack Obama has a core moral belief about abortion. It is that women should always be able to get one . . . . Obama has a core moral belief about gay marriage, too. He supports it.” Romney avoided the issues; and when he did address them, it was easy to make him out as a waffler.

Obama’s reelection was the coming out of a new Moral Majority.

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