Tactically, did not condemning gay marriage outright doom Kerry in the end?

“Exactly”, you ask? Come on now. You know the rhetoric that has been spun pretty wildly by the party you support, along the lines I presented to you.

Of course not, but groups do aggregate into totals. Nor, for that matter, am I picking a group at “random”, despite your misrepresentation - there was, as we now understand, a concerted effort led by Rove to increase the fundie vote in swing states, and the fundies did in fact turn out in far greater numbers than before. They’ll expect some reward for it, too - and you’re going to share in the consequences along with the rest of us, ya know.

If I’m simply spinning, you’re simply counterspinning, but without the benefit of factual support.

FTR, Sam, setting aside the clear-enough fact that SSM in MA is an advance that had to start somewhere and sometime, it didn’t have to be a “disaster” for Kerry. The problem was that its power in the reactionary world wasn’t fully recognized, and there wasn’t a sufficient strategy to counter the visceral reactions to it with the forceful and clear moral arguments in favor of it that the Bible-thumpers would understand come straight from the Good Book itself.

Sometimes it’s more important to be right than to be President. Yay Kerry.

I agree with Sam Stone. Kerry’s stated opinion on gay marriage had no effect.

Remember that, though he opposed gay marriage, he opposed it only if civil unions with the same rights were given instead.

That is the point I think most people miss: Kerry would rather have had gay marriage allowed, than to not have any institution to provide the same rights.
I don’t see Kerry getting a net gain of votes by changing this view. The only way to go more to the left would be to clearly support gay marriage, which would have cost him votes. Going to the right and not requiring civil unions in order to disallow gay marriage would have lost him some of his base, and I doubt he would have made up for it with christian anti-gay voters, who I feel Bush had locked up already, and who probably wouldn’t have believed Kerry no matter what he said.

In the past, you’ve many times brought up the fact that Kerry supported a gay marriage ban without mentioning the rather key fact that this was always contingent on getting full civil unions. You didn’t do that this time, and that calls for some celebration!

If it was relavent to the discussion, I would’ve brought it up. I’ve linked to that exact article multiple times in this forum. I don’t know whether or not I quoted that exact portion, but since it’s the first paragraph, I suspect that I did. You’re reading WAY too much into all of this…

Kerry took a principled stand, even though it cost him votes. Truly a courageous decision. He’s a modern day Profile In Courage.

If Kerry had followed through on that pandering plan, he would have lost my vote. I’d have gone with Nader.

Now, the problem was that Kerry and the liberals were once again meekly silent while Bush and Cheney both came out in favor of civil unions for gays! Again the two took initiative of a hot topic, and ran away with it.

I don’t think it hurt him that much. People who were so strongly anti-gay marriage were not going to vote for him: he couldn’t have come across as anti-SSM as Bush did. Condemning it more strongly might have hurt him in any case. This is why Republican leadership wanted this to be an issue in this campaign. They knew it could only help them by motivating parts of their base.