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  •  BRING IT ON!! It only helps the Left (none)
    Some Bush Supporters Say They Anticipate a 'Revolution'
    By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

    ARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 3 - Exulting in their electoral victories, President Bush's conservative supporters immediately turned to staking out mandates for an ambitious agenda of long-cherished goals, including privatizing Social Security, banning same-sex marriage, remaking the Supreme Court and overturning the court's decisions in support of abortion rights.
    "Now comes the revolution," Richard Viguerie, the dean of conservative direct mail, told about a dozen fellow movement stalwarts gathered around a television here, tallying up their Senate seats in the earliest hours of the morning. "If you don't implement a conservative agenda now, when do you?"
    By midday, however, fights over the spoils had already begun, as conservatives debated the electorate's verdict on the war in Iraq, the Bush administration's spending and the administration's hearty embrace of traditionalist social causes.
    Conservative Christians, both Protestant and Catholic, were first in line to stake their claims, citing polls showing that a plurality of Bush supporters named "moral values" as the most important issue and arguing that a drive to ban same-sex marriage boosted turnout in Ohio.
    "Make no mistake - conservative Christians and 'values voters' won this election for George W. Bush and Republicans in Congress," Mr. Viguerie wrote in a memorandum sent to other prominent conservatives. "It's crucial that the Republican leadership not forget this - as much as some will try," he said, underlining the final clause.
    "Liberals, many in the media and inside the Republican Party are urging the president to 'unite' the country by discarding the allies that earned him another four years," Mr. Viguerie continued. "They're urging him to discard us conservative Catholics and Protestants, people for whom moral values are the most important issue.''
    Dr. James C. Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family and an influential evangelical Protestant, said he had issued a warning to a "White House operative" who called yesterday morning to thank him for his help.
    Dr. Dobson said he told the caller that many Christians believed the country "on the verge of self-destruction" as it abandoned traditional family roles. He argued that "through prayer and the involvement of millions of evangelicals, and mainline Protestants and Catholics, God has given us a reprieve."
    "But I believe it is a short reprieve," he continued, adding that conservatives now had four years to pass an amendment banning same-sex marriage, to stop abortion and embryonic stem-cell research, and most of all to remake the Supreme Court. "I believe that the Bush administration now needs to be more aggressive in pursuing those values, and if they don't do it I believe they will pay a price in four years," he said.
    Dr. Dobson and several other Christian conservatives said they believed the expanded Republican majority in the Senate and the defeat of the Senate Democratic leader, Tom Daschle, put them in striking distance of both amending the constitution to ban same-sex marriage and approving the appointment of enough conservative Supreme Court justices to overturn Roe v. Wade and other abortion rights cases.
    "I think it is a real possibility," said Senator Sam Brownback, Republican of Kansas, a champion of social conservative causes. In the meantime, he said, he also hoped to pass other measures conservatives had campaigned for this year, including an "Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act" requiring some women seeking abortions to be offered anesthesia for their fetuses.
    Austin Ruse, president of the conservative Catholic Culture of Life Foundation, suggested that if Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist steps down, Mr. Bush could begin to repay his social conservative backers by naming Justice Antonin Scalia to replace him. "We'd love to see Scalia in that spot, and I think we have earned it," Mr. Ruse said.
    The strongest argument that Christian conservatives played a decisive role in the election came in Ohio, where a ballot measure to ban same-sex marriage passed by an overwhelming margin. Conservatives said the proposal increased conservative turnout and helped Mr. Bush win a narrow, pivotal victory.
    Phil Burress, the veteran Christian conservative organizer who headed the effort to pass the measure, said his campaign registered tens of thousands of voters, distributed 2.5 million church bulletin inserts and passed out 20,000 yard signs. His group called 2.9 million homes, he said, identifying 850,000 strong supporters whom it called again on Monday as a reminder to go to the polls.
    "The president rode our coattails," Mr. Burress said.
    Although the Bush campaign courted conservative Christians assiduously, the exact level of their turnout is not yet clear. Surveys of voters leaving the polls showed that "moral values" outweighed concerns about the economy or the war with more than 20 percent of the voters - more than chose any other issue - and about 80 percent of those voters supported Mr. Bush. But some pollsters cautioned that the multiple-choice format of the questions asked might have influenced the responses.
    Sarah Chamberlain, a spokeswoman for the Republican Main Street Coalition, a group of moderates within the party, argued that high-profile moderates on social issues also played a pivotal role for the campaign in Ohio and elsewhere. Those moderates included Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York and Senator John McCain of Arizona.
    "Frankly, he wouldn't have been elected without us either, and the conservatives need to remember that," she said.
    "Social conservatives are a very important part of the base, but they are not enough alone," said Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform and a conservative strategist close to the Bush administration, noting that in Illinois, Alan Keyes had taken a drubbing in the race for the Senate after running a vigorously conservative campaign on social issues.
    Mr. Norquist eagerly predicted the accomplishment of a long agenda of government reduction: repealing the estate tax, privatizing Social Security, restricting medical and other liability lawsuits, closing military bases, opening more government jobs to competitive bidding to lower costs and weaken unions, imposing new disclosure requirements on organized labor, and expanding health care and investment savings accounts.
    Most conservatives, however, agreed that among the three arms of the right - religious traditionalists, opponents of big government and foreign policy hawks - it was the religious right that pulled the most weight in Mr. Bush's re-election.
    Stephen Moore, president of the Club for Growth, a group that advocates limited government, said the Bush administration's spending had irked many of his members. "My fear is that Republicans will learn the wrong lesson from this victory and say, hey, we can spend and borrow hundreds of millions of dollars and the voters won't hold us accountable," he said. "There were a lot of conservatives who really had to hold their nose to vote Republican."
    By all accounts, the war in Iraq only hindered Mr. Bush's re-election, renewing debate among conservatives over its wisdom, especially during the hours on Tuesday when early polls suggested that Mr. Bush might be headed for defeat. "We need a major national debate on, what kind of foreign policy is this country going to have?" said Paul Weyrich, founder of the Heritage Foundation and now chairman of the Free Congress Foundation. "Are we going to continue on the offense, where we make more enemies than we can defeat? Or are we going to return to the traditional foreign policy that we do not attack unless attacked?"
    But some of the intellectual proponents of the war known as neoconservatives called the vote something close to a vindication of Mr. Bush's policy of pre-emptive action against potential sponsors of terrorism.
    "The world saw this as a referendum on the Bush doctrine, and I think the world was right," said Charles Krauthammer, a neoconservative columnist.
    Kenneth R. Weinstein, chief operating officer of the neoconservative Hudson Institute, was more cautious "Certainly," he said, "we have avoided the blood bath in the Republican Party that would have taken place if Mr. Bush had been defeated."

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