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Author: Edward Ashbee

This book considers the policy of the George W. Bush administration towards issues such as abortion, sex education, obscenity and same-sex marriage. It suggests that, although accounts have often emphasised the ties between George W. Bush and the Christian right, the administration's strategy was, at least until early 2005, largely directed towards the courting of middle-ground opinion. The study offers a detailed and comprehensive survey of policy making; assesses the political significance of moral concerns; evaluates the role of the Christian Right; and throws new light on George W. Bush's years in office and the character of his thinking.

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The Bush administration, sex and the moral agenda
Edward Ashbee

accommodate the interests, beliefs and short-term goals of core constituencies, most notably the activists and organisations of the Christian right, but at the same time reached out, to a much greater extent than is often suggested, towards the middle ground. This was important because, despite suggestions that it had been marginalised or even eliminated as US politics became increasingly pulled between the extremes, middle ground opinion remained significant during the 1990s and the Bush years. This is often masked by the four forms of polarisation that did take place

in The Bush administration, sex and the moral agenda
Edward Ashbee

candidate and as president of building a ‘culture of life’: The America of our dreams, where every child is welcomed . . . in life and protected in law, may still be some ways away . . . But even from the far side of the river . . . we can see its glimmerings.67 He emphasised his opposition to partial-birth abortion, and stressed the importance of parental involvement when decisions about a pregnancy, or sexual health more broadly, were made by minors. On both, he had the solid backing of middle ground opinion. At the same time, he spoke against the imposition of a

in The Bush administration, sex and the moral agenda