Conservatives don't have a leg to stand on in the fight against gay marriage or abortion rights, msnbc host Rachel Maddow argued Sunday on Meet the Press.
Maddow faced off against conservative stalwarts Ralph Reed, founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, and former Senator Jim DeMint—who left office to head the Heritage Foundation—over the conservative game plan after the Supreme Court decision on the Defense of Marriage Act.
Currently, 70% of Americans live in states that define marriage as between a man and a woman, Reed said, adding that the Court's decision would mobilize conservative voters.
"What you're going to see in states like Iowa, where the [State] Supreme Court imposed same-sex marriage on the state, we're going to be attempting to elect legislators who will pass a constitutional amendment to ratify that marriage should be between a man and a woman," Reed said.
Not so fast, Maddow said, countering that the Faith and Freedom Coalition's recent efforts at targeting lawmakers over social issues hasn't had much consequence electorally.
"Your group worked on three main election efforts this year: Electing Mitt Romney, getting the Iowa State Supreme Court Justice thrown out and recalled for having voted in favor of same-sex marriage, and the Minnesota anti-gay constitutional amendment," she said. "You lost all three of those fights in November 2012."
Reed said that in fact his organization had successfully turned out record numbers of evangelical voters in the last election.
"And it was great," Maddow said. "And you lost."
DeMint, meanwhile, used the case of convicted Doctor Kermit Gosnell as an example for why abortion rights should be further restricted in the name of "women's health."
"The more that ultrasounds have become part of the law where a woman gets the opportunity to see that there’s a real child is beginning to change minds," DeMint said. "It’s time that the 3,000 babies that we lose every day have some people speaking up for them."
In response, Maddow pointed out that ultrasounds invade women's privacy:
Women don’t 'get the opportunity' with ultrasound, the ultrasound bill is mandated by the state. So if a woman does not want an ultrasound, or if her doctor does not want her to have an ultrasound, if an ultrasound is not medically indicated, the state government is stepping in and saying: 'You must have this ultrasound by order of the state government.' In a lot of these what is being mandated is a vaginal ultrasound, so it’s an invasive, vaginal, forced procedure that a woman cannot say 'no' to by order of the state government. And that is all right with you. I understand that you feel that you have an interest strong enough to override a woman’s desire to not have that happen to her, that you can insist that it does as a legislator. But most American women, I think, are going to balk at that. And if you want to make it a federal issue, I’d say that the Democrats are going to be delighted to have that fight.