An obvious guess is that these positions correspond with the world view of the entertainment industry. Whether it is gay rights, sexual permissiveness or just-say-yes attitudes on recreational drugs, Hollywood has long been at the barricades. But since the days of “Norma Rae” (1979), few movies or TV series have taken a definitive position on the class struggle. My hunch is that a poll of Hollywood would find about 98 percent support for gay marriage but a self-interested majority would object to higher taxes on those earning more than $250,000 per year.
Not many high-priced Washington lobbyists and lawyers get entangled with social issues, since these are not the kind of causes that pay the rent on K Street. When they do get involved out of conviction – such as conservative attorney Ted Olson and liberal lawyer David Boies (the two principal litigators in Bush v. Gore) challenging the California gay marriage ban – it is usually on the socially permissive side of the ledger. In contrast, Washington lobbyists are paid to be fierce battlers in favor of lower tax rates for their clients, a major factor in tilting the congressional tax debate in the conservative direction.
Maybe it all comes down to the simple answer that the American people are, at their core, libertarians — suspicious of both the taxman and the government’s attempts to regulate social behavior.