Democrats Misplay "God Card"

I wrote last July that I fully expected the liberal Democrat party to try and claim Christianity for themselves under the name of “progressive Christianity.”

A prime example is in USAToday recently that tries to show that “playing the God card” isn’t working for George Bush and the Republicans. Even if, as the author admits, “Bush, for his part, at times has invoked religion appropriately and even eloquently” and that even while overall support for Bush may be dropping, evangelicals still overwhelmingly support Bush.

I am not surprised that both Republicans and Democrats will attempt to invoke religion to win elections in 2006 and 2008. But the USAToday article misses a key point – Christian conservatives vote Republican because the Republicans support their ideals. Democrats do too, but only occasionally and when politically expedient, then come off as hypocritical when they do. Townhall’s Patrick Hynes discusses that playing the “God Card” has actually hurt the Democrat Party. Before the 2004 election, 40% of Americans viewed the Democratic Party as “friendly toward religion.” After trying clumsily to gain support for their policies by calling on God, this fell to 29% by August 2005.

Democrats have some serious decisions to make about the future of their party and its message. The Democrat Party cannot long stand as one that demands separation of church and state in all — even symbolic — matters while at the same time claiming Biblical substantiation for liberal public policies. They cannot imply John Roberts’ queasiness about Roe v. Wade breaches the “impregnable wall,” as Sen. Dianne Feinstein did during Roberts’ confirmation hearings, while at the same time urge income redistribution because “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:25). They cannot call Republicans “theocrats” for trying to save Terri Schiavo while they also claim John the Baptist endorsed their welfare state when he said, “He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none …” (Luke 3:11).

Just as Democrats are telling voters they are unserious about national security through their over-the-top rhetoric about Iraq, the Democrats’ “God card” gambit demonstrates to the American public that they are not serious about matters of faith in public life.

The big problem the Democrats have is a) much of their party is composed of people not just passive about God, but actively opposed to God. They support removing “under God” from the pledge of allegiance and prohibit the free expression of Christianity in schools, then the other half tries to undo that perception by claiming the liberal “give to the poor” philosophy is something Jesus would want. The Democrats won’t be able to have it both ways; it comes off as way too insincere, even for politicians.

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Ill Wind May Not Blow to the Whitehouse

Will Hurricane Katrina spell the end of George Bush’s Presidency? Almost certainly yes, with a few caveats. 😛

As the full horror of Hurricane Katrina sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if this is the end of George Bush’s presidency. The answer is almost certainly yes, provided that every copy of the US Constitution was destroyed in the storm. Otherwise President Bush will remain in office until noon on January 20th, 2009, as required by the 20th Amendment, after which he is barred from seeking a third term anyway under the 22nd Amendment.

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if the entire political agenda of George Bush’s second term will not still be damaged in some terribly satisfying way.

The answer is almost certainly yes, provided that the entire political agenda of George Bush’s second term consists of repealing the 22nd Amendment. Otherwise, with a clear Republican majority in both Houses of Congress, he can carry on doing pretty much whatever he likes.

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if the Republican Party itself will now suffer a setback at the congressional mid-term elections next November.

The answer is almost certainly yes, provided that people outside the disaster zone punish their local representatives for events elsewhere a year previously, both beyond their control and outside their remit, while people inside the disaster zone reward their local representatives for an ongoing calamity they were supposed to prevent. Otherwise, the Democratic Party will suffer a setback at the next congressional election.

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if an official inquiry will shift the blame for poor planning and inadequate flood defences on to the White House. The answer is almost certainly yes, provided nobody admits that emergency planning is largely the responsibility of city and state agencies, and nobody notices that the main levee which broke was the only levee recently modernised with federal funds. Otherwise, an official inquiry will pin most of the blame on the notoriously corrupt and incompetent local governments of New Orleans and Louisiana.

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if George Bush contributed to the death toll by sending so many national guard units to Iraq.

The answer is almost certainly yes, provided nobody recalls that those same columnists have spent the past two years blaming George Bush for another death toll by not sending enough national guard units to Iraq. Otherwise, people might wonder why they have never previously read a single article advocating large-scale military redeployment during the Caribbean hurricane season.

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnist are asking how a civilised city can descend into anarchy.

The answer is that only a civilised city can descend into anarchy.

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if George Bush should be held responsible for the terrible poverty in the southern states revealed by the flooding.

The answer is almost certainly yes, provided nobody holds Bill Clinton responsible for making Mississippi the poorest state in the union throughout his entire term as president, or for making Arkansas the second-poorest state in the union throughout his entire term as governor. Otherwise, people might suspect that it is a bit more complicated than that.

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if George Bush should not be concerned by accusations of racism against the federal government.

The answer is almost certainly yes, provided nobody remembers that Jesse Jackson once called New York “Hymietown” and everybody thinks Condoleezza Rice went shopping for shoes when the hurricane struck because she cannot stand black people.

Otherwise sensible Americans of all races will be more concerned by trite, cynical and dangerous political opportunism.

As the full horror of that sinks in, this columnist is simply glad that everybody cares.

* From a tip from Right Voices and Slugger O’Toole. Original article by Newton Emerson in the Irish Times.

Baggage Screener By Day, Rapper Terrorist By Night

Who screens the screeners?

HOUSTON — When Bassam Khalaf raps, he’s the Arabic Assassin. His unreleased CD, “Terror Alert,” includes rhymes about flying a plane into a building and descriptions of himself as a “crazy, suicidal Arabic … equipped with bombs.”

Until last week, Khalaf also worked as a baggage screener at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

It’s difficult to lead two separate lives. He can’t celebrate terrorism with one personality and protect against terrorism with another.

Khalaf, 21, was hired on Jan. 16 and fired July 7, according to a TSA termination letter that cited his “authorship of songs which applaud the efforts of the terrorists on September 11th, encourage and warn of future acts of terrorism by you, discuss at length and in grave and alarming detail various criminal acts you intend to commit, state your belief that the U.S. government should be overthrown, and finally warn that others will die on September 11, 2005.”

Khalaf, who was born in Houston and is of Palestinian descent, said working as a baggage screener was the best paying job he’s ever had. He said he hoped to use any extra money he earned to produce his CD.

“Controversy sells,” Khalaf said. “It brings a lot of attention. Everybody wants to label all Arabics terrorists just because a couple of people messed up. Well, I’m going to play along with that character. I’m going to let you think I’m one.”

Well, ok, if you insist. I think you’re a terrorist.

What Would Kerry Do?

Seeing as how the Democrats are currently hoping the Iraq War fails:

For a while last week, the Democrats were doing better at framing the issues. The poll numbers showed that Bush’s approval rating was down, that around 60% of the voters had turned against the Iraq War, that support for Bush on his handling of 911 and terrorism was lower, but still pretty high.

* George Lackoff, Berkeley advisor to Democrat Leadership, Huffington Post, June 29, 2005

It’s no surprise that the Democrats are still campaigning against Bush, 7 months after Bush won the 2004 election. After Bush’s rousing speech Tuesday night, instant-poll numbers showed that Americans thought highly of Bush and supportive of the war. So for 3 days the media has been interviewing Democrats in order to depress people about the war. Immediately after George Bush’s speech, John Kerry said this on Larry King Live:

Costas: If you had been elected president last November, by this point what would President John Kerry have done in Iraq?

Kerry: Well, I laid out–you know, I don’t want to get in–I mean, I think that’s not quite the way to go at it.

Well said.

Seeing Red

Peggy Noonan has a great article today – how recent comments from Howard Dean and Hillary Clinton alienate Americans. Peggy points out that throughout America, Republicans are friends with Democrats and Democrats are friends with Republicans, and while they differ on issues, they often are polite and respectful to each other. In Washington, though, they don’t associate with each other.

Then she gives the following imaginary speech from George Bush. See if you can imagine the response in the press if Bush actually said this:

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. I want to speak this evening about how I see the political landscape. Let me jump right in. The struggle between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party is a struggle between good and evil–and we’re the good. I hate Democrats. Let’s face it, they have never made an honest living in their lives. Who are they, really, but people who are intent on abusing power, destroying the United States Senate and undermining our Constitution? They have no shame.

But why would they? They have never been acquainted with the truth. You ever been to a Democratic fundraiser? They all look the same. They all behave the same. They have a dictatorship , and suffer from zeal so extreme they think they have a direct line to heaven . But what would you expect when you have a far left extremist base? We cannot afford more of their leadership. I call on you to help me defeat them!”

What Peggy has done, of course, is swap “right” with “left” and quoted Hillary Clinton (green) and Howard Dean (purple) from just speeches made in the last month.

Peggy knows what I know: I am not necessarily a Republican. I don’t hold their values. I vote Republican because they hold my values. Rather than simply insulting me for what I believe, if Democrats would try to understand people like me, we could all work for improving the USA, not destroying it.

Rolling Stone on MoveOn.org

Rolling Stone points out the MoveOn.org’s far left agenda hurts the Democrats more than it helps:

They signed up 500,000 supporters with an Internet petition — but Bill Clinton still got impeached. They organized 6,000 candlelight vigils worldwide — but the U.S. still invaded Iraq. They raised $60 million from 500,000 donors to air countless ads and get out the vote in the battle-ground states — but George Bush still whupped John Kerry. A gambler with a string of bets this bad might call it a night. But MoveOn.org just keeps doubling down.

Actually, I think most conservatives appreciate MoveOn.org. It acts like a magnet for left-wing loonies, sucking them into a liberal blob of incoherent, angry rhetoric. Republicans appreciate them because it fractures the Democrats in half, leaving the centrist Democrats choosing between supporting the Republicans or joining hands with the loony ones.

Right now, MoveOn is spending $500,000 dollars opposing Bush’s Social Security reforms. Why? As far as I can tell, only because Bush proposed them. A better use of money would be to air ads that proposes changes to Social Security that MoveOn wants, but that would require them to come up with ideas instead of just opposition. So not only is Social Security broke, MoveOn wants it to stay broke. That’s the message I’m getting from MoveOn.

Now that Howard Dean has been named chair of the Democratic National Committee — an ascension that MoveOn helped to engineer — the Internet activist group is placing another high-stakes wager. It’s betting that its 3 million grass-roots revolutionaries can seize the reins of the party and establish the group as a lasting political force. “It’s our Party,” MoveOn’s twenty-four-year-old executive director, Eli Pariser, declared in an e-mail. “We bought it, we own it and we’re going to take it back.” The group’s new goal is sweeping in its ambition: To make 2006 a watershed year for liberal Democrats in Congress, in the same way that Newt Gingrich led a Republican revolution in 1994.

Heh. They might make blue states bluer, but they’re alienating red states, making them redder. And since population trends are giving red states more electoral votes, MoveOn is effectively gutting the Democratic party, ensuring they’ll stay the minority.

We’ll see what 2006 brings, but my instinct tells me that the Republican Senate will end up with more than the 55 votes they have now.

Not Interested

At lunch today, I looked for news to blog about about. I found a lot of stuff that doesn’t interest me. So I’m going to blog about that.

  • Paris Hilton. Apparently hackers broke into her Blackberry and posted her address book on the web. Somewhere. All the news is gaga over the fact that Paris knows some famous people. Paris bores me, so this news bores me. She’s a rich socialite that likes to party, zzzzz.
  • Hunter S. Thompson. Some author I’ve never heard of invented a writing style I’ve never heard of and wrote a bunch of stories I’ve never heard of. Apparently he was a mean old depressed man who abused drugs. Somehow that made him famous in a weird counterculture sort of way. Then he killed himself and all the news reports it as news. Zzzzzz.
  • Doug Wead. Apparently he taped George W. Bush in 1998. George Bush said some things that sound a lot like George Bush sounds today. No earth-shattering revelations found in the transcripts. Wead says he didn’t do it for the money, although he does have a book coming out. Zzzzzz.

The most exciting thing today appears to be that it’s President Day that only the post office and banks celebrate. Zzzz.