Tuesday morning notes of interest

On the heels of yesterday’s subject of religion on Donkey Digest, Democratic U.S. senator from Illinois Barack Obama has an editorial in today’s USAToday advising politicians not to abandon faith:

For some time now, there has been talk among pundits and pollsters that the political divide in this country falls sharply along religious lines. Indeed, the single biggest gap in party affiliation among white Americans today is not between men and women, between red states and blue, but between those who attend church regularly and those who don’t.

This gap has long been exploited by conservative leaders such as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, who tell evangelical Christians that Democrats disrespect their values and dislike their church, while suggesting that religious Americans care only about issues such as abortion and gay marriage.

It’s a gap that has also been kept open by some liberals, who might try to avoid the conversation about their religious values altogether, fearful of offending anyone and claiming that constitutional principles tie their hands. Some might even dismiss religion in the public square as inherently irrational or intolerant, thinking that the very word “Christian” describes one’s political opponents, not people of faith.

And yet, despite all this division, we are united by the fact that Americans are a deeply religious people. Ninety percent of us believe in God, 70% affiliate ourselves with an organized religion, and 38% call ourselves committed Christians.

This is why, if political leaders truly hope to communicate our hopes and values to Americans in a way that’s relevant to their own, we cannot abandon the field of religious discourse.

This is really a good read and I recommend reading it whether you’re a Christian, athiest, or fall somewhere in between like I do.  Obama is correct, of course.  Liberals in some circles have abandoned religion, and some even ridicule it publically.  Not smart if your goal is to win votes.

Of course the keyboard warriors/nutroots/McGovernites with Modems are all over this.  Let’s listen in at Democratic Underground:

  • Obama has decided to go with Karl Rove’s framing of the issue.  That we are the ones with the problem and that we are everything Ann Coulter & Rush Limbaugh say we are.  He should be saying that these are the people who need to display their moral values, not us.
  • Obama must stop using this rethug talking point.  It’s the slow road becoming another Zell Miller/ Joe Lieberman kind of politican.


Quote from John McCain, Republican Senator from Arizona, in an Esquire interview:

I think the biggest mistake we could make is to underestimate Hillary Clinton. She’s smart and she’s tough. She’s very disciplined in all ways—unlike her husband—and I think she’s formidable. Plus, she already has $20 million in the bank. If we don’t get our act together…”


The Patriot Project has a piece by Taylor Marsh on The Swiftboating of John Murtha that is well worth your time today.

If Rep. Murtha didn’t have real military clout, being the first Vietnam veteran elected to the House, the Republican Party wouldn’t have bothered with him. But he does, so they did. It has now escalated into a conservative campaign to swiftboat a decorated Marine veteran.

Once called one of the most hawkish members of Congress, Rep. John Murtha is now being presented as some anti war coward. His remarks about Haditha have unleashed just the latest salvo in the swiftboating strategy invented by conservatives, which they are now being forced to defend and explain.



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