Monday Morning notes of interest: Hillary offends, but we don’t know why! Unreligious fringe dragging Democrats down?

Senator Clinton roused a group of Democrats Saturday with a fiery, motivational speech as we head into the final 3.5 months before the mid term elections.  Condemning the Republican led Congress, the Senator said:

“We do things that are controversial. We do things that try to inflame their base.”

Clinton also said:

“We are wasting time… We just have to turn on the news, don’t we, to see what it’s like going on around the world — so many conflicts,” Mrs. Clinton said. “We need to get back to building partnerships and alliances, to making friends so we can influence decisions that other people make and have people working with us to stem the tide of terrorism and the threats that we confront.” She added: “If we have to use military power, yes, we have to use it. But use it as a last resort, not as a first resort. Use it after all else has failed.”

Predictably the anti-Hillary brigade in the nutroots, who would rather see Hillary booed by Cindy Sheehan supporters than cheered by Democrats, were out in force on Democratic Underground and DailyKos.

    • this is moronic.  What’s next? “gays stole my toenails!”? Drunken idiots, sacrifice yourselves and throw yourselves under your king!!!”
    • if we send Chelsea to Iraq driving a fuel truck We’d see how long it would take Hil to realize that the treasonous lie that is the war on Iraq is just that.
    • once again she displays her utter contempt for anyone who isn`t a neo-liberal. union democrats and progressives are not welcome in the house of hillary…jesus christ if she keeps this shit up she will prove rush right.
    • Shut the f up and go away Hillary! You are nothin but a DINO!

In situations like this, don’t ever bother asking them what, exactly, Clinton said that was wrong.  You’ll only end up in a twisty turny la la land exchange and some odd parsing of words.  Bottom line:  If it is moderate or centrist, the far left hates it.  And they’ll defy reason and logic expressing that hate.  Just like the far right does!

On the subject of the far left and the far right, the LA Times has an excellent article on the Democrat’s “unreligious fringe.”  Republicans kowtow to the religious right, but Democrats have their own pesky religious voting bloc: the secular left.

Illinois Sen. Barack Obama gave a speech to a group of liberal Christians in which he called on his fellow Democrats to tear down the party’s self-imposed wall between religious faith and politics.

He criticized liberals who dismiss religion as “inherently irrational or intolerant,” and he called the idea that Americans should refrain from injecting their personal morality into the political debate a “practical absurdity.” Most important, however, he focused attention on the “prejudices” and “bias” that lie at the center of the alleged split between religious and nonreligious Americans.

One part brilliant and three parts common sense, Obama’s speech was the latest salvo in an ongoing debate within the Democratic Party. Stung by their loss in the 2004 presidential election, a growing number of prominent Democrats are, well, finding religion in religion. And with polls saying that 70% of Americans want their president to have “strong religious beliefs,” it’s not hard to deduce that they just might be on to something.

What Democrats won’t say, however, is that the secular posturing Obama is railing against is more a function of the party’s desire to appease a powerful, but relatively small, constituency than it is a deeply held, widely shared ideological stance. Just as the Republican Party pays obeisance to the demands of the 37% of its base that is white evangelical Christian, the Democrats feel they must not offend the 22% of their core voters who claim no religious affiliation. Why not? Because although they make up less than one-quarter of the coalition, these secular Democrats are much more likely than others to be high-level party activists.

That was not always the case. Some scholars point to the Democratic National Convention of 1972 as not only the moment Democrats edged toward secularism but the event that created the religious rift in American politics. Before 1972, both major parties were essentially indistinguishable in their approach to religion. The activist cores of both were dominated by members of mainstream religious groups: the GOP by mainline Protestants and the Democratic Party by Catholics and Jews.

But the Democratic delegation that nominated South Dakota Sen. George McGovern for president at the ’72 convention represented a profound shift from what had been the cultural consensus in American politics. Whereas only 5% of Americans could be considered secular in 1972, fully 24% of first-time Democratic delegates that year were self-identified agnostics, atheists or people who rarely, if ever, set foot in a house of worship. This new activist base encouraged a growing number of Democratic politicians to tone down their appeal to religious voters and to seek a higher wall separating church and state. With little regard for the traditionalist sensitivities of religious people within or outside of the party, the Democrats also embraced progressive stances on feminism and homosexuality that the public had never openly debated.

Here was see that pivotal year again: 1972.  A year that was the culmination of an attempted hijacking of the Democratic party by far left activists, and a year that was the starting point of the decline of the Democratic party.  Sure, Carter wins in 1976 because WaterGate and Nixon has left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth in regards to the GOP, but Carter looses badly in 1980.  The Democrats then lose badly in 1984 and 1988.  It took an Arkansas governor who promised a return to JFK-style Democratic politics to finally win the presidency for the Democrats again and the far left hated him.

I’m not religious.  I’m not black or gay or a woman, either.  But I do know the importance of not offending people who think or look differently than I do.  The left who believe they are the “real Democrats” have never really learned that lesson when it comes to people of faith.  That is why they keep dragging the rest of us over the electoral cliff.


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