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View Diary: Democratic Strategist Says Christian Right is the Most Powerful Force in Politics (164 comments)

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  •  I'm not suggesting that you are focusing (0+ / 0-)

    exclusively on the religious right, and you know that.  As I've commented in this and other of your Diaries, I appreciate the research and time spent on threshing out these under the radar personalities and groups, none of whom I had heard of prior to reading about them in your and Troutfishing's Diaries.

    Mr. Drake presents, IMO, not a denialist's point of view, but his perception of how the religious right functions within the GOP attack machine.  He believes that the religious right is on the decline and I'm not informed enough to judge that.

    What I do see and understand is the dominating presence of candidates like Perry and Bachmann who proudly display their religious extremist credentials in a way which suggests they believe they have a majority of voters who support them.  I don't believe they do.  

       

    May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house. George Carlin

    by msmacgyver on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 07:26:27 AM PDT

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    •  well (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      msmacgyver

      thanks.  But I think that Mr. Drake's point of view is indeed denialist, and falls precisely into the classic religious right is dead or dying meme we heard even during the periods of the 80s and the 90s.  He has no evidence other than his opinion, and while he is entitled to it, I think we need a higher standard of evidence than what he has offered to even begin to entertain his views.

      Proceed with caution ;-)

      •  Right, and as I commented in one of your (0+ / 0-)

        other Diaries, I confess to being in the "it can't happen here" camp.

        Correct me if I'm wrong, but it appears as if the 2010 cycle was dominated more by the corporate owned Baggers than by the coat tails religious right. Yes, there was the religious wack-a-doodle contingent like Angle and O'Donnell, but those who ended up in the House appear to be Koch/Bircher inspired nut cases.

        I'm certainly not discounting what I do see as the rise of extremists in prominent national elections, i.e., Bachmann and Perry, but it also appears as if the Wall Street owned GOP are doing their damndest to shut them out.

        May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house. George Carlin

        by msmacgyver on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 07:57:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  not at all shut out (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          msmacgyver

          rather, coopted and included them.

          Let us recall that it was Christian Right/tea party candidates that beat the establishment candidates key Senate primaries and that we now have Sen. Rand Paul.  Six had the most extreme positions on abortion of any major candidates in modern political history.

          Big corporate money largely organized the tea party, but who did they organize -- who were those tea partier folks?  Why it was largely the Christian Right, which had no major national organizations anymore, (although many effective state level groups), and so they went with where the action was.  The tea party was never one thing, it was and is many things marching under one banner, and many groups wanting to claim the tea party mantle.

          The tensions between the business and the Religious Right elements of the GOP is utterly normal.  Been going on for decades.  To say that the establishment wing is trying to gain or keep the upper hand does not mean that in the end, they don't stick with the Religious Righties.  They do. It is never an all or nothing affair.

          Sadly, the Democratic Party has been all too willing to accommodate the golf club Republicans who have fled the party rather than fight for their own principles.

          •  I agree that one faction of (0+ / 0-)

            Corporate Money backs the religious right along with the multi-tasking Baggers and especially in the 2010 run for the House.  They needed warm and sometimes accommodating bodies.

            Rand Paul is not a religious zealot and wouldn't be.  He is pure Libertarian and if some of the RR issues fit into his political scheme of things, all the better. He does give lip service to some issues but this isn't his forte.  He embraces the Bagger political ideology.

            Abortion isn't just the domain of the GOP and the RR. There are many "pro-life" Dems and that includes my weasel of a Senator, Joe Manchin.  The RR would like to claim this as "their" defining issue, but it isn't.  

            I differentiate Corporate Money into two factions...Wall Street - pure greed, and Ideological Money - the Kochs, et al, who can not only live with the crazy but are also the crazy themselves. The Kochs are Birchers and actually believe their bizarre world view works and will back candidates based on their extremism.  Wall Street won't.

            Wall Street Money does not want uncontrollable religious extremists in top positions and IMO, trumps Ideological Money with resources and political connections.

            The Dem party has allowed itself to be controlled by the never ending media onslaught from the Right.  Without Fox, the RR media and the hate talkers, i.e., Boss Limbaugh, the GOP, Baggers and the religious right would be in a permanent minority.

            Even here on DK, we anticipate the reaction from the Right.  The RW noise machine is powerful and pervasive and until the Dems stop listening and start messaging independent of "what the Right will say", we will be hostages to the RW.

            May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house. George Carlin

            by msmacgyver on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 09:31:33 AM PDT

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      •  Mr Drake is far from a denialist (0+ / 0-)

        I'm a realist. I'm not engaging in hyperbole like those, like yourself, who habitually flog this issue. I'm not a total dilettante on the matter. I've done my reading and I have some practical experience from my days as an intern in legislative affairs at UFCW when the Christian Coalition was at its peak in the early Clinton years. They were the right's equivalent of labor, a boots on the ground organization, obviously of interest to us. I studied their direct mail operations, their GOTV efforts, their lobbying tactics. I know about the Christian Right and more broadly what is termed the New Right, the overarching movement that sprang from the Goldwater effort.  

        I'm hardly denying that Christian fanatics have influence in the Republican Party. I just know they don't have as much influence as you seem to think they have. You accuse me of not stating anything but an opinion, when in fact Mr. Stein is doing nothing but stating his own dubious opinion about the Christian Right in a self-serving ploy to raise money from rich Democrats. (I'd question his competence if he believes that a disjointed evangelical movement is anywhere near as formidable as a big money clique that dominates both parties, then again, he was asking for money from the very members of that clique, so we shouldn't be surprised.)

        In another response you say my analysis is weak. This is odd since you offer no analysis at all. You simply throw out names of obscure pastors who are engaging in political organization for the first time, as if that's new, you trot out dominionism as if it's a new, more sinister threat than the old garden variety lunacy of Jerry Falwell and Paul Weyrich, when it's essentially the same ideology that spurred the first wave of Christian politicking in the 1970s.

        You put none of this in any context. For instance, how does the new wave compare to the old? I'd say not very favorably, so why should we be more alarmed now then we were in 1998? They obviously don't have the centralized organization, they don't have the money, they don't have the membership rolls, they don't have the media platforms that someone like Pat Robertson for instance had, they don't have the sort of expertise and insider access guys like Weyrich and Reed had. They're enthusiastic amateurs. In fact, the LA Times article states clearly that not all these evangelicals are on the same page, many aren't even Republicans. Why should we be more concerned with this nonsense then with corporate-funded, media-savvy Tea Party adherents who often come from the libertarian element within the GOP?

        If the Christian Right is as influential as you lead on, then where is their share of the Republican vote been? According to exit polling in 1994, when the fundamentalists peaked, 1/3 of all Republican voters described themselves as evangelicals. That was the high water mark. That's not my opinion, that's a fact. Your hysteria is largely manufactured, not my skepticism. A Pew poll from June 23, 2011 taken among evangelical leaders themselves indicated that 82% of them saw their influence in the country as declining. It is clear from Republican electoral outcomes since 1994 that the Christian Right isn't nearly as formidable. And if these new breed of evangelicals (who may very well fad away after an election cycle, just like Obama's young activist base is likely to fad away) do decide to stick with right-wing politics, it'll take many years for them to stockpile the resources someone like Ralph Reed had at his disposal, all the while the percentage of white evangelicals shrinks as a part of the electorate as whites in general shrink as a part of the electorate. I don't like their chances long-term.

        In a finite world with finite resources (and the left has far more constricted resources than the right) I'm for hitting the more important target--the influence of corporate money in American politics and its influence on the Democratic Party. But this is my labor bias. The left's propensity to be led down the primrose path by social issues has hurt the party. It's the single-issue madness that enveloped the part in the mid-80s and that the pernicious DLC aimed to cure by becoming essentially pro-choice Republicans.

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