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View Diary: RFK reconsidered (or, Sirota: Know Thyself) (57 comments)

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  •  I entirely agree with him on the religion part (0+ / 0-)

    A lot of the criticism revolved around the fact that there aren't any Democratic politicians who are hostile to religion.

    But it was clear to me that Obama was talking about the base and activists, many of whom ARE uncomfortable acknowledging the role that faith plays in many people's votes. And I thought a lot of the controversy proved his point - there were PLENTY of responses here on dKos, MyDD, and DU that said it was a waste of time trying to talk to religious voters or that it was wrong to speak that way. Many also accused him of abandoning separation of church and state, even though the entire speech was a defense of church and state separation.

    I did, OTOH, disagree with his dismissal of concerns over the phrase "under God" in the Pledge.

    I also remember his Daily Kos diary quite well. And I saw it as a valid response to several posters who declared they could "never support Russ Feingold" for example, for voting to confirm Alito. There ARE a lot of purity-tests and I thought he was correct in his assessment.

    And nowhere have I seen Obama claim that Democrats are more responsible than Republicans for the current partisan climate. If you read his book, he says exactly the opposite - that Republicans are the ones largely responsible for the partisan-polarization of the past decade. What he argues is that Democrats should not take the bait and try to replicate the Republicans' excesses in their own pursuit for power.

    As for what he has done in the Senate, I urge you to read this diary:

    http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/...

    •  no, he's talking about Dem politicians (0+ / 0-)

      when he says that they need to be more respectful of religious voters and learn to talk publicly about why religion matters to them. It has nothing to do with Dem voters going around talking up religion.

      Parenthetically, the criticisms of Obama's position are spot on. There are no Dem politicians who look down upon religious people. And, no, there's no reason why they "need" to talk up religion. If Obama wants to do that, then he's free to do it. But who the hell is he to be telling others what they "need" to do? In this case, he's urging the insertion of religion into political discourse. Politics is not about faith, no matter how much he says it is. His own formulation of the subject, which holds that politicians should talk about religious values but then have to reformulate them in secular terms because political issues are at base secular issues, shows that he's talking out of both sides of his mouth.

      And btw, activists are not "uncomfortable acknowledging the role that faith plays in many people's votes." They are fed up with the viewpoints of certain types of Christians being privileged in matters that are by their nature secular. It is Obama and his ilk who are insulting the intelligence of voters. The viewpoints of atheists, say, about political issues are no less valid than those of Christians, despite the atheists' patent failure to confuse politics with faith.

      Obama was not in any case responding to a few comments at dKos by obscure extremists and chicken-littles. He doesn't read blogs much if at all, as his own post demonstrated. He was accusing the left-blogosphere of using purity tests, which was demonstrably false. Obama's failure to comment about the shortcomings of right-wing bloggers, obscure or otherwise, tells you a lot about what the ulterior purpose was of his post here.

      I never said Obama has made such a claim explicitly. I indicated that his actions in trying to become the voice of moderation and bipartisanship presuppose the view that he can cooperate successfully with Republicans by some means that has eluded the grasp of the other, more senior Democratic Senators. IOW, he's self-delusional. He's taking his experiences in a state legislature and projecting them onto the Congress.

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