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Conservative Evangelicals, angry that women still have control over their own bodies, angry that their prayers aren't foisted on every school child, angry that we don't live in a theocracy, and angry that gays, well, still exist, are claiming they'll be tougher on Republicans this time around.

With the GOP having controlled the White House and the House for the previous six years — and the Senate for the previous four — social conservatives expected much more progress on their agenda in Washington. Although they are happy that Bush has used his veto power to stop an expansion of federal stem cell research, signed a law banning the procedure opponents call “partial birth” abortion and won confirmation of two solid conservatives to the Supreme Court, the Christian right’s rank and file say they’re frustrated that Washington has not pushed for more-sweeping restrictions on abortion and gay rights.

Meanwhile, the president’s support for granting a path to citizenship for those who entered the country illegally has further strained the GOP’s relations with the evangelical base — a voting bloc Perkins estimates as one-third of voters in the GOP primaries, enough to make or break any candidate. And the past year’s trio of Republican A-congressional sexual scandals — centered on Rep. Mark Foley of Florida, Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana and Sen. Larry E. Craig of Idaho — has only fed the climate of disillusion. “Certainly,” Perkins said, “there is reason to be concerned about the future of the relationship” between social conservatives and the Republican Party.

And that has led Perkins and other religious leaders to push for the closer-than-usual examination of the GOP aspirants. “What I hear and see is that if you were a Republican candidate in the past, you got a pass on close scrutiny on key issues,” Perkins said. “I don’t think that’s going to be the case anymore. They are going to have to verify their credentials in order to gain the support of social conservatives.”

The problem for these right-wing religious zealots is that they are far outside the American mainstream on pretty much all the issues, none more so personified than the Schiavo disaster -- which I suspect was a major catalyst (among many) driving independents away from a scary, increasingly theocratic Republican Party.

And while these Evangelicals claim they'll be paying extra close attention to their potential nominees, many of the top Republicans are working to distance themselves from this crowd.

The biggest GOP names — Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, John McCain and Fred Thompson — sat out the Values Voter Presidential Debate, citing scheduling conflicts. That didn't stop questioners from addressing the front-runners who didn't attend.

Giuliani, Romney and McCain were all asked questions about abortion and gay rights. All, of course, went unanswered.

"They will regret the decision," said Jan Folger, president of Faith2Action and a member of the debate host committee. "Because they snubbed us, they will not win, because we will not follow their lead." [...]

Though all four front-runners cited scheduling conflicts with the debate, Giuliani was in Fort Lauderdale just hours before the debate and Thompson was in Florida over the weekend and is due back Tuesday.

Meanwhile, conservative Evangelicals are freaking out over the splintering of their movement, with many Evangelicals deciding it's best to follow the Bible's teachings rather than marching orders from RNC headquarters.

[O]ther religious voters are embracing causes not traditionally identified with American conservatism, such as global warming, human rights and poverty relief [...]

“I’m sensing the emergence of an old guard and a new guard,” said Amy E. Black, a political scientist at Wheaton College, an evangelical school in Illinois.

While the break is not exclusively along generational lines, Black says, many of her students — the school is among the most culturally conservative in the country — are more likely than their elders to question the GOP line on issues such as climate change and human rights. Many have also begun to pull away from their elders’ support for the Iraq War — and to distance themselves from President Bush as a result.

At the same time, a number of prominent evangelical leaders have successfully wedded a more liberal outlook to their religious message. Jim Wallis, the self-styled evangelical progressive who founded and edits Sojourners magazine, is a familiar leader in this leftward faction. Richard Cizik, the Washington director of the National Association of Evangelicals, has launched a high-profile initiative to publicize the importance of global warming and other environmental causes for Christian believers — provoking Perkins and other evangelical leaders to press unsuccessfully for his ouster earlier this year. More-centrist figures, such as the popular baby boomer minister Rick Warren, author of “The Purpose Driven Life,” have staked out high-profile “social justice” mission projects. Warren has embarked on an aid initiative to transform the war-ravaged African nation of Rwanda into a “purpose-driven nation” and drew harsh criticism from religious conservatives for inviting Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, a leading candidate for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, to speak at an AIDS conference at his Saddleback Church in Orange County, Calif.

It definitely is a moment of crisis for the Evangelical Right. When you style yourself the GOP's ground army (and they are), yet your presidential forum attracts only Huckabee, Brownback, John Cox (who?), Alan Keyes Ron Paul, Tancredo and Duncan Hunter, you know you're getting the dredges of the GOP field.

They're not just losing the ideological and "culture" war (yes, people love Queer Eye and Gay-Straight alliances are popular in high schools these days) in broader America, they are losing it from within as they bleed activists to progressive causes. Some of their highest profile leaders have been brought down by scandal -- Ralph Reed and Ted Haggard (former head of the National Association of Evangelicals), as well as political allies like Sen. Larry Craig -- while also losing one of their biggest champions, Jerry Falwell, this year.

It's a movement in disarray and their increasing disenchantment with politics may prove yet another headache for an already-reeling Republican Party.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:28 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Conservatives invented a "Culture War"... (31+ / 0-)

    ... and now find themselves on the wrong side.

    Nine Commandment Christians, Sphincter Conservatives and others have taken the wrong lessons from very wise men.  Misplaced faith has removed them from living in the world G_d created.

    Most of these people are good people, or are trying to be.  I'm glad that the sleaze of the current crop of conservative Republicans is giving them buyer's remorse.

    "What doesn't have credibility today is the truth." -- Bill Moyers, The Daily Show 6/22/05

    by Baron Dave on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:26:09 AM PDT

  •  Welcome news... (19+ / 0-)

    I keep waiting for the evangicals to realize that the GOP never has any real intention of passing their goals and that they're just useful idiots. Maybe that moment has finally come. And maybe the GOP is finally realizing that they just don't have the same juice they had before. The old "bash the gays" shtick is SO 2004.

    •  GOP was partially willing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pandoras Box, mommaK

      Yes, the GOP treated these people as useful idiots, but they were willing to throw them a bone every once in a while. Sadly, the two groups share the same will to authoritarianism.

    •  Trust me (5+ / 0-)

      Changing mindsets in people who hate changing their minds about anything isn't going to happen.

      I recall the angst experienced by the Evangelicals after Saint Ronald Reagan and the Moral Majority failed to bring about the "progress" they hoped for back in the 80's.  Cal Thomas even wrote about what an error it is to mix politics and religion.  Still, they came back for another go at it.

      The thing they haven't figured out is that God doesn't need THEM.  He doesn't need little foot soldiers - he's omnipotent, for crying out loud!

    •  Agenda? Faith Based Initiatives = Buying Votes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dump Terry McAuliffe

      Once W got that in place, pushing the fundy agenda became irrelevant because they went straight to buying votes with their faith based intiatives.

      And W let churches cut cutting favorable deals with the FCC to buy up NPR stations.

      •  It's even worse than that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hillbilly Dem, bernardpliers

        Pork + social engineering. The very antithesis of the conservatism of Robert A. Taft and Barry Goldwater.

        "A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people."--Thomas Mann

        by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 12:12:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wasn't it Barry Goldwater who said.... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          agnostic, bernardpliers

          ...what Rev. Jerry Falwell needs is a swift kick in the ass?

        •  Faith Based Iniative = Communism (0+ / 0-)

          Pork + social engineering. The very antithesis of the conservatism of Robert A. Taft and Barry Goldwater.

          I've always that it's basically Communism where religion is substituted for party loyalty, and access to benefits will depend on being a member. They just substitute the megachurch for the collective farm.

        •  Barry Goldwater (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          However, on religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being.

          But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both.

          I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in 'A,' 'B,' 'C,' and 'D.' Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?

          And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of 'conservatism.'
             -- Sen. Barry Goldwater (R)

          Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official... ~Theodore Roosevelt

          by Pam from Calif on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:18:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Useful idiots (0+ / 0-)

      Look how hard we worked in 2006 to get the Dems back in power...  And the occupation continues...

      So, maybe the phenomenon of frustrated grassroots and eerily silent movement leadership exists on both sides of the aisle.

      The Bush Administration: Restoring honor and dignity to the White House since... never.

      by Lucky Ducky on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 12:41:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I do love it so when the holier-than-thou crowd (14+ / 0-)

    comes crashing to earth.  Does that make me a bad person?

    This space for rent.

    by bherner on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:28:24 AM PDT

  •  I'd like to offer some enlightening thoughts (14+ / 0-)

    on this subject, but all I can come up with is, "Ha Ha!"

    Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. -H.L. Mencken

    by Kwaidan on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:28:47 AM PDT

  •  I feel really bad for them... (7+ / 0-)

    in this crisis, even though they brought it upon themselves.
    I think they just need a break, take some time off, know relax a little.

    They can just stay at home for the next few election cycles, and recharge their batteries.

    We will take care of the country 'til they get back.

    TFYQA - think For Yourself, Question Authority

    by Niniane on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:29:47 AM PDT

  •  It breaks my heart to watch (17+ / 0-)

    the slow disintegration of the extreme fringe of the Religious Right ...

    I would much rather it be obliterated in one, massive nuclear implosion that removed any trace that it had ever existed.

    "Fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again." --George W. Bush

    by RevJoe on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:30:45 AM PDT

  •  evangelicals ain't goin' nowhere. (6+ / 0-)

    who else will listen to their shit? best stick with the party that thinks maybe the entire universe is 6,000 years old.

    Sometimes selfishness even gets to be a cause, an organized force, even a government. Then it's called Fascism. - Born Yesterday

    by rasbobbo on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:31:17 AM PDT

  •  I've always wondered (10+ / 0-)

    how long this movement, which depends on a very selective reading of particular verses of the bible while ignoring other large portions, could continue to dupe such a large percentage of people to vote against their own interests.

    You can fool some of the bible thumpers all of the time...

    Three things cannot long be hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Buddha

    by zenbowl on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:31:28 AM PDT

    •  I'm reading Obama's "The Audacity of Hope" (9+ / 0-)

      and in the chapter on faith he argues that any attempt to govern "Biblically" necessarily involves a selective reading, and summed it up (paraphrase): "Should we govern by the Sermon on the Mount, a document so radical that I doubt the Department of Defense would survive its application?"

      I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. - Major General Smedley D. Butler, USMC

      by Marinesquire on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:45:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Misplaced faith (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zenbowl, Webster

      Faith can be a wonderful thing.  Misplaced faith feels exactly like faith.  This is why I question all religions that don't encourage adherents to debate and engage their spiritual leaders.

      All politics is local; all spiritual journeys are individual voyages of discovery.  The people who have fooled themselves into misplaced faith are the most easily fooled into political madness.  The Bush administration shares yet another aspect of the Nazi regime.  I hope Americans have a stronger moral sense than Germans did between the wars, but sometimes I despair.

      "What doesn't have credibility today is the truth." -- Bill Moyers, The Daily Show 6/22/05

      by Baron Dave on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 12:20:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I teach college philosophy (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        freelunch, oscarsmom, Baron Dave

        in Dallas, and the topic of religion comes up often; especially when we're discussing Plato's Euthyphro which attempts to develop an essential definition of piety.  Whenever we get to the portion where Socrates asks what it means to pay careful attention to the gods, a few students will pipe up and say "obedience!"  This always sends a shudder down my spine.  Who is it, of course, that tells them obedience is a virtue?  The priests and demagogues.  Who is it that tells them what it means to obey?  One and the same group of people.  Who stands to benefit the most through their own personal gain from this obedience?  Bingo!  The priests, politicians, and demagogues.  It amazes me that so many people are so easily persuaded to believe that obedience, in and of itself, is a virtue and that it is a sin to critically evaluate the claims of authority.  One would think that even a moderate knowledge of history would teach everyone that the greatest criminals in history always come wrapped in the flag, speaking of religion, and calling themselves the virtuous.  One would expect that such an observation would lead us to exercise caution with respect to those who do so today.  Apparently we simply don't learn.

  •  Mainstream America (8+ / 0-)

    just doesn't identify with these fringe extremists.

    It was only a matter of time before most people woke up and realized what these evangelicals were calling for, and found they don't agree with their authoritarian ideas.

  •  Hypocrisy has gone on a long time (16+ / 0-)

    Sinclair Lewis managed to get a few books out of it, in addition to focusing on it in Elmer Gantry. Religious folks have been worked up by their leaders before and betrayed by them.

    If they had any sense of history, they would know why they should not try to poke religion into the public square. It is not merely that public, government-sponsored religiosity is unconstitutional, but that the people who most loudly demand it are venal. Their weaknesses are exposed or they betray their followers. Good people don't worry about aggrandizing themselves this way.

  •  I wonder when Evangelicals.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jct, Pandoras Box

    will realize that, like the rest of us, they were used by the Republican party.

    Neutralize your personal 7.5 ton/year CO2 footprint.

    by Five of Diamonds on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:32:33 AM PDT

  •  Don't fret y'all, (11+ / 0-)

    I'm 'bout to swoop down and save everyone!


    Praise me!

  •  So who are they going to support in the (4+ / 0-)

    Republican primary?  I expected them to get behind Huckabee or Brownback, but, the poll numbers show that isn't happening?  Are they voting pragmatically or are they going to just stay home? (If they do, I hope they are visited by Jehovah's witnesses and they can all have a grand old time telling each other why their god is wrong.)

  •  Change in image of Christ? (7+ / 0-)

    From portraying Christ as Crusading Conqueror taking all as prisoners for the Lord, to Redeemer, Healer, Preacher of The Way of Justice, Peace and Love, Giver of the Holy Spirit of Hope, Joy and Love?  

    One can hope!

    When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

    by antirove on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:35:32 AM PDT

  •  Of course, it's up to us to bridge this gap (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    libertyisliberal, Marinesquire

    and reach out to these groups that are trying to follow the Bible by caring for the planet and for their fellow man.  We need to get beyond motives and get to work side by side with whoever is fighting the good fight.

  •  Why is only Jim Wallis (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jct, bherner, anotherdemocrat, drmah
    described by that article as a "self-styled" progressive evangelica;? Couldn't we say that each and every one of these people is a "self-styled" Christian especially since so many of them don't live up to or promote any principles Jesus ever taught, much less so than Wallis? Isn't George Bush really only a "self-styled" Christian who doesn't attend church much or promote Christian teachings?

    We're retiring Steve LaTourette (R-Family Values for You But Not for Me) and sending Judge Bill O'Neill to Congress from Ohio-14:

    by anastasia p on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:38:59 AM PDT

  •  hmm... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dnamj, AUBoy2007

    they sound like of us...

    Put the circular firing squad in the circular file.

    by JMS on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:39:36 AM PDT

  •  Does this open up an opportunity for Alan Keyes? (3+ / 0-)

    We can only hope so.

    I'm supporting Chris Dodd, and his plan to create the Rapid Response Reserve Corps.

    by Skulnick on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:40:15 AM PDT

  •  Alan Keyes is running for President! (4+ / 0-)

    I hope the GOP will allow Mr. Keyes to participate in future nationally televised debates - he is truly entertaining!

    I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. - Major General Smedley D. Butler, USMC

    by Marinesquire on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:41:09 AM PDT

  •  Good Riddance! (3+ / 0-)

    This faction is far & away the worst part of the Republican Party. This nation would be much better served if the GOP started ignoring this extremist element - it's hardly endearing their party with the rest of the country.

    "People hate Bush and hate this war. It's that simple, and it's been true for quite some time" - Atrios

    by atrexler on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:41:12 AM PDT

  •  That "hard base" has always been on the outside (0+ / 0-)

    looking in.  They always vote for the "Conservative" candidate.  Sometimes that's a Republican, but most of the time its a fringe candidate, the local Right to Life Party favorite son or Conservative Party Candidate.

    Because everyone has one. Having credibility when making an argument is the straightest path to persuasion.

    by SpamNunn on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:41:12 AM PDT

    •  Yeah Except of the Supreme Court for the Next (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      20 years.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:50:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are no "evangelicals" on the SC. (0+ / 0-)

        Alito, Stevens, Scalia and Thomas are all main stream Roman Catholics.  

        Because everyone has one. Having credibility when making an argument is the straightest path to persuasion.

        by SpamNunn on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 11:00:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Just like Rick Santorum is too? lol n/t (0+ / 0-)

          ...that cannot be a wise contrivance which in its operation may commit the government of a nation to the wisdom of an idiot. Thomas Paine Rights of Man

          by Rebecca on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 01:03:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  He's Catholic, too, he just kissed (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            evangelical ass to get elected.  There's a difference.

            Because everyone has one. Having credibility when making an argument is the straightest path to persuasion.

            by SpamNunn on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:04:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Actually there isn't (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              There is a conservative movement within the Catholic church that is just as active and assertive as the protestant version is.  The 5 supreme Court Justices are not mainstream Catholic any more than Rick Santorum is.  They are all part of that conservative Catholic movement.  Don't make the mistake of thinking that someone who is Catholic conservative is affected by the evangelicals.  They have their own very conservative movement going on and they are very active in politics too.  

              ...that cannot be a wise contrivance which in its operation may commit the government of a nation to the wisdom of an idiot. Thomas Paine Rights of Man

              by Rebecca on Wed Sep 19, 2007 at 12:45:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  SCOTUS is hardcore Catholic by my count (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rebecca, MahFellaMerkins, oscarsmom

        and in some ways that is even more fundamentalist since we can depend on this pope for twenty or so years of backpedaling and backtracking.

  •  Their basic problem (4+ / 0-)

    Is that they allowed themselves to be cynically manipulated by the GOP in order to fracture the electorate and insure GOP victories.  But the GOP never had any intention of fulfilling any of their agenda because it would be political suicide.

    Now unable to admit to themselves that they were never anything but a small fringe movement (albeit a tactically useful one), they wrongly believe that they can punish the Republicans.  They can, indeed, make sure that Republicans don't get elected, but only by handing elections to the party that actually represents the broad consensus on policy, moral and social issues -- US!

    •  The religious conservatives did, (4+ / 0-)

      however, rake in big bucks for what they consider charitable activities. "Faith-Based Initiatives" include spreading misinformation about HIV and human sexuality at home and abroad. If the Republicans can be turfed out of the White House and the Democrats keep Congress, slush funds for religious groups should be one of the first big mistakes to be rectified.

      I could have been a soldier... I had got part of it learned; I knew more about retreating than the man that invented retreating. --Mark Twain

      by NogodsnomastersMary on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:48:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A bit more than just political suicide (0+ / 0-)

      But the GOP never had any intention of fulfilling any of their agenda because it would be political suicide.

      That too, of course (if the majority of the rest of the electorate is against it), but one of the big reasons not to give in to their agenda was you need a reason for them to keep fighting on your behalf.

      Let's say the Republicans made abortion totally illegal.  Fight's over, fundies have won.  All of a sudden there's one thing they don't need the Republicans for.  The Republicans can't use it as a campaign point to drum up support or as a scare tactic.

      It's in their interest to keep controversial topics on the table if they get people out voting for your side.

      •  Absolutely (0+ / 0-)

        And it also dovetails [at least in tone] with the reliance on fear ... a fearful, divided, wound-up-over-emotional-issues electorate is one that can be manipulated to vote against its own demonstrable self-interest.

        Distract, confuse, divide ... if the Repubs encouraged thoughtful, reflective debate, they'd lose.

  •  Scheduling Conflicts? (4+ / 0-)

    My ass.  Senile McCain, Rotten Rudy, Wromney, and Gramps are simply whores, who will do anything for money, and wrong the other way when people start asking questions.

    "Constitutional Crisis Forthcoming"

    by egarratt on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:41:51 AM PDT

  •  an event the evangelicals will really hate (8+ / 0-)

    Atticus Circle (started in Texas!) educates and mobilizes fair-minded straight people to advance equal rights for LGBT partners, parents, and their children. To accomplish our goal, Atticus Circle will focus its efforts on education, policy development, and legal advocacy.

    Seven Straight Nights, sponsored by Atticus Circle & SoulForce,  is a national event that will provide straight Americans with opportunities to do justice and motivate new allies to stand up and be counted for equal rights.

    Seven Straight Nights will consist of a coordinated campaign of overnight vigils led by straight allies. It will sweep across capital cities throughout the nation during the week of October 7 - 13, 2007, gaining momentum in the national media as more states participate in the event.

    Find one near you:

    and if there isn't one near you, you know what to do

    We have done the impossible and that makes us mighty - Firefly

    by anotherdemocrat on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:42:04 AM PDT

  •  I have one question (5+ / 0-)

    Are we in Saudi Arabia, Iran or the United States of America?

    "Sometimes I wish I could change my nickname" Me

    by givemhellHarryR on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:44:25 AM PDT

  •  Talk about dilussions of grandeur (7+ / 0-)

    "They will regret the decision," said Jan Folger, president of Faith2Action and a member of the debate host committee. "Because they snubbed us, they will not win, because we will not follow their lead." [...]

    Who do these people think they are? Their days of mafia-style threats to Repubs are coming to an end. They are bullying their way into irrelevancy. Ha ha

  •  Well They've Taken the Supreme Court and the (7+ / 0-)

    Justice Department, and they've got a good chunk of military leadership.

    Poor babies.

    It'd violate decorum to look into how unqualified personnel got into thousands of government positions via a test of religion.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:49:24 AM PDT

  •  My fervent prayer (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pandoras Box, anotherdemocrat

    is that the right wing theocrats make sure that St. Rudy is nominated so we can shove their "family values" right up to where the sun don't shine.

    This is such as thing as justice in this world, although the fundamentalist theology that I was indoctrinated with as a child conveniently left that part out.

    Adlai Stevenson----Let's face it. Let's talk sense to the American people.

    by Toes on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:49:43 AM PDT

  •  The theocrats are losing every time! (0+ / 0-)

    We got our fifth people powered vote in Lawrence and Romer and we will get our fifth vote when the issue of fundamental LGBT marital rights comes before the Court. Let the theocrats have there 60-90% of the votes on all of these meaningless STATE constitutional amendments. We control the people power of the Courts and will be victorious on the issue of LGBT marital issues, just as we have been on school forced prayer and abortion. These 60-90% of the votes in referendums are meaningless and the true measure of people power are reflected in our majority decisions in the Federal courts.

  •  By foisting republicans on us, Evilangelicals... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pandoras Box

    are responsible for more anti-Biblical destruction (i.e., activity contrary to Jesus' teaching) then anyone else on Earth.

  •  Shot themselves in the foot (3+ / 0-)

    This country was founded on the idea that the laws will be made by elected representatives, not by inherited monarchs, or by appointed church members. that is just the way it is. The churches overstepped their bounds and strayed too far into politics, and now are losing political power, having enjoyed it since 1980. Tough nuts.

    You can't get away with the crunch, 'cuz the crunch always gives you away

    by dnamj on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:53:13 AM PDT

  •  A classic case of....... (0+ / 0-)

    "I'm their leader.......which way did they go?"

    "Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit"

    by Fuzzy5150 on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:53:26 AM PDT

  •  Ron Paul? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pinche tejano

    I don't think that evangelicals are going to find a friend in him.

  •  Just another group used by the Republican Party (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FishBiscuit, JeffW

    At least the Decepticons don't have any favorites.  They are happy to use any and every group of people who will blindly fall for their blather and their cock-and-bull stories in their causes.  Could it be that evangelicals, too, are finally seeing the light?  That the Right does not equate to might, and that a progressive agenda, properly framed to drive the faithful into altruistic public service, is the correct way to funnel their energies.

    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind -- Albert Einstein

    by BasharH on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:53:57 AM PDT

  •  Actually movement Christian conservatives.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pandoras Box

    Such as Paul Weyrich were advising two years ago that the movement distance itself from the GOP.

    These things come and go in waves, as did the Reagan and Gingrich "revolutions".

    But, each successive wave seems to push farther up on the shore.

  •  A very wise man.... (4+ / 0-)

    ...once told me "If you live with the canniables long enough, you'll end up in the stew."

    As far as I'm concerned, both the Republicans and the "Evangenitals" are getting what they deserve.....each other.....which is dysfunctional leadership for their message of exclusivity, hate, subjegation, suppresion of knowledge, silencing of dissenting voices and the power of indulgence and excess.

    They need to lose their national political stage, and anyone with one shred of integrity and thought needs to relegate them both to where they some footnote in a history book, in a chapter dealing with extreamism.  

    "Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit"

    by Fuzzy5150 on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:58:29 AM PDT

  •  The problem for Republicans (9+ / 0-)

    has long been that they do not and cannot represent a majority of Americans.  There are only so many greedy rich old white men.  So over the past 30+ years, they have been attempting to cobble together a majority by making unholy alliances (pun intended) with various groups who don't fit it with the Democratic Party (theocrats, homophobes, racists, etc.).  But when it comes right down to it, you can't really enact policies that satisfy those groups without completely alienating 75% of the country.  

    Now the chickens are coming home to roost and the 25% crazy crowd are pissed that their craziness hasn't become policy.  Meanwhile, the 75% non-crazy types are realizing just how scary the 25% are and to the extent they aren't rich, are separating themselves from the Republican Party and becoming a large, squishy independent crowd that will likely not vote Republican because the group that now controls the Republican Party is the group that sent these people away in the first place.

    My fear is that the Republicans nominate Giuliani because that might bring some of those independents back into the party and force out the crazy fundy crowd.  I want the Republican Party to be totally controlled by the wacky fundies so the social moderates have no choice but to join the Democratic Party or form their own party, splitting the opposition.  

    If this shakes out well, we could see the complete destruction of the Republican Party, the rise of a new third party and a solid Democratic governing majority for the next half century.

    "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." -- Thomas Jefferson [-4.25, -5.33]

    by GTPinNJ on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:59:24 AM PDT

  •  With all the bad news... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pandoras Box, JeffW

    I've read about this week already...
    This helps me perk up a little bit knowing they are loosing their shit.
    The planet is still melting however... sigh

  •  Don't get caught in a trailer park... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    After dark with these people getting restless.
    Zombies for reagan.

  •  About evangelicals (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pandoras Box, Matt Z, Fuzzy5150

    To win evangelical votes, we don't need to capitulate to every belief, and they certainly have no inclination of capitulating to ours. We have to take evangelicals as they are and not who we would like them to be. But in the meantime, we've just got to remind them that Democrats care more about the Bible's biggest message -- helping those in need.

    Street Prophets is a great web site to recommend to them.

  •  Height of Obscenity ... (12+ / 0-)

    [O]ther religious voters are embracing causes not traditionally identified with American conservatism, such as global warming, human rights and poverty relief [...]

    "Religious voters," in other words, were once  more concerned with being  "good Republicans" than actually doing what God's Word told them to do.

    They'll even put [political] party above their religion.

    The fact it took a break from "conservatism" for the "religious voters" to even consider caring for the poor is  the height of obscenity.

    The slogan "support the troops" is both the cause of, and solution to, all of Washington D.C.'s problems.

    by wyvern on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 11:06:02 AM PDT

    •  Well put....... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mcfly, Pandoras Box, FishBiscuit, JeffW, wyvern

      "Religious voter" is a very strange a person somehow disconnects their beliefs from their actions.  

      Their rabid desires to defeat a woman's right to control their own body, and to punish sinful gay people were their '30 pieces of silver'.  

      They sold out what they should be believing and practicing to gain political power.

      "Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit"

      by Fuzzy5150 on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 11:09:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tougher? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Tougher means voting them out of office.  Tougher means stopping supporting every single thing they do.  Tougher means holding them accountable.

    The evangelicals are what is wrong with politics today.   They are still going to go out in droves to vote REpublicans will never have to change or be accountable.  Just because they're going to complain more, doesn't mean they're being "tougher".  They're still enablers.

  •  It was a "Perfect Storm", the confluence (8+ / 0-)

    of several events.

    • Not to state the obvious, but Bill Clinton earned some enmity & made some enemies, on top of the pre-Swift-boating pre-existing ones that attack anyone to the left of Attila (the Scourge of God) or Cheney (the Scourge of Planet Earth).

    People were offended, not so much what he did with Monica, as much as WHERE. Despite seeing violence and  T&A on the boob tube, many Americans are still prudes and prefer to gleefully ignore facts and activities that they were taught to avoid. CLinton put personal activity front and center - of the Oval office.  Worse yet, to point out their hypocricy is enough to make you known as a librul.

    To say that the GOP jumped on this is an understatement. Bill represented  self-reliance, being self-made, and doing well from poor upbringings, yet he was represented as a rich, spoiled, librul, french-loving enemy of the USA traditional values.

    • After a decade and a half of hard work, according to the plans laid in the 80s, by evangelicals, millionaires, conservatives and political hatchetmen, there was a take over of the GOP by the Reigious Reich. They individualized, then attacked, then pushed out of the way all moderate GOPers. It wasn't until it was too late that the GOP, and later, the Democrats even realized what was happening. All balance was gone, all rational thought going with it.

    They then turned their sights on the Democrats, with DeLay, Gingrich, Frist,  and other ultra-conservatives leading the attack. And the Democrats responded with -
    compliance, agreement, fear, acknowledgment that Bill done wrong, believing that we had gone too far, and the GOP was right, while we were wrong.

    They also infiltrated us. Which brings us to,

    • The creation of the DLC. Instead of triangulating and strangulating old fashioned politics, the DLC went corporate. It sold out the soul of the Democratic Party and decided that corporate interests could be "turned" to democratic (hah) ideals and ideas. All they wanted was $$$, and in the process, they destroyed the very heart of what liberalism stood for - rational thinking, and helping the little guy out, instead of kicking him when he was down.

    The DLC continues to cause problems only in that it allows the Rahms and others of his ilk gather and plot against the rest of us. Otherwise, it is a dead, spent force. they just don't know it yet.

    • The Non-DLC arm of the Demcrats were poorly led, oblivious to our fate, and unwilling to take the long view, and more important, to do something about it. Our leaders, represented by some of the very people leading Congress and the Senate, served us poorly, and continue to serve us poorly.
    • America in general was swayed by something else. Radio, TV, Cable, - the corporate buy-outs and control, took away the liberal voices, over-stocked the conservative ones, at the very time that they repeated lies and make-believe crap about some liberal media bias. It rang true, it was confirmed every time there was criticism of Bush, Cheney, Iraq, Frist, DeLay or a GOP run congress that was politicizing every step of Clinton, even when Bill tried to go after our enemies.  The corporate ownership of the media, as much as anything, drove the revolution to the right, and came close to destroying our country.
    • The people reacted predictably. They were led to believe that Clinton's sins were far worse than what the GOP did in office. They believed that a good ole shucks boy from Texas would do no harm, that he would unite us, not divide us, even as he spoke code to the religious warriors on the right.

    He was no dummy, he lied to us from the start and took us (the plurality of America) in. Those of us on the Left did not realize just how ruthless and powerhungry he and his cabal would be, even if we did feel fear and loathing at Perle, Abrams, Cheney and Rumsfeld.

    Worse yet, the media repeatedly protected, coddled, took stenography, and failed to investigate repeated acts of deceit and wrong-doing by the White House.

    Until now.

    The Netroots took over from where the Democratic Party lost it. They even gathered the pushed out moderates and liberals from the GOP (and there are many hanging around, looking for a new home).

    The perfect storm is over. WE have cleared the skies, and now we ahve to clean up the flotsam and jetsam of the storm, and fix our country.  The religious right screwed the pooch, and we will never trust them again. They will fade back into an irrelevant mob of irrational, non-thinking, faith-based, war-mongering women-hating bigots.

    but, we do have a lot of work to do. The damage they did is amazing.

    In the United States, doing good has come to be, like patriotism, a favorite device of persons with something to sell. - Mencken

    by agnostic on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 11:09:00 AM PDT

  •  They bear a large responsibility for the (5+ / 0-)

    misery in Iraq. I for one am not interested in their confessions or any Sunday Morning prayers they offer up on behalf of mankind... meaningful penance is in order. It can start by reforming the party they saw fit to embrace.

    That they have buyers remorse only deepens my contempt for their unacceptable and illegal meddling in the political process. They have done more to undermine America than any foreign influence that they have conjured up in the last 100 years. They have contributed greatly to paranoid thinking in the America they claim to love.

    "Money is power; therefore a state of debt is a state of negative net power as well as negative net worth." Cynndara DK

    by Carbide Bit on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 11:19:32 AM PDT

    •  well said... (0+ / 0-)

      they created this monster, they're the ones that acted like "god is back in the white house" when they elected bush. Now they have no solutions and no plan for winning or exiting Iraq, or fixing an economy that is headed to recession, or providing healthcare to the millions of uninsured in this country. Now their only answer is invade Iran and start WWIII so that Jesus comeback.

  •  I drove past a local church this morning... (10+ / 0-)

    the billboard said: Christians, it is time to take back your country.....

    I think I might just go back to that billboard tonight and change the wording a bit:

    Christians, it is time to take back your toaster....

    Walmart will be FLOODED tomorrow with toaster returns....

    Hope is not a strategy. IMPEACH NOW.

    by left my heart on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 11:20:28 AM PDT

    •  nevermind the christian lesson of (0+ / 0-)

      doing unto others as you would have them do unto you ... as in supporting your neighbors' local stores, buying union-made products to support your neighbor's ability to work...  buying local produce even if it's more expensive.

      Funding the war = Killing the Troops / Privatization = Corruption / ECMM

      by netguyct on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 11:26:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  hope they stay home in 2008 (0+ / 0-)

    hope we don't nominate Clinton..  

    Don't fight it son. Confess quickly! If you hold out too long you could jeopardize your credit rating. --Brazil (1985)

    by hypersphere01 on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 11:29:47 AM PDT

    •  We will... (0+ / 0-)

      ...and they won't.

    •  Unfortunately, I think that's the long and short (0+ / 0-)

      of it...

      I spend a fair of time reading the seedier net-side of the far right, and while there's PLENTY of sniping about Guiliani's morals, Thompson's past, or yes - Romney's Mormonism -- in the context of a general election though, 95% will gladly compromise whatever far right principles they hold to vote against HRC (to a lesser extent, Obama and Edwards, but HRC is the name...or at least, what I can surmise from the clever, clever fundies' use of nicknames.. that comes up).

      Of course, I'm speaking to anecdotal evidence posted by individuals. I have no doubt that there's a leadership element here - an entire class of fundies - that aren't posting "anybody but so-and-so" comments on right wing sites.

      Personally - as a Deaniac that thought the whole concept of "electability" was garbage, tea-leaf reading crap by primary electorate that would have been better served voting for who they WANTED, not who they thought could win -what reaction the fundies have to HRC has no bearing on my primary vote.

      I'm simply not a fan and won't be casting a primary ballot for HRC... but I have no problem supporting her if that's the decision the Democratic primary voters reach.

      I personally think that a united fundie front wouldn't be enough to sink Hillary on the top of the ballot -- but I do think there would be some purple congressional seats/red congressional seats that wouldn't swing our way under a purposeful fundie GOTV effort because of it.... but that's all amateur tea leaf reading, too.

      I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

      by zonk on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 11:43:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the down ticket is what i worry about (0+ / 0-)

        most likely, barring more (powerful) electioneering by the rethugs, a Democrat will be President.

        It's the down ticket races that could spell Democratic majority for the next 20 years.

        Don't fight it son. Confess quickly! If you hold out too long you could jeopardize your credit rating. --Brazil (1985)

        by hypersphere01 on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 11:46:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I truly don't see it costing in any swing districts (so let me amend and drop the "purple" from post).

          I think where it WILL hurt will be in a handful of red districts where we might have stolen a seat due to retirement/open seat, an energized Dem challenger, etc.

          I don't have the encyclopedic knowledge of all 435 seats to know whether we're talking about 1-3, 3-5, or more seats -- and there's always the idea that the seats would have likely be temporary anyway (assuming '08 is a wave, I would expect several of the wins to flip back in '10).

          To play devil's advocate to myself, the one thing the right is pretty competent about is building a good boogeyman to scare the base... so there's every possibility that they could maneuver Obama, Edwards, or anyone else as just as big a threat as Clinton - and ensure a good base turnout in those districts.   I think the difference is that, with Clinton, it's built-in.   With the others - the GOP would probably have some work to do.

          I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

          by zonk on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 12:15:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  it does come down to money (0+ / 0-)

            the more money we make them spend in areas they wouldn't normally..  and that goes for us as well.

            Don't fight it son. Confess quickly! If you hold out too long you could jeopardize your credit rating. --Brazil (1985)

            by hypersphere01 on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 12:23:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Religious Conservatives and Intelligence (5+ / 0-)

    Remember what Jerry said about 9/11

    "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'"

    The not so quit democrat

    by Judd409 on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 11:31:38 AM PDT

  •  Shift the Window (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Robby Wales

    Quotes like this:

    At the same time, a number of prominent evangelical leaders have successfully wedded a more liberal outlook to their religious message.

    Indicate the truth that Progressives need to keep pounding on our values.  No need to compromise, triangulate or keep shifting away from what we think is important because the GOP extreme keeps getting extremer.

    Speak to all from our values. Everyone has strict and nurturing responses.  If we never speak of nurturing, we won't get a response.

    Time to shift the window in our direction.

  •  They should run their own candidates (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Put their money and their faith where their mouth is, and hopefully further fracture the republican party to the point were the GOP can't even pull 30% in the generals.

  •  did RON PAUL fare well? (0+ / 0-)

    If I was a republican presidential candidate I might not let Ron Paul appear in front of a republican audience unless I was there to confuse ooops I mean clarify what it means to be a republican

    I may not agree on alot with ron paul but he is sure an asset to have in the gop debates IF you are a democrat trying to ply the reagan democrats away from the new crowd that took over that party.


    by KnotIookin on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 11:43:20 AM PDT

  •  I was at the GOP debate last (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lucky Ducky, freelunch, Matt Z

    I live near Ft Lauderdale, so I put on a tie, drove up, paid $10 to park and walked across a skybridge into to the Broward Performing Arts Center. I could see and hear lots of Ron Paul supporters chanting and waving signs down below.

    Two guards on the skybridge asked me for a ticket, which I didn't have. So one of the guards reached into his shirt pocket and kindly gave me one... a reasonably nice seat, as it turned out.

    For the pre-debate show, there was lots of praying going on. I had just missed a skit called The Elephant and the Rope, which Googles this.

    It fits. The author, Janet Folger, was the primary MC and prayer leader. She asked God to "reveal" his choice so that the values voters could unify in "lockstep" behind him.

    After the candidates entered the stage and went to their lecterns, a choir entered to sing "Why should god bless America?" It went to the tune of you know what. The lyrics were a litany of complaints about abortion, school prayer, and so on. One line got a huge applause... "Just because they made it law does not change God's command."

    There's lots to say about the debate itself, but a few things stand out.

    1. TV does not do justice to Alan Keyes. He is one of the most over-the-top in-your-face Christian dogmatists I have every seen. What a trip.
    1. The debate format struck me as very well conceived. Every candidate was given equal time overall, with flexibility to apply a couple of minutes of extra time when they felt inclined. There was also a long round of yes/no questions that could have been interesting, but they weren't phrased in a way that brought out any real distinctions between the candidates (other than Ron Paul often, and Sam Brownback occasionally). A final round consisted of a unique question for each candidate. Those questions were mostly softballs, except that Phyllis Schlafly gave Duncan Hunter a ridiculously way-too-easy softball. Much tougher rhetorical questions were submitted to the absent candidates. Romney and Giuliani are very unpopular with that crowd.
    1. Ron Paul was both cheered and booed. His answers during the yes/no round occasionally seemed to mystify some of his supporters as they tried to divine how the answers fit in with pure libertarianism.
    1. The organizers contracted with a firm that provided an radio-keypad electronic voting system to gauge the range of favorable/unfavorable reactions responses to each question. Only invited "delegates" (around 300 maybe) were able to participate. They finished with a straw poll that was won overwhelmingly by Huckabee.
    1. Most of the questions (presented by a train of right wing stars) reflected the very strong bias of the Value Voters crowd, and would often generate positive audience response. But one was quite different.  I don't remember the exact words, but it came from Teri Schiavo's brother, and concerned a proposal for a new law covering withdrawal of life support from "cognitively impaired" patients. No cheers. No applause. Instead, there was a nearly complete hush. All the candidates voted the "right" way, as I recall, but members of the audience seemed to be wrestling inside with a tough moral dilemma.
    •  Oh, One other thing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lucky Ducky, Matt Z

      Mike Huckabee is authentically funny.

      •  he is. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sam storm

        Alan is funnily authentic.  but of what sort, we may never know.

        If he is nominated, I think Huckabee will offer us the biggest test.

        In the United States, doing good has come to be, like patriotism, a favorite device of persons with something to sell. - Mencken

        by agnostic on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 12:17:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I hope you diary this (0+ / 0-)

        I talked to a local AM radio reporter who had just interviewed Huckabee a week or so ago.  He said the guy was great - a lot of fun.

        Huckabee's been my dark-horse GOP pick - I keep hoping he'll soak up all the fundagelical support so that he jumps up in the top tier with Guiliani and Romney and really makes things interesting.

        I wonder how bad it will come back to Romney, and even more so, Guiliani, that they snubbed this debate.0

        The Bush Administration: Restoring honor and dignity to the White House since... never.

        by Lucky Ducky on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 12:47:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Going Swimming Tied to an Anchor (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

      The Republicans running for President have a twin problem - both sides of which make them look as though they are proposing to swim in the national political lake with anchors tied around their necks.:

      The Religious Right will force them into "socially conservative" positions in order to survive primaries, which will substantially decrease the odds they can win a general election.

      Bush is forcing the same guys to  support his Iraq policy as the price of getting the support of his hard-core war supporters in the primaries, which will also reduce their odds of winning a general election.

      The resulting shambles may lead to the re-emergence of the moderate Republicans - you remember them, they elected Eisenhower, wanted Rockefeller instead of Goldwater, and turned on Richard Nixon.  One of the real ironies of current politics is that the re-emergence of those moderates and the revitalization of the Republican Party may be led by..... Guiliani

  •  McCain and the GOP's Faith-Based Follies (0+ / 0-)

    John McCain's schizophrenia this week over his alternating Episcopalian and Baptist status is just the latest chapter in the faith-based follies of the GOP presidential hopefuls.

    Consider the side-splitting antics of the Republican God Squad over just the last several weeks. Mitt Romney declares the President should be a man of faith, but then refuses to discuss his own. While John McCain assures voters the important thing is that he is a good Christian, Rudy Giuliani says he'll leave to the priests to decide if he's a bad Catholic. And while instant front-runner Fred Thompson hardly ever steps inside a church, Sam Brownback and Mike Huckabee took their holy war to the airwaves.

    For the details, see:
    "McCain and the GOP's Faith-Based Follies."

  •  Pretty much a wash. (3+ / 0-)

    Islamic Extremists/Christian Conservative Evangelicals. Pretty much the same thing. Both want to force their views and beliefs on others.

  •  How many times will they be hit over the head? (0+ / 0-)

    The GOP does not give a flying fuck about their "issues" except when courting their vote. They never did. They never will. Oh, they talk a pious talk during the campaigns but, once in office, fugedaboutit.

    These yahoos continue to expect a miracle but it just ain't gonna happen. Fun to watch, though.

    The Constitution isn't perfect, but it's better than what we have now

    by sizzzzlerz on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 12:28:20 PM PDT

  •  But how many evangelicals (0+ / 0-)

    will vote Democrat?  Just because Tony Perkins says they will be giving more scrutiny to Republicans doesn't mean they will be considering Democrats as an alternative.  I also don't think they will not vote as a form of protest.  Too much is at stake to be silent.

    It's amazing what people will do to others in the name of themselves.

    by ABlueKansas on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 12:32:30 PM PDT

    •  I thought this was going to be a joke... (0+ / 0-)

      Now I'm left wondering how many evangelicals it takes to screw in a light bulb.

      Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. -H.L. Mencken

      by Kwaidan on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 12:47:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A significant number will vote Democrat in 2008 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Judging by the evangelical church I grew up in in Iowa I would say a lot. I'm guessing they vote about 70% Republican in the past so it is politically neutral by evangelical standards but I would expect that to drop below 50% maybe even 40% support for the republican nominee if an acceptable Democrat is nominated.

      Most will go support Mike Huckabee in the primary but if he isn't nominated they will vote Democrat if it is  Obama or Edwards and most will stay home if it is Clinton. I honest have no idea why they dislike Clinton so much but as far as I can tell it isn't anything rational and it is softening with time.

  •  "More-centerist" Rick Warren? Give me a break. (3+ / 0-)

    "More-centerist" Rick Warren is as anti-gay and anti-choice as ever, and announced in his debate with Sam Harris that he believes in a literal 6-day creation of the, he's obviously quite a scientific authority, too.

    He's not a centerist of any kind. Period.

    •  So true (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Warren may be the "kinder, gentler" evangelical, but he still believes things like:
      -All Jews will burn in hell, right near the lake of fire probably
      -All homosexuals are sinners
      -The miracles reported in the New Testament are literally true
      -The blood of Jesus somehow absolves you and me from our sins, because his sacriface assuaged the wrath of a vengeful God

      Centrist?  Just because he doesn't blame 9-11 on the ACLU doesn't make him a moderate.

      The Bush Administration: Restoring honor and dignity to the White House since... never.

      by Lucky Ducky on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 12:51:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wow, Wheaton College is pratcially (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boofdah, FishBiscuit

    in my backyard.  Billy Graham graduated from there.  The old joke is that students there were prohibited from having sex standing up, for fear that it might lead to dancing.

    Hillary Clinton: All the triangulation; none of the charisma.

    by jazzmaniac on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 01:30:27 PM PDT

  •  WHile Jim Wallis and Rick Warren (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    may have acceptable views on SOME issues, when it comes to woman's reproductive rights, they're  leaning far right--they are staunchly anti-abortion.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 01:41:41 PM PDT

    •  Is Jim Wallis for criminalization? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I believe you that Wallis is against abortions...but does he favor criminalizing abortion? There is room in the Democratic party (IMO) for disagreement about the morality of abortion up to but not including the point of making it illegal.

      •  Criminalization is irrelevant. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MahFellaMerkins, boofdah

        Doctors won;'t perform them if they're banned even without  jail time.  

        And I think gambling with women's lives--because  if you ban abortion, it will simply become illegal and unsafe but not end, and WOMEN WILL DIE-- isn't something Dems oughtta gamble with.

        Call me a single issue voter--but unless the guy's running against Rick Santorum,  we shouldn't run anti=choice candidates. Candidates who are PERSONALY against abortion and want to reduce the number--sure--so long as they don't want to take way the choice form women. Not having one yourself--I respect that as a moral choice. But taking away the right to make that moral choice? No way. ANd you will find that msot of the pro-chocie women agree with me.

        The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

        by irishwitch on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 02:43:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Semantics (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I thought Wallis was in the "personally against abortion and want to reduce the number" camp.  I'm not sure I see any candidates holding a policy position in between "banning" and "criminalizing."  What, actually, is the difference?

          •  Banning makes abortion illegal (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MahFellaMerkins, boofdah

            but without a criominal penlty liek jailtime. Criminalization  means jail time.

            As to Wallis--moiv had a alot to say--and shehas forgotten more about abortion poliitcs than you or I will ever know.


            It's not surprising that Wallis should endorse the DFLA and its 95-10 Initiative — a piece of Trojan donkey legislation that uses long-overdue social justice measures as camouflage for anti-abortion regulations so repressive that 95-10 is endorsed by every major organization of the Religious Right. After all, despite his pro-feminist rhetoric, Jim Wallis has been literally signed on to the Religious Right's anti-abortion policies for at least the last dozen years, so it's no surprise that he thinks 95-10 is such a great proposal.

            Why shouldn't all Democrats join Jim Wallis in endorsing 95-10 as part of the search for "common ground" on abortion?

            Maybe it's because 95-10 calls for preventing pregnancy, but mentions contraception only in regard to failure rates -- anti-choice dog whistle code for "abstinence-only." Maybe it's because 95-10 also calls for the imposition of repressive legislation upon every physician in the country. Maybe it's because 95-10 mandates federal funding for a nationwide network to funnel unsuspecting women seeking information about abortion into crisis pregnancy center "ministries."

            Maybe it's because most Democrats have scruples about crawling into bed with Concerned Women for America, Priests for Life, the March for Life, the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference, Lutherans for Life, CareNet, Heartbeat International, Project Rachel, the "abortion is genocide" Abortion in Black America, Life Issues Institute, LifeSite, Joe Scheidler's Pro-Life Action League, Americans United for Life, the American Life League's Stop Planned Parenthood International, Human Life International, Feminists for Life, National Right to Life, and the same Life Dynamics that lists every provider of abortion care in the country as "American Death Camps" -- all of them directly linked from the DFLA site.  

            And then there is THIS:

            What I’m saying around the country is that there is a new option for American politics that follows from the prophetic religious tradition. It is "traditional" or "conservative" on issues of family values, sexual integrity, and personal responsibility while being very "progressive," "populist," or even "radical" on issues such as poverty and racial justice.
            It can be pro-life, pro-family, and pro-feminist all at the same time.
            That’s the message that is resonating around the country, Chuck. Not that all issues are "morally equivalent" but that, indeed, as you say, the "first one, the right to life, is non-negotiable." Perhaps the difference between us is that I believe that non-negotiable right continues after birth.

            He's not exactly pro-choice, and I found his God's Politics condescending to those of us whoa ren't Christians. So do most pro-chocie women here.

            The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

            by irishwitch on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 03:56:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't like "guild by association" arguments (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Just because some of his rhetoric sounds a little like right wing code words doesn't mean he shares their opinions.  That's why the code words are blur the lines between the crazies and the moderates.  We should focus on what Wallis has actually called for.  This bit about 95/10 doesn't sound like the worst thing in the world:

              The program would make adoption tax credits permanent, ban pregnancy as a 'preexisting condition', and make grants for ultrasounds so women can see their babies' development. It includes legislation requiring women's health centers and abortion clinics to disclose adverse effects of abortion, both emotional and physical and parental notification of their underage daughter's abortion. Other measures will require non-abortive contraception in insurance coverage, and full funding for the federal Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC). There's something here to offend everybody. But we believe if Republicans and Democrats can compromise, the net result will be more women valued and empowered, and fewer abortions.

              I'm no fan of parental notification or the pre-abortion scare tactics, but I wouldn't lay down on train tracks to block it.  I can't find anything about a "ban" wrt 95/10.  What does the ban consist of...civil penalties like fines?

              •  You can feel whatever you like. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                I am not willing to gamble women's freedom on your emotions. I don't trust him.   When someone says that the right to life is non-negotiable that means banning abortions

                Did you read the part about NOT mentioning contraception?  Do you know that MANY anti-choicers  want to also ban birth control as well as comprehensive sex ed--and that the lovely Dems For Life  has members among that group?

                Try THIS"

                Rep. Lincoln Davis (D-Tenn.) is slated to unveil his Pregnant Women Support Act today, on the heels of a similar proposal, the Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act, introduced by Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) last week.

                Although the two bills share an overall goal — reducing the number of elective abortions by establishing support programs for pregnant women, such as child care and health care —pro-life Democrats have split over whether the legislation should also support prevention methods, primarily the promotion of contraceptives.

                Reservations over the issue prompted Democrats For Life of America, an anti-abortion-rights group that also opposes euthanasia and capital punishment, to part ways with Ryan before the Ohio lawmaker introduced his bill last week.

                "We decided to go different directions because as an organization we wanted to find something that would unite all Democrats," said Kristen Day, DFLA executive director. Both bills are based, in part, on the DFLA’s 95/10 Initiative, which aims to reduce the abortion rate by 95 percent over a 10-year period.

                "The common ground that we were able to find — Republican, Democrat, pro-life, pro-choice — nobody can disagree that we need to do more to help pregnant women," she added.

                While the organization is not opposed to the use of contraception, Day explained, she said the group became concerned that the topic could distract from the overall bill.

                DFLA subsequently endorsed the Davis measure, which does not include those provisions.

                "I think this is more of a common-ground approach. ... This is a good starting place, a good focus," Day said. "When you start talking about contraception, people are very committed to one side or the other."

                A Democratic aide familiar with the Davis bill echoed that sentiment, describing the bill as an alternative measure for lawmakers ill at ease in promoting contraceptive programs.

                "That’s a moral area that some Democrats are not comfortable with, so we wanted there to be an additional bill that pro-life Democrats could get behind," the aide said.

                Despite the divergent proposals, however, the disagreement does not appear to have driven any permanent wedge into the Democratic faction.

                "We’re obviously partial to our bill," acknowledged Ryan Keating, a spokesman for Ryan. "We see their bill as a step in the right direction."

                While it remains to be seen whether the anti-abortion-rights Democrats could push both bills in tandem, seeking concurrent hearings, Keating said Ryan intends to support both measures.

                "We see the bills as different means to achieve the same end, which is reducing abortion," Keating said.

                Neither Davis nor Ryan are members of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, but the organization, which includes a heavily Republican membership, does not endorse legislation

                READ THIS to learn how antchoicers want to ban birth control and comprehensive sex ed as well as abortion.  I dont'; think Wallis goes QUITE that far--but he IS anti-abortion.

                These idiots want to block money for contracpetion.
                Can you possibly grasp how dangerous that is?

                As for Wallis--I am not willing to bet the lives of my sisters and daughters on his only using code words. I am inclined to think he means it just as it reads--no abortion,. And I trust moiv ont his one over yoru "gut."

                The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                by irishwitch on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 08:06:38 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  An Illogical argument (0+ / 0-)

          Irish witch, I understand your bias - given your pen name.  However, your argument has a fatal flaw...

          And I think gambling with women's lives--because  if you ban abortion, it will simply become illegal and unsafe but not end, and WOMEN WILL DIE

          It is true that if a woman cannot obtain a legal abortion, and attempts to do a self - or back alley abortion, she runs a huge risk of dying.  So what?  The baby will die if she has a legal abortion.  Who is to say one life is more valuable than the other?  If the objective is to prevent death, legal abortion causes more deaths that back alley abortions do when it is illegal.  Therefore, the argument cannot be saving the woman's life.  Logically, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.  Besides, the few in this case are simply living out the consequences of their own choices, with few exceptions.

          The argument must be something else.  It appears to me that the argument for legal abortions is that the baby is not alive and therefore has no rights, and that the mother is alive and does have rights.  Therefore, the convenience of the mother outweighs the potential life of the baby.  Or, to take it a step further, the life of a person that cannot care for themselves and needs a parent should be subject to the will of the parent.  Therefore, legalize both abortion and infanticide, after all, infants have no rights, either.

          Your argument then takes on a new tone.  Instead of being concerned about "God's Politics", simply stand up for your own.  The stance you have taken - as I read your posts - is: for centuries - no, for millenia, women have had the right to sacrifice their babies to the gods of their choice.  As a witch, you want to keep that right - the right of a parent to kill their children in favor of their beliefs, and to obtain power and favor with that which you worship.  It is your religious freedom at stake, after all.

          When you cite "God's politics", you are bringing into the arena a power you can neither combat or control.  Why would you want to do that?  Then morality becomes the question.  If there is no god but the ones that you favor, why do you want to bring the morality of the Most High into the picture?

          So that you know I am not trolling, I will be blunt, I hate abortion.  To me, it is murder of a child, usually for the convenience of an irresponsible mother and father.  And I hate it for obvious reasons.  The purpose of my post is simply to expose the logic of your argument, which is based upon a fallacy.  Will you own up to your actual reasons for supporting this practice?

  •  GOP (Un)Civil War? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The GOP knows that barring some miracle the next president is going to be a Dem.  When this happens the ideologues decide to score a moral victory within the party.  This happened somewhat to the Dems when Reagan was running for reelection.  

    The only downside of this is that if something awful should happen (e.g., Dem candidate arrested in a public toilet) then a real ideologue might end up getting the presidency---and since he would have to be more competent than Woody Bush, he would be even more dangerous to this country ;-(

    --- Woodenheadedness is a key factor in governmental folly. (see also George Woodenhead "Woody" Bush).

    by KingBolete on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 01:54:49 PM PDT

  •  Tectonic Shift (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oscarsmom, FishBiscuit

    What is now emerging is the opportunity for a tectonic shift in American politics.  To put it succinctly, my hope is to see the Religious Right politically divided or marginalized and see corporatist Dems shift to the GOP where they belong.  The only way I can see the GOP winning the White House in 2008 is if they go ahead and nominate one of the less extreme candidates (McCain, Romney, Giuliani (ugh)) and accept the fact that they won't get a big ground game out of Evangelicals.  This would force them to make up the ground among independents and fiscally conservative, socially moderate Democrats.  

    In this case Dems will have to abandon the DLC and start appealing to their natural constituency -- people on the lower-end of the economic scale.  This would return the U.S. to a pre-Reagan balance of parties in which each is catering to constituencies and issues it naturally attracts.

    The best thing we can do is keep on keeping on with sites like Kos and let Democratic party leaders know that we progressives are ready and willing to throw our backs into supporting candidates that will champion our issues.

    •  Chills (0+ / 0-)

      I just realized that our worst nightmare might be the response of the Democratic nominee to the GOP nomination of a Romney or McCain.  What if instead of trying to make an appeal to the progressive base and expand that base...they continue to fight for the center, DLC style?  What if the nomination of a "moderate" Republican convinces the Dem candidate that the election will be won or lost with the same 'ol same 'ol fight for the uninformed / independant vote that has cost us so many elections?  

      If you liked how this strategy failed in the past when the GOP was running serious right wing'll love the way it fails when the GOP runs a more moderate candidate.  

      Fortunately I think we can count on the GOP to do its darndest to win back Theo-conservatives this cycle...with tragicomic results.  

  •  Perkins et al should be even more dicriminating (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in who of the current crop of conservatives pass muster. He should tighten up even more - until none pass, then he can go and take his cabal and go home and leave the people alone.

  •  Keyes/Bauer 08! Bring on the 3d party challenge! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the more they fragment the more it helps the blue team.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 03:30:03 PM PDT

  •  If They Can't Find Anyone To Vote For... (0+ / 0-)

    ...maybe they'll just stay home.

  •  I disagree with this article - O'Reilly fodder (0+ / 0-)

    There are certain articles that stand out for not giving enough credit to those who disagree - and this article epitomizes them.

    First, abortion on demand is only a woman controlling her own body if you ignore the body inside her.  From the fetus' point of view, it is murder.  And, if you check with those that have been through abortion, usually there are two victims - one dead, the other wounded.  One of the most staunch opposers of abortion is the lady that once fought for it to the Supreme Court.  Even some of the more liberal people - on this website - do not agree with late term abortions, such as the ones that are supported by some.  Obama abstained from a vote that would require doctors in his state to kill a living baby if that baby was the result of a "botched abortion".  That, in any rational person's mind, is murder.  But Obama abstained.  That idea is not left, nor radical left.  That is insanity.

    Second, the idea of gay rights requires some temperance as well.  Most of the people in this country, including me, support the legal right of a person to engage in mutually agreed to gay activity between consenting adults, even those that feel, like me, that it is no different than my support of your legal right to engage in cheating on your spouse.  It doesn't make it good, it is still morally objectionable, and in the end, I think it is detrimental to our nation.  For the sake of freedom, I support it anyway.  I object when it goes too far.  I am one that has been hurt by the idea of gay rights going too far, and I fought back.  That gay man - the pedophile who assaulted my adolescent son - is in prison.  I helped put him there.  He is safer there than if they ever let him out.  So, gay rights stop where others' rights begin.  You can swing your fist all you want, but your right to do so stops where my nose begins.  While I support your right to engage in whatever activity you want, as long as you are not hurting others, I find it disgusting nonetheless.  Do you support my right to find it disgusting?

    The third leg of this radical view is the one that is most laughable - "global warming".  Unless you think that Al Gore actually is citing scientific information, or you believe that somehow Leonard DeCaprio (or any actor) has a handle on scientific analysis, you have got to be kidding me.  Actors make a living pretending.  Al Gore makes a living being a politician.  Perhaps you believe that George Bush was responsible for Katrina because he didn't like the Kyoto Accord - which Congress soundly rejected, nearly unanimously.  In my view, George Bush is not that powerful, and if he is, then he sure screwed up last year - not a single damaging hurricane hit the US.  Thirty years ago, Time magazine was warning about the dire consequences of global cooling, which was also bad science, bad reporting, and use of scare tactics to mobilize the ignorant.  As a engineer and scientist, I have seen that the evidence for global warming as a result of human activity is practically non-existent, and what evidence there is, is weak, controversial, and balanced by evidence to the contrary.  We don't know for certain, and acting on a unproved, unsubstantiated, and scientifically unsound theory is ludicrous.  We do know that there is more global warming caused by the passing of gas by cows than all human activity combined.  And, the global warming "this will destroy the earth" types are focusing completely on America - without regard for the much more egregious nature of the same things going on in China, Africa, and Asia.  Why? "Because those poor folk in the backwards nations"...and you need not say more.  It is because of a behind-the-scenes agenda - which appears to be globalization.  I don't mind someone advocating globalization, as long as they are honest about it.  But to use "global warming" as an excuse is simply using scare tactics to mobilize the ignorant and uninformed.  It is intellectually dishonest.

    Articles like this one create the illusion of being progressive, but they are actually repressive, condemning real thought in favor of sensationalism.  These issues need to be discussed and debated on the merits (or lack thereof) that they contain, not pulled out in haphazard fashion to appeal to the witless or the uninformed.  As it is, this type of article, and unfortunately, most of the comments that follow, simply provide O'Reilly with a good reason not to look seriously at the actual issues that Daily Kos seriously debates, and gives the far right - such as Hannity - fuel to poke fun at the serious people on this site.  There are as many ignorant and uninformed on the right as there are on the left (some would say more), and they are just as easily persuaded as the ignorant and uninformed on the left.  Readers of and posters to this website deserve better.

    And before you accuse me of trolling, I have already been through that discussion with kovie.  I am posting my objections without disguise.  You will also note that I did not defame anyone on this site, call anyone any names, or denigrate those with other viewpoints.  Can you do the same when you respond?

    •  Wow, that was some long comment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      We meet again--so soon! ;-)

      I started out writing a really long response to you, but since no one likes reading a long comment, I'll try to make it short. You have every right to have these opinions and try to discuss them with others. It's a free country, and discussion and debate is a healthy thing in a democracy, out in the public space. But this blog is about advancing progressive and Democratic issues, policies and politics. People certainly debate the details of such things, but not their fundamental merit. So people will debate how to protect gay rights, but not whether they should be protected. The former is open to debate here, but the latter is not. Not because this is set in stone, but because of common consent on THIS blog.

      And anyone who comes here looking to debate the merits of such issues is simply not going to get very far. At most, you'll get ignored, but more likely, you'll get attacked. It would be no different from my joining a conservative blog and trying to argue that tax cuts are bad and we need to enlarge the government and pass an amendment legalizing gay marriage. How long do you think that I'd last there? And don't you think that it would be kind of pointless and rude of me to try to do this? This is essentially what you're trying to do here, to argue against this site's consensus beliefs, values and goals.

      Out in the "real" world, or in a right-meets-left discussion blog, that would be perfectly fine, but on THIS blog, which is specifically and explicitely meant by and for progressives, for the purpose of discussion and advancing progressive goals, this is simply not appropriate. At best, it's clueless, and at worst, it's kind of rude. It would be like my going to your church and in the middle of a bible class arguing that god didn't exist, or that there was a god but it was Allah, not Jesus, or that your version of Christianity was the wrong one, etc. That's just not right. Not because I don't have the legal right to debate such things--it's a free country, of course--but morally and ethically, it's just not right.

      So I'm just trying to remind you of what I tried to explain in our previous discussion. You're barking up the wrong tree here. Not because these aren't topics worth debating, or that you're not sincere in your beliefs and desire to debate them, just that this isn't the place to do it. There are plenty of public, non-partisan blogs where I'm sure you can debate such things with people from across the political and ideological spectrum. But here, we're about the left, and just don't have the bandwidth and interest in debating our core beliefs. You can certainly try, but you won't get far. Trust me.


      •  Beautifully said--agree 100 percent n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
      •  Thank you for your permission, once again (0+ / 0-)

        Kovie, I know that you personally own and are in charge of this blog, but I don't need your permission or consent to post to it.  My posts are my posts, and you are free to disagree with them.  A blog that is not open to other viewpoints is a mutual admiration society - and if what you want is simple admiration for your vast intellect and practically perfect point of view, buy a dog.

        I will post as I see fit.  If other do not agree with me, they have the right to say so.  If they wish to not respond, they have the right to do so.  If they wish to engage in debate or discussion, they have the right to do so.  If they bash me with ad hominem attacks, I have tough skin - I can endure it just fine.  You do not have the right to forbid them, or me, from doing so.  Or, if you do, go ahead and delete my entries.

        THIS blog has received national attention, on both the right and left.  Common consent has therefore become a thing of the past.  This blog is an appropriate place to read and consider the viewpoints of others, and when I think they are based upon fallacy, as this article was, to say so.  

        I do post on religious threads.  And there are people - many of them, in fact, that debate the things I say.  That is their right.  I support their right.  I have had people that came to church to argue that God didn't exist.  He didn't agree, but this is, in fact, a free country.  To say that disagreeing with someone on this blog, because it is THIS blog, is immoral or unethical is ludicrous.  You are now the one that has failed to THINK, Kovie.  What moral or ethical position have to taken, that this is your turf?  Is that somehow moral or ethical high ground?

        My posts will not reflect the far left point of view, but they will be, as I promised you, intellectually honest and straightforward.  I am neither left nor right, I am an independent thinker.   I will not put anyone down for what they believe or think, but I will attempt to keep some of the postings honest.  This article was not honest.

        I suspect that the bandwidth of this blog can support me.  If not, then it certainly cannot support you, either, you write as much as I do.  If I don't get far, I don't get far.  What do you expect to happen, that I will be blocked?  If so, and for no other reason than disagreeing, then this blog will have been proved to be narrow minded.  I give you more credit than that, which is why I am here in the first place.

        Thanks for responding.  You are becoming one of my favorite persons to hear from.  This time, your post was much, much too easy to take apart.  

        •  You call yourself intellectually "honest" (0+ / 0-)

          and yet you call this a "far left" site--which is, of course, as you well know, an implicit and thinly veiled smear on people whose politics and beliefs lean to the left, and which is little more than a semi-clever way of calling them them "Commies", "Marxists" and "Pinkos"--
          even though, on issue after issue, its consensus opinions align with those of the majority of the country. E.g. the war, global warming, abortion, gay rights, torture, civil liberties, the economy, jobs, Bush and the GOP's track record on just about every issues, etc.

          So to call this site "far left" is inherently dishonest--or else quite delusional--since by this standard up to 70% of this country is "far left". I'll let you decided which is which.

          I also have to laugh at your calling yourself "thick-skinned", even though the entire tone of your response was petulant and snippy, which most people find to be incompatible with being thick-skinned. Funny how it's always those who call themselves "thick-skinned" who are least so. As the saying goes, those who say, don't do, and those who do, don't say.

          Contrary to what you claim (but fully well know not to be the case), I do not have some magical power to delete comments of ban members. I do not own and am not in charge of this site. I am not some sort of official site police. Rather, I am a regular member, and like all regular members in good standing I have the ability to troll-rate comments that I find so objectionable and/or out of place that I don't believe that they belong here. Not because I disagree with them, but because they are offensive, disonest and/or out of place here. I also have the ability to notify the people who do run this site about someone who's being especially trollish, but even then only they, not me, get to decide whom to warn and if necessary ban. This site is mostly self-policing, and that's how I think it should be.

          You are certainly welcome to post here as often and for as long as you like. Bandwidth is decidedly not an issue here, and the site handles thousands of comments a day without a problem. And you are welcome to post your own, clearly far-right opinions here (sorry to call you far-right, but global warming deniers and those who are against full gay rights are clearly, statistically, on the far-right). But as I've said you will find few takers. Most people here are uninterested in having debates on many of the topics that you want to debate because there's nothing to debate. Human-caused global warming on a scale that clearly threatens life on earth is accepted science, as much as is the legitimacy of evolution and post-Galilean astronomy. We're not interested in debating these topics because to us it makes about as much sense as debating whether the earth is round or flat.

          I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with debating these issues, just that this isn't the place to do it, because one, it's not what this site is about--advancing Democratic politics--and two, the overwhelming majority of people here aren't interested in debating them because, frankly, they don't view them as worth debating. If you decide to do this anyway, though, so long as you're respectful, honest and thoughtful, you will be tolerated here--but only tolerated. But if you cross certain behavioral lines--i.e. being disresptful, dishonest or unthoughtfull--you will be troll-rated. I see this happen all the time, people either trying to take this site in directions that it's not meant to be taken, or doing it in trollish ways. Read the pertinent section in the site's FAQ to know what I mean.

          My guess is that you will eventually just tire of not getting much traction here and leave. Or, perhaps, you will get frustrated with that, and will start to show it. At which point, the outcome will be inevitable and just a matter of time. I'm hoping that it will be the latter. It's never pleasant to see someone lose it because they're not getting the attention that they feel that they deserve. And have you noticed that I'm one of the only people to respond to you? I figured that I'd give you the benefit of the doubt, that perhaps you genuinely didn't understand what this site was about. But the longer that you're here, putting out rediculous and confrontational positions on topics that few here want to debate, the harder it will be to view you that way. There is sometimes a fine line between naive and trollish. But with the passage of time, it gets easier to tell the difference.


          •  Perspectives (0+ / 0-)

            Daily Kos is considered far left also by the "unbiased" pundits as well - in the mainstream media.  (To me, they are biased to the left, to you, they are biased far right.  Perspective, I think.)  It certainly makes the media (particularly network television, which I don't watch) look a lot more mainstream.  I used it as an identifier, not as a bash.  When the major democratic presidential candidates went to the Kos convention in Chicago, this site became a fair place to post opposing views.

            I do not consider you, or anyone else, a "Commie", a "pinko", or any other similar slur.  I do not need to use slurs, because I have no interest in defaming you or anyone else.  That is not, nor has it ever been, a tactic that I find useful.  I desire reconciliation, not condemnation.

            I do consider that the position taken by most people on this site is primarily socialist.  That, to me, is far left, but not to be confused with a derogatory term.  "Socialism" to me is simply a way of saying that since we have nothing else, we must depend on government to provide.  In theory, it is a very good idea, but in practice it doesn't work.  The reason it does not work is because people, at the heart, are selfish.  "The heart of man is desperately wicked, who can know it?"  (that's a quote, by the way...)

            Abortion is a moral issue to me, and you know where my morals are based.  Abortion has two victims - one wounded, one dead.  Since it is abhorrent to me, I will speak out against it.  I happen to agree with Fred Thompson on that one - bad law, bad medicine.

            I do not write for you, or to argue.  I write because the people that read blogs are not just the people that write them.  There are people that do not have the cemented opinions that you hold, and a reasonable argument regarding a fundamental position may cause them to give it thought.  They are my audience, not you.  I don't think that you are going to be swayed by my posts.  So, as I find time and desire to do so, I will cruise these blogs and point out fallacies as they come up.

            I am not looking for traction.  I am looking to make a difference, one person at a time.  If just one person will think through their position instead of "going with the flow" of this blog site, then I will have doubled my influence in this nation.  

            Cheers to you, as well, my friend.  

            •  Social security doesn't "work" (0+ / 0-)

              Tell that to the millions of elderly people who depend on it for their very existance because, whether through irresponsibility, bad luck or naivite, did not or were not able to provide for their golden years. Before it was created, millions of old people lived in poverty. Now they don't exactly live in luxury, but they're not out on the streets eating dumpster pickings, either. It's not a total solution for retirement needs, but that's why it's called social security INSURANCE. And while it certainly faces some big problems, none of these are fatal or insolvable, despite lies spread by the right saying that's going bust. It is not. And it is, of course, and always has been, a "socialist" program, by its very name, and is overwhelmingly supported by the majority of Americans. Does that make most Americans "far left" or socialist?

              I think you have your definitions mixed up. "Far left" is basically communism or radical socialism, and has never had wide popular support here, in the party, movement or country. The semi-socialist policies that most people here believe in are more rightly called "moderate left". And they are mostly supported by most Americans. Yes, most Americans are, when it comes to domestic policy, moderate left and semi-socialist. That is indisputible if you look at the polls.

              E.g. pro-social security, pro-medicare, pro-universal health insurance, pro-gay rights, pro-abortion rights, pro-public education. What they are clearly NOT is pro-government ownership of what private companies tend to do best, e.g. make and sell cars, food, clothing, housing, etc. Nor are most people here, myself included. We are a mixed country in terms of this, supporting some socialism (even if not in name, given the stigma attached to this word), but only up to a point. So it seems to me that the views of this site and its members are far more in line with the American people that those on the right, and hardly deserving of being called "far left".

              I also have to take issue with this:

              "Socialism" to me is simply a way of saying that since we have nothing else, we must depend on government to provide.  In theory, it is a very good idea, but in practice it doesn't work.  The reason it does not work is because people, at the heart, are selfish.  "The heart of man is desperately wicked, who can know it?"  (that's a quote, by the way...)

              Well, you could say the same thing about the so-called 'free market" system, which of course does not, never has and cannot work, precisely because of this "selfishness". Sooner or later, a small group of selfish and determined people end up exploiting the majority, who lack the means, motivation or knowledge of how to fight them. Which is part of why we have and need government, to set and enforce rules that prevent or minimize this. Of course, such government can itself be manipulated to serve bad ends, and often has. But that does not change the fundamental reality that it's still needed.

              It seems to me that you err in making this a false choice between total socialism and total capitalism. Neither one works. Only a smart mix of the two can or does, as every successful country in the world shows. And it's not the "government" that is providing such limited socialism, but the people, providing for themselves, using "government" as an intermediary rule-setting and administrative agency, which in certain instances works far better than the free market. E.g. social security.

              As for the establishment media and most pundits, as you probably know, most of us have a very low opinion of them here. It's not so much that they're pro-right (and they're certainly not pro-left, as the run up to the war or the way that they played along in the smearing of Gore and Kerry proved), so much that they're pro-profit and whatever it takes to make it, which means spinning the news and kissing up to the powers that be in whatever way is seen as best accomplishing this.

              Yet another one of the wonders of the "free market".

              •  Good points, all. (0+ / 0-)

                Kovie, I think I pretty much agree with almost all of what you said.  I certainly agree with the jist of it.  

                In my mind, the reason for social security - which I was not directly thinking about when I posted - is because the selfishness of man became very evident and obvious in this nation, and something had to be done.  Government exists for the protection of the people.  Ideally, a family would provide for the needs of the elderly, as they grow older, but in our society, quite selfish people did and do not care for their own.  Those that don't have families should be cared for by the church, but the church has become the anti-church, with a whole lot more interest in building tall buildings on prime real estate than caring for the poor.  It would certainly give the church a lot more credibility if they lived what they preach, particularly with people like you - and me.  So, we (as a nation) had to go with a Social Security system.  I don't really like it, but I cannot think of a better way to do it, given the reality of the heart of man.  My mom collects social security, and I pay into it - quite a bit more than she collects, but that is OK.  I figure someday I might want it too, but I am trying to situate myself so that isn't necessary.  I have a ways to go, and who knows what will happen between then and now.  I am not expecting Social Security to exist when I am old - it is clearly in financial trouble - but if it does, then, cool!

                I don't really think that total capitalism will work.  I don't have that much faith in the "better nature" of man, and, even the Bible says that "when times are good, rejoice, and when they are bad, consider - God has made one as well as the other".  Prosperity in the financial sense is not guaranteed by God, and certainly has not been experienced even by those that trusted in Him.  I am reminded of the widow of Zeraphath - the one that fed Elijah during the long drought - and the oil and flour never ran out.  Nevertheless, they ate bread made from oil and flour.  Not exactly the fare of kings.  And, when Elijah was in the desert, the ravens fed him.  I don't suppose that was filet mignon, either - given it was raven food, I would expect it probably wasn't even kosher.

                So, whatever we can do, as a nation, to care for those that have need, I favor.  That is not strict capitalism.  But I don't favor the welfare state, or the Robin Hood approach, either.  A nanny state is not appealing to me at all.  I don't support welfare for the lazy - I like the saying - "If a man will not work, neither let him eat".  (The will is there, I'm not talking about the lack of ability).  In the history of mankind, a tax of 10% was considered reason for armed rebellion.  We put up with a lot more.  Well, we are wealthy enough to do so, so I am personally not ready to take up arms.  I do think we have probably gone far enough, and that there will actually be more for social welfare programs if the taxes are cut, not increased.  Reaganomics, despite the bad name it has, works when the economy is in certain places, and I think it is there now.  (Not all of it, but this part.)  Reduce taxes, and you increase government income because productivity increases.  Capitalism at its taxed finest.

                The other things you mentioned, well, they are much murkier.  Pro-universal health care?  Not a chance.  Look at any place that has it, and you will see that it does not work.  It reduces the quality of care, increases the time to get care, and generally makes a muddled mess of things.  People in Canada and Britain come to the US for medical care; our technological ability to care is greater, we have more and better doctors, and so on.  I also temper that with knowing that in India, where medical care is also quite capitalist, they are making a killing on getting Americans to come there for medical care.  The more capitalist it is, the better the care.  Medical care for the poor is another matter.  Again, the principle is there of cannot versus will not work, but fundamentally, I don't mind paying for those that truly cannot work.  With my taxes.  But not universal.  I pay over a thousand dollars a month out of my pocket for my health insurance, but I prefer that to universal health care.  And I wouldn't use government health care even if it existed, I have been to VA hospitals.  The government is incompetent to operate that business.

                Pro gay-rights?  I won't go there.  I don't think gays should have any more rights than anyone else.  Or less, for that matter.  But I do think that the current thread of that argument hinges on the question of whether or not "social unions" should be given the same rights as marriage.  Personally, I don't care to become Sodom and Gomorrah, but hey - as long as they keep the PDA's away from the rest of the society, I don't care.  I wish they'd go back into the closet and be ashamed, but that is a personal opinion that I choose to not allow to influence my political choices.  Politically, I support the right of a person to commit adultery, too.  I consider the two on rather equal footing, although the former gives me nausea.

                Pro-abortion rights?  That's like pro-murder rights.  I support the right of the baby to live.  The mother and father of the baby did something, for their own pleasure, that resulted in a consequence.  Murder is not an acceptable means of evading a consequence.  Sorry, that isn't going to change in my mind.  But, I don't expect anyone on this blog to change their mind on account of me.  I only deal with the ones that argue for it on the basis of a fallacy.  See, in that respect I even agree with you on the forum question.

                Pro-public education - we haven't talked about that.  That is an area that I would like to see invaded by a bit of capitalism.  I support public education, but I am against the system of tenure, where incompetent teachers cannot be fired.  I like the concept of vouchers - sort of - I like the idea that schools should compete with each other for the kids.  I have a problem with it when it means that poorer kids don't get the good education.  So, I don't have answers there, myself.  I home schooled my daughter, and my son went to public school.  My daughter got a much, much better education, and my son is still catching up.  Of course, there are other reasons for that, too, so I don't want to seem simplistic about it.

                All in all, except for those two issues where my good vs. evil senses kick in, I think we are nearly on the same page.

                Thanks for the feedback!


    •  Wow (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Being gay is not morally objectionable. Objecting to the sexual activities between two consenting people is objectionable.

      Global warming is hardly a controversial subject among scientists. I doubt your credentials.

      The only place where you have even a slight point is abortion. And the overall argument is to legality, and it should be legal, and remain a matter between a woman and her family and physician.

      I would say you're trolling.

      •  Then check them out. (0+ / 0-)

        "Morally objectionable" is a relative term.  You have defined your morals, but have not responded to me.  I said that I personally find it disgusting and revolting, but I defend the rights of persons that wish to engage in those activities within the confines of "consenting adults".  Kindly engage in those activities far, far, from me.  Therefore, you agree with me that I have not said anything objectionable.  Thank you.

        My credentials are good, very good, in fact.  My scientific facts are good - check them out yourself.  But do so in an intellectually honest manner.  If all you read is left wing blogs or left wing publications, you will not have any other point of reference.  I read left, right, and middle literature, and global warming is a myth.  It is not controversial because it is not scientific.  It is controversial in the political arena only, and Al Gore, the politician, is not an authority.  Sorry.  Neither is Leonardo DeCaprio.

        I think that the baby should have some say in the matter as well.  Since the baby cannot speak for him or herself, I will speak for him or her.  I say for the baby, "I want to live".  Now you can argue with me.    

        Trolling, according to Mr. Kovie, is misrepresenting your point of view to accomplish the opposite.  I misrepresented nothing.  My point is that the author of this bash against "evangelicals" used three items to bolster his otherwise mediocre argument - abortion, gay rights, and global warming.  All three are highly emotionally charged subjects, with strong adherents on both sides.  It is a logical fallacy - Like saying "I am a strong liberal and l love to fish, so if you hate fishing, you must be a right wing nut job".  That was my point.

        All this article did was denigrate the left position to emotional blackmail.  I am sure that it will have an effect on persons that cannot think for themselves, but remember, it will also have the opposite effect on right wing persons that cannot think for themselves.  The radio talk show hosts have field days with this type of prejudice, and the right wing non-thinkers listen to the radio.  So, this type of article has a net anti-left effect.  

        •  I said no such thing (0+ / 0-)

          And you oversimplify and distort my words when you say this. What I did say was that trolling is engaging in dishonest, disrespectful and/or unthoughtful discourse, with the intention, or at least effect, of disrupting discussions and communities--and that applies in real life as much as it does online. It doesn't have to be all three types of behavior, or even knowing and intentional. But it has to display at least one of these attributes to qualify as trolling (in my book, at least, others may have their own thoughts about what constitutes trolling).

          If you truly, honestly and genuinely believe that global warming is a myth, and want to make sure that the world knows about it, then that's your prerogative. But as the above poster implied, we're not interested in debating this topic here. Most of all have independantly come to the conclusion that global warming is real and serious and something needs to be done about it, and our focus here is on debating WHAT to do about it, not whether it's real and needs to be dealt with. Perhaps we're all wrong and will someday realize this. But that's our problem, not yours, and when we say that we're not interested in arguing about it, you need to respect that. Or else, by definition (mine, at least), you are trolling. As in trolling for attention.

          Again, you're barking up the wrong tree here, trying to debate topics that few of us really want to debate--and those of us who do, go to other venues to do so. I stand by my earlier church example. If I come into your church on a regular basis and bash Jesus, I am being a troll and deserve to be kicked out.

          Or, to use a recent example, that guy who was tasered for at a Kerry speech, while clearly not deserving of being tasered or beat up, was just as clearly being disruptive and deserving of being ejected from the speech. He was, in my mind, a speech troll, trying to impose his ideas and beliefs on people in a way that was disrespectful of them and Kerry. And I say this as someone who actually AGREES with what he said (that the GOP has been stealing elections and likely did this in '04, and that Kerry should have contested this).

          It's not what you believe, say and argue, that necessarily makes one a troll, but where and how you do it. If that distinction is lost on you, then I'm guessing that others will soon enough make it clear to you here.

          And I'm honestly saddened by what has happened to you and your family. These are clearly tragic and horrible things and you have every right to be angry and upset over them, and do everything within your (lawful) means to deal with them. But that does not translate into being able to take your anger and opinions and bring them into a place where they simply do not belong, and express them in ways that clearly upset people on a personal (and not merely ideological) level.

          And I KNOW that you've heard of the Golden Rule (which, btw, preceded Jesus).

          •  I haven't kept up... (0+ / 0-)

            I heard some things about the taser incident, but am not really up with that.

            Global warming may or may not be happening at the moment, but the temperature of the earth cycles, sometimes warmer, sometimes cooler.  The last ice age was a mere 10,000 years ago.  When Eric the Red came to America in the 1100's or thereabout, Nova Scotia was growing grapes, so he called it Vinland.  A wooly mammoth found in the Arctic tundra froze to death with tropical ferns in its stomach - the Eskimos that found the frozen corpse fed the met to their dogs.  A bit freezer burned, but after 10,000 years in the freezer, that was not a surprise.  Sometimes the changes are very, very quick.  

            The point is not that the temperature of the globe is changing, the point is that making radical changes to our industry and fuel use to prevent it is like turning off your ceiling fan to prevent a tornado.  Methane from cow flatulence influences (increases) global warming more than all the human activity combined.  So, I consider using global warming as a means of bolstering an otherwise weak and failing argument to be using a fallacy.

            Thank you for your sympathy, and it is appreciated, but I am fine.  The Lord has restored all the years that the locust ate; my son and I are very good friends now, and my daughter is like my very heart.  I am extremely blessed.  My anger has long since solidified into a productive resolve, I am resolved to see to it that I do all that I can to expose and destroy the evil that is pedophilia.

            A great deal of what Jesus said was not original.  I briefly studied Zorasterism when I was young, and Jesus borrowed from Zoraster heavily.  It doesn't change the fact that the golden rule is a Christian concept.  It is not original to Christianity.  I think that very little is original there - I see most, if not all of it, in the Jewish Tanak.  I owe it to your ancestry, with gratitude.

            Cheers to you, again, my friend.

    •  I am sorry about what your son endured... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      belindapope, Tropical Depression

      ...but I frankly find it offensive that you'd tar the entire gay/lesbian community with the "pedophile" brush. That is so stale and ridiculous a comparision that I don't know where to begin (and I'm straight).

      What if your son were a teenaged girl and the man who assaulted your daughter were a straight man? Underaged rape, even statutory--unluckily happens all the time, and our prisons are filled with hetero pedophiles of Lolitas. Does that make all heterosexual relationships "disgusting"?

      Again, I'm sorry about the horrible crime that some criminal committed against your child, but it is unfair to hate on all gay men because of one asshole.

      •  I don't hate anybody. I didn't say hate. (0+ / 0-)

        I said I personally find the practice of homosexual activity revolting, but I defend a person's right to do so as long as it is within the confines of two consenting adults.  Read correctly before you criticize - it does no good to misconstrue what I said.

        I have also dealt with the problems of having an underage teenage daughter being molested by "sexually liberated" men.  And fought them very hard.  Unfortunately, our legal system has been so overwhelmed by that particular crime and perversion that it will not deal with it.  Sorry, ladies, but the best defense for that is the second amendment.

      •  I did not "tar" anyone. (0+ / 0-)

        I simply stated that when a gay man overstepped the boundaries of "mutually consenting adults" and raped my son, I went after him with all the ability that I have, and succeeded in getting him put in jail for 40 years.  That is not a reflection on the "gay" community, to the extent that the "gay community" finds  MANBLA or any other extreme radical political position as objectionable as I find them.

        I don't think that "unluckily" describes the situation.  Our prisons are full of "low eyes", and many of them do not make it out of prison alive - the prisoners find them as disgusting as I do.  I find any sexual relationship with a child disgusting, whether it is heterosexual or homosexual.  I favor castration of any person convicted of such an act, and you would too, if it was your child.  I think that our courts have been extremely irresponsible in dealing with this particular social cancer.  As I said, he is safer in prison.  All in all, I am satisfied as long as he is there.

        I do not hate gay men - I pity them.  Hate is not a word that describes my feelings well, except perhaps as a descriptor of the way I feel about the behavior.  For the record, the man that raped my son was my pastor, so I am not too crazy about religious people either, but I am a professing Christian.  At one time, he was my friend, and very close - but I did not know he was raping my son behind my back.  The ability of a pedophile to lie is incredible, and almost unbelievable, but if you ask law enforcement, you will find that it is there.  

        I prefer to stay away from gay men, as I don't want to be "hit on" - and yes, it does happen.  As the saying goes, and as my son now tells them, "don't hit on me, and I won't hit back".

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