Cal Thomas Goes After Dean's Religion

Dean's religious accent

Skipping over the gratuitous shot at Clinton and Monica (oh, yeah), we move on to this incredible paragraph:

In the Globe interview, he said Southerners understand religious talk better than his fellow New Englanders. Yes, that "vast Unitarian wasteland of the Northeast," as Charles Colson has jokingly called it, is the latest target of Dean's regional stereotyping.
Dean is guilty of regional stereotyping, but Colson is just joking. Colson's remark is actually a lot more offensive, isn't it? I guess you can't call this hypocrisy on Cal's part - it's more like ignorance.

The first "victim" of Dean's "regional stereotyping" was the South. "That's the land of Confederate battle flags and pickup trucks that Dean so recently disparaged," says Cal. But actually, it's Cal that's making this remark apply to a region. Dean's remark was about a segment of voters. There certainly is a demographic that Dean wished to appeal to, and so disparagement is the last thing to take out of that remark. Cal wants Dean to be offensive, and so he contributes to the meme of Dean's disparagement. Crude, Cal, very crude.

He goes on to coldly knock an entire Christian demonination, because they hold doctrines like the priesthood of the believer to be important. Next, Cal knocks an entire religion (Judaism). And then Cal proposes to discern Dean's entire view of Christology from a single soundbite.
"Christ was someone who sought out people who were disenfranchised," he told the Globe, "people who were left behind." Dean makes it sound as if Jesus might have been a Democrat.

"He fought against self-righteousness of people who had everything," the candidate continued. "He was a person who set an extraordinary example that has lasted 2,000 years, which is pretty inspiring when you think about it."
Jesus a Democrat? Well, that would mean his kingdom was of this world, wouldn't it? Cal seems to believe that Jesus would have been a Republican. In fact, from what I see in the Christian scriptures, Jesus told every political faction in Israel to go hang. Jesus wasn't concerned with it.

But you'd better believe that a prophet who exalted the poor and railed against institutional hypocrisy would have no love for the Republicans In Charge.

To be fair, Cal firmly dislikes what he views as religious pandering, and will take on Republican and Democrat alike when he sees it happening. I just wish that he would have approached this critique of Dean a little less politically. Don't judge in a way that condemns yourself, Cal. Jesus had a little to say on that as well.

Remember This? Bush White House Knows Importance of Classified Info

Probe of Hill Leaks On 9/11 Is Intensified.
FBI Seeks Records From 17 Senators

Somebody leaked some information from a Senate subcommittee, and Bush's FBI swarmed the Senate. These bastards know what they did when they leaked Plame's name to Novak and the other six. Screw 'em.

Evidently I've Built My Own Hell

Parents who bring squalling brats to R-rated movies
Circle I Limbo

Circle II Whirling in a Dark & Stormy Wind

Circle III Mud, Rain, Cold, Hail & Snow

Circle IV Rolling Weights

George Bush
Circle V Stuck in Mud, Mangled

River Styx

Rush Limbaugh
Circle VI Buried for Eternity

River Phlegyas

Saddam Hussein
Circle VII Burning Sands

Osama bin Laden
Circle IIX Immersed in Excrement

NAMBLA Members
Circle IX Frozen in Ice

Design your own hell

I've no idea what this is going to look like.

Rick Santorum's Worst Nightmare???

Dogs For Joe

Lieberman is going after an entirely new demographic. I don't know whether this is cute or pathetic.

Dean Interview on Civil Unions: Does This Issue Mean He's Unelectable?

Democratic Underground > Dean on Civil Unions : The OITM Interview

(The following is my reproduced post from DU. This article was posted there decrying Dean's political calculations during Vermont's passage of civil unions.)

Read the whole article, please.

It's an open and honest look into the political and ethical thinking of Howard Dean. And it's not as bad as those few passages indicate, although I appreciate ZW's points. And I'm speaking as a Clark/ABB supporter.

There are no pictures of Gov. Dean signing civil unions legislation to appear in Republican advertisements. The Repukes can of course grab any picture of a signing Dean to use in its stead. But the political calculation in this approach is obvious.

Likewise, the statement about the Tom Lawson soccer tournament. If it had been a Enron official wanting to open a captive insurance company in Vermont, a staffer would have been sent to the games with a camera.

But let's consider the entire paragraph of the "uncomfortable" remark:

The truth is that it is the politics that made me uncomfortable. (Personally) I’m sure that I have the same hang-ups that lots of people have on the issue. But it is a matter of equity. I remain convinced that of the 50 percent of people who are opposed to this, that half of those are fundamentally decent human beings and this is just a vast change for them that they’ve never considered before. I consider those people people who will ultimately accept the equality of gays and lesbians and stop marginalizing them. Those are the people that I have to speak to.
The Dean/civil unions issue is supposed to make Dean "unelectable" because Americans by and large are uncomfortable with gay marriage. But I think Dean is correct here - many have never considered such a vast change. They would do just as he says they would; they hold the potential to stop marginalizing gays and lesbians. The question is this: Can Dean articulate his position on civil unions to the "half" of the opposed 50% that will listen? Can he speak to them?
OITM: What role, if any, do you think homophobia played in the civil union debate?

Dean: I hesitate to use the word because many people confuse homophobia with bigotry. A bigot is someone who deliberately manifests mean-spirited unequal treatment of people because of who they are. It is very difficult to deal with bigotry except with the law. We live in a culture that is somewhat homophobic. Homosexuals become a lightning rod for all kinds of fears for things that have nothing to do with homosexuals. The reason for that is that, especially in men, sexuality is a terrible struggle. It takes some insight to understand that your own projections on a group of people have to do with your concerns about sexuality. Homophobia is widespread; bigotry is not. There are a lot of people who are homophobic but are not bigots. Those people can be brought into an understanding that everybody is a member of this community regardless of their sexual orientation.
This is the crux of his message to that segment of the opposition who will listen. You can be a homophobe (fear of homosexuals) without being a bigot (someone who deliberately manifests mean-spirited unequal treatment of people because of who they are). There are a few levels to homophobia - it's not a light switch. People who have a slight degree of homophobia can have their fears allayed by knowledge.

And most homophobes view themselves like this. They don't beat up gay people, they live and let live, as long as they're not living too close. Dean knows his audience and he can appeal to that part of their nature - live and let live. He made the journey this audience needs to make, and he can lead them on it.

This is important to realize: the Dean candidacy will be a referendum on the current state of gay rights in this country. Do we view Dean as unelectable because we fear what America will say to us on this issue? That's the fear we would be projecting onto Dean, wouldn't it?

This article actually makes me feel better about this issue for Dean. I think he can handle himself on it. May the best man win the nomination!

PS: Howard firmly places the onus of homophobia on the homophobe - it's projecting fears about your own sexuality onto a group of people. And he did sign the legislation, cameras or not.

Robertson's God and Bush's 2004 landslide

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

My New Years resolution for the blog is to focus on the intersection of religion and politics. And so the Robertson story is a natural.

Pat's been deflecting hurricanes since 1985. His aim isn't so great, though. But being able to wrestle the mighty wind storms around seems to have gone to his head, and now the Almighty has let Pat in on a secret: It's Bush in 2004, by a landslide. Pat and W have had their disagreements in the past, especially when Robertson's illegal business deals are concerned. So it's good to see that Robertson has ended up on the side of the angels on this affair.

But Robertson has lied before. He claimed to be a "combat Marine" in his presidential campaign, a lie shot down by his fellow soldiers. He's lied about the separation of church and state in the Constitution, which he somehow never managed to read in law school. He's also advocated nuclear terrorism against the United States State Department.

So one more anti-American multi-millionare is stumping for Bush with his media empire. What vast right wing conspiracy? They're doing it out in the open for everyone to see!

"Delivering Turkeys In the Middle of the Night" / News / Politics / Clark: Bush burning valuable military resources in Iraq

"George Bush thinks Americas best days are behind us. He has duplicated his father's war against Saddam Hussein and Ronald Reagan's tax cuts," Clark said. "He's even talking about John Kennedy's space program."

..."When I am President, I will go over to Iraq," Clark said. "And it won't be to deliver turkeys in the middle of the night."

No Further Leaks Until Plame Indictment?

Democratic Underground Forums - I just spoke to Joseph Wilson about the special prosecutor

At this thread, William Pitt talks about Joseph Wilson's reaction to the special prosecutor. Lancdem points out that we might not hear anything more about this "until something is going to break, like an indictment." It's a very good point.

Ashcroft Recuses Himself From Leak Investigation


Special proscecutors. More investigators. It couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of guys.

Dean predicts backers may stay home if he doesn't win the nomination

SF Gate

Howard Dean said Sunday that the hundreds of thousands of people drawn to politics by his campaign may stay home if he doesn't win the Democratic presidential nomination, dooming the Democratic Party in the fall campaign against President Bush.

"If I don't win the nomination, where do you think those million and a half people, half a million on the Internet, where do you think they're going to go?" he said during a meeting with reporters. "I don't know where they're going to go. They're certainly not going to vote for a conventional Washington politician."

..."I think eventually the nomination is going to be won by somebody with a positive agenda," Dean said. "What's happening is, in their desperation, those guys have thrown their positive agenda out the window. I can't imagine it's going to help them. It might hurt us but it can't help them."

He added: "If we had strong leadership in the Democratic Party, it would be calling the other candidates and saying somebody has to win here. If (former Democratic National Committee head) Ron Brown were chairman, this wouldn't be happening."
He's dead on here. Debra DeShong rejects this, saying Dem primary battles are all like this. Bull. The infamous Osama-Dean commercial comes to mind. There's been nothing in Democratic primary politics as publicly foul as that.

Yes, I'm a strong Clark supporter, and I'm pulling for him, and I hope Clark gets the nod. But if it's Dean, then I'll be working for Dean in the general, and these whiny little insider candidates had better get used to the idea. I'm beginning to wonder whether or not the DNP will just roll over and hand the election to Bush if Dean gets the nod from the voters.

On edit: JMM at Talking Points Memo has his take on this, and he has some good points to make. Dean's open talk is encouraging a split of the Democratic ticket, but it's a split that's coming from the other side of the party in my mind. Dean shouldn't feel entitled to the Democratic Party's full support right now, but the party leadership should do a better job of showing he'll get that support if he gets the nomination. Right now, I don't see that happening.