Who Hijacked Our Country

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A Republican Voice of Reason

Jack Danforth is a former Republican Senator and a retired Episcopal minister. And he’s angry at his own party for allowing itself to be hijacked by the Religious Right.

He was appalled by the Terri Schiavo fiasco last year. “The idea that religious groups were having rallies and that the members of Congress were considering legislation and that the president was very much involved — I remember watching that and thinking, This is just wrong.”

He’s also written two opinion columns in the New York Times, blasting Republicans for making wedge issues out of gay marriage, stem cell research and public prayers. He says real faith is about searching for answers, not presuming to know them. He also says “an assumption that ... I am God’s chosen messenger to deliver a certain political message is divisive.”

What he said.

Let the Swiftboating begin.


Blogger Mike V. said...

yea, I read about him in my last issue of Newsweek.
Sounds like a voice of reason.
Definite candidate for swift-boating.

September 20, 2006 at 9:58 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

I would doubt that Jack Danforth's comments will get much press, given the current state of the media in the U.S. and that there is an important election coming up. So I say, thanks Tom, for posting this. I find it inspiring to know that many Republican voters don't like Bush and the fact that he has been leading the country down the wrong path. Current and former Republican leaders coming out and criticizing Bush publicly can only help America to ultimately get back on track, as long as enough of them are willing to do it.

The diehards will fight back the criticisms with all they can muster, including the use of such popular mouthpieces as Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh. If there is a change in Congress, to Democratic leadership in either the House or Senate, it will represent a huge blow to those jerks, and if played right until 2008, could set things up nicely for that year's presidential election.

I don't know if the Dems have the wherewithal to defeat the GOP this fall, given that the right wing has SO much money, and that there will be an undoubtedly effective barrage of false, fearmongering, negative and misleading campaign ads during the next six weeks or so. In Oregon, for example, GOP gubernatorial candidate Ron Saxton has had just about all the ads for that contest on the Oregon TV channels, and some of them are getting kind of nasty. It was only this last week that Democratic incumbent Ted Kulongoski's ads began to air, and his first ads have been mostly nice. The governer had a 52% to 35% lead over Saxton in a recent poll a few weeks back, but I'm sure all of Saxton's negative ads have helped the challenger cut into that lead. That is what happened here last time... Kulongoski was way ahead in the polls, and rightly so, because his opponent Kevin Mannix was basically an unelectable loon. However, Mannix had a bazillionaire friend who first rescued Mannix in the primary, and then nearly did so again in the general election by paying large sums of money for some badly negative campaign ads on TV. Kulongoski won by a hair's breadth, in what should have been a landslide.

The use of psychological trickery in political campaigns is just part of politics, I guess... but it is discouraging to see the GOP using it so masterfully in recent years. I hope the Dems will counter with reminders of the Schiavo fiasco and of how it pointed out that our country is currently controlled by zealots. They need to be pointing out how ill-prepared the country was for Katrina, and the need for better responses to such events, and ask Americans "Honestly, do you really feel safer than you did a couple of years ago? Has the Iraq war really made you safer?" The DEMS also need to use stem cell research as a wedge issue, as the advancement of such research is something upon which a majority of Americans agree, according to polls. Dems need to put out ads that show Bush flip-flopping... there are countless examples they could be using... and then they need to link GOP candidates to Bush and his failed policies.

And most of all, they need to offer solutions to the problems Bush has created, or at the least, offer alternative ways of doing things that might make our country a better place, and the world a better place as well.

It is doable, but the left needs to be more aggressive.

September 20, 2006 at 10:57 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Mike: Oh yeah, he needs a good Swiftboating, along with John Murtha, Ike Eisenhower, John McCain and the rest of those moonbats.

September 20, 2006 at 1:19 PM  
Blogger I.M. Dedd said...

swiftboating. now that term is as common as added a "gate" on the end of a scandal, a la "plamegate."

just another tweak to our language courtesy of the republicanistas.

September 20, 2006 at 2:56 PM  
Blogger BaxterWatch said...

"A one-size-fits-all democracy is not an effective foreign policy when you are dealing with such different cultures. Western democracy is predicated on separation of Church and State. Thats a difficult sell to Muslims." - David Baldacci in The Camel Club

ha. we're for democracy.
Except when it elects the people we don't like. (can anyone say Hamas, boys and girls? I knew you could!)

what a crock o'crap.

September 20, 2006 at 3:54 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

I.M. Dedd: Yup, those Republicanistas have given us lots of new terms to remember them by.

Baxterwatch: Yup, Democracy only counts when it's totally neat and predictable and goes exactly the way we want. Thank God for Diebold.

September 20, 2006 at 4:14 PM  
Blogger J. Marquis said...

Danforth is all right. Saw him on "Hardball" today. You have to appreciate the few remaining moderate Republicans out there...

September 20, 2006 at 6:03 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

J. Marquis: Yup, he's one of the few remaining moderate sensible Republicans. Their numbers are dwindling.

September 20, 2006 at 6:46 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: Your comment just now appeared. That F#$&! Blogger Comment Moderation must be screwing up again. Sorry about that.

Yes, it's nice to know that some Republicans are disgusted with Bush. But unfortunately you're also right that the "media" isn't giving much publicity to these people.

Yes, the Democrats need to make better use of the issues that favor them: Terri Schiavo, stem cell research and the Katrina fiasco. The Republicans have made better use of dirty tricks and negative TV ads, but this tactic can't keep working forever (we hope).

September 22, 2006 at 1:19 AM  

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