August 14, 2005

Core Values placed in blind trust to protect separation of Church and State...

Democrats are Slow to Connect with Voters
By Bill Lambrecht, Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau, 08/13/2005
After their shellacking in November, Democratic politicians promised to do a better job of telling voters about their moral values.

But judging by a candid report last week from key party strategists, Democrats have made little progress presenting themselves in a way that would recapture rural voters or make inroads into Republican turf.

The report by the Democracy Corps, based on interviews in rural areas and Republican-leaning states, offered a further testament to the cultural divide in America that has worked to Republicans' advantage in elections.

In response, several Democratic strategists said they are working to reverse voters' perceptions about the party's core values that have dogged them. The strategists say they see an array of openings caused by GOP shortcomings.
So if the problem is with the Dem core values, shouldn't the SOLUTION have some connection to Dem core values? Not GOP shortcomings?
Authors of the study also pointed to openings for Democratic candidates: growing dissatisfaction with the Iraq war, unbridled health care costs and the direction of the nation in general.
Ooops. So much for core values.
But in a withering assessment of their own party, the Democratic pollsters who put out the study raised doubts about whether Democrats can cash in on GOP problems.
"As powerful as concern over these issues is, the introduction of cultural themes - specifically gay marriage, abortion and the importance of the traditional family unit and the role of religion in public life - quickly renders them almost irrelevant in terms of electoral politics on the national level," the authors wrote....
So your issues are powerful but also irrelevant. And the Emperor IS wearing clothes. I just squinch my eyes tightly and I can almost see them..

..."The real problem for Democrats is that their elected officials, and by extension their entire party, are perceived as directionless and divided, standing for nothing other than their own enrichment," the Democratic authors wrote...
One skims ahead in the article, hoping to find some discussion of why this perception is wrong. Perhaps they were short on space and had to cut that part out.
While it carries generally negative news for Democrats, the report also presents the outline of a strategy to regain power. It notes Democratic success thus far in blunting President George W. Bush's plan to revamp Social Security and Republicans' disarray on issues surrounding stem-cell research.
Uhh, I'm still waiting for the "core values." Isn't that supposed to be the subject of this essay?
The report likens the Democrats' problems to those of Republicans in 1994, the year the GOP regained the House for the first time since the presidency of Dwight Eisenhower by running stridently anti-Washington campaigns.
Actually the Republicans campaigned on the things they were promising to DO. Remember "Contract with America?"
...The report found that particularly among less-educated voters, cultural issues "not only superseded other priorities, they served as a proxy for many voters on those other issues."

In other words, voters who paid little attention to the difference between the major parties on substantive issues like economic policy cast their lot with Republicans because of party leaders' opposition to same-sex marriage and defense of Christian values in public life.
Those "less-educated voters" are being very smart. Those issues are very good proxies. Anywhere in the developed world you can be sure that candidates who support same-sex marriage and abortion will also favor statist economic policies, oppressive bureaucracies, appeasement and, surprise surprise, contempt for "less-educated voters."
...But White sees no easy fix. "The divisions are so great that we have two parallel universes, the red and blue states, in which people speak to those who are like-minded, thus reinforcing their divisions. The distrust on both sides is enormous, and it spreads out to all kinds of preferences, not just what you believe but what kind of coffee you drink."

White was referring to a survey by pollster John Zogby, which found that people in Democratic areas are more inclined to drink Starbucks while Republican voters expressed a preference for Dunkin' Donuts' brew.
Another excellent proxy. You don't want to share a foxhole with someone who drinks Mint Mocha Chip Frappuccinos.
White offered this advice to Democrats: "They have to convey to married people with families, to rural voters and to red state voters that they do, in fact, share their values."...
Values? Core Values, maybe? Hmm? So what are they? Shouldn't we get a few specifics after reading this far? Or is this advice a dainty way of saying "We have no values, so lie to the voters."
...Democratic candidates have long fought to escape the negative connotations of the word liberal. But the Democracy Corps study suggested that they've had limited success, judging by the frequency critics used that word in describing Democratic positions on cultural issues.
How lucky! It's just a matter of the "connotations of a word," and not something wrong with those "core values." Re-branding! That's the ticket. Change the name of the party to "Christian Moderate-Centrists."
The Center for American Progress, a Democratic-affiliated non-profit group in Washington, is leading an effort to highlight the morality of many Democratic and liberal stances on social issues.
A sure winner. How about starting with, "Euthanasia. Because the loving family won't let Granny suffer."

In Kansas City last month, the center's Faith and Progressive Policy Project held a forum to discuss issues surrounding science and intelligent design during the battle in Kansas over teaching evolution.
Has anything good EVER come out of a "forum to discuss issues?" My strong advice to everybody: Avoid ALL forums and workshops. Life is too short to waste.
The project is putting together similar meetings, usually in Republican-leaning states, on topics related to poverty, health care and civil rights. The aim, leaders say, is assisting the work of religious leaders and demonstrating core values of progressive voters while at the same time defending the separation of church and state.
Oh, so now you are about to tell us what those core values are? No? Oh well, maybe next time. And by the way, when you talk about the separation of church and state, why do I see "L'Etat, c'est moi" in this bubble over your heads?
Project director Melody Barnes said that the effort wants to inject religious perspectives into controversial issues.
"Inject." "Perspectives." That kind of mush is not gonna cut a lot of ice with people the folks at Dunkin' Donuts.
"You can respect separation of church and state while understanding that there's a place in the public space for people to talk about these issues," she said.
How generous you are, to let people talk about these tacky things in the "public space." Hopefully the little people will remember their place, and be humbly grateful.
Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis, is a member of an alliance of self-described moderates called the New Democrat Coalition. He said Democrats often are restrained when talking about their faith because of what he referred to as the need for an appropriate separation of church and state.
Now I get it. They REALLY want to pray and shout Alleluia and shake those core values, but that tiresome old Constitution just forbids it.

Posted by John Weidner at August 14, 2005 8:09 PM
Weblog by John Weidner