August 31, 2005

Big gap...

Dana Milbank and Alan Cooperman write in the Washington Post:

...What strategists call the "religion gap" between Democrats and Republicans may be widening, despite efforts by Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.), Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and other prominent Democrats to talk about their faith and the religious underpinning of their positions.
Of course it's widening. Because people are starting to focus on the issue, to look at it. Dems have been coasting for decades on the momentum left over from when they were Americans. Ordinary people have been assuming that the lunatic fringe is just a fringe, and that those in charge were normal. Reality is starting to penetrate.
A Pew Research Center poll released yesterday found that 29 percent of the public sees the Democratic Party as "generally friendly" toward religion, down from 40 percent a year ago and 42 percent in 2003. A 55 percent majority continues to see the GOP as friendly toward religion, according to the poll.
Well, the Dems are NOT friendly toward religion. The instant loathing of Judge Roberts among "activists" and writers was a good example. (And his having a traditional family also didn't sit well with "Progressives." Nice bunch.)
Scott Keeter, Pew's director of survey research, said it appears that during the 2004 presidential race, Republicans succeeded in using Sen. John F. Kerry's support for abortion rights to raise doubts about the sincerity of the Democratic nominee's Catholic faith.
Was there a single person who fell for Kerry's obviously insincere "faith?" There couldn't have been many.
Since then, Keeter said, the charge that Democrats are anti-religious has been repeated in debates over judicial nominees, public displays of the Ten Commandments and the teaching of evolution in public schools. "My own sense is that the Democrats haven't forged a coherent response, and it's a hard charge to rebut individually, because if you start making a show of your personal piety, it can easily backfire," he said.
People of faith don't "make a show of their personal piety." It just shines through.
Democratic pollster Anna Greenberg has another explanation: "The efforts that Democrats have made to talk about faith and to present a different image is still very much an insider effort in Washington. They haven't taken it to the nation yet," she said.
Because that would be almost impossible. They will have to display their "faith" with a nudge and a wink, so the "activists" will know they are play-acting. Like Al Gore talking about what his 'faith tradition" believes. Lefties know what he means, but ordinary Americans can read between the lines too.
These trends work out over decades and generations. Dems won't close the "gap" anytime soon.

Posted by John Weidner at August 31, 2005 11:21 AM
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