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Friday, March 25, 2005

From the "Give 'em enough rope to hang themselves" department:

The Dems have pretty much allowed the GOP members of Congress to joust unchallenged over the Schiavo Affair, and it seems like their "hands off" approach has paid off. Right now, George W. Bush and the Republican-dominated Senate and House are at their lowest approval ratings in a long, long time, with Dubya pulling only a 45% approval rating, (this link is from the Moonie Washington Times, folks!) and 70 to 80% of the public saying they wished that Dubya and Congress would have stayed out of the fray.

That said, is this good for the chances of the Dems in 2006? Well, a lot can happen between now and November 2006. We could be attacked by Al'Qaeda again. Bush could pull a rabbit out of his hat about the Energy Crisis, with a new source of oil to slake our thirst for a few years, staving off the consequences of Peak Oil in the Middle East, North Sea and the Gulf of Mexico temporarily, but only temporarily. The American public are fickle, there is a large "Kool Aid Drinking" base who'd vote in a Yellow Dog if it was running on the GOP ticket. And so far, the Dems haven't come up with a positive message they can run with, but just the same "don't vote Republican, they'll do this, this and this" kind of messages.

It is time to come up with this positive message, to frame a progressive agenda in a way that will be palatable to people not only in the Blue-state base but acceptable to the Red-staters as well. I still believe that Kerry could have won Election 2004 if he had only been stronger on the "a vote for Bush is a vote for the Draft" message and maybe got the message out that The FDA under Bush approved the Mark Of The Beast to the "Rapture Ready" crowd to split the "unholy" alliance between the Pre-Millenialist and Dominionist factions of the theocratic wing of the American right. I think the Dems need to listen to the resurgent Religious Left and get behind this alternative view of the Gospels. It is actually the historical viewpoint of non-Calvinist Protestantism, a viewpoint that kindled the Second Great Awakening, fueled Abolitionist and Universal Suffrage movements, and bore its final fruits in the Civil Rights movement of the '60s and the "Jesus Freaks" of the '70s.

Although I am not a religious person anymore, and certainly no longer Christian, (been there, done that, got the T-Shirt in the early '80s) I still admire religious people who put their religion where their mouth is and help the poor, sick and disenfranchised. Jimmy Carter is perhaps the best ex-President ever because of his consistent commitment to this portion of the Gospel often skipped by the Religious Right.