Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Values voters and the religious left

I started to write a response to the rant about "Values voters and the Left" that Gary Bauer wrote for yesterday's Washington Times. But then I read Tony Hendra's top-secret memo to DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe. Hendra's memo about "That New-Time Religion" was leaked to the American Prospect and they put in online. So much for secrecy. Democrats have never been good at keeping secrets.

Now that I've read Hendra's memo, I'm at a complete loss for words. Frankly, no one could write a better response to Bauer than Hendra's already written. So, I'll just cite his conclusion:
In conclusion: Without the South and the Sun Belt, we’re dead meat. My successor should remember: When the South was a reeking hospital corner of brutal racism and cretinous, Bible-thumping prejudice, it was overwhelmingly Democratic. Now it’s overwhelmingly Republican. What’s wrong with this picture? Has the South changed? Not really. The South stuck to its guns and now it’s running the show. We changed and we’re not. We need to take a long, hard look at our former glory in the 13 states of the old Confederacy, reopen the files on great Democrats like Bull O’Connor and Sheriff Haney, revisit that simpler, more innocent time when Democrats controlled the market in racism, bigotry, book burning, and sanctimonious humbuggery. Of course, we can’t embrace these things as wholeheartedly as we once did (and the other side now does). But there’s always a centrist, progressive version of them if you just look hard enough.

We can do all the above -- and win in 2008 -- if we never lose sight of our fundamentalist American values.

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