Falwell's Joke is on U.S.

In the most pathetic excuse this side of "the dog ate my homework,"Jerry Falwell now says he was joking when he "remarked that if Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton were the Democrat presidential nominee in 2008, it would induce evangelical Christians to oppose her more than if the devil himself were running."

The only joke is that Falwell expects us to take him or his excuse seriously.  Hey, Jerry if you want us to beleive you're joking try saying something funny!  Is Falwell going to say he was joking when he said that  The whole [global warming] thing is created to destroy America's free enterprise system and our economic stability"?

Just in case Jerry needs some help figuring out what is funny, here is a little guide for him:

Funny

Scary

Got that Jerry?




(cross-posted on blog.njdc.org)

Is Gore the modern Jefferson?

I saw "The Inconvenient Truth" and then read several hatchet articles by right wingers that attempted to refute it, they failed to do so. One even went to far as to say that Gore was trying to be a biblical prophet since he was predicting vast worldwide flooding if the present trend isn't reversed. Utter nonsense.

The one thing that impresses me about Al Gore is that he is a man with an open mind, he is willing to think as Thomas Jefferson did, not close his mind as George W. Bush has done. Does this get him into trouble, probably, but he is willing to step back up to the plate and take another swing towards a different direction if required. Unlike bulldozer Bush who only knows "stay the course", and who believes in the words of Adolf Hitler, "What luck for rulers that men do not think."

There's more...

Pro-Romney site equates Howard Dean with Ann Coulter

Yesterday, you'll remember, Ann Coulter, speaking about John Edwards, said the following vile, hateful words: "I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word 'faggot,' so I - so kind of an impasse, can't really talk about Edwards." In a well-crafted response, Howard Dean said, "There is no place in political discourse for this kind of hate-filled and bigoted comments. While Democrats and Republicans may disagree on the issues, we should all be able to agree that this kind of vile rhetoric is out of bounds. The American people want a serious, thoughtful debate of the issues. Republicans - including the Republican presidential candidates who shared the podium with Ann Coulter today - should denounce her hateful remarks."

So, to recap, one the one hand you've got a disgusting statement by someone - Coulter - with a track record of similar statements. And, on the other, the measured response of an individual - Dean - simply asking those GOP presidential hopefuls speaking at the same conference as Coulter to, in his words, denounce her hateful remarks. One problem, one I anticipated when I called on conscienceless conservative Nancy French - of, among other things, the Web site Evangelicals for Mitt - to say, without a shred of hesitation, that there is no place in the political world for comments like Coulter's, whose appearance after Romney's at CPAC, said Romney, was "a good thing". And that problem is this: Someone at Evangelicals for Mitt doesn't think what Coulter said was wrong.

There's more...

The anti-Iraq war mandate, Religious Right, and Dems' chance to tackle both

Elizabeth Drew in the a recent issue of The New York Review of Books gives as convincing of a narrative concerning the nature of the Democrats' victory in November 2006 as I've read anywhere. There are some important observations in the Drew's article.

First, the situation for the GOP going into the elections of November, 2006:

In an interview, the astute Republican lobbyist and activist Vin Weber said of the Christian conservatives, "They really are to the Republican party what labor or African-Americans are to the Democrats--similar in numbers and impact." Weber told me, "The evangelical vote is simply larger than that of other Republican constituencies."

The Rove "genius," his daunting get-out-the-vote machinery mobilizing Republican activists on the ground, as well as his ability to frame issues from gay marriage to fighting terrorism in a way that puts Democrats on the defensive, added to the mystique of Republican invincibility. But Rove's real innovation was to develop a far more sophisticated "targeting" operation-- figuring out, for example, where the Christian right and evangelical voters are to be found, and making sure they get to the polls.

However, "Mechanics alone can't win elections," Drew rightly points out, and the American "electorate is closely divided." The result of the November 2006 election--that is, the Democratic Party's capture of the House and Senate--was because "59 percent of independents voted for Democrats--up from 49 percent in 2004." Why? In part because the "embrace of Christian conservatives has helped push the Republican Party far to the right, leaving more centrist and independent voters up for grabs."

But the even greater motivator of anti-Republican votes (which tended to be pro-Democratic only incidentally, except in the case of voters in their 20's) was the issue of Iraq.

There's more...

Religious Gerrymandering and Party coalitions, not just Party-line Voting

Past gerrymandering has benefited the Republican Party, but has also left them with some vulnerabilities. In a big hurricane year like 2006, their 55-45 levees were just a little too low, and they lost bigger than expected. Obviously the disaster of Iraq and the failure of George Bush had a lot to do with the losses. The sub-plot is the shift of Independents and moderate Republicans to the Democrats, which has thrown a monkey wrench into traditional patterns of Gerrymandered seats.

Simply looking at Dem vs Rep voting results by district is insufficient for predicting voting patterns. Better understanding results by looking at how the Parties' coalitions and demographics are distributed by district. In other words, looking at the cross-tabs in each the district is essential to understanding why the Republicans lost in 2006, what to expect in 2008, and what strategies to use for redistricting the next time around. More than that, it helps understand the ideological trends as well.

The dominance of the Religious Right in the Republican party is a result of two things: (1) Slow changes in the  Republican coalitions, and (2) Uneven distribution of the religious right portion of the coalition.

There's more...

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