The dynamic is that the Democrats are reaching for ever-tougher anti-immigrant measures, only to have the Republicans always want something "tougher." This is not the way for Democrats to capitalize on Republican missteps. They are reinforcing the impression in the Latino community that the Democrats will never stand up for us when the chips are down, so why support them.
This is a larger pattern in the Democratic Party -- the leadership seems to think they can peel off just enough GOP voters to win an election by adopting positions that go almost as far as the GOP would to disrespect and disenfranchise some group (women, gay folks, workers, immigrants). Then the Dems find that the GOP is going even farther, and they've lost the respect and trust of the Dem base by selling out chunks of that base.
Of course, there are many commenters here and clearly a lot of Dem strategists who think this is "centrism", "good politics" and "triangulation". There are others, like me, who think it's "stupid", "pre-compromising", "destroying the party", and "feeding the Republican narrative".
Hey, all that's fine. But did his speech really have to include these paragraphs, in which he positions himself in contrast to the omnipresent "some"?
Democrats, for the most part, have taken the bait. At best, we may try to avoid the conversation about religious values altogether, fearful of offending anyone and claiming that - regardless of our personal beliefs - constitutional principles tie our hands. At worst, some liberals dismiss religion in the public square as inherently irrational or intolerant, insisting on a caricature of religious Americans that paints them as fanatical, or thinking that the very word "Christian" describes one's political opponents, not people of faith.
Such strategies of avoidance may work for progressives when the opponent is Alan Keyes. But over the long haul, I think we make a mistake when we fail to acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people, and join a serious debate about how to reconcile faith with our modern, pluralistic democracy.
[Long justification of the importance of religion]
More fundamentally, the discomfort of some progressives with any hint of religion has often prevented us from effectively addressing issues in moral terms. Some of the problem here is rhetorical - if we scrub language of all religious content, we forfeit the imagery and terminology through which millions of Americans understand both their personal morality and social justice. Imagine Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address without reference to "the judgments of the Lord," or King's I Have a Dream speech without reference to "all of God's children." Their summoning of a higher truth helped inspire what had seemed impossible and move the nation to embrace a common destiny.
But what I am suggesting is this - secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering into the public square. Frederick Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, Williams Jennings Bryant, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King - indeed, the majority of great reformers in American history - were not only motivated by faith, but repeatedly used religious language to argue for their cause. To say that men and women should not inject their "personal morality" into public policy debates is a practical absurdity; our law is by definition a codification of morality, much of it grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition.
Moreover, if we progressives shed some of these biases, we might recognize the overlapping values that both religious and secular people share when it comes to the moral and material direction of our country. We might recognize that the call to sacrifice on behalf of the next generation, the need to think in terms of "thou" and not just "I," resonates in religious congregations across the country. And we might realize that we have the ability to reach out to the evangelical community and engage millions of religious Americans in the larger project of America's renewal.
Who in any leadership position is doing this? Why can he not name names? Notice how he can name names when it comes to the people he likes.
Instead, he just calls out "some", and disparages the weaknesses of that "some", which is a classic strawman rhetorical tactic. Obama is triangulating, pulling a Sistah-Souljah on some imaginary group that really doesn't have any power.
This is the second time in one thread you've stated something as fact and had to back away. It's admirable that you're backing away when confronted with contrary information, but maybe you could try checking a fact before you assert it?
For example, the effing top link on Google for "african american vote 2004) is this, which shows Bush getting 11% of the African American vote.
Now that was classy. Dishing out the troll rating after you did that smarmy condescending "chief" and "slick" crap. All class.
jcjcjc, if you're a "moderate", I don't see you actually doing any of the things you're talking about to really reduce the abortion rate. See, all of the "moderates" you support won't do any of the things necessary to really help poor women. You might talk pretty about what the Dems aren't doing, but your alignment with the "moderates" really makes me not believe you. I might buy it if you were a green, or a socialist.
And all of those analogies you make are just false. You're weighing the woman's right to her own body at zero. IOW, you think the state owns her uterus once there's a blastocyte in it. That's all there is to it.
Oh, that makes sense. She's abused, she's trying to seek an abortion without notifying an abusive husband, and she has to go to court to open up her life to complete strangers who will make decisions which affect her life.
Seriously, what do you know about domestic abuse? Anything?
Give it up. Just cop to the fact that you believe her husband and the state have more say about what she does with her body than she does. Period.
Um, I'll give you shit on this one if I want to, "chief". You're talking about selling out the rights of women in order to get the rest of what you want. The way you put it was "stop bitching about abortion, and get all the rest of this stuff". I don't give a shit about whether your anti-choice position is sincere -- you're trying to swing it as a political bargain. In fact, the hypocrisy might be worse, given that you claim your anti-choice position is sincere.
The question is: who owns the uterus? The woman, the husband, or the state? What does he have to disclose to her under legal threat? We're not talking about aborting because the husband is the abuser. We're talking about whether or not the woman is required to notify the abusive husband or else swear that he is an abuser, and if that can be challenged, face a lawsuit. Of course, as an anti-choicer, you must be a fan of Phil Kline -- I'm sure he'd help an angry estranged husband go after his wife. That's the kind of consequence we're talking about, not just "a burdened conscience". That's their conscience, they get to choose.
If you want to make abortion illegal straight up, then just effing say so, and say you're willing to prosecute women for murder if they get an abortion, no matter what -- no exceptions for rape or incest or health of the mother. At least be consistent. Don't dick around with the "oh, it's just a notice provision" "oh, it's just a waiting period" "oh, it's just a recordkeeping provision." It's death by a thousand cuts, and we both know it.
And don't pretend that it's not selling women out. Anti-choice means that you value real existing people -- women -- less than you value a blob of cells that nature terminates one time in three. Period. That's the bottom line.
Yeah, forgive me if I'm not sanguine about something which requires a woman to testify that one of those conditions exists and have it be punishable by law if her testimony can be proved untrue. (If, for example, her estranged husband learns of the abortion and wants to pursue it, with the help of an AG like Phill Kline in Kansas.)
Again, good marriages don't need the law. Bad marriages shouldn't be made worse. There's a really strong implicit veto and right of coverture stacked into this kind of law. And lets not bullshit ourselves -- it's all about scaring women away from abortions. Anything else is bullshit. And there will be another cut in the right to choose. And another. And another.
This has exactly the same bad rationales as parental notification, except it puts the husband in loco parentis over the wife, who is, last I checked, presumed to be an adult. Now that's offensive. But hey, I guess a lot of people in the US crave the return of coverture.
So, just for the slow of mind: In a good marriages, there is no need to legislate this. In bad marriages, legislating this is going to get women abused.
I love the "centrists" who want to get back into power by selling out women (and usually, gay people as well.)