Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Obama panders to the religous right

Original Link:

There is no question that this election cycle is realigning the political parties. Some Republicans, finally, don't like what their party has become and have discarded that label. Evangelicals have discovered poverty and the environment as issues now that marketing shows banning abortion and gays are not the blockbuster attractions they once were.

Democrats are not immune. The relentless Clinton bashing was taken personally as affronts to Clinton backers. I took it personally when fellow Democrats and fellow progressives bashed. I know I'm not alone. Targets included blue collar workers, Latinos and women. I am questioning my labels, 'Democrat' and 'progressive'. Does being a Democrat mean a closer tie to the religious right, too? Obama has just promised to continue the US governmental drift to a theocracy.

Reaching out to evangelical voters, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is announcing plans to expand President Bush's program steering federal social service dollars to religious groups and — in a move sure to cause controversy — support some ability to hire and fire based on faith.

Paul Krugman deserves every accolade in the book for his column examining the Obama chance to steer the country in a progressive direction much as Reagan steered us the opposite way.

It’s feeling a lot like 1992 right now. It’s also feeling a lot like 1980. But which parallel is closer? Is Barack Obama going to be a Ronald Reagan of the left, a president who fundamentally changes the country’s direction? Or will he be just another Bill Clinton?

Competence in government will be a big step up. Certainly there is much to be fixed after the Republican assault on our governmental institutions. Obama's flirt with the religious right's access to government levers isn't a good start for basic repairs.

Update: Digby's on the same wave length.

Maybe it's good politics. I can see how it might co-opt some of the religious right. (Let's hope it's enough that they don't feel the need to do this anyway.)But this one really sticks in my craw, especially the notions that he won't go through congress to fund it and the idea that the"moral center" of the administration will be religiously based. That just doesn't sound like fundamental change to me. That sounds like garden variety conservatism.

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