Friday, November 10, 2006

More Election Reflections

• 70% of white evangelicals voted Tuesday for the current version of the Republicans once again. Same old, same old.

Loyalty can be commendable. But sometimes it demonstrates a lack of observation. C.S Lewis considered it the least of the virtues.

• The evangelical left made a difference this time around.

I don’t like the term evangelical left very much. Anybody in the church who doesn’t buy the right wing thing is a ‘leftist’ these days.

Let me rephrase my point. Christians who don’t buy the right wing thing made a difference this time around.

Not so much by persuading the majority of white evangelical Christians to vote in a more honest and less ideological way. That didn’t happen unfortunately.

But I think the new found commitment and sophistication of church folk who reject the Religious Right gave moderates of both parties and independents greater confidence to challenge the self-righteous folks who have been running the show for too long. I credit Jim Wallis and the crew at Sojourners for some of that new confidence.

• Most intelligent evangelicals understand that the current version of the Religious Right is unsustainable both religiously and politically. A good ass kicking sometimes concentrates the mind and makes an obvious point even clearer.

Ran across this timely essay by Michael Gerson.

At one time Gerson wrote speeches for President Bush. This is the guy who made Bush seem articulate from time to time. An impressive person, needless to say.

He makes a strong case for a new kind of evangelical social engagement that conserves the very few good things the Religious Right has accomplished but leaves it behind for a more authentically Christian and human agenda. Powerful and pretty relevant.


Anonymous vonstroh said...

Loved the Gerson article. He too seems to be hoping for Obama to run. I don't know too much about Obama yet. You wanna write a post profiling this interesting wild card for 2008?

As for the aftermath of the midterms, I do think back on the Dubya we elected back in 2000. The Dubya of bipartisan skill in Texas. The Dubya focused on a compassionate conservative domestic agenda. Sometimes I wonder what kind of president he woulda become if not for 9/11. (He certainly was not focused on foreign policy at all as a candidate, nor as an early president - contrary to what CNN likes to say.) I tend to think that Cheney and Rumsfeld and Rove would not have ruled the roost so much. We probably would have heard a lot more from Dilulio and Kuo rather than Vader and Rummy. At least I like to think so. Now that we're back to divided govt., kinda like the Texas Dubya emerged from, and seemingly beginning the beginnings of moving on post-Iraq, I wonder if these next two years might indeed be paradoxically the most productive of Dubya's presidency. Certainly immigration reform is one thing that is helped by the regime change on capitol hill. Minimum wage too. Is it too much to hope that fiscal restraint and bigger steps towards a balanced budget might also be in store? Are we being too hopeful to think that Vader is really now out of power that Baker and company have rolled into town?

On another note, I have now moved from suspicion of Pelosi to admiration after reading this
She's got some Brownback in her afterall! Very encouraging to see. Let's stop letting the money gods of trade direct our policy towards China and emphasize human rights and justice. Wordcat, I'd be interested in reading a post profiling Pelosi as well.

2:37 PM  
Blogger Wordcat said...

Yeah, I wonder how a lot of things would have been different if not for 9/11 too. Now that the Demos and liberals have got some power I'll have a chance to poke some fun at them for a change, so I'll see what I can do with Pelosi. She's pretty impressive.

11:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People have been pretty unhinged about Pelosi over the past several months as it became more evident she might be Speaker. A couple of weeks ago McCain actually joked he would kill himself if she became speaker. I've heard a lot of people say things like, "Democrats like Lieberman are okay, but Pelosi scares me." I've pressed folks to explain what they find so frightening and extreme about her and have yet to receive any adequate explanation. Her stances on the war, the Patriot Act, and abortion have been most frequently cited, but her positions on these things are in the mainstream at this point. I also get a lot of "Well, she's from San Francisco..." as if that explains everything.
Oh well, her merit (or lack thereof) will surely be made apparent in the coming months.

5:22 AM  

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