Last night, Keith Olberman' s Countdown carried a piece called
The book, "Tempting Faith," not out until Monday, but in our third story tonight, a Countdown exclusive we've obtained a copy and it is devastating work.
Author David Kuo's conservative Christian credentials are impeccable; his resume sprinkled with names like Bennett and Ashcroft. Now, as the Foley cover-up has many evangelical Christians wondering whether the G.O.P. is really in sync with their values, "Tempting Faith" provides the answer: No way.
Kuo, citing one example after another of a White House that repeatedly uses evangelical Christians for their votes — while consistently giving them nothing in return;
but it gets worse....
The poll was taken from the last ten days in September through the first 4 days of October. The key findings were
57 percent of white evangelicals are inclined to vote for Republican congressional candidates in the midterm elections, a 21-point drop in support among this critical part of the GOP base
the percentage of evangelicals who think that Republicans govern "in a more honest and ethical way" than Democrats has plunged to 42 percent, from 55 percent at the start of the year.Gallup has released its own analysis today of its Oct 6-8 poll:
The Democrats made gains across all groups in the October poll compared to the averages in previous months. But the Democratic gain (or Republican loss depending on how one looks at it) is more significant among religious whites than among the other two groups. Religious whites went from an average Democratic disadvantage of 23 points across the June through September months, to dead even in October. Less religious whites shifted only seven points across these two time periods, while the group of "all others" shifted 9 points.
A comparison of the September average to October shows a 22-point gain for the Democrats among white frequent churchgoers, a six-point gain among white less frequent churchgoers, and a 14-point gain among all others.
This is, of course, good news for Democrats.
Or is it?
For the short run I think it is good news. By "The Short Run", of course I mean between now and November 7, 2006 but for the long term this is dangerous...hence the "Oh-oh" in the title.
I may not be the brightest bear in the forest but, eventually, I catch on. Like many others I have been infuriated with the Republicans for pandering to the fundamentalist movements and blurring the distinction between Church and State and I've wanted the practice to be brought to a sudden, screeching halt. The hypocrisy of the Republicans was another issue but the separation of Church and State was the first concern.
So now, apparently, the fundamentalist movement is abandoning the Republican party and, for the meantime anyway, they're voting or tending to vote for and with the Democratic Party. But what do we have to offer them?
Not much, actually.
We won't institutionalize their religious beliefs into our platform and we certainly won't codify their religious beliefs into the laws of the City, County, State or Nation. The only thing we can offer them is the right to privately practice their religious beliefs without interferrence from Government of any kind. And that may not be enough.
So where will they go (politically)?
My suspicion of the worst case scenario is that there will be a dedicated branch of the Republican party that will eventually grow in strength and take over full control of the party apparatus much like the Neocons have presently done, or we will see a new party formed to articulate their issues.
I think a new party would be more dangerous from our point of view. Third parties tend to skew election results. Even if the third party candidates don't win, they certainly bring a new dynamic to the equation.
More thoughtful and intelligent persons than I need to discuss this dynamic because while "job 1" is currently regaining control over Congress, the lack of strategic thinking on this issue may preclude us from sustaining any victories we might win.
on edit: I may have to make a separate post out of this but I'll put it up here first.
With all the GOOD NEWS floating around about the voting public looking more and more towards the Democrats in the November 7 election, it might be easy to slack off...not work as hard in this election because the current is flowing in our direction.
The Daily Howler points out a little bit of Political Science MATHEMATICS that you should pay attention to. Here:
KONDRACKE (10/10/06): Right now the generic poll shows, as you showed, that the Democrats are ahead by 15 percent....We're still four weeks away. But at this point, what the Democratic experts that I talked to, factoring in gerrymandering and all that, say—that if they get seven percent more than the Republicans, they pick up 15 seats, which is what they need.Let’s cut through the clutter. According to this analysis, if Democrats outpoll Republicans by seven percent, they’ll break even in the House. That’s very close to the analysis offered by Krugman last April:
KRUGMAN (4/21/06): [A] combination of accident and design has left likely Democratic voters bunched together—I'm tempted to say ghettoized—in a minority of Congressional districts, while likely Republican voters are more widely spread out. As a result, Democrats would need a landslide in the popular vote—something like an advantage of 8 to 10 percentage points over Republicans—to take control of the House of Representatives. That's a real possibility, given the current polls, but by no means a certainty.
We Democrats never discuss this matter. That’s because we’re breath-takingly stupid.
So the point is this: We need to increase the margin of victory everywhere we can and whenever we can to assure a complete, total victory.