November 7, 2004


The Disunited States Of America: A new civil war: The reassertion of ‘moral values’ propelled George Bush back into the White House, but bitter divisions now pose serious problems for America. Can the differences between the Christian right and demoralised liberals ever be healed? (James Cusick, 07 November 2004, Sunday Herald)

In Washington there’s no reason to struggle to find the words that express the pain and hopes of a nation divided. At the Lincoln Memorial, to the right of the large, white marbled sculpture of the seated former president, all you need is carved clear and high across a vast stone wall. The chiselled words are those of Abraham Lincoln. In his Second Inaugural Address as president, he tried to heal the disunited states of America, ripped apart by civil war, where north and south both believed God was on their side. Lincoln’s God was neutral and he believed it strange that divine intervention was called upon in a time of war. George W Bush and his successful campaign strategists have no problem claiming God is on their side. And neither does half of the American electorate.

In two months’ time on the steps of Congress, Bush will make his Second Inaugural Address. Like Lincoln, he faces a dangerously divided nation. On one side is a traditional church-going Republican electorate, mostly of rural, mid-west and southern states whose conservative Christian values are shaped as much by pulpit and prayer book as by factional politics. On the other side, the supposedly informed, internationally aware, secular Democrats; the party of the urban Pacific and northeast Atlantic states. Or as Bill Clinton’s chief of staff, Leon Panetta, put it: “The party of FDR has now become the party of Michael Moore and Fahrenheit 9/11.”

It must be comforting to the Left to talk of an evenly divided America, but on both moral issues and on questions of government reform, the divide is not 50-50 but more like 60-40 or even 70-30, as witness the margin by which The Passion has outearned Farenheit 9-11.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 7, 2004 10:06 AM

Never has such extreme rhetoric been expressed by so many over so little. If they are not careful (and they aren't) the Democrat party will become known as the party of drama queens, emoting their outrage and imagined victimization like some community theater regular auditioning for a Broadway play.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at November 7, 2004 10:24 AM

God was on our side in the 1860's and He's on our side now. What's the problem?

Posted by: Lou Gots at November 7, 2004 10:36 AM

There are probably a lot more social conservatives in blue states than there are fiscal liberals in red states. Just look at how Oregon voted on gay marriage and "medical" marijuana.

Posted by: Vince at November 7, 2004 11:20 AM

The party of FDR has now become the party of Michael Moore and Fahrenheit 9/11.

That was their choice. Many prominent Democrats attended the film's Washington premiere. And Moore was given the place of honor next to Carter at the convention. The Democrats embraced Moore, for more than he ever embraced them.

When The Passion was released the Post's Reliable Source column quoted a Democrat operative as saying "It's bad news for us if this film has legs." Some of them see their problem, but none of them know what to do about it.

Posted by: George at November 7, 2004 3:27 PM

The Democrats embraced Moore....

I think we really ought to get away from this kind of hysterical anatomically impossible rhetoric.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at November 7, 2004 5:45 PM

Lincoln was a religious nut. Go read his second inaugural. It is a great piece of biblical exigesis and a calling of for both judgment and salvation.

If the understood Lincoln, they would know that George Bush is his true heir.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at November 7, 2004 6:57 PM


You are correct in that they did not embrace him. They merely orbited around him, as he is hefty enough to generate his own gravitational field.

Posted by: Bart at November 8, 2004 7:22 AM