March 7, 2005

NEXT THING YOU KNOW CONGRESS WILL START EACH DAY WITH A PRAYER:

Right With God: Evangelical Conservatives Find a Spiritual Home on the Hill (Hanna Rosin, March 6, 2005, Washington Post)

It's what Ralph Reed dreamed of, and now it's finally here. Christians in politics are ready to trade in their guerrilla fatigues for business suits and a day job. This year evangelicals in public office have finally become so numerous that they've blended in to the permanent Washington backdrop, a new establishment that has absorbed the local habits and mores.

Nearly every third congressional office stocks an ambitious Christian leader who calls himself "evangelical," according to Jim Guth, a political science professor at Furman University. They may believe everything they believed before, but they've learned to speak in ways that are more measured and cautious and designed not to attract attention.

Sen. John Thune is the movement's new David, having overthrown former Senate minority leader Tom Daschle. When talking about abortion, the South Dakota Republican prefers abstractions: "I like to connect my principled view with my policy objectives," he says. "Good principles can lead to good policy."

"Principles." "Policy." This could be Hillary Clinton talking about health care, Ralph Nader discussing emission standards. He could be anyone in Washington, talking about anything.

To secular humanists or even your average Democrat, Thune Land is a scary, scary frontier. "He is this new kind of Republican creature who puts an innocuous face on the religious right," says a Daschle aide who worked on the campaign. "Behind this cheerful frat-boy basketball-star persona is just the same old beast of the far right."


Amen.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 7, 2005 6:00 PM
Comments

Omigod, Republicans, who ran on a platform of bringing Christian values back to DC, all of a sudden have the temerity to actually do what they promised to do. The bastards!!!

Posted by: Bart at March 8, 2005 7:23 AM

"Creature," "beast," "Daschle aid"?

Why listen to this person? What religion is Thune anyway? I'm from South Dakota, and though I'll admit to not being too tuned into the community, I never got the evangelical vibe from there. Thune actually spoke at my Catholic high school years back. People were excited, the girls thought he was handsome. They were right.

Posted by: RC at March 8, 2005 8:37 AM

"He is this new kind of Republican creature who puts an innocuous face on the religious right," says a Daschle aide who worked on the campaign. "Behind this cheerful frat-boy basketball-star persona is just the same old beast of the far right."

What sort of hooplehead(obligatory Deadwood reference as it is South Dakota) would hire someone so anti-religious to work in a South Dakota campaign? Did they learn nothing from Nickels vs. Jones? One of the things the coastal cogniscenti do not get is that in Flyover Country very often when you meet some 'cheerful frat-boy basketball player..' he is just that. It ain't an act. Lots of people in places like South Dakota are cheerful, religious and conservative without the merest scintilla of hatred for those different from themselves. And lots more people in South Dakota know people who are cheerful, religious and conservative without the merest scintilla of hatred for those different from themselves. So, when some goober, who obviously couldn't find South Dakota without a GPS system and a globe, tries to link someone with the Hated Religious Right because he's a cheerful, basketball playing frat boy, it is a guaranteed vote loser.

Not everybody is a grubby, disheveled, cynical, badly coiffed New Yorker. These same characters who complain about how the Thunes of the world are 'parochial' somehow never bother to look in a mirror.


Posted by: Bart at March 8, 2005 10:25 AM
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