Wednesday, June 28, 2006

must be election time: the values argument. again.

here's a novel idea for democrats: how about actually DOING something, instead of just worrying about the frame for your message.

as a progressive woman of faith, i'm getting just a little tired (yes, tired of even beloved obama) trotting out the tired 'we have to compete in the churches with the religious right.' my advice to the dems is a bit more...feisty. as a progressive woman of faith i'd like to see my fellow democrats stand in front of something without flinching when the crap starts to fly. as a progressive woman of faith i'd like to see some policies on the ground that demonstrate our progressive policies are the best for us and this country.

(hello, paid family & medical leave; hello, increasing the eitc; hello, increasing the minimum wage; hello, broadening access to higher education.)

unfortunately, we don't see too much of that when we're too busy watching our politicians genuflect and share their conversion experiences. thanks very much but i remember my own conversion experience; i was thirteen, brushing my teeth one sunday morning. i didn't feel anything so i accepted jesus a few more times that day, just to make sure. (ah, the joys of growing up baptist.)

and i'm reminded of my baptist childhood watching the dems 'try on' faith just to rack up some votes with the same awkward earnestness that's really just a fear of going to hell.

not to say that the democratic party should ignore issues of faith; rather, they should realize that having faith doesn't make you an easy mark for a con. and that's what this feels like to me - a con. it's great that suddenly everyone wants to talk about jesus, but i'd rather see you manifest jesus in what you do rather than trundling down to some black church on the south side and clap on the 1 and 3 instead of the 2 and 4. (y'all know what i'm talking about.) those of us in those churches know exactly what those visits mean and for any politician, black or white, that kind of hospitality is eventually going to dry up. you are pimping us out.

eventually the whore gets tired, you know?

this is what's disappointing about obama's speech; he gets awfully close but fails to put his finger on the pulse of the problem: the left can't make much ingress into these communities of faith now because, at last, folks are waking up to the fact that they've been played. after two election cycles and the dems still haven't brought home any of their promises, who's going to look better? the people who say what they mean and act on it. sure, their message is narrow and awful and retro and won't look after the interests of regular folk, but it feels right. it has the feeling their conversions didn't. instead of talking about the discourse of faith, obama needs to say how faith is about how you WALK - and then tell the dems they need to start walking if they want to see anything fruitful.

if the left really wants to be the party of change, then BE the effing party of change.
fracking grow a set and be like jesus: walk into the temple and raise some hell.

Obama urges Democrats to embrace faith Chicago Tribune


greg said...

Amen, sister! (They clap on 1 and 3 at my church, so I definitely know what you're talking about).

What ever happened to Matthew 6? If you spend your time being right, you don't have to spend it telling everybody how right you are.

ding said...

no one even claps at my church. it's a little sad.

and exactly. i hate to be part of the chorus that perpetuates the stereotype of the wimpy progressive, because i know that isn't true, but when oh when will the so-called liberal get serious about being liberal?

being liberal, to me, is about solving social problems with intelligence, creativity and true compassion. at long last we are at a point where the difference between us and them is huge and we are getting mired in that whole 'we have to win' thing.

fine, let's kick ass in november but meanwhile, the gap between middle income and lower income gets even bigger. our cities become redeveloped for the rich while the poor are pushed out to the edges; our schools are deteriorating and economic stability is harder to maintain. who can afford to wait for the democrats to frickin' figure out how to win everything?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for linking to the Anti-Manichaeist. It'd be great if you could post about my progressive prolife manifesto ideas as I'd like the idea to get wider circulation...


clara* said...

"fracking grow a set and be like jesus: walk into the temple and raise some hell"

this is now my favouritest quote ever. you rock.

ding said...

i couldn't help it. the democratic dithering really pisses me off!

Anonymous said...

It's about time! Finally a democratic is admitting that the Dem's be pimping the people! They are now going to do what the republican's do, show that they have faith?

ding said...

one, it's clear that there are some democrats who do come from a faith background. apparently, you can't run for public office in this country without making some sort of faithful pronouncement.

(good luck to any agnostic or atheist out there.)

two, my point is that these announcements of faith (from any political party, but especially the dems) come across as patently fake because what really matters is POLICY.

frankly, i don't care about my elected official's faith background - i'm not electing her based on that. i'm concerned about policy and progressive change.

the way we discuss faith in our public discourse is puny. it's more of a marketing scheme than anything real.