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Sore Knees

Can Democrats reclaim their sainted place in American politics? Plus much more on the post-election recovery.

11.7.04

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A DEMOCRATIC CHALLENGE
Re: William Tucker's A Plea for Democracy:

Now that I see how the losers are reacting, I have to say that Tucker's "A Plea for Democracy" was exactly right. It's comforting to know that it was written when he didn't know who would win.
-- Dan Davis
Rochester, Minnesota

LET US PRAY
Re: George Neumayr's A Party on Its Knees:

Thanks for the article. Great one.
-- Ruth Lindemann
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Amen, George, Amen! Thanks for saying what so many of us were trying to say Tuesday.
-- Lisa Chunn

Spot on and well said.
-- Mike McElmurry

Morality and ethics are not exclusive to Republicans of any religion. There are millions of Atheists, many of them Republicans, with moral and ethical standards that far surpass what I see from so many right-wing "so called" religious Americans.

George W. Bush, and his Master Puppeteers, made sure that the "REAL" issues were never addressed and that his so-called morality, and the threat of "TERROR," were pushed down the throats of millions of Americans until they were whipped up in a frenzy of outrage against nothing but a sleazy "parlor trick." What scares me is that the last time a deception of this magnitude worked was in Nazi Germany with another nut-case named Adolph Hitler.

You, and your religious-fanatic supporters, scare a huge majority of this county to death and we cannot understand your support of George W. Bush, who appears to a vast number of Americans to have few moral or ethical standards.

I hope YOUR God, who bears absolutely no resemblance to the God I was raised to believe in, can help preserve this country from George W. Bush, who may turn out to be remembered as our first "war criminal" President.

"A Party On Its Knees." YOU GOT IT RIGHT! We are on our knees praying to protect America from the religious fanatics in this country and their warped agenda to push their fanatical beliefs down the throats of all the people of the world. Sounds like Nazi Germany again!

By-the-way, what happened to the "separation of Church and State?" Guess that is another little issue Mr. Bush can take care of for you when he gets his chance to revamp the Supreme Court!
-- Stephanie Snyder

Your comment: "In his lunging attacks on Bush's religion, Kerry often said that "faith without deeds is dead." The American people ended up agreeing with him -- about his."

This came closest to any reason I've yet seen printed on why Kerry lost this election. Kerry was unable to connect the qualities of integrity, conviction, and real faith in God, to any of his words or actions. My lasting impression of Kerry is liar and hypocrite.
-- Adrienne McLaughlin
Sarasota, Florida

George Neumayr had yet another good piece on the hypocrisy of the RATS in their pursuit of a higher power (office, that is). He could also point out the type of religion that RATS would feel comfortable discussing actually is being rejected by Americans as well Liberal denominations have long been on the decline in this country while evangelical denominations continue to flourish. Poor RATS a day late and a dollar short. Faith without works is dead, and faith without faith is a Democrat.
-- Andrew J. Macfadyen, M.D.

Loved the article about the phoniness of the left, now showing their religion, etc. The line about Kerry picking up a bible in a black church was classic. The next part, however, about picking up a rifle......okay guys, you writers need to know this because it is important to gun folks, and there's a whole lot of us. Kerry picked up a SHOTGUN. This is a weapon with which game birds are taken. It fires multiple projectiles. A RIFLE is also a long gun, but fires single projectiles. It is used for hunting other game, usually larger, such as deer, moose, elk, etc. There are several good writers' guides on guns available.
-- Frank St. Clair
Lexington, Kentucky

The article, "A Party on Its Knees" hit the nail on the head about the problem the Democrats face. However, their prospects for solving it seem pretty bleak. As Clinton, Pelosi and others chant that, "we need to talk more about faith," I wonder how they'll be able to do that while still addicted to abortion money. Consider how transparently shallow Kerry came across with his "personally opposed to abortion" position while taking in gobs of money from Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice American and NOW. Personally opposed but willing to lead hate rallies featuring his pro-choice legislative record. If America didn't buy it this time around, we won't next time either.
-- Steve Bowler
Hudson, Massachusetts

Nancy Pelosi's comment said more than she intended, "I know that many of the people who are in politics on the Democratic side do so according to the -- the gospel of Matthew and indeed the Bible, but we don't demonstrate it clearly enough and faith is such an important part of the lives of most people in our country. They want to know that we identify with that."
She knows (or someone has told her) that somewhere in Matthew Jesus says something about when you help the hungry, the thirsty, the imprisoned etc. you are helping him (Mt. 25:31-46). She probably also knows the tax-paying verse in the Gospels about rendering unto Caesar.

What she doesn't seem to realize is that seriously religious people actually know this stuff. We know that the Bible says a lot more than "help the poor." Never mind that Democrats don't ever address the problem of how taking our money to pay for a bloated welfare system that spends such a small percentage on the actual recipients that it would be shut down as fraudulent if it were a private charity is "helping the poor." There's also a lot about morality, sexuality, honesty, and other subjects we were supposed to ignore during the Clinton administration. We know that and we know that the Gospel message is a way of life, not a menu we can choose from and it offends us when Democrats cherry pick Bible verses out of context to support their political positions when they clearly don't know what they're talking about.
-- Father Terry Wipf
Center, North Dakota

So Rep. Nancy Pelosi and others, in rare and comical moments of introspection, suggest that the Democratic party needs to talk more about faith and God in order to have their message received by the voters. Pardon me while I laugh at Pelosi and others. It is her very party that is synonymous with removing any mention of God from the classroom and her very own party that fought tooth and nail to have a monument espousing the importance of kind actions removed from a federal courthouse. To many Democrats, God has been public enemy number one. And Rep. Pelosi laments why her party yet again lost the White House and lost seats in both the House and Senate? You reap what you sow, Nancy. You reap what you sow.
-- Christian G. Farley
Clifton Park, New York

Before the Democratic intelligentsia can become conspicuous about their faith, as Ms. Pelosi suggests, they must first find it. Can a secularist be a person of faith? If so, faith in who or what, outside of themselves?
-- Bill Simpson
San Antonio, Texas

TURN A BLIND EYE
Re: David Hogberg's Why Kerry Lost:

David Hogberg makes an unconvincing case in writing that the Democrats will continue to lose elections "until they are ready to accept that sometimes defending our national security means we have to use force -- they are going to have trouble at the polls as long as terrorism is an issue. The question should be not about whether we use force, but when and how?"

Well, actually, John Kerry and many other Democrats -- elected officials as well as the much-maligned "base" -- do accept that we sometimes must use force, and are willing to debate when and how that is done. Evidence? The overwhelming support for President Bush's decision to wage war against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan that harbored the terrorists who actually attacked us, and before that, Democratic support for President Clinton's decisions to work with NATO to use force to deal with tribal warfare in the Balkans that threatened European stability -- over the objection of Republicans' disdain for "nation-building" efforts. So we can be discriminating - we just reached the conclusion that the case for waging war in Iraq was not convincing. Irrespective of the electoral outcome, that is not a conclusion that many Democrats' will abandon, given the way the Administration has botched the job and actually increased the power of our terrorist enemies. One thing is clear -- with the current state of affairs in Afghanistan and Iraq, President Bush has kept his promise not to engage in nation-building.
-- Steve Sanders

Although I do not entirely disagree with your article, I find it really tiresome that the press refuses to call a spade a spade.

George W. Bush has repeatedly made a fool of himself and this country that I dearly love. You say that the Democrats are not serious about national security? On what do you base this opinion? Has everyone forgotten that it was Bush who drove away international support with his "go it alone" attitude? Or have you also forgotten that, despite what a very large number of people STILL believe, that Iraq had absolutely NO connection to 9/11, that the inspectors were doing their job, and that Saddam had been contained for years without ever killing an American!

I pray for this country, I pray for the loss of life in our soldiers and the 100,000 Iraqi civilian casualties, and I pray for all of the families who will have to face the loss of their children as this war continues on and on for years. I suspect the only way that change will come is when Bush supporters begin to feel the loss of their sons and daughters in this "war on terror" without end.

You want to make a mark on the war on terror? Than stop being the bully of the world and start respecting all cultures. As long as we feel we have the "God given right" to impose our views on other nations, we will be the targets of terrorism.
Sincerely,
-- Susan M. Mazza

CATHOLIC COMEBACK
Re: Paul Kengor's Kerry Loses His Faith:

We Catholics are in a minority here in South Carolina, but we're becoming a larger and larger share of the state's population. Some of us are transplants, but there are many such as myself who are converts from mainline Protestantism, and most of us vote just like our conservative Protestant brethren!

I was almost shocked that the RNC was paying attention to us this year: I had signed up in 2000 and had never heard a thing from the RNC then! However, I believe the lion's share of credit for mobilizing the Catholic vote this year should go to Catholic Answers, a small lay organization, which massively distributed a terrific nonpartisan -- no political parties, just emphasis on "Does the candidate follow Church teachings?" -- voters guide to both Catholic parishes and Catholic individuals across the U.S. over the past few months.

I have been actively involved in the Republican Party here in South Carolina since late 1995, and have been fighting for most of that time for more Party recognition of us Catholic Republicans. Unfortunately, many of my Republican brethren in this state fail to understand that neither South Carolina nor the South Carolina Republican Party are 100 percent Protestant.
-- Elizabeth Whitaker
Easley, South Carolina

Paul Kengor's points about Kerry losing the Catholic vote are well taken so far as they go. The most encouraging numbers he comes up with are from Florida and Ohio: 66% of practicing Catholics in Florida rejected Kerry; 65% in Ohio. Nationwide, practicing Catholics went for Bush 55% to 44%.

Kengor defines practicing Catholics as those "who attend Mass weekly," which leaves me with a troubling question: What kinds of Masses are the 44% Kerry supporters attending? The numbers of American Catholic voters who vote with an informed Catholic conscience are getting better, no doubt, but are still scandalously low.
-- John R. Dunlap
San Jose, California

I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Kengor's assessment in this article. Thank God that Bush "overachieved" with devout Catholics and Jews, compared to his percentages of those voting blocks in 2000. And I agree that the media will want to demonize evangelical Christians and blame Karl Rove for his "diabolical" efforts to mobilize their votes. We know that it wasn't just us evangelicals, but devout Judeo-Christians throughout the country.

I did find one comparison intriguing, however. I know it's simplistic, and that many other factors came into play. But isn't it interesting that Gore's margin in 2000 was half a million votes, and that Bush's margin Tuesday was 3 and a half million -- a difference of 4 million? And didn't Karl "Dr. Evil" Rove estimate after the 2000 election that 4 million evangelicals should have voted for Bush, but didn't? Coincidence? Maybe. Simplistic? Surely. Interesting? Certainly.
-- Tim Jones

Paul Kengor, in "Kerry Loses His Faith," writes, "Call us club-carrying troglodytes, but us simple-minded Christians in the hinterland just can't countenance that Jesus would be a champion of legalized abortion."

I quite agree that part about Jesus. But please explain to me the difference between allowing women to choose whether to continue a pregnancy (a choice they will make regardless of the law -- and many will never have an abortion) and Catholics' support for war, which, last I checked, is fatal to men, women, children, babies -- and fetuses.

Call me whatever you want, but I just can't countenance that Jesus would be a champion of illegal -- or legal -- wars.
-- Brian J. Foley

HATRED WANING
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell's The Wages of Hatred:

Interesting article on the demise of the poseur JFK. He can burn his Lucky Barn Coat now and we can all go back to our lives uninterrupted by fact-checking his lies. On that point, however -- I heard some vague radio shot that Kerry probably got a general or less than honorable discharge for giving aid and comfort to the enemy and only later had that expunged under the benevolent Jimmy Carter's amnesty program. Your statement "only later did we find he did not even have an honorable discharge" surprised me, as I had not heard it reliably mentioned. Can you tell me where you heard it? I live in Liberal Land California and need all the fodder available in the aftermath of this war.

One other thing -- as I have taken a day off from TV have I missed the concession speeches of Whoopi Goldberg, Michael Moore, Barbra S or any other heretofore painfully vocal Kerry supporter?
-- Diane Smith
So. San Francisco, California

LEAVING HOME
Re: Nelson Ward's letter ("Almost Perfect") in Reader Mail's Losing It Big:

My fellow New Mexican Nelson Ward correctly points out that Joe Lieberman would have been a more dangerous candidate in competition for moderates but forgets how he was slaughtered in the Democrat primaries and why. If the anybody-but-Bush temperament of the far left could have survived Lieberman he might have won. It seems more probable that Nader would have got a very large percentage of the irrational (Michael Moore) left. I heard anti-Semitic remarks from two of my leftist neighbors in Albuquerque. Maybe they could have held their nose and voted for Lieberman, but I have a hard time picturing it. John Kerry's double-talk candidacy was not some kind of unfortunate character flaw but necessary to cover the split between traditional patriotic liberals and the anti-American part of the Democrat party. He was a war hero to some and an anti-war hero to others. I continue to be amazed at how this party holds itself together. It convinces pro-life people to vote Democrat even though the party seems only to stand for abortion anymore. It combines pro and anti-American voters with little friction. Traditions die hard. Zell Miller couldn't face being a Republican, but one senses his children and grandchildren will make the switch. This storyline was played out it in my family and I suspect many others.
-- Clif Briner

PARTING THOUGHTS
Thank you for the words of encouragement throughout the election.

I've been seeing a great deal about the post-election Democratic navel-gazing that's occurring. However, I ask that they consider one issue after all has been said and done: Maybe Kerry lost because he and his supporters simply acted like such jerks throughout the campaign? Obnoxious is too polite a word to describe their behavior.
-- Raymond Sarracino

How about a pool on how many intelligence committee meetings Kerry shows up for in the next year?
-- Harry Clemence
Albuquerque, New Mexico

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