New DNC chief Howard Dean, while proclaiming that Democrats are going to reach out to evangelicals and other "people of faith, including me," may have tipped too much of his hand by enlisting an adviser to coach members
of Congress on tactics.
Earlier in the week, congressional Democrats hosted a study session with University of California-Berkeley linguist George Lakoff on how to communicate the Democratic commitment to moral and religious values.
That's exactly how we would guess a Democrat would respond: hire an expert on linguistics from that hotbed of Christian evangelicalism, Berkeley.
The Washington correspondent for Christianity Today says we can expect more hot talk about God from Dems in coming months.
At least two years ago Democrats started to worry that they were painting themselves into a small corner of a mostly religious America as the secularist party. Democrats started holding workshops on how they could win the support of religious voters. However, they couldn't quite master their lessons or demonstrate their sincerity in time for the 2004 elections.
Master their sincerity?
The outgoing Democratic leader Terry McAuliffe declared that one of his outstanding accomplishments was the establishment of a Center of Faith at the DNC. However, the current confidential staff directory of the DNC doesn't list the name, director, or phone number of the Center. A DNC staffer says that a consultant who works out of her home handles the Center's work.
Sure signs of the highest priority. What are Howard Dean's credentials?
As governor of Vermont, Dean promoted homosexual civil unions. His presidential campaign stumbled over clumsy attempts to display biblical literacy and religious values. At one point the governor was quoted as declaring that the Book of Job is his favorite New Testament book.
Now Dean is talking serious religion. What prompted his amazing conversion?
Dean said they accepted the conclusion that the election was decided by perceptions of voters that the Democrats were indifferent, at best, to religion and moral values.
Oh, ya think? Check out the view from Dem pollster Celinda Lake:
Pollster Celinda Lake told the women Democratic leaders that "the most powerful predictor of the 2004 vote was religion. The religious 'others' and the nonreligious voted for us. The worst voters were against us."
Huh? Worst voters?
Catching her misstatement, Lake said she meant that the voters among whom the Democrats had the worst support were the evangelicals and Catholics.
Misstatement or inadvertent truth?
Showing his new linguistic expertise, Dean advised the women in the Dem leadership to avoid the term "pro-abortion." Instead they should say something like, "There is not anyone I know who is pro-abortion." (Of course not. Just pro choice, and the choice must be abortion.)
There's much more to the article, but you should read the whole thing yourself. The writer, Tony Carnes, does an objective job throughout, so much so that you wonder how he managed it.