Obama Calls On Iowa + The Religious Right

Obama Calls On Iowa + The Religious Right


First, concerning those Iowa aspirations

Obama said last month he was considering a campaign for president, as enthusiastic crowds turned out for his political appearances on behalf of other candidates and as he traveled the country promoting his best-selling book.

Shortly after the Nov. 7 election, Obama telephoned John Norris, the Des Moines Democrat who ran John Kerry’s winning campaign in the 2004 Iowa caucuses.

“He basically called to talk about the lay of the land in Iowa,” said Norris, who described Obama’s inquiries as “earnest” and reflecting genuine uncertainty about his future.

Here’s why this is a very smart move by Barack. I was on the ground in the last Iowa primaries for Dean, and Kerry simply came out of nowhere to destroy the entire campaign. Well, that and one ill-timed scream. See Kerry had already gotten in early into Iowa, but had almost abandoned it in favor of states further down the campaign trail. But when Dean’s momentum was fast putting those other states out of reach for Kerry, he kick started his Iowa team and put a stop to the Dean phenomenon. So yes, if Barack is talking to John Norris…that’s a very savvy political move.

Meanwhile, he’s also reaching out to the religious right and trying to bridge the “God gap.” Honestly, though, what Obama is focusing on makes perfect sense to me and makes Rove’s strategy of trying to divide the country across religious lines appear to be just what it is: cynical and pathetic.

Instead, Obama’s is focusing on finding common ground with those issues of inclusion instead of exclusion…so could this be the religious right’s new path?

Obama will appear on Friday at the Saddleback church in Lake Forest, California, where at least 20,000 conservative Christians gather each week for services led by Pastor Rick Warren, the evangelical author of the bestselling inspirational book The Purpose Driven Life.

At first glance Warren and Obama appear the unlikeliest of allies â€â€? the conservative white preacher and the liberal black Democrat â€â€? yet aides to both confirmed last week that they have formed an intriguing friendship that may prove a key element in the next presidential campaign. […]

The two men share an interest in Africa, which Obama visited last August. Warren, whose church runs an anti-poverty mission in Rwanda, will be hosting a two-day “global Aids summit� this week at which Obama will speak.

Does this mean the church could support somebody who wants to stamp out poverty instead of emerging equal rights for gay Americans? I guess we’ll see, but it could be a huge development and one reason why Obama may fast become a frontrunner.

  • http://www.minor-ripper.blogspot.com MinorRipper

    I gotta say, this business about Obama being a serious 2008 candidate is all a fantasy. Perhaps VP, but there is 0 chance he is our next pres. All this talk is for his book and for the media to sell newspapers (or get viewers)…


  • http://www.kozoru.com Justin Gardner

    I tend to agree…but when it comes to politics you really never know. Anybody But Hillary may become a meme in Dem circles, and so who will fill the gap? John Kerry? Unlikely…

  • DosPeros

    Does this mean the church could support somebody who wants to stamp out poverty instead of equal rights?

    You mean like supporting economically based affirmative action over racial affirmative action? I’m not sure what you are talking about here, please clarify. Who has “the church” supported that wants to “stamp out equal rights”?

  • http://www.kozoru.com Justin Gardner

    First, I’m talking about equal rights for gays and how the right has worked to pass legislation that has actually put discrimination in some of our state’s most important documents.

    The overall point, however, is it’s encouraging to see some movement towards inclusive religious doctrine where we work together to help out the truly poor and destitute, instead of trying to pass legislation that embraces exclusive religious doctrine in a cynical attempt to get votes. One point of view actually helps people, while the other helps those afraid that the gays will somehow “destroy” marriage.

  • DosPeros

    Oh…gays…okay…yes…gay equal rights.

    Well, then I’d ask that you more carefully craft your rhetoric. You see, to “stamp out” certain rights implies the pre-existing condition of having certain rights. Since much of the “gay” equal rights that you speak are in fact rights that gays have not had at any time in the past in the country, it might be more appropriate to say “the thwarting of new equal rights” or “hindering the emergence of” or “interference with the finding of”, etc.

    Those of us of a more socially conservative bent are simple people and are easily confused with verbage. I thought you were talking about black people.

    is it’s encouraging to see some movement towards inclusive religious doctrine where we work together to help out the truly poor and destitute

    I entirely agree with this statement.

  • jam

    I’m all for common ground where possible. Unfortunately, the debate over redefining marriage is all too real. It is not a debate that Karl Rove instigated or that the so-called religious right sought. If we do not even agree on something as self-evident as the fact that marriage means husband and wife, there is a deep divide in this society that no amount of mindless happy talk will paper over. And it is disingenous in the extreme to suggest that we should just roll over and play dead in the face of a radical and destructive assault on the family, upon which society’s very future depends.

  • DosPeros

    Here’s the even more unfortunate consequence for the Dems. Just when they figure out that it does not help them to be pro-abortion and start putting forward viable pro-life Democratic candidates – they substitute one political albatross for another. I hope for the country that they get smart on the issue, but I have no faith.

  • Jim S

    If in fact it was about gay marriage there wouldn’t be clauses in every one of the state constitutional amendments that also ban civil unions. There wouldn’t be clauses in many of them that ban any laws that might give gays the ability to have the same rights that married couples have (hospital visitation etc.), which addresses DosPeros’ claim that there is no effort to stamp out existing rights. Claims that there is an assault on the family by those who believe that gays should have at least a right to civil unions are bogus. There is no proof that this would somehow harm the family. None. Lots of inflated rhetoric but not one shred of real proof.

    Pro-abortion vs. pro-life? Notice how in the conservative mind set they refuse to acknowledge the concept of pro-choice being a reality. How about pro-choice vs. pro-theocracy? It’s just as valid as what DosPeros posted given that I could say that I haven’t seen a religious conservative yet who couldn’t be convinced that who wouldn’t be happy banning anything that is frowned on by their minister. My state senator is one of them.

  • http://www.reconstitution.us/seren/ ascap_scab

    *…so could this be the religious right’s new path?*

    A) If by religious right you mean the anti-choice, gay hating, pedophile enabling, hypocritical bigots, no.

    B) Rick Warren is not James Dobson or Lou Sheldon. It’s time you start to learn the differences and stop lumping them all together if you ever hope to understand/divide them.

  • sleipner

    To tack on to Jim’s statement – many other countries that have had either civil unions or marriages for gays have actually noticed no negative effects whatsoever from those rights. So exactly how is it a soul-destroying step for America, when many other countries have managed just fine? Are we just too immature to handle gay people having equal rights?

    And regarding abortion…there’s nothing you can tell a conservative to make him support abortion…unless it’s that his daughter is pregnant and the father is black.

  • http://www.kozoru.com Justin Gardner

    In Scandanavia, gay marriage has helped curb divorce rates and increase marriage rates. I wrote about it here, and a graph from that post…

    Seventeen years after recognizing same-sex relationships in Scandinavia there are higher marriage rates for heterosexuals, lower divorce rates, lower rates for out-of-wedlock births, lower STD rates, more stable and durable gay relationships, more monogamy among gay couples, and so far no slippery slope to polygamy, incestuous marriages, or “man-on-dog� unions.

    So there ya go.

    However, I do agree with you Dos that the statement isn’t clear so I’ll change it. Thanks for keeping me on my toes.

  • jam

    Regarding the Scandinavia post: The original article itself is clear that it would be obviously fallacious (post hoc ergo propter hoc) to claim a causal effect as you do. It says:

    “Is there a correlation, then, between same-sex marriage and a strengthening of the institution of marriage? It would be difficult, and suspect, to establish a cause-and-effect relationship between these trends in heterosexual marriage and marriage rights for gays and lesbians.”

    The article simply claims there have been no “slippery slope” effects. To which the obvious rejoinder is: Yet.

  • DosPeros

    I like the red(state)neck rejoinder better: This ain’t frigg’in Scandinavia, pal.

    Note to Obama: (Lesbian sex between really hot chicks should be recognized if not in “civil unions” as a “public recreational activity”).

  • sleipner

    Wow, I agree with DosPeros…this ain’t Scandinavia – we’re far more bigoted and backwards than Scandanivia has been in decades.

    It always strikes me as odd that anti-gay folks are so turned on by lesbian sex…yet so repulsed by gay men having sex…you’d think at least the women would like the idea. Well, maybe they do, but in that culture they’re supposed to keep their mouths shut and their wombs full. No wonder so many of their women become lesbians 😉

  • DosPeros

    It is only lesbian sex between “really hot chicks”, Sleipner. The idea of two Rosie O’Donalds going at it makes my stomach churn, but Rose McGowan finding soapy, experimental comfort in the arms of Morena Baccarin — well, who could possibly argue with the legality of that! In fact, who could even speak intelligently after such a thing.

  • sleipner

    Well…my only reaction to that idea is “eww!” Well, I suppose I’ve seen enough lesbian sex scenes in Queer as Folk, but I usually fast forward through them 😉

    Of course the real point of this is that there are all sorts of different desires that people have all different sorts of sexual desires and forms of expression. Gay and straight is merely the beginning of description, and are (in my opinion) overly broad categories anyway, which overlap in some cases. Some guys like to watch two girls doing it, some girls like to watch two guys doing it (though that’s more rare – a female friend of mine in college loved soft gay porn, “two for the price of one” is how she termed it).

    Trying to force everyone down into the one man, one woman, only after marriage, missionary position, stare at the ceiling and think of the Queen kind of sex is so…mean.

  • DosPeros

    Let’s have a little bit of respect for the Victorian repression that has given us some much.

  • http://www.maxpower.ca/from-saigon-to-phnom-penh/2005/11/28/http://www.consumerismcommentary.com/2003/07/16/welcome-and-about-me/http://www.ryanpark.org/2006/01/rest-in-peace.htmlhttp://www.safiyyah.c canadian stamp

    Excellent post!