Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Is religion divisive or inclusive in American politics? It depends whom you ask

Sen. Mitch McConnell asks this question in a Louisville Courier-Journal column:

Why is it that whenever a Democrat speaks before a religious audience, he is 'reaching out,' but when a Republican does it, he is 'divisive?'
He then proceeds to remind us, through myriad examples, why this question is not merely rhetorical, but one that exposes a profound media truth. For example:
During last year's presidential election, not only did Democratic candidate John Kerry repeatedly campaign at churches, he even quoted scripture to criticize President Bush. While quite literally preaching from the pulpit, Sen. John Kerry opened his Bible to take a shot at "our present national leadership," lecturing the congregation, "The Scriptures say, what does it profit, my brother, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?" Sen. Hillary Clinton, back when she was still First Lady, once visited a Florida church to push her disastrous health care plan during the service. Around the same time, Sen. Clinton actually had a meeting with several Roman Catholic cardinals and bishops to tout her health plan. My colleague Sen. Diane Feinstein, the senior senator from California, recently visited a Los Angeles church and actually gave a sermon on "values" to the congregation. She denounced President Bush's plan to strengthen and save Social Security as a threat to seniors, and actually called out to the churchgoers, "Will you help me?" Amazingly, this happened just a few days ago, while she and other Democrats were attacking Frist for doing far less. Bill Clinton barnstormed the country's churches in his 1992 and 1996 presidential campaigns and in 2000 for then-Vice President Al Gore and for his wife's New York senatorial campaign. Hillary Clinton herself touched down in half a dozen churches in just one day during that Senate race -- while at the same time accusing her opponent of abandoning breast cancer victims. What happened to turning the other cheek, Senator?
These examples, and many others, are contrasted against this:
My friend Sen. Bill Frist is being called that and worse because of his decision to speak, via videotape, at Highview Baptist Church today to rally opposition to Democrats' unprecedented obstruction of President Bush's judicial nominees. By filibustering these nominees, a minority in the Senate is refusing to allow a majority of senators to exercise their constitutional right to advise and consent, something no Senate minority has ever done in history.
I suspect, however, that even with this hard evidence, the Demos would find some way to excuse this manifestly double standard -- although I'm personally not imaginative to figure out how. Hat tip: Jay Nordlingers Impromptus on National Review Online