Monday, November 22, 2004

Keyes is staying...

reports the trib. so, i'll have to figure out what to do with the counter.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Asking a pointless question

is the Illinois Leader in a continuation of an interview of Phyllis Schlafly:
She also answers a question that was circulating in Illinois at the time of the interview - whether Mrs. Schlafly would have considered entering the race to be the Republican U.S. Senate candidate.
Although now that they've asked it, I'm actually wondering what that Senate race would have been like. Update: Sorry for the earlier typo.

Currently on

Is an article entitled: "How and why Dr. Keyes won in Illinois."
"It's great about Bush getting re-elected," my conservative friends have been saying to me these days, "but, hey! You must be bummed about Keyes' big loss in Illinois." "What 'loss'?" runs my somewhat testy reply. "The one where he got, like, a quarter of the vote." "That," I inform them, "was a loss for Illinois, and for the Republican Party, and for the country as a whole, not for Dr. Keyes." And though this may sound — coming from an avowed Keyester — like sour grapes, it is not. In fact, the course and outcome of the senatorial election in Illinois reveals a self-inflicted wound on the cause of conservatism in America, which deserves careful reflection before we will be able to recover, as well as evidence of a growing Declarationist movement in the Land of Lincoln and elsewhere, from which we can draw great hope.

Yes, a new blog is coming

From the letter Eric Zorn posted yesterday:
I have purchased and will hopefully be live on Monday. I'm aiming for a two-part site. A 5-step plan for helping Democrats turn their evangelical friends and family members Democratic blue--complete with resources on specific issues, a history of evangelicalism; and directions on how to find an evangelical if you don't know one. A blog (probably less frequently updated than the Keyes blog was) that tracks the current issues being discussed by the religious right. As for my qualifications for offering an insider's view on the religious right: I am a Wheaton College grad; the daughter of a Bob Jones University grad and the daughter of Christian bookstore owners. I took every class on the history of evangelicalism that Wheaton had to offer and worked at a place called the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals for 3 years. Eventually, I became a Democrat myself, which makes me feel qualified to explain how to convert someone. Finally, as I have had to explain my background to every single friend that I've made since moving to Chicago, I feel qualified to explain American evangelicals in lay language. There might be people more qualified than me on any of these topics, but since I was having fun blogging, I thought I would keep it up
I will definitely have the site up on Monday, maybe before. You can also hear me ramble about the site on this NPR story about the religious left. As a bonus, if you listen to the story, you discover my true identity (which is rather pointless, because I'm really just an anonymous, random face in the crowd). Actually, I'm a little embarrassed--I have modest qualifications, but there are definitely people with more. Anyway, the new site is Come by on Monday.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

The most complete round-up

of the values and evangelicalism links is by Ted Olson at Christianity Today's Weblog. He titles them:
Links to more than 422 (really!) other news articles and opinion pieces, including some not about how stupid evangelicals are.
Remember this, liberals, they're watching you. Don't call them stupid--they'll remember. And they aren't stupid. Update: Austin Mayor points out that there are stupid people in all demographics. I stand corrected.

Monday, November 08, 2004

If this is true, I still don't care...

I'm aware that there is still a very good argument that exists as to whether it was really values that won Bush the election. But, here's the deal: I don't care. As long as the notion of Christian values is dominated by the right (whether or not they won the election), I'm going to be a thorn in the side of the religious right. To those of you who have emailed me, I appreciate your stories. We will work together to combat the religious right. We'll be in touch.

Blaming the media, yet again.

Is the Renew America staff:
So why didn't Illinoisans elect Keyes? Because they never were permitted to hear Keyes' message undiluted and unperverted by the state's powerful liberal media. They were deprived by the media--in utter violation of the public trust--of the chance to get to know Keyes for themselves, without intentional distortion.
And I love this attempt at a slam on Chicago:
As a result of this disturbing fact, Chicago's Cook County stands out above all other counties in the U.S. as disproportionately alien to bedrock American values in a 3-dimensional graph posted by CBS. Are the people of Cook County really that uninformed and liberal? Perhaps. But if you took away the control of their minds by the Chicago media, it would be interesting to see how they would respond to important truth of the sort that Alan Keyes articulated throughout his campaign. It's not fair to cynically generalize about so many people when they plainly have little access to correct information.
I'd prefer to think of it as informed and liberal. Perhaps Keyes should remember that there's a reason some of us like to live in a city, things such as a liberal and diverse environment. We're happy with our "blue state" (or at least city) haven and anyone who thinks that the media could change our mind is clearly delusional. (But we knew that already.)

Oh...isn't this cute

From his notebook:
Eric Zorn would like Keyes to stay here primarily because Truth Girl, an anonymous lawyer who started up the "Truth About Keyes" blog when he became a candidate, has said she will quit her blog when Keyes quits Illinois. And Eric Zorn has developed kind of a thing for Truth Girl.
So, far no need for tears, Truth Girl has received no word that Keyes has left the state.

Why we can't give up on white evangelicals:

The Archpundit comments that conservative white evangelicals are a lost cause. I may agree to some extent, but the reason that we can't give up on them is because they are the fastest growing churches. If we give up on conservative evangelicals, we will lose. Their numbers are growing faster than ours. He's also bothered because Democrats lost "a significant chunk of overservant Latinos." My guess: 37% percent (pdf) of Latinos identify themselves as born-again (both Catholics and Protestants). I think James Dobson had a Spanish version of his periodical long before major politicians were practicing their Spanish on audiences, and he ran ads this year urging Hispanics to "Vote por Sus Valores". The evangelical community is continuing to expand its influence beyond the traditional white Protestant. We can work all we want to change the media's message, but we are going to have to deal with this at its core--the conservative churches themselves. (Of course, I have no great plan how--only fledging ideas.) And it as has been pointed out to me, I have been too quick to refer to evangelicals as white only. According to one poll, at least 57% of African-Americans consider themselves "born-again," yet 88% of African-Americans voted for Kerry. Although this columnist expresses concern that African-American voters will be ignored while the search to reach white evangelicals reaches full-force, it's my hope that the dialogue over the interplay between religion and politics involves all religions and all races. A final comment, in case you ever wonder why conservative churches are the fastest growing, compare the website, particularly the weekly events, of an evangelical church with the website of a mainline church and think about it from a marketing perspective. Which set of events lends itself best to bringing new people in?

Abortion--an explanation

Here's something that I'm not sure enough people on the left get. Maybe we're getting it now, but I'm not convinced. Thomas Frank's book, What's the Matter with Kansas, expressed shock that people are willing to vote against their own economic interest. I'm not surprised, and I'm not surprised this election by these types of stories. Here's why (and I feel like with all the insight that What's the Matter with Kansas offered, it missed this point): for conservatives, abortion=murder. I'll leave it to the George Lakoff's to explain how the language came to be used in such a fashion and to historians and theologians to debate how and why the connection was made. But what I want to remind us is how well it works. For once abortion=murder, then

  • Criminalizing abortion is a logical conclusion;
  • Civil Disobedience is justified;
  • The death penalty for doctors who perform them is appropriate;
  • Comparisons to the Holocaust seem reasonable;
  • Voting for a politically inept individual makes sense;
  • Voting against your economic interests is considered admirable; and
  • Voting against your own personal interests is the norm.

(As an aside, I don't get how gay marriage has been elevated to the same level. No matter how much the religious right spins it, it's still not "murder.") So, as we ponder all of this values stuff, I think we have to back way, way up in our conversations about abortion. As much as we would like to think that using new language, new frames, new energy, we can beat conservatives, this abortion=murder meme is really tough to conquer. As clarification, I want to remind everyone that I'm not saying that abortion is murder and I certainly think that as Obama said on Meet the Press yesterday, we should all be able to agree to working to reduce the number of abortions. But as long as conservatives are convinced that abortion=murder, they will never lose their energy and focus.

Friday, November 05, 2004

He's an ass...

Via Eric Zorn's notebook, the Trib, NPR and Renew America, Keyes finally conceded:
Two days after his record loss in the U.S. Senate race, Republican Alan Keyes conceded defeat during a radio interview Thursday. But he said he would never congratulate the winner, Barack Obama, because the Democrat stood for "a culture evil enough to destroy the very soul and heart of my country."
Apparently, even Dan Proft was apologizing for him:
Earlier, Gibbs had told the Tribune that he talked five times on election night with a top Keyes staffer who was trying to get his candidate to concede. The Keyes aide, Dan Proft, apologized repeatedly for his candidate's behavior, Gibbs said. Proft confirmed that he had spoken to Gibbs on Tuesday but said the conversation was private and declined to discuss it.
And it sounds like he's still planning to stick around, so the counter will remain up:
Keyes has said he expects to stay in Illinois, and several Keyes staffers and volunteers from out-of-state have said they also may stay.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

My own take...

So, everyone and their dog has blogged about the values debate today. But I feel the need to weigh in. And my thoughts best summarized by Rahm Emanuel via Bull Moose Blog:

"Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter got elected because they were comfortable with their faith," said Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, a former Clinton aide. "What happened was that a part of the electorate came open to what Clinton and Carter had to say on everything else - health care, the environment, whatever - because they were very comfortable that Clinton and Carter did not disdain the way these people lived their lives, but respected them." He added: "We need a nominee and a party that is comfortable with faith and values. And if we have one, then all the hard work we've done on Social Security or America's place in the world or college education can be heard. But people aren't going to hear what we say until they know that we don't approach them as Margaret Mead would an anthropological experiment."

And this is what bothers me about this use of "faith-based" v. "reality-based" community. By using the phrase "reality-based" we imply superiority. In order to win evangelicals over, we must speak their language. We must remind them that abortions have gone up under the Bush administration, that just-war doctrine is a Christian doctrine abolished under the Bush administration. So, for those of you like me, who speak evangelicalese, drop me an email at I want to know how you changed your mind. How did you become liberal, how did you become a democrat. It took me 10 years--did any of you get there faster? We have to work on American evangelicals. And so for those of you who know what a "praise and worship" band is, who have read Left Behind, or its predecessor, a Thief in the Night, for those who remember Ralph Reed before he hit it big, drop me an email. Let's talk about a strategy for converting evangelicals.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

I'll leave when he does...

Counter on the right. Update: I meant that I would leave the blogosphere. I'm not leaving Illinois.

What an ass...

He insisted on speaking second. He hasn't called to congratulate Obama. He's an ass. Now leave. Archpundit says it best.

Kos on Values

Favorite Kos post ever:
Values by kos Wed Nov 3rd, 2004 at 12:35:44 PST It wasn't the war or the economy that killed us. It was the notion of "values". Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate in the nation, yet Kerry was bad because he had "Massachusetts values" or other such nonesense. We need to retake the language. We need to reframe the notion of "value". That's why Obama's speech below is so brilliant. He speaks of God in a way that not just fails to offend this atheist, but inspires me. It's faith used for the purpose of living a good life, rather than faith wielded as a weapon against a whole class of people. The wedges: gays, abortion, and guns. Democrats have abandoned guns as an issue, and over the next three or four cycles it will prove an increasingly ineffective wedge. The NRA won. Good for them. That leaves the two "faith based" wedges -- gays and abortion. And with great skill, the Republicans have equated those two issues with the word "value". That's going to have to change.

Keyes said it best

The primary reason for depression today is that people everyone claimed to have voted on values:
And tonight, whatever else may seem to be true, this we know: there are those who are willing to lie to the American people, to lie to the people of Illinois, and to say, “Alan Keyes stands for traditional marriage, and stands outside the mainstream of public opinion in America.” But I have news for them all, which we have seen before, and will see again: in every state where this issue is before the people tonight, they stand with Alan Keyes. They stand with the Republican Party.
The reason for hope today: I live in Illinois. A blue beacon in a sea of red. Where we remember that values aren't about hate, but about love.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004


Well, okay it's not a big surpise, but it is still fabulous!! Now, the interesting part...what will the margin be?