In this election, both the Religious Right and the secular Left were defeated, and the voice of the moral center was heard. A significant number of candidates elected are social conservatives on issues of life and family, economic populists, and committed to a new direction in Iraq.
He presents no actual evidence for this claim, which is frustrating. I wasn’t aware that the secular and religious left were at odds in this election, so I don’t know how he could say one lost to the other. I do agree that the religious right got beaten badly, and have argued that point already.
It is the case that Nancy Boyda was recruited into running again by Sojourners (Wallis’s group) and that she succeeded in part by reaching out to religious voters with a progressive vision. To claim that she’s a social conservative on issues of life and family, though, is at best, ambiguous. Wallis may be trying to redefine those terms, though I don’t see what end that achieves. Otherwise it just isn’t true. Look at her takes on the issues and tell me which positions are socially conservative.
Media Matters surveyed the new Democratic majority and found them to be solidly progressive on key issues. A minimum wage, support for stem cell research, opposition to more legislation on abortion – these are not “conservative” views on “issues of life and family,” at least not in the sense that anyone actually uses those terms. Kos has also dismantled the attempts at spinning this election as a win for conservative Democrats. I especially like his point that “during the campaign, every single one of these Democrats was accused by their Republican opponents of being ‘too liberal.’ ” It’s a little late to try to claim they are actually conservative now.
On the other hand, I’m with SusanG. Her message to those pundits:
please, don’t catch on that every time you insist that “conservative Democrats” won, every time you couple the words, “conservative” and “Democrat,” not only does an angel get its wings, some voter in Mississippi is getting the message that there is a natural home for conservatives in the Democratic Party. Make it crystal clear, repeatedly, from now until 2008, that citizens in the Mountain West and the Midwest who cast their votes next to a “D” for perhaps the first time in their lives were NOT betraying “traditional values,” but were, in fact, reinforcing them.
If the right-wing devotes thousands of hours to this “conservatives really won by electing a Democratic majority” in the next two years, they’ll have softened the South up enough for us to canvass in 2008 with the simple statement, “Hey, I’m a Democrat and I want your value vote,” and it will make perfect sense.
For my purposes, substitute “Kansas” for “Mississippi” or “the South.” And ultimately, I don’t care about motives.
I support action on climate change and habitat protection because I feel a responsibility to the world I live in. I get that from a personal love of the natural world, other people are taking the same stand on the issue because they see it as a Biblical injunction to act as stewards.
Whatever works for you, I guess. If it gets a sensible set of policies implemented to protect our natural world, to support working Americans, to cure our ills and to defend our nation against attack, I don’t see a need to fight about motivations. At the end of the day, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.