Twinkle, Twinkle, Killer Kaine

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Two Donkey-Party-friendly views of the Democratic response delivered by "rising star" (well at least til last night) Gov. Tim Kaine of Virginia:

It took just 15 seconds for Gov. Tim Kaine to begin pouring Religion Lite—one of the new favorite brews of the consultant wing of the Democratic Party, which apparently believes if you can't beat those GOP Christian conservatives, you might as well join 'em (sort of.)…

And then, the big finish: "Tonight we pray, earnestly and humbly, for that healing and for the day when service returns again as the better way to a new national politics. We ask all Americans to join us in that effort because, together, America can do better. Thank you for listening, and God bless the United States of America."

Who, pray tell, was my party trying to reach with that response?

Is Religion Lite going to make evangelicals flock to the party of Thomas Jefferson?

Is the occasionally-churched political center going to feel properly pandered to?

How about us social cultural lefties, who make up a big chunk of the Democratic Party base. Are we going to be turned on, and turned out on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, by another cheesy attempt to inject religion into politics?

Anyway….God bless America. God bless us all. And you too, tiny Tim.

That's from self-described libertarian Democrat Terry Michael. Whole bit here.

Here's a different POV:

Why are so many liberal bloggers up in arms about Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine being picked to give the Democrat's reply to Bush's State of the Union? There's been fury in the blogosphere about everything from Kaine's looks, style, obscurity, his open talk about his faith and his inexperience in national security….

But, let's get real here.

1. It doesn't really matter who gives the reply, since no one listens and it's an impossible task.

2. This is slightly less important than whether House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi chooses to wear blue or red to listen to the speech….

For liberal bloggers who want to get exercised about something really important: Where are the Democrats or liberals talking about Ford laying off some 30,000 workers, the end of middle class benefits for working Americans, IBM's gutting of pension security, and the collapse of American manufacturing?…

If you want to know why Dems don't win elections, it won't be because Kaine is talking this Tuesday night. It's because the mainstream leadership of the Democratic Party doesn't think, feel, or viscerally respond to the increasing insecurities of working Americans.

That's from Nation Ed Katrina vanden Heuvel. Whole bit here.

Obscure blog headline allusion explained for non-William Peter Blatty-fans here.

Tribute to the real Killer K here.

NEXT: Full Text of SOTU

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  1. Kaine was earth-shakingly bad last night (I could only watch for about 30 seconds). But then, I’m always amazed at how bad the rebuttal speaker is. Why don’t the parties just pay one of their pundit hacks in the media to do the job? Those are the people who make the arguments for them (far more eloquently) the other 364 days a year.

  2. I watched neither the SOTU or the rebuttal, at this point it’s all show and no content. Not like anything new will be said anyway.

  3. I agree with Timothy. The speeches are a waste of time and money in my opinion. The POTUS should just put the speech on the web and be done with it.

  4. “Where are the Democrats or liberals talking about Ford laying off some 30,000 workers, the end of middle class benefits for working Americans, IBM’s gutting of pension security, and the collapse of American manufacturing?…

    If you want to know why Dems don’t win elections. . .”

    Because people rightly see that there is little connection between the first paragraph and the political party in power.

    And worse – the left cannot see that.

  5. I don’t think the state of the union address serves any purpose outside of tradition and a political pissing contest anyway. Maybe it was necessary before widespread use of the telegraph or telephone, but in the information age?

  6. So, I was correct in my initial assessment that Kaine came across like an Episcopal youth minister.

  7. I have to agree with Terry Michael. I just never quite understood why, as the right has effectivly pandered to their Christian Conservative base, why most Dem politicians thought a good idea was to pander to that same Christian Conservative base. As if the Dems have any hope of stealing away Conservative Religious voters from the party of Dobson, Falwell, Robertson etc. To me it reinforces the belief that Dems don’t have any principles that they are willing to stand up for.

    I can’t remember the last time a Dem politician actually tried to defend the principle of seperation of church and state. They seem more intent on trying to convey to people:
    “I’m not a Godless heathen!!! I am just as religious as the GOP! No Really, I love God just as much as them!!!”

    As for Ms. vanden Heuvel, she is exaggerating and generalizing about how “up in arms” liberal bloggers were. There was a wide spectrum of reaction including support and indifference to the choice to Tim Kaine. Just because some people didn’t agree doesn’t mean that every liberal blogger was up in arms.

  8. I agree that the rebuttal speaker is always shockingly bad. The all-time lowlight was Steve Largent (in 1999, I believe), who boasted that when he first ran for office, he didn’t know what G.O.P. stood for.

  9. Anybody else think this post was a Peter Blatty reference?

  10. Yep, they laughed at Clinton (Bill) too in 1988 after his nearly deadly keynote speech at the convention.
    Whatever happened to him, anyway?

  11. Ironchef said:

    “Where are the Democrats or liberals talking about Ford laying off some 30,000 workers, the end of middle class benefits for working Americans, IBM’s gutting of pension security, and the collapse of American manufacturing?…

    If you want to know why Dems don’t win elections. . .”

    Because people rightly see that there is little connection between the first paragraph and the political party in power.

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    Really? Than why has the right worked for years to destroy unions and let corporations renege on their obligations to their workers. Those consequenses in the first paragraph are exactly what Republican economic policies are designed to bring about. Destroying the middle class and transferring more and more wealth to the upper half of one percent of the corporate elite.

    The Democrats don’t speak about this as they are almost as beholden to the corporate class as the GOP, which is why they lose elections.

  12. Vanden Heuvel pretty much lost me here: Even the invariably smart and strategic Arianna (Huffington)

    ChicagoTom: I just never quite understood why, as the right has effectivly pandered to their Christian Conservative base, why most Dem politicians thought a good idea was to pander to that same Christian Conservative base.

    I don’t think that’s who they are pandering to. I think this is a bid to try and steal away enough Middle Americans to alter some 2006 races by pretending that they are not dominated by lefty wingnuts and public trough-feeders. It’s also a convenient way to avoid saying what exactly you would do differently if you had the reins of power.

    sedated: Than why has the right worked for years to destroy unions and let corporations renege on their obligations to their workers.

    Out of control union contracts are a good part of why old-economy companies such as GM and Ford are in dire straits. They still operate as if no one else in the world can successfully turn a screwdriver or press equipment buttons. And anyway, the public-employee unions have all the juice in the labor movement now, since they don’t have any organized or motivated opposition.

  13. Really? Than why has the right worked for years to destroy unions and let corporations renege on their obligations to their workers. Those consequenses in the first paragraph [Ford laying off some 30,000 workers, the end of middle class benefits for working Americans, IBM’s gutting of pension security, and the collapse of American manufacturing] are exactly what Republican economic policies are designed to bring about. Destroying the middle class and transferring more and more wealth to the upper half of one percent of the corporate elite.

    The Democrats don’t speak about this as they are almost as beholden to the corporate class as the GOP, which is why they lose elections.

    I think the Democrats don’t speak about this because the ones mainstream enough to get elected won’t go out of their way to portray themselves as paranoid loons. (Sorry.)

  14. Anybody else think this post was a Peter Blatty reference??

    I was expecting a Phil Nowlan/Dick Calkins link.

    “Killer” Kane was the villain in Universal’s 1939 serial adopted from the Buck Rogers newspaper strip.

    As for Gov. Kaine and other Dems’ religiosity, that isn’t such a new thing. Is Terry Michael going to eschew the whole Sojourners magazine crowd, assorted Berrigan Brothers, and every inner city political hack with “the Reverend Mr.” in front of his name? Dems and lefties have used Bible-thumping to push for their policies. I seem to recall that the late Mrs. King eulogized last night came from a preacher’s family, didn’t she?

    Kevin

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