Do we want the Democratic party to become "Republican Lite?" OR, do we want the Democrats to reach out to progressive people of faith, and redefine the word "values."
Had someone asked me in an exit poll whether or not I cast my vote in the last election based on "values" I probably would have said yes. But MY definition of the word is vastly different from the definition presented by political pundits and Sunday morning talking heads.
I think poverty is a "values" issue, as is universal health care, and ending the war in Iraq.
The Religious Right is clearly not dead, but I do think they are in the process of re framing themselves. The new leaders are less likely to make comments as over the top as Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell. (No more Tinky Winky stories!) And I think part of their challenge is that they don't have a clearly defined candidate on the Republican side they can support. They are certainly not going to support Rudy!
Here is a portion of Chip's comments that addresses the fear some of us have about the current state of the Democratic party:
Chip Berlet is senior analyst at Political Research Associates, near Boston. He has studied the Religious Right for more than 25 years. Chip is a journalist by trade, and his byline has appeared in the New York Times and the Boston Globe.
One more thing: Chip did point out that YearlyKos didn't invite Mara Vanderslice to present, but he and Frederick had three workshops at the conference. Hopefully Howard Dean and the Dems are paying attension.