Bill Clinton Echoes Earlier Obama Criticsm Of Dems On Faith

Speaking for me only

In what seems like a millenium ago, I criticized Barack Obama for embracing a Republican frame that Democrats abhor people of faith. Since then, Obama has made his appeal in a much more positive way, including in South Carolina. Barack Obama has really found a way to make his appeal to persons of faith without denigrating Democrats.

It appears that Bill Clinton is retrogressing on this issue:

[Clinton] took Democrats to task for failing to challenge the GOP among religious voters, for whom moral issues are important. 'Democrats have made a mistake by not entering the debate,' he said.

Entering what debate President Clinton? The debate about how godless and sinful Democrats are? This is bad politics from Clinton. And seeing as how he is the principal Hillary Clinton campaign surrogate, bad politics from the Clinton campaign. Bad show Mr. President.

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    Lost me on this one. Bill Clinton made that (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 12:52:51 PM EST
    statement prior to last night's debate; Obama's statements on religion during the debate seemd to me to be similar.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 12:47:40 PM EST
    And he knows it's crap too.

    No, I think. . . (none / 0) (#2)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 12:52:13 PM EST
    rather he's agreeing with you BTD.

    Democrats have historically ceded the issue of "morality" to the Republicans (in recent, history, that is).  We've simultaneously allowed the Republicans to argue that they support "morality" while not attempting to argue that the Republicans are, in fact, immoral.

    For a variety of reasons the Democrats have not fought the morals war with the Republicans, thus missing an opportunity to brand ourselves as the party of morals and, more importantly, to brand the Republicans negatively.

    I believe that's what you've always the Democrats to do -- stress the fundamental differences between the parties.  That's hard to do if you're not willing to argue the moral aspects of policies.

    Or rather. . . (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 12:53:35 PM EST
    I think that's a reasonable interpretation of the statement he made as quoted by you.

    Don't tell me how to do it (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 01:04:06 PM EST
    JUST do it.

    Do not talk about how Dems have failed on faith voters.

    It is simply stupid politics.


    Please, Please (none / 0) (#5)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 12:53:44 PM EST
    lets not become the "God" party.

    Ugh! (none / 0) (#6)
    by BDB on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 12:58:09 PM EST
    Clinton is smarter than this.  Don't use rightwing framing, Bill!

    Please try and remember (none / 0) (#8)
    by RalphB on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 01:12:02 PM EST
    that, while in office, Clinton could quote the bible with the best of them.  He seemed to only do it at reasonable times though, such as in a church etc.  I don't remember him running around doing it willy nilly.

    Ceding the field on morality to republicans is a bad idea but we don't have to accept their frame in the argument.  Rather a great argument can be made on the merits from the New Testament.  Jesus ,after all, mentioned the poor and the least of us often with the admonishment to care for the poor, etc.

    That's a frame that is inherently friendly to the good society argument that I would like to see made by democrats in opposing the God, guns, and gays republican agenda.

    Jesus (none / 0) (#9)
    by athyrio on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 01:15:11 PM EST
    framed in modern society would have been a liberal hippie....

    Who would Jesus vote for? (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 01:21:56 PM EST
    Obviously Hillary Clinton.  Jesus-baby boomer.

    I Think He Said Something About (none / 0) (#11)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 02:08:36 PM EST
    Rendering under Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's.

    My best guess is that he wouldn't have liked his teachings used and misused in a game of political football.


    This isn't positive (none / 0) (#12)
    by CognitiveDissonance on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 02:38:28 PM EST
    Actually, I don't consider that flyer going around in South Carolina to be a positive way of framing his religion. Did you actually look at it? Greenwald has pictures in his column today:


    In that flyer he talks about how he was "called" to bring change. Does that sound familiar to anyone, as in our current disaster who was "called" to invade Iraq?

    I don't consider this positive at all. It makes me shudder. Particularly with his habit of throwing right wing frames around everything and throwing certain democrats under the bus. There are positive ways to talk about your beliefs and why you think they are reflected in progressive policies. But I don't see Obama doing that here.

    Link goes to an ad on Salon. (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 03:06:51 PM EST
    You Have Wait A Minute After The Ad (none / 0) (#14)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 03:24:26 PM EST
    comes up and then clink on the arrow by Enter Salon that appears on the top right of the screen.

    I Didn't Like The Brochure When (none / 0) (#15)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 03:38:22 PM EST
    I could just make out the pictures and not read the text. I like it even less now that I've been able to read the text. {shudder}

    The "religious" he is speaking of... (none / 0) (#16)
    by Dadler on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 05:50:32 PM EST
    ...are obviously those of the less progressive variety, since the more progressive religious folk tend to identify with the Democrats already.  So we are talking about vying for the moral vote of those who, largely, believe literally in the metaphor of religion and the Bible.  Religious literalism and the Democratic Party have more than a thin line between them, or it would logically seem.  

    Yep (none / 0) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 09:13:10 PM EST