Aug 16 2008

Rick Warren, Obama and McCain, reactions live

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 6:10 pm

I just listened to the first hour, the hour of Obama and Warren. Live blogging from here out.

Obama was smooth, spoke better and stuttered less than he frequently does when speaking “off the cuff”.

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Aug 16 2008

Rick Warren, Obama and McCain to talk

Category: abortion,election 2008,McCain,Obama,theologyharmonicminer @ 1:51 pm

On Friday evening, Hannity and Colmes on FOX (with Michael Steele subbing for Hannity) interviewed Richard Land and Tony Campolo in preparation for Rick Warren‘s Saturday interview with Obama and McCain at Saddleback Church.

Land was representing evangelicals from the Right, and Campolo from the Left. This is being written before Warren’s interviews of the candidates. I’ll probably follow up with further comments. But, to set the table:

Warren is a strong evangelical pastor and author who is known for adding more traditionally “liberal” concerns to his list of issues, including the environment and poverty, without releasing his traditional commitments. He is, I suppose, a moderate, politically. He signed the Evangelical Climate Initiative, (The entire statement is here.) If Warren has endorsed a candidate, I don’t know about it.

Land did NOT sign the Evangelical Climate Initiative. One presumes this is not because he does not care if the world melts, or boils. He is generally conservative on most social issues. He is generally not in favor of starving the poor, or bombing the capital of any nation that annoys the USA.

Campolo did NOT sign the Evangelical Climate Initiative. That could be because the second paragraph begins with this line, “We are proud of the evangelical community’s long-standing commitment to the sanctity of human life.” Campolo could not credibly sign such a statement, being a very-Left liberal Democrat, even though he probably does agree with the eco-panic expressed in the Evangelical Climate Initiative. He is a member of the Democratic Party platform committee for 2008.

Here is what I’ll be watching for:

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Aug 16 2008

Signals, hopefully not smoke, on judges and other matters

Category: abortion,election 2008,judgesharmonicminer @ 9:07 am

This is an election in which the “values voters” of yore are mostly being ignored.

In recent presidential elections hot-button social issues like abortion and marriage played a prominent role. In 2000 the candidates hotly debated the impact of the next president’s Supreme Court picks on abortion rights as pro-choice activists attempted to galvanize voters with the prospect that George W. Bush’s election would result in limits on or even outlawing of abortion. In 2004 an Ohio state referendum on gay marriage helped turn out religious conservatives who may have put George W. Bush over the top in the decisive state. After the 2004 election, pundits and activists debated the role of “values” voters and Democrats committed to reaching out to these voters in the future.

But this year, the most remarkable thing about the two most prominent social issues –abortion and gay marriage– is how little we have heard about them.

There are several reasons for this, but the main one is John McCain.  McCain, for good or ill, has positioned himself as more “moderate” than “conservative”. Compared to Obama, he is quite conservative, of course, but he is significantly to the left of, say, Ronald Reagan.  He signals that “moderation” in several ways.  He makes noises about maybe selecting a pro-choice running mate.  He takes the occasional, obligatory swipe at big oil.  He talks about “corruption in both parties”.  And he avoids talking much about hot button issues for conservatives, like abortion and gay marriage, because he thinks anything he might say will either offend conservatives, or “moderates”.  Since he believes he can’t please both, he says little.

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