Friday, June 18, 2004

Blood on the Water

Julia Duin writes about another reason John Kerry will not win in November: religion.

The Rev. Robert Drinan, a Jesuit priest who served in Congress during the 1970s, says he has advised the campaign to clamp down on religious rhetoric and "keep cool on the Communion thing" after four Catholic bishops either barred Mr. Kerry by name from taking Communion in their dioceses or said pro-choice Catholics should be denied the sacrament.
"The mood now is to shut up about it," said Father Drinan, who teaches at Georgetown University Law Center. He said the Communion debate "is a nonissue" in the Kerry campaign and simply a tool of the Republican Party.
Mr. Kerry's detractors "are dying for him to say something. But he won't take them on," the priest said, adding that he was part of a "kitchen Cabinet" to advise the Kerry campaign on religious matters..

That's what I'd want for $40,000 a year plus books and fees and room and board, I'd want my kids educated by a priest who advises Senators to "cool it on the Communion thing".
Despite my mere BA, I know that when something is a "nonissue" to your side, and a "tool" to the other side, you are being whupped so badly with it, you dare not mention it.

"...former Clinton aides Paul Begala, John Podesta and Mike McCurry have tutored campaign operatives on more aggressively using religion to appeal to voters.
"Why the campaign is not listening to any of them, I don't know," the source said. "Conservatives are about 20 years ahead of us on this stuff."

Here's a hint: when I see those guys on TV I wonder what lie they're telling and who wrote it for them. I can't be the only one. Kerry may be smart to prefer people with shorter resumes and less baggage.
Conservatives have an edge because conservatives are people of faith who get political, not politicians who get religion.

...Meanwhile, the Kerry campaign also has sidelined its new religion adviser, closing journalists' access to Mara Vanderslice and ignoring her advice on how to appeal effectively to religious voters...Miss Vanderslice, 29, grew up Unitarian in Boulder, Colo., then attended Earlham College, a Quaker institution in Richmond, Ind.
She joined a college socialist group, majored in peace and global studies, and graduated in 1997. After interning for a year at Sojourners, a liberal evangelical magazine in the District, she joined the Jubilee USA Network, a D.C.-based group that campaigns for Third World debt relief.
What Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, found especially problematic was Miss Vanderslice's presence at a violent December 2000 rally in Seattle against the International Monetary Fund and a similar protest in September 2002 in the District against the IMF and the World Bank.
In articles on the protests, the Boston Globe identified her as an organizer and the Denver Post quoted her plans to take part in civil disobedience in order to shut down the IMF meeting in the District.

She's not in trouble because Kerry found out she organized violent rallies, she's in trouble because the opposition found out she organized violent rallies.

...Plans were...for the campaign to assemble a "people of faith" page for the Kerry Web site, at which point Miss Vanderslice was to be announced as the contact person.
But with Miss Vanderslice not being allowed near the press, "They have no one in their communications shop who is conversant in religion," she said.

No big deal...just shift some of your African-American civil rights organizers over.
Oh wait... Vanderslice was supposed to hire them...

At first, Miss Vanderslice was given wide latitude to define Mr. Kerry's positions on spiritual issues and to hire assistants who would reach out to Muslims and black churches, the Kerry campaign source said.


A Democrat as distant from black churches as from Muslims, is in trouble. A Democrat who has to hire people to bridge the gap, is in serious trouble. A Democrat who farms out the job of hiring the outreach team to a 29-year-old Peace and Global Studies major, is a dead duck.

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