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« They come not to bury Lott but to praise him | Main | Head in the cloud »

Dec 18, 2007


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So Ed,

What do you suppose the validity is of a poll that shows Ron Paul and Alan Keyes at similar levels of support?

Do you honestly believe such a poll?

Ed Cone

The only polls that truly matter are the ones on election day. That said, Gallup has been doing this for a while. I don't find it hard to believe that Paul's support is limited. Interesting to see what his recent cash infusion will do for his numbers -- it's possible, given his offbeat message and dour delivery, that more exposure will not improve them.


The Huckabee cross thing is laughable. It's a bookshelf. Does anyone know how to make a bookshelf with cubicles any other way?

Some see the Virgin Mary, some just see a tree. I can't believe this non-story has gotten so much press.


P.S., I heard that if you play the ad backwards you hear a voice repeating "Paul is Dead" Ron, of course- not McCartney.

Others claim the ad syncs up real nicely with "Dark Side of the Moon".


Okay, not to overdo it, but I just read Huckabee's press release (I've been out most of the day) and I see where he already beat me to the "Paul is Dead" bit. Hmmm, we seem to be on the same wavelength. Maybe I should become a Huckabee supporter.

Ed Cone

I thought the ad was fine, but seriously -- do you honestly think the pros making that spot were unaware of the image in the carefully-composed background? If so, Huck should fire them, because everyone else saw it right away.


Of course they knew it - it is a visual "dog whistle", placed there on purpose.


The cross was almost certainly intentional. Observe that the only things lit in the background are those elements necessary to illuminate the cross shape -- and the three orbs. Three? Brilliant!

Jim Rosenberg

It's a short Christmas ad where Huckabee says "what really matters is the celebration of the birth of Christ," and not much else. You don't really need to get out the infrared goggles to get his drift. I blame CSI for this.


I wouldn't have noticed at all if it wasn't in the news, but I'm also not paranoid about a coming Christian theocracy courtesy of the Republican party either.

I'll have to watch those Democratic ads more closely to see if there is anything in them to fuel my Communist paranoia.

Ed Cone

The clip I linked shows Fox News bringing it up, and Ron Paul invoking Sinclair Lewis.

The comparison of politicized religion in the GOP to Communism in the Democratic party is curious.

Sam, it's interesting to see you downplay the documented and quantified importance of the "Religious Right" to the GOP, even as Huckabee is leveraging it quite successfully -- to the dismay of many Republicans.


What else does Huckabee have if it's not religion? His candidacy will probably begin to unravel when people begin to ask meatier questions about foreign policy and domestic issues. Or maybe not. Perhaps the Republican party believes that religion and fear of terrorism are the only cards they can play now.
Certainly it's not fiscal conservatism (8 years of Bush - Good Grief!) or how well the average American is doing economically.
IMO the last eight years have been like the "dark ages" in Europe - war, xenophobia, atrocities under the cloak of religion. Maybe we are destined to be under the sway of this attitude for a little longer before we get our head together and decide to be the leader of innovation and inspiration again rather than the exporter of fear and greed.
Or like Old Abe used to say "You can fool some of the people all of the time....."

Spag/The CA

Ed, they both address an irrational paranoia. I am not downplaying the "Religious Right", rather I am puzzled by the hysteria over it in some corners. The idea that religious people might vote for people who share their beliefs somehow does not strike me as earth shattering nor does it provoke me into some kind of fear that the U.S. is headed towards a theocracy.

Ed Cone

I guess the comparison would work better if there was an active and powerful Communist movement in the United States, to which Democratic candidates payed homage in order to activate a large, well-organized group of Communist voters...instead of, well, nothing of the sort actually happening.


I agree that the emphasis (hysteria) is overplayed. Certainly there is no guarantee that a person elected into office is going to hold their religious beliefs above everything else, especially if Congress and the Supreme Court is there to hold them in check. However, it does say something about how naive they believe the average voter is, and the truth is that these fears have been exploited in the past by candidates who used the war=freedom card to be elected. Some candidates try hard to boil things down to one issue that they can use to drown out more substantive issues and this is the problem, not religion or the goblin of theocracy.
Some people make fun of the debates and say they do no good but they are instructive as to the future of the presidential race. These things are most likely to be amplified as time goes on and we should be alert to the possibility of one or two superfluous issues sweeping the cleverest politician into office and making us gnash our teeth for another four long years.


I can see the headlines now in the Wall Street Journal:
"Godless Communist wins Presidential election"

Spag/The CA

Ed, I think we are dealing with extremes and how they are represented. Is there an extremist Religious Right? Yes, but it is not the mainstream nor are they pushing a theocracy. Is there a Communist left? Yes, but they aren't the mainstream either. I would compare the mainstream "Religious Right" to mainstream socialist-progressives in the Democratic party. People on the Right are every bit as threatened or concerned about the socialist-progressives in the Democratic Party as people in the Democratic Party are threatened or concerned about the Religious Right in the GOP.

Whether either "threat" is as prevalent as advertised is questionable, but I do not back down from my assertion that socialists play as large a role in the Democratic party as religious activists do in the GOP. It's not as extreme as Communism, but neither are most religious right voters as extreme as they are painted to be.

Spag/The CA

Ed, my response keeps getting killed in your spam filter.

Ed Cone

Sorry about that -- I sometimes have to try a few times myself -- the filter is a necessary evil.

You can email the response if it keeps happening.

Fred Gregory

I think the quote Paul used has been wrongly attributed to Sinclair Lewis. It has been hotly debated for years

Ed Cone

Thanks, Fred. Good thread on the subject at Snopes, and discussion also at USAT.

Ed Cone

Right, Sam, the comparison between Communists in the Democratic Party and the Religious Right in the GOP doesn't hold -- one is a fringe-unto-nonexistent group, the other is very real, if sometimes overstated. You keep throwing in the imminent theocracy thing, as if that was the only measure of the RR's influence and the problems of intertwining church and state.


A better comparison would be between the socialist progressives in the Democratic Party and the Religious Right. Both are prevalent and highly influential. However, that doesn't mean a fringe theocratic wing of the Religious Right is going to take over any time soon any more than a radicalized group of Communists will. It's a spectrum, Ed. The Communists and the theocrats are on the edge. Don't confuse mainstream religious voters with theocrats and I won't confuse the socialist progressives with the Communists.

Jim Capo

Actually, according to the New York Times it's Ron Paul that is the water boy for fascism in America. Whoops...Strike that. Their mistake.

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