Bringing back the religious left?

A Brookings Institution study says that today’s Democrats are less interested in even liberal Christianity, but that it still might be possible to bring back the religious left.  I would think this is true.  Pope Francis seems to be bringing liberal Catholicism back into power.  Many ostensible evangelicals are reconfiguring their teachings to promote liberal, rather than conservative,  politics.  And of course there are the mainline liberal Protestants who are still around in significant, though reduced, numbers.   (Do notice that I am not referring to people who are liberal politically though conservative theologically, which used to be commonplace and is still evident in many congregations and on this blog.  I’m referring to new iterations of the social gospel.) [Read more…]

Millennials aren’t so liberal after all

Contrary to the conventional wisdom that paints the Millennial generation as being the new base of Democratic party liberalism, studies show that their political beliefs are much more complicated than that.  As Kirsten Power points out, Millennials are more likely to support gay marriage than other demographic groups, but they are less likely to support abortion.

Their main political characteristics are independence, changeability, pragmatism, and disdain for static ideologies.  That means Democrats can’t take them for granted and Republicans have a shot at their votes. [Read more…]

The Democrats’ schism

Democrats are facing a schism in the post-Obama era between its establishment politicians and newly-energetic leftwing progressives.  So say political reporters Dan Balz and Philip Rucker.

Conservatives shouldn’t get too excited:  both factions support Hillary Clinton as their next presidential nominee.

Do you think an overtly leftist agenda could elect Mrs. Clinton?  What programs do you see that kind of administration pushing? [Read more…]

Might Democrats pick Elizabeth Warren over Hillary Clinton?

The Democratic wing of the Democratic party is starting to assert itself, wanting to bring back old-fashioned liberalism into the Wall Street-dominated party of drone-strikes, civil liberties violations, and corporate bailouts.  What annoys them about the Obama administration they trace back to Bill Clinton.  And although many people assume that the Democratic nomination for president is Hillary Clinton’s for the taking, more and more Democrats are pinning their hopes on someone else to be the first woman president:  Elizabeth Warren. [Read more…]

Punitive Liberalism

If you watch old movies, read books from the first half of the 20th century, and are old enough to remember the early 1960s, you will recall that New Deal liberalism was a cheerful, optimistic creed, pro-American and working for economic prosperity.  After all, liberals from Franklin Roosevelt through Hubert Humphrey were progressives, which gave them confidence that things were getting better and better.  But after a certain point, liberals began to be filled with gloom and doom.  America must be punished for its sins; our neglect of the environment will incur apocalyptic judgment; economic prosperity weakens our moral fiber.  Conservatives used to sound that way, and did, before the sunny optimism of Ronald Reagan.

George Will discusses the shift to a “punitive liberalism” in a discussion of a book that sees the tipping point as  the assassination of John F. Kennedy, even though Lee Harvey Oswald was a Communist.  (I think the tipping point was the Vietnam War, but still. . . .) [Read more…]

Shutdown countdown

The federal government runs out of money at the end of the day today and will shut down tomorrow unless the House of Representatives and Senate can strike a deal to keep the money flowing.  Republicans, who control the House, are saying they won’t pass such a resolution unless Obamacare is delayed for a year.  (They earlier wanted to strip funding from it entirely.  Now they are settling for a delay.)  Democrats are refusing to back down from their signature health care legislation (a major part of which goes into effect tomorrow).

So now we are on the brink.  Tomorrow the government may shut down AND the Obamacare insurance exchange sign-ups begin.

What do you think will happen?  Do you predict a last-second compromise?  If the shutdown takes place, what impact will that have?  What impact would that have on the Republican Party? [Read more…]