Carol Platt Liebau

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

This piece in The Washington Times melds nicely with my weekly column at California Republic discussing the impact of the Democrats' "politics of hate" on the election.

Predictably, some of the biggest hate-spouters, the Hollywood "stars", are upset about the election's outcome. But one more salutary effect of President Bush's win may be the wake-up call it's providing to the entertainment community: The fact that people are willing to be entertained by them doesn't translate into political power or any meaningful influence in the world of ideas.

Some Democrats appear to be engaging in serious soul-searching about what went wrong -- James Carville is one of them. It will be interesting to see if they are able to thread the needle on this one. To my mind, Democrats have a real problem in reaching out to people of faith. That's because an important part of their constituency includes militant secularists -- people who are not just indifferent to religion, but openly hostile to it. It would seem very difficult for any candidate to succeed in speaking the language of faith sincerely without alienating the secularists; obviously, however, talking religion with a wink to the irreligious isn't likely to get Democratic candidates far, either. Bill Clinton may have been able to split the difference because he spoke like a parson but behaved like a libertine; given all the problems that caused, it wouldn't seem to be a prescription for long-term success, either.

And finally, Lincoln Chafee has announced that he will remain a Republican. That's good news -- and one more reason it's good to have a 55-45 split rather than a 50-49-1. After all, Senator Chafee might not have been so likely to stay in the fold if his leaving would have made a difference to the entire Senate, not just to him.


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