I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

What to do?

I have spent a lot of time discussing the circular firing squad that is the Republican race for the presidential nomination. But what about the Democrats? A few months ago a Giuliani - Clinton race seemed almost inevitable. Well Rudy is sinking and Hillary is sitting a lot lower in the water. Matt Stoller reports that Hillary has a lower approval rating now than she did in 2000. Why is this? There is the irrational hatred of the Clintons on the right but that really hasn't changed any. Hillary is too hawkish and too corporatists for many on the left. Over at The left Coaster eriposte reports on attacks on Hillary from the left, much of it from the Obama campaign although they deny it. So what about Obama? As you know I am no fan of Hillary or Obama. Obama seems to be rising and Frank Rich looks at why.
This movement has its own religious tone. References to faith abound in Mr. Obama’s writings and speeches, as they do in Oprah’s language on her TV show and at his rallies. Five years ago, Christianity Today, the evangelical journal founded by Billy Graham, approvingly described Oprah as “an icon of church-free spirituality” whose convictions “cannot simply be dismissed as superficial civil religion or so much New Age psychobabble.”

“Church free” is the key. This country has had its fill of often hypocritical family-values politicians dictating what is and is not acceptable religious and moral practice. Instead of handing down tablets of what constitutes faith in America, Romney-style, the Oprah-Obama movement practices an American form of ecumenicalism. It preaches a bit of heaven on earth in the form of a unified, live-and-let-live democracy that is greater than the sum of its countless disparate denominations. The pitch — or, to those who are not fans, the shtick — may be corny. “The audacity of hope” is corny too. But corn is preferable to holier-than-thou, and not just in Iowa.
A majority of Americans remain religious/spiritual but after seven years they don't like the march to theocracy they have witnessed. Church free religion and a church free government is what many want - again.

Now I still see Obama as an empty suit. George W. Bush was an empty suit who surrounded himself with the craziest of the crazies - the neocons and the theocons. An Obama presidency would be determined by who and where he choose to get advice and policy. That at the moment remains an unknown.

So what to do? The most important thing to do is make sure that the House and the Senate are not full of members who will be little but sycophants for the President regardless of who that might be. Here in Oregon we need to make sure that we have a new Senator in 2008. One who will be independent of the President regardless of party. I see Jeff Merkley as the one most likely to make that happen.

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