Friday, March 25, 2011

Notes from the culture war

Two dumfounding news times from the culture war caught my attention this week. In Alaska, Gov. Sean Parnell nominated Don Haase to a panel that selects state judges. Haase holds, among other fundie beliefs, that sex outside of marriage should be a crime. And in South Dakota, a law was passed that will force women seeking an abortion to undergo a 72 hour cooling off period after submitting to pro-life counseling.

The Alaskan case is clearly a governor working under what he sees as a mandate. Despite what the propaganda machine told us during the elections, the Tea Party is all about a moral agenda. This blatant attempt to influence judicial nominations is just one of many such acts by Republicans in states across our country. The bar is lower in Alaska. We all know why.

South Dakota represents an older force in the long culture war; old guard republicans. The guys are entrenched and will never give up the reins of power. Rep. Roger Hunt has been at his anti-abortion game for over a decade. He’ll fight his holy war until he dies.

Are we losing the culture war? No, but we’ve lost a big battle. Letting the Tea Party get a foot in the door was a big mistake. Given how the Democrats operate, I don’t think we have much hope in the short term. They have no real strategy. They have no long term vision,  and more importantly, they squandered their mandate. We need a strategy that does not rely on the Democratic Party if we are to push back god’s misguided army of culture warriors.

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m down on Democrats. There are lots of reasons. their leadership is a mess. Obama has lost his way. Unions are under attack. Democrats are in survival mode. But the thing that bugs me the most is that I do not like their politics. I’m socially liberal and fiscally conservative. I’d say I’m a libertarian but that would align me much too closely to a bunch of fringe purists who waste their time arguing the finer points of whatever untenable position is the favor of the month. Libertarians will not fight the culture war. They don’t know it exists. I’m not sure I would want them to lead the fight anyway. They have trouble winning in unopposed races.

The Democrats seem lost. My outrage grows with each new act of Tea Party lunacy. I’m looking for ideas here. Can a secular coalition lead the fight?