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Tied?

This is just one poll, but it indicates that either Obama didn't get a convention bounce, or it was negated by events since (and the Republican convention didn't really get going until last night). If it's valid, it's hard to see anything other than the Palin selection as the cause. And note the difference between this poll and the one on the weekend (eight points). As I noted previously, weekend polls are notorious for favoring Democrats.

Also, if valid, it's bad news for Obama. If McCain gets a convention bounce, he'll be well in the lead.

 
 

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34 Comments

George Peterson wrote:

Checking a couple other polls (Rasmussen, Gallup), this one looks like an outlier, but honestly, it's too soon to try and gauge a convention bounce. If you're hoping for the McCain/Palin ticket to win in November, I think the tack on display here ought to be a bad sign -- Palin's speech was a pure red-meat, rally-the-base speech. The trouble is that while the sort of Christian identity politics she represents may really get the base fired up, in my opinion, the country as a whole is just too fed up with the Republicans for this strategy to work. This year, their strategy ought to be to reach for the middle, I think.

Obama's initial response -- "That speech was written by someone else!" -- was pretty weak, because he didn't phrase the criticism pointedly enough. "That speech was written by someone else as a generic VP speech before Palin was even selected!", would, I think, have been much more effective (and true).

I personally have mixed feelings about Sarah Palin. To the extent she's got a libertarian streak, I like and respect her. She's a bit of a rebel, which I also respect, particularly from the bunch of hooligans that dominate the Republican party in Alaska. But the Christianist stuff really, really turns me off, particularly the wildly irresponsible talk about the Iraq war being a mission from God.

I've got mixed feelings about Barack Obama and Joe Biden, too, to be honest. I don't know if that counts as a wash -- I need to learn more about Mrs. Palin first. But for those of us (and I think there's quite a few of us) that think that John McCain's not temperamentally suited to be President, her selection won't matter, or will only serve to reinforce this idea (he met her once prior to selecting her? Seriously?) And for those that think he is, and tend to vote independent, her hard-right attack-dog stance is going to be a big turn-off. She'll rally the base, as I said...but I doubt that'll be enough this year.

Mike Puckett wrote:

"The trouble is that while the sort of Christian identity politics she represents may really get the base fired up, in my opinion, the country as a whole is just too fed up with the Republicans for this strategy to work. This year, their strategy ought to be to reach for the middle, I think."

Thie is still a center-right nation. McCain and Palin is almost spot-on where the center of the electorate is. Obama-Biden is far left.

Anonymous wrote:

Mr. Puckett,

Let us put country first and work on our grammar. Carefully read your comment and think about whether your political views bear a similar lack of logical construction. Thank you for your service.

Mike Puckett wrote:

It wasn't meant for you as you are well into the latter stages of your terminal Kool-Ade consumption experiment.

"Cast not your perls before the swine"

George Peterson wrote:

Mr. Puckett,

First, let me say that I think viewing politics in terms of a one-dimensional political axis does more harm than good. I'd agree that the center of the electorate tends to be somewhat more economically conservative than Obama/Biden, and in fact, this is one strong reservation I have about the Democratic ticket this year. However, on several 'hot-button' economic issues, I think the Democrats are spot-on this year, especially with regard to health care. This issue, rightly or wrongly, has a lot of resonance with the American public, and that resonance strongly favors the Democrats.

McCain and Palin, however, I think are very alienated from the majority of the electorate when they get into this kind of evangelical Christianism. The base loves it, don't get me wrong, but I suspect your average independent voter can't stand this stuff. Whether Christian identity politics counts as 'center-right' on a liberal-to-conservative axis I have no idea (although I suspect it wouldn't), but in my opinion, their campaign is making a huge mistake in embracing this kind of thing. If nothing else, it absolutely stinks of hypocrisy -- John McCain used to be famous for speaking out against this stuff! It's cringe-inducing, watching a guy I used to admire (I would have probably voted for him in 2000, in fact) abandon his principles for power.

It's all enough to make me seriously think about voting for Bob Barr, to be perfectly honest. I'm not sure how sincere his little road-to-Damascus moment regarding the Drug War was, either, but he seems solid enough, for all that.

Michael Lonie wrote:

"Christianist"?

This is the formulation of people who think believing Christians are aching to fly airplanes into skyscrapers, like certain other religous believers do. This is excrementum tauri.

The main bigots in the USA today are the anti-Christian ones. I say that as one who is neither very religous nor a Christian.

Do you really think that the socialist Obama, friend of antique terrorists and America haters, is more centrist than John McCain and Sarah Palin? If so, you've been drinking the Kool-aid. Palin's blue-collar creds also blow up the fraudulent attempt to sell 36-year Senate veteran and lawyer Biden as some kind of working class stiff. Palin's background and presence on the ticket exposes the snow job the Democrats are trying to do in this election. For that the Democrats and their lapdogs in the media will use all means to destroy her.

George Peterson wrote:

No, "Christianist" is a term used to distinguish Christianity as a faith from Christian identity politics. I think it's a very useful label. This obviously does not mean that I think Christianists are itching to fly airplanes into skyscrapers.

There's plenty of Christian and anti-Christian bigots alike in the USA today. In my experience, the Christian bigots in this country have a lot more political clout than the anti-Christian ones. That is sort of hard to quantify so I don't know if this is a particularly useful argument to have, however. Couple of things I'd like to point out: 1) Do you really think someone expressing as strongly anti-Christian sentiments as Sarah Palin has expressed Christianist sentiments could be on a major party presidential ticket? 2) What's the ratio between overtly religious, evangelical Christian politicians to anti-Christian politicians?

Obama is not a socialist. He's economically liberal, certainly more so than I am or than I'd like to see in the guy who is probably going to be the next president, but he's certainly not a socialist. Casually tossing around smears like this makes it all the more difficult for real criticism of his proposed economic policies to get heard.

That aside, do you think the guilt-by-association is really something McCain and Palin want to get into? Palin's husband was an active member in a secessionist political party, for pity's sake. Palin herself actively sought the AIP's support more than once. I'm not a supporter of hers but I actually cringed when I saw her speech to be played at their convention. Unlike Obama, who can credibly say that Wright was just his (ex)-pastor, and most people would agree that there's no reason you've got to share your pastor's political views, Palin's got no plausible deniability here. Have you seen Joe Vogler's rants against America? They're intense. No, I think even by this marginally relevant metric, Obama and Biden come out ahead.

Also, Republicans would be wise, I think, to note that having 'blue-collar creds' does not mean you are politically centrist, and that most people who are paying even a modicum of attention can recognize that. The real trouble with the Republican ticket is that they have no substance. They're the real reformers? Are you kidding me? This from the guy who's bragged about voting with George Bush over 90% of the time? And if they're the real reformers, where are there ideas for reform? There aren't any. They don't have any. Hell, they explicitly recognize this -- Rick Davis came out and said it in just so many words, that this election isn't about the issues.

Leland wrote:

As I wrote before the DNC convention, Obama peaked in June. I said he would get a bounce, and if he didn't then there would be a problem. He got his bounce, as much as 8%.

I expected a post convention bounce for McCain as well. Not as much as Obama's, because McCain just didn't have the underlying support to lift him. So I expected about a 5 point margin for Obama going into the last 60 days.

The choice of Palin, I think, will put the campaigns at even footing. The post convention polls really won't be known until about Tuesday next week. After all, Obama's bounce wasn't fully manifested until middle of this week.

Leland wrote:

Mike,

I see we have another faux Independent troll.

First, let me say that I think viewing politics in terms of a one-dimensional political axis does more harm than good.

So let's see. From the religious dimension, we have the term "Christianist" thrown out. It's sort of like a scarlet A for identifying moonbats. Normal people use the term "Christians", as has been the norm for centuries.

From the economic dimension: Obama is not a socialist. Yeah he is. From Obama's campaign website, the plan to jumpstart the economy:
Enact a Windfall Profits Tax to Provide a $1,000 Emergency Energy Rebate to American Families
Explain how that is not taking from the rich and giving to the community. He may not be spouting Maxine Waters nationalization plans, but he's on that road.

Palin's husband was an active member in a secessionist political party, for pity's sake. Palin herself actively sought the AIP's support more than once. I'm not a supporter of hers...
Really? He felt compelled to write that after his previous comments. Dude's a freaking partisan right out of the DailyKos diaries, and he thinks he needs to emphasize that he is not a Palin supporter?

I personally have mixed feelings about Sarah Palin.
Liar.

Republicans would be wise to ignore morons like George Peterson.

Anonymous wrote:

Puckett, what the fuk is a perl ?

Perls before swine?

You must be a software type.

Jim Harris wrote:

Enact a Windfall Profits Tax to Provide a $1,000 Emergency Energy Rebate to American Families

Obama wants to tax oil companies to provide an emergency energy rebate to families? That's the last straw. That proves once and for all that Obama is a socialist. Unless, that is, he did it in Alaska. Then it would make him a libertarian.

George Peterson wrote:

Leland,

"So let's see. From the religious dimension, we have the term "Christianist" thrown out. It's sort of like a scarlet A for identifying moonbats. Normal people use the term "Christians", as has been the norm for centuries."

The terms mean different things, as I just explained. The term 'Christianist' is pretty common, and useful. Pay attention.

"Enact a Windfall Profits Tax to Provide a $1,000 Emergency Energy Rebate to American Families
Explain how that is not taking from the rich and giving to the community. He may not be spouting Maxine Waters nationalization plans, but he's on that road."

'He's on that road' = he isn't a socialist. He's an economic liberal. Which is exactly what I said before. Also, Sarah Palin's done much the same thing in Alaska. Is she on that road, too?

"Really? He felt compelled to write that after his previous comments. Dude's a freaking partisan right out of the DailyKos diaries, and he thinks he needs to emphasize that he is not a Palin supporter?"

Really? Pointing out the shortcomings of the Republican ticket makes me a partisan 'right out of the DailyKos diaries'? Since I've been old enough to vote, I've generally voted mixed Libertarian/Republican tickets. In 2006, it was Libertarian/Democratic. Tell me how I'm a faux-independent, again? Because clearly, you know me very well, right?

"Liar.

Republicans would be wise to ignore morons like George Peterson."

What's interesting to me -- and, I think, informative to the larger discussion here -- is that you're completely unable to address the substance of my comments. I pointed out that getting into guilt-by-association is something likely to hurt McCain/Palin more than it is to help them, and you respond by accusing me if being a liar, a partisan, and a moron. Okay. First of all, you're a jerk, and I'd be offended by your remarks if I valued your opinion at all. Second, you've got no substantial response to what I'm saying because there isn't one. You've also got no substantial response to how Christian identity politics can be considered centrist -- because it can't, and you know it.

Rand Simberg wrote:

The term 'Christianist' is pretty common, and useful.

It is common, but like "neocon," that doesn't make it useful.

He's an economic liberal.

No, he's not. I'm an economic liberal (i.e., I believe in free markets). He is a collectivist.

Leland wrote:

Capitalism and Free Markets:
Alaska owns the mineral rights. Alaska is a sovereign state with a government established by the people of Alaska. The government decided to sell access to the minerals to oil companies. Alaska, after paying for basic governmental activities, then shared remaining revenue with the people of that state. The price of Alaskan oil to the oil companies is set by a free market. If the oil companies choose not to pay the price, then they can opt out by purchasing minerals from another state.

Socialism and Government Regulated Markets:
Obama has decided that oil prices are too high for citizens. His reasoning is that the poorest buyers can not purchase oil at a free market price. He thinks the price of oil should be regulated by the government, and not set by a free market with willing buyers purchasing from willing sellers. Instead of removing tariffs placed by federal and state governments that raise the price of oil; Obama wants to add an additional tax (which would raise the price of oil in a free market).

Communism and state owned markets:
If the windfall profit tax doesn't work to lower the price of oil (and basic economic laws of markets say it won't), Obama's Democrat colleagues are threatening to nationalize the oil companies. This is already Obama's own plan for lowering the price of health care. Energy and Health care are the two largest industries in the US.

George Peterson wrote:

"It is common, but like "neocon," that doesn't make it useful."

The reason I think it's useful is as a way to distinguish Christianity as a faith from Jerry Falwell-style Christian politics. Even if you don't like the term, would you agree that it's useful to have distinguishing labels for these (different, but with some overlap) things?

"No, he's not. I'm an economic liberal (i.e., I believe in free markets). He is a collectivist."

Over the past 50 years or so that label's been co-opted by the 'progressives.' From the limited amount I know about you, Rand, I'd call you a classical liberal (although no one seems to know what that means any more) or a libertarian.

That said, Obama's collectivist leanings are probably the biggest things I dislike about him. The Windfall Profits Tax isn't that big a deal; that's just a gimmick, and I think one that's unlikely to ever be enacted. Things like his support for the Fair Pay Act are much more ominous, in my opinion.

craig wrote:

The term "Christianist" is a reverse-construction from the term "Islamist"; it only became common after Andrew Sullivan threw a hissy-fit noticing that Bush would not support gay "marriage", and switched his Enemy #1 from Moslems to Christians.

Karl Hallowell wrote:

Christianist just sounds stupid, like most of the bloggist (or is that bloggarian? bloggista?) jargon. And given that it's just a one word insult, it doesn't serve a useful purpose. George, you'd be well served to forget this phrase ever existed.

Leland wrote:

What's interesting to me -- and, I think, informative to the larger discussion here -- is that you're completely unable to address the substance of my comments.

I addressed your comments before I called you out as a liar. I spelled out how Obama is a socialist and provided links to the facts that support my reasoning. I mention your "Christianist" term and your debate of it, because it is a sign of partisanship (see craig's comments, he too knows). On your debate about Christian politics, I might actually agree if I cared. I don't, and I note that Palin didn't use "Christian" or "Church" in her speeches in Dayton or St. Paul. She used "religion" once when referencing Obama's use of the word (another example of your partisanship). As for McCain, I've said before I don't support him.

Now, you are claiming that Palin, as Governor of Alaska, is doing something similar to the windfall profit tax. I explained how it is not, perhaps you can provide some substance on how it is. You also claim that the windfall profit tax is a gimmick and not a big deal, eventhough it is the very first goal on Obama's economic plan. I provided a link to the facts, and they don't agree with you assertion.

You calling me a jerk is no big deal. It's as effectual as your other arguments.

George Peterson wrote:

I addressed your comments before I called you out as a liar. I spelled out how Obama is a socialist and provided links to the facts that support my reasoning.

You provided a link to Obama's website. What he's proposing to do is not in dispute. My point was that this is not a 'socialist' proposal. This is just semantics, however because socialist is a loaded term it acquires some importance: anyone who raises this point can be effectively countered simply by pointing out that you clearly don't know what socialism is, and are misusing the label.

I mention your "Christianist" term and your debate of it, because it is a sign of partisanship (see craig's comments, he too knows).

I disagree, but even if you do think it's just a partisan term, I hope you can see past that to my actual point.

On your debate about Christian politics, I might actually agree if I cared. I don't, and I note that Palin didn't use "Christian" or "Church" in her speeches in Dayton or St. Paul. She used "religion" once when referencing Obama's use of the word (another example of your partisanship).

Well, it's up to you whether you care. I didn't think much of Palin's supposed Christian politics, either, until I actually did a bit of digging and unearthed these:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QG1vPYbRB7k
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k84m2orSOaM

And also this article:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0908/13098.html

Of course, Obama's a strong Christian, as well, but I haven't seen any evidence that he's a Christianist (or whatever you'd prefer to call it).

Now, you are claiming that Palin, as Governor of Alaska, is doing something similar to the windfall profit tax. I explained how it is not, perhaps you can provide some substance on how it is.

Alright. As I understand it, the primary difference between the two proposals is that Palin's redistributes taxes that are already being collected out of the state's budget surplus, whereas Obama is proposing to enact a new tax directly on the oil companies. The essential similarity between the proposals is not whether the money comes from pre-existing taxes or not, but that they are proposals for wealth redistribution. You specifically asserted that Obama's idea was socialist, whereas Palin's was not. As socialism is usually defined, neither proposal is socialist (which was my point, actually). But to say that Obama's is and Palin's isn't, your argument boils down to, He wants a new tax, therefore he's a socialist. Which, in addition to being a trivial argument, is also incorrect (unless you're using some unusual definition of socialism, in which case, you should lay out exactly what that is).

Mike Puckett wrote:

"Anonymous wrote:
Puckett, what the fuk is a perl ?

Perls before swine?

You must be a software type."

What an Oster make you swine!

Leland wrote:

My point was that this is not a 'socialist' proposal. This is just semantics, however because socialist is a loaded term it acquires some importance: anyone who raises this point can be effectively countered simply by pointing out that you clearly don't know what socialism is, and are misusing the label.

Ok George, how about taking a crack at it. You haven't even attempted to explain what socialism is in your silly mind. I described it. You have avoided the topic other than saying Obama is not a socialist and pretending I didn't explain how his ideas are socialist.

I disagree, but even if you do think it's just a partisan term, I hope you can see past that to my actual point.

Merriam Webster, no definition for "Christianist".
Encyclopedia Britannica, no definition for "Christianist".
Both have definitions for "socialism" and "socialist".
You are using a word made that Andrew Sullivan decided to use a partisan slur for Christians who were also Republicans. Then you are pretending to be against such debates. I can't see past your use of it, because the fact that you choose to use it shows a bias on your part. Either that or you are completely ignorant of the correct term, which I'm starting to accept you just might be ignorant.

Well, it's up to you whether you care. I didn't think much of Palin's supposed Christian politics, either, until I actually did a bit of digging and unearthed these

So she doesn't bring up her religion in two major speeches, and you have to hunt down for evidence of her spouting her religion in church (imagine the audacity of her to talk religion in a church). And then you claim to be upset about her bringing it up. As they say, "Physician, heal thyself". Oh yeah, guess whose blog is at the top of this list of a Google search for Palin,Iraq,God! Yep, the same partisan who suggested the term "Christianist".

Oh, FINALLY, you try to defend your argument about Palin being a socialist. You try to claim my point boils down to:
He wants a new tax

That's not what I wrote, so you can't comprehend. The primary difference is what I wrote:
Obama has decided that oil prices are too high for citizens. His reasoning is that the poorest buyers can not purchase oil at a free market price. He thinks the price of oil should be regulated by the government, and not set by a free market with willing buyers purchasing from willing sellers.
This is similar to Karl Marx's vision of socialism as you can read here (note the lack of partisan website like the daily dish. So I corrected your misrepresentation of my point, and I'd provide you a link to a working definition.

Now, I suspect you'll note this from the working defintion: social and economic doctrine that calls for public rather than private ownership or control of property and natural resources. Fair cop that Alaska owns the natural resources. To understand how Palin is different than Obama, perhaps you should read this WSJ article. If you decide to be stubborn, here's a good quote:
The real comparison is not between Mr. Obama's windfall profit tax and Mrs. Palin's risk-and-profit-sharing plan. It is between Alaska's constitutional rule -- that the people must share directly in the state's mineral wealth -- and Mr. McCain's proposal that coastal states should share in federal offshore oil revenue. His plan is for the funds to be used for public purposes like roads, schools and conservation. A share of royalties dramatically improves the coastal states' incentive to support drilling. But if Mr. McCain offered every individual American a royalty check too, he might find it easier to sell his program.

In case you missed it, I've already wrote: "As for McCain, I've said before I don't support him."

George Peterson wrote:

Ok George, how about taking a crack at it. You haven't even attempted to explain what socialism is in your silly mind. I described it. You have avoided the topic other than saying Obama is not a socialist and pretending I didn't explain how his ideas are socialist.

I read - and rebutted - your explanation. As you noted in your reply, there is in fact a dictionary definition for the word 'socialism': "any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods." This is the definition I've been using, and will continue to use. (I'd encourage you to do a little reading on the subject if you intend to continue this discussion, by the way.)

Merriam Webster, no definition for "Christianist".
Encyclopedia Britannica, no definition for "Christianist".

The term hasn't be around all that long. I'd be surprised if it was in the dictionary already. It's the content of the term that's important. Who gives a damn where it comes from? I'm happy to use another term conveying the same idea, if you think 'Christianist' is unnecessarily perjorative. Name one, or even define your own term, and I'll gladly use it when conversing with you.

I can't see past your use of it, because the fact that you choose to use it shows a bias on your part.

I think you seeing a bias in my use of this term actually shows a bias on your part. I've seen the term used numerous times in political discussions (from all parts of the political spectrum), and not once have I seen anyone take issue with the label itself. So yes, I suppose I am ignorant. But as I said, pick another label, and we'll use it.

Oh, FINALLY, you try to defend your argument about Palin being a socialist.

For Christ's sake, if you're going to bother posting, pay a little attention. I'm making precisely the opposite claim. Of course she's not a socialist! What Palin did (as noted in the WSJ article you linked) is to create a profits tax on the oil industry:

"As a new governor in 2007, Mrs. Palin stepped in to address the fiscal crisis and restore accountability. Working with Democrats and Republicans alike, she chose a 25% profits tax. But in lean years the state reverts to a 10% gross revenue tax on legacy fields that do not require massive continuing inputs of new capital."

Versus Obama's website, which says:

"Barack Obama will enact a windfall profits tax on excessive oil company profits to give American families an immediate $1,000 emergency energy rebate to help families pay rising bills."

What's the difference? Palin's tax existed already, albeit in a different form, whereas Obama is proposing a new tax. Palin's plan is structured intelligently enough so that it actually is a windfall profits tax; my guess is that Obama would follow a similar model. And that's it. If one proposal is socialist, so is the other. My position is that neither is. If you say both are, fine (although I disagree), but your present position is untenable.

George Peterson wrote:

Clipped this out on accident:

So she doesn't bring up her religion in two major speeches, and you have to hunt down for evidence of her spouting her religion in church (imagine the audacity of her to talk religion in a church). And then you claim to be upset about her bringing it up.

I'm not upset about her bringing it up. I'm upset at the content of her speech. How would you like to get to know the Republican VP candidate better? Of course you've got to dig for things she said before becoming the VP candidate.

You didn't watch the video, did you? You should. And if you watch it and still don't care, then you're a damn fool.

Jim Harris wrote:

Alaska owns the mineral rights. Alaska is a sovereign state with a government established by the people of Alaska. The government decided to sell access to the minerals to oil companies. Alaska, after paying for basic governmental activities, then shared remaining revenue with the people of that state.

You're absolutely right, Leland, except for the part about Alaska owning the mineral rights. It doesn't. The Federal government owns the NPRA. All that Alaska can do is tax oil production on the same terms as the Federal government. The Fed gives Alaska a cut so that Alaskans can live fat and feel libertarian.

Do you need to use basic falsehoods to justify your belief that Palin is actually libertarian?

Leland wrote:

George,

As I said in the first post, the correct term is Christians. Apparently you have don't like Christians, and you apparently get upset when Christians ask fellow Christians to pray for US troops in a church setting. This bothers you so much, you can't call them Christians. You have to call them Christianist to somehow distinguish them from what? Other Christians who ask Christians to pray for Christians and none Christians alike? I guess you find something distinctive there and disconcerting. Perhaps you think using the term among educated people will somehow convince them they should be concerned about Christians. And if you are successful, they might decide to not vote for Palin. I guess they won't vote for Obama either, since he's a Christian, that prays with other Christians in a church setting. They probably won't vote for Biden or Mccain, because they are Christian. Maybe they'll just go read Andy Sullivan's blog and feel some comraderie in their wise use of a new word. Good luck with that.

Just know, I'll probably vote for Palin, because she's far less likely to nationalize the oil and healthcare industries. You may think Obama won't either, but I won't take that chance. Fair enough?

George Peterson wrote:

Leland,

I have no problem with Christians. But is it really just regular Christianity to say that the war in Iraq is a plan from God? Do most Christians think that it is God's will that Alaska gets a new oil pipeline? More to the point, do you want a President who thinks that she's on a mission from God? It's my view that this sort of political Christianity -- whether you call it Christian identity politics, Christian dominionism, Christianism, etc. -- is dangerous, out of the U.S. mainstream, and more to the point, something distinct from Christianity as a faith.

Just know, I'll probably vote for Palin, because she's far less likely to nationalize the oil and healthcare industries. You may think Obama won't either, but I won't take that chance. Fair enough?

Fair enough. I think the chance of Obama nationalizing the oil and healthcare industries is about as high as Palin deciding to establish Christianity as the official U.S. religion -- i.e., really, really low. In my opinion, Palin's and Obama's negatives basically cancel each other out, and if the election was just between them, I'd probably just say hell with both of them and vote for Barr. But McCain's at the top of the ticket, not Palin, so I'll probably be voting for Obama this year. (Although, since I live in California, it matters very little who I vote for in any case.)

Andy Freeman wrote:

> No, "Christianist" is a term used to distinguish Christianity as a faith from Christian identity politics. I think it's a very useful label.

Actually, "Christianist" is shorthand for "I hate Christians but have figured out that it's poor form to admit that so I'm going with 'I hate those other Christians, not you' because Christians are too dumb to figure it out." There's also a touch of "let's give them a label like Islamist in hopes that the sound association will rub off even though there's no real comparison", a la Lakoff.

Note that the "useful label" guy didn't actually bother to define Christianist other that to admit that the "Islamist" comparison doesn't fit in the some details, suggesting, dishonestly, that it did in the important details.

BTW Biden came out in favor of show trials after the election and Palin is the one throwing red meat....

George Peterson wrote:

Actually, "Christianist" is shorthand for "I hate Christians but have figured out that it's poor form to admit that so I'm going with 'I hate those other Christians, not you' because Christians are too dumb to figure it out."

The term was created by a Christian, actually. So, no, it's obviously not shorthand for that.

Note that the "useful label" guy didn't actually bother to define Christianist other that to admit that the "Islamist" comparison doesn't fit in the some details, suggesting, dishonestly, that it did in the important details.

Not wanting to fly airplanes into buildings is just a minor detail, right?

I'd define 'Christianist' this way: a tendency among some conservative politically-active Christians, especially in the United States of America, to seek influence or control over secular civil government through political action aiming either at a nation governed by Christians, or a nation governed by a conservative Christian understanding of biblical law. (Taken from the dictionary entry for dominionism.) As I've said multiple times, it's the content of the term that I think is useful, not the label itself. Would the label 'Christian dominionist' be less offensive to you?

ken anthony wrote:

Very rarely is anything a pure ism or ist. Obama is the most liberal of all senators if measured by voting record. Palin is considered quite conservative. Regardless of where either might leave the reservation it means...

Obama wants to reduce the incentive to create wealth.
Palin wants people to keep what they earn.

These are general observations that will always have exceptions. Beating the weeds arguing minutia doesn't change that.

As Mitt observed the other day, Obama is an astonishing choice for the democrats.

Andy Freeman wrote:

> The term was created by a Christian, actually. So, no, it's obviously not shorthand for that.

Try again. It was invented by Andrew Sullivan. He's a Catholic who thinks that he gets to define the term and pretty much despises anyone who disagrees with his politics, which are basically "gay marriage". His hatred for mainstream Protestantism pretty much drips. Then again, he's not much of a fan of the Pope either.

> Not wanting to fly airplanes into buildings is just a minor detail, right?

Except for the wink and a nod that "they really want to do so but have found more effective means to slaughter innocents".

> Would the label 'Christian dominionist' be less offensive to you?

It's not the term. It's the usage. It's the dishonesty.

Are there Christians who are actively working toward an offensive "bible-based govt"? Sure, but the brush is much broader than that. A far greater number are working for effective social programs. There are NOT a significant number of christians outside the american political mainstream.

Moreover, there are other folks working towards offensive govt systems and they don't rate a mention. And, it's not because the "Christianists" have been more effective or are more likely to succeed.

Using "Christianist" is a fairly reliable indicator of a "hater", a religious bigot, or, at the best, someone who looks up to them.

Keep using it.

George Peterson wrote:

Try again. It was invented by Andrew Sullivan. He's a Catholic ...

No true Scotsman would do such a thing!

Sullivan's a Catholic. Catholics are Christians. End of argument.

Except for the wink and a nod that "they really want to do so but have found more effective means to slaughter innocents".

Except, you know, that I didn't say anything even vaguely like that.

It's not the term. It's the usage. It's the dishonesty.

Are there Christians who are actively working toward an offensive "bible-based govt"?

Yes, there are. I am specifically talking about these people. The term specifically applies to and was created in reference to these people. The 'dishonesty' is your own inaccurate interpretation of the term, because you fail to understand it, even when provided with a very clear definition. There are a significant number of American Christians who fall into this category, and because these people are very politically active, their political power is even more significant than their numbers.

Moreover, there are other folks working towards offensive govt systems and they don't rate a mention.

Because we were specifically discussing Sarah Palin and some of the things she has said indicates that she may fall into this category, but not any of those others. In any case, if you don't even have the basic civility to grant that I'm representing my own ideas honestly, there's not much point in talking to you, is there?

Andy Freeman wrote:

> Catholics are Christians. End of argument.

No - it's not the end of the argument.

While Catholics are Christians (and I never wrote otherwise), the point is that Sullivan pretty much hates most Christians, especially of the non-Catholic variety.

That being the case, you can't argue that his using the term makes it "Christian friendly" - he intends it as a general pejorative and it is.

>> Except for the wink and a nod that "they really want to do so but have found more effective means to slaughter innocents".

> Except, you know, that I didn't say anything even vaguely like that.

That's nice, but I didn't say that you did. I said that that's what the term means.

Claim "nuance" all you want, no one actually interprets it the way you'd like. The folks screaming "christanist" (starting with Sullivan) intend it as an attack on most mainstream US Christians and most mainstream US Christians interpret it as such. The "nuance" argument merely tells the latter group that you're trying to trick them. (For some reason, they prefer honest enemies.)

Interestingly enough, Christians are one of the few groups who don't get to determine what's considered insulting to them. Dumb yokels.

As I wrote, I have no objection to folks using "Christianist". In addition to the "labelling" effect, it also drives mainstream Christians away.

If you think that Sullivan sells well in flyover country, if you think that "Christianist" works, well, even Obama eventually figured out that "clings to" was bad politics.

However, it was politically dumb of me to point that out. So, keep using it to prove me wrong. Send copies of AS' columns to Ohio households.

Bob wrote:

The Christian Science Monitor published an essay about taking the term "christianist" in stride. The essay admits the term is useful.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0520/p18s04-hfes.html

Andy Freeman wrote:

Do you really believe that the Christian Science Monitor says anything useful about mainstream Christianity in the US? (Hint: it might be useful to understand something about the various US denominations. I'll give you a free one - you can probably also find a Unitarian publication that uses "Christianist" approvingly.)

However, keep using it. Don't believe me. I'm lying to you. Mainstream US Christians love the term.

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