infusion of conservative northern Catholics and southern Protestants.
This troubled me not at all. I agreed with the predominating Republican
argument at the time that "secular" liberals, by badly misjudging the
depth and importance of religion in the United States, had given
conservatives a powerful and legitimate electoral opportunity."
The above quote, buried in the middle of Kevin Phillips' essay is really the jist of what has happened to the Democratic Party and the left in general. It began with the split of socialist/leftist agnostics and the populist, left wing Christians (e.g. William Jennings Bryan) in the early 20th century and has continued going downhill. Meanwhile Democrats continue to lament about the how the Republicans are "stealing" God away from them while practicing non-Christian values in their policies. But what do they plan to do about it? Authors like Phillips and others offer no real solutions for how to bring the devout back over to the left side of the political spectrum and until they do, their only hope is that the Republicans abuse their power so badly that even those who feel good about their philosophies are sickened by their practices. But I predict those few times when it happens (Christians deserting the Republican Party) will only be tempory because they will see, as in Tom Delay, that "these are just a few bad apples that need to be purged from a divine system."
The Democrats like to paint themselves as one big tent for many diverse opinions -- when in fact this is seldom true. They (we) are more like a campground with lots of little tents arguing who has the best view and access to the restroom facilities. Meanwhile the GOP (Grand Old Party) and the GNP (God's New Party) are co-existing across the road in relative peace. They understand that they have a common enemy, albeit for different reasons, and will fight like hell to keep us on our own side of the road. Meanwhile, Democrats find themselves being drawn into obscure arguments over abortion rights, patriotism, gun control, etc. while millions of jobs are being shipped overseas, nearly half the nation is either uninsured or underinsured for healthcare, and we are ruining our environment. How many questions did the "people's" senators pose to recent Supreme Court nominees regarding the tempering of corporate power and society's responsibiltiy to care for its people? I don't remember any.
Keep trying to make people choose between their faith and their politics and the Republican Party will entrench themselves even further as the majority government.