Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I haven't posted anything about Christine O'Donnell's church-state separation statement because I don't see it as a huge deal -- she's not likely to win, and wingnuts and Christian conservatives actually agree with her (they don't think the establishment-of-religion clause in the First Amendment separates church and state), so she's not going to lose very many voters she has now. (I doubt she'll gain any, either.)

However, it seems to me that other Democrats facing teabag challengers -- not all, but swome -- ought to ask their opponents right now: Your fellow tea party candidate, Christine O'Donnell, had some questions about separation of church and state. What about you? Do you question the notion of separation of church and state? Do you believe it's in the Constitution?

I wouldn't do this in, say, Kentucky or West Virginia -- too much of the electorate surely doesn't believe in the idea. In a state like Illinois or California, your GOP opponent would know enough to acknowledge church-state separation as a constitutional precept.

But in a purple state? Nevada? Colorado? Wisconsin? I think maybe you should go for it. You're going to alienate religious conservatives, but if you're a Democrat, you've already lost them. If you do this, maybe you put some people in an awkward position, because they don't want to alienate the religious frothers and they don't want to alienate the swing voters who are giving them their margin of victory.

So, hell, ask them to make their positions clear. Maybe you'll make them squirm.

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