help me find the democratic parallel

Byline: | Category: Uncategorized | Posted at: Thursday, 29 March 2007

The Dobson v. Thompson story has generated quite the web traffic. At least 239 blogs have linked to the original USN&WR story according to Technorati. A quick perusal of the first few pages of the links shows not a single writer who says: “Dobson is right! We Christian Republicans need to jettison Thompson.” (If there is one, someone will find it and prove me wrong, I’m sure.)

I’m trying to think of a parallel story here. Has there been a recent case where a supposed leader of a mostly-Democratic group has accused a national Democratic candidate of not being (fill-in-the-blank) enough, and was met with overwhelming damnation by Democrats for making the charge?


Sean B asks in the comments below: Who is the Democratic equivalent to James Dobson? Another good question. Ideas?

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15 Responses to “help me find the democratic parallel”

  1. Sean B Says:

    I don’t know, quite a few people attacked some who said Barack Obama wasn’t really black or African-American enough. I guess the question I have is, who are the Democratic leaders of equivalence to “Dr. Dobson”?

  2. brittney Says:

    Good question, I can’t come up with anyone.

  3. bob Says:

    The Obama example might be a good one. I didn’t follow the whole kerffufle, so I don’t even remember who it was that made the charge of “not black enough”, and how he was treated upon saying it.

    You also raise a good question as to who is the Democratic equivalent to Dr. Dobson. Off the top of my head, I’d say any leader of a consituent group that is generally Democratic in outlook: NOW, NAACP . . . maybe even ANSWER or MOVE-ON, but in the latter two cases we’re probably getting into fringe territory. Of course, now that Dobson is auditioning for the part formerly played by Pat Robertson, perhaps “fringe” is the more accurate comparison.

  4. Sean B Says:

    I have no clue who the heads of any of those organizations are. I know Dobson’s name because he runs a media empire. But as for those “liberal” groups listed, I would say those are all issue advocacy groups. There are plenty of similar groups who say that Giuliani or McCain aren’t “real conservatives,” and those groups have plenty of supporters and detractors.

    What makes Dobson’s statement so contemptible, is the notion that you have to believe how he does in order to be considered a Christian. I’ve run into this with a few Christian Republicans (my girlfriends parents for example), but I haven’t run into the same example among liberals. Sure, they question their priorities, but I don’t really run into anyone other than a few freaks who say that you have to be a Liberal Christian in order to be a “real Christian”.

  5. bob Says:

    I think you’re confusing James Dobson with Pat Robertson. Robertson is the media empire guy. (Or so I’m told; I watch him probably about as much as I would guess you do.)

    So I think the analogy still holds. Is there a black leader who said “Obama isn’t black enough” and then was denounced for it by the Democratic base? Or was Hillary ever called not “pro-Choice” enough? Something like that?

    Oh, BTW, I found a blogger who agrees with Dobson, saying that Thompson isn’t a “genuine” Christian because he’s not “born again.” But he stops short of saying that his heathen ways disqualify him from the Presidency.

  6. JB Says:

    I guess the question I have is, who are the Democratic leaders of equivalence to “Dr. Dobson”?

    What about Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson? I don’t think they’ve been very supportive of Obama, but I don’t know if it’s because he “isn’t black enough.”

  7. Sean B Says:

    Well, perhaps media empire is a bit too much, but he does have a fairly large syndicated radio show and has publsihed more than a few books.

    But saying someone isn’t “pro-choice” enough is a far lesser crime then saying someone isn’t “Christian”. Christianity is something that is in your head or heart. You can easily look at someone’s voting record and say whether or not they support a women’s right to choose…but you can’t look at someone’s voting record to know whether or not they be down with the JC. Some Catholics tried to pull something similar to that with John Kerry, and quite a few bloggers roundly denounced that. Of course, it was a Conservative Catholic who did that, so its hard to say what would have happened had a Liberal Christian said he wasn’t…but then again, that wouldn’t happen.

    I’m generally of the mindset that if someone says they are a Christian, I’ll take them at their word. But to me, saying someone is Christian doesn’t tell me whether or not they are a good person or bad person, like it does with the Dobson crowd.

    Now, saying Obama isn’t Black enough is perhaps in the same ball-park, but that was a statement made by some obscure (to me at least) author, and while I can’t speak for the blogosphere, I did denounce it.

  8. Sean B Says:

    JB, Jesse Jackson is going to support Obama. And I’m pretty sure Big Worm is going to run again for the nomination, so that someone can pay attention to him.

  9. Donna Locke Says:

    The ethnic-identity groups. You see the same exclusive principle, discrimination, and name-calling at work.

  10. bob Says:

    Sean and Donna,
    I agree that “he’s not a real Christian” is especially insulting, just like saying . . . oh, just off the top of my head . . . that Clarence Thomas, Condi Rice, or Colin Powell aren’t real blacks. So you’re both probably right about the occasional actions of some “ethnic identity groups” playing the “he’s not a real (fill in the blank)”.

    That’s the first step of the puzzle. The second is to see what the reaction of the Democratic base was to the charge.

    I find the right’s overwhelming reaction against Dobson to be interesting. It’s like a reverse-Souljah moment: Instead of a party leader calling a fringe element of its base on the carpet, this was an example of the base calling out a leader of a sympathetic fringe group.

    Thanks also for bringing to mind the Kerry example. It will be interesting to see if Republicans will next time jump to a Democrat’s defense when one of theirs is called not Christian enough.

  11. sadcox Says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there are shots fired at Dem candidates later in this campaign for not being “green enough”. I’ll even go so out on a limb and say that our own good ol’ boy from Tennessee (Gore, not Thompson) will the one either making these claims or having them made about him.

  12. Mick Wright Says:

    Jim Wallis

  13. Sean B Says:

    Mick, well first I’d say that Jim Wallis has far less power than does Dobson. But having said that, has Wallis ever said that someone wasn’t a Christian because they didn’t worship or believe the same way he did? I know he has questioned the priorities of some of the Evangelical Right, but I’ve never heard him say they weren’t Christians.

  14. Mick Wright Says:

    Jim Wallis has plenty of political leverage, a best selling book, multiple blog circles, speaking tours, a magazine, an email list and an audience with prominent Democrats. Wallis routinely questions the obedience of certain political Christians, particularly those on the right. You don’t have to read much of his stuff, or do much reading between the lines, to see how he questions the Christianity of many. And he speaks with the authority of “God’s Politics” in order to beat his conservative opposition into submission.

  15. Sean B Says:

    I agree that he questions their values, but I’ve never heard him say they aren’t Christians.