"Just Us" Sunday
April 22, 2005 - 10:32am ET
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The tickets are sold out for the "Justice Sunday" telecast at <!--StartFragment -->Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. But despite all the attention and chatter on fundamentalist Christian message boards, I suspect this attempt to demonize Democrats as anti-Christian will come back to haunt the GOP. Americans may be overwhelmingly Christian, but they also turn their noses up at any whiff of extremism—and will likely see through this allegedly religious event for the naked political manipulation that it is. Happily, Christian groups are falling over each other to distance themselves from "Justice Sunday" and denounce what Jim Wallis is calling the assertion of a "Republican theocracy."
Playing the "faith card" to bolster support for stopping Democrats from using the filibuster—by deploying a tactic known as the nuclear option—just doesn't play in Peoria. Ask Rick Santorum, who is scuttling to the center on the judicial nomination issue after polling showed that voters dislike Frist's advocacy of the nuclear option. So my advice is this: Let's help Frist and the Family Research Council get as much publicity as possible for this event. All the better for exposing the true aims of the "Justice Sunday" organizers: Rallying support for judicial nominees whose appointments <!--StartFragment -->threaten to roll back what the Leadership Conference for Civil Rights describe as "critical rights and protections for Americans, including civil rights and liberties, workplace safety, clean air and safe water, privacy and equality for all Americans."
Did you catch that laundry list of issues? "Justice Sunday's" sponsors want to reduce to one issue—abortion—the Democrats' and liberal groups' opposition to a handful of Bush's judicial nominees. See their ad here.
Even moderate NY Times columnist David Brooks is buying into the erroneous notion that Democrats are digging in their heels on these nominees because of abortion. In arguing this week that Roe v. Wade should be overturned, Brooks blamed the heated atmosphere over nominations in the Senate on abortion . I wish protecting Roe had the galvanizing power for Democrats that Brooks and others attribute to it these days. In fact, the reason the Senate Democrats are showing such backbone over these nominees is because of the vast array of advocacy groups concerned with civil rights, the environment, public health, corporate accountability and reproductive rights who have made blocking Bush's nominees priority number one. The danger to decades of laws protecting the health and freedom of Americans is what's at stake here. My guess is that Americans will see "Justice Sunday" as representing "just" people willing to engage in a most profane act—using the banner of religion for political advantage.
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