Long-time readers of this blog know that during the primary season one myth I tried to debunk was that Senator Obama was particularly progressive. More recent readers may recall my position that true progressivism has to put individual human dignity and worth at the center of political action and policy; and that progressivism requires a serious separation of church and state.
With the so-called 50-state strategy once again being irrelevant to how Democrats win Presidential elections, Senator Obama is now planning trip another tour of swing states• - places where he's already been concentrating his advertising and where he and Joe Biden have gone again and again in an effort to win votes from people who Senator Obama tended to belittle during his run. Well, I know, one cannot blame a struggling candidate for going to where he must if he wants to win.The Christian Broadcasting Network reports that "beginning next week the campaign will start an official faith tour in key battleground states called “Barack Obama: Faith, Family and Values Tour”. The subheading of the tour is as follows: “Voting ALL Our Values”.
The folks headed out on this sojourn reportedly include Former Indiana Congressman and pro-life Democrat Tim Roemer, Catholic legal scholar Doug Kmiec, and author Donald Miller. And while a faith tour designed to appeal to Christian conservatives naturally includes Christian conservatives as speakers, some in the LGBT community are particularly distressed at the inclusion of Professor Kmiec who is based at Pepperdine Law School (where Ken Starr serves as Dean) in California. Professor Kmiec is an avowed supporter of Proposition 8, the initiative in California that would create a state-wide ban on gay marriage. For more on the details of this particular disturbing aspect of the Democratic candidate's campaign sponsoring a Christian faith tour go here.
American politicians all pay at least lip service to their religiosity, and yes, as I myself have explained, doing so is a prerequisite to winning high office here. But not all American politicians and certainly not all Democrats organize Christian faith tours that include a prominent opponent to a civil right millions of Americans are fighting for: the right to marry the person of their choice. Senator Obama himself does not support Proposition 8, although he can hardly be said to be a champion of civil rights for gays and lesbians (during the primary he consistently refused to be interviewed by LGBT newspapers and he will not march in various gay pride parades like the one Democratic Governor Ed Rendell regularly appears at in Philadelphia).
Whatever Senator Obama's actual position on gay marriage or civil union, the inclusion of Professor Kmiec and the entire concept of the "Barack Obama: Faith, Family, and Values Tour" demonstrates that as usual, Senator Obama and his campaign try to have it both ways all the time. Whether it be privacy rights, reproductive rights, or separation of church and state Senator Obama cannot be trusted to pursue a progressive agenda.
*States on the tour list include Colorado, Indiana, North Carolina, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio, Pensylvania, Missouri, Florida, New Mexico, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Senator Obama reportedly wants to win over white Catholic voters in these states. Apparently Senator Obama has given up on getting the votes of white evangelical Christians even though he himself is steeped in the evangelical Christian tradition.