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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


Idiocy in action

Conscience and Soul

Reading through the interview with Vanderslice, who is one of the religious left political consultants, there's plenty I agree with. I do agree that Democrats should reach out to religious voters and it's something they've been bad at doing, though they've been pretty bad at direct outreach to all voters it seems (hopefully getting better). I also agree that Democrats should more clearly stand up for - and make clear they stand up for - all those things they're supposed to. Still, when I come across language like this I think I'm entitled to get my hackles up a little bit:

I've never been more on fire for the work that I'm doing. I hope that I'll find a way to continue to pioneer this path for the Democrats. I'd love to be involved in continuing to build up the voices of faith in the party and providing the training and infrastructure on the ground to state parties, to future candidates, to reach out to these constituencies, because I just believe that the religious community can be the conscience and the soul of the Democratic Party, and the more we bring that back in, I believe, the stronger our party will be, the better we'll be able to represent our positive vision for the future, and I think it'll help us start winning elections again. So I'm very excited to continue this work.

Two things frustrate me about this conversation. First of all, blacks and religion have long intergrated politics, so have Hispanics. Yet, these so-called consultants want to reach out to white evangelicals as if they have a magic answer.

White evangelicals are not Democrats because they largely dislike blacks and hispanics. You can pander to them all you want, but the core of their church has a racial undertone. The leading evangelicals were once leading segregationists.

They ignore the religious power which black and hispanics bring to the party and then try to appeal to people who are not Democrats for more than not being reached out to.

Until they realize this isn't about religion alone, nothing will change.

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