Echo chamber: Democrats get religion?

We could have started an entire blog during the past six months on the subject of the Democratic Party and religion. Check out this package at The Dallas Morning News -- in the new weekly Points section edited by Rod "friend of this blog" Dreher -- on the theme "Can the Democratic Party be fixed?" Then there is this piece by columnist Andrew Ferguson at Bloomberg. As you know, we don't do much here with opinion columns, but, hey, don't you think this is a snappy headline? -- "Can Democrats, Like Republicans, Get Religion?"

We like the sound of that.

By the way, if you Google the words Get Religion right now, we are nearing the 100,000 mark for use of the phrase. Then there's nearly 16,000 for GetReligion (without the space, the way we use it in the URL). Coming soon -- GetReligion T-shirts, mugs and (according to young Jeremy) lunch boxes. We will pass on the Air America-style thong.

Meanwhile, here is one of the money quotes from the Ferguson column, focusing on the recent life and times of one John Podesta and the Center for American Progress:

Many Democrats have been awed by the success of the conservative movement within the Republican party. So over the last two years, Democratic activists have created a series of mirror-image institutions and initiatives -- their own talk radio network, quasi-academic think tanks (Podesta's center is the most prominent), media watchdog groups, ideologically motivated lobbying firms. It worked for conservatives, why not liberals?

Podesta's faith initiative shows the delusion at the heart of this mimicry. There's no doubting that religious conservatives have been one of the great engines of Republican electoral success. Yet this part of the conservative movement has been what a progressive might call "organic," a spontaneous coming-together of like-minded people in the face of intolerable offenses (so conservatives believed) from the larger secular culture.

The religious right, in other words, is a bottom-up movement, bound together by a sense of grievance. Podesta's initiative, on the other hand, looks like an attempt to gin up an artificial movement that otherwise shows no independent signs of viability.

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