Frank Bruni, who has grown on me, published a column yesterday that just reeked of dissembling and bad faith. I mostly, but not exclusively, blame the Democratic consultants he quoted. Sampling:
Democrats would make it harder for Trump to vilify them as enemies of so-called traditional values if they talked a bit more about spirituality and religion — including, if applicable, their own.
That might not matter in the bluest parts of the bluest states, said Mike McCurry, a Democratic consultant who served as the White House press secretary under President Bill Clinton and now teaches at the Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington. But, he added, “I sure as hell believe that it would work in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, and that’s what it’s all going to come down to.”
“So-called,” “If applicable,” “I sure as hell believe that it would work ….”
If I really must spell it out for you, this is rankly instrumentalizing religion, which I guess is what “Swedes” do in what an observer described a few decades ago as “a nation of Indians [i.e., very religious people] ruled by Swedes [i.e., very secular people].”
But this one’s on Bruni:
Beto O’Rourke, for example, recently seemed to call for religious groups that don’t support marriage equality to lose their tax-exempt status, an outlier position that the president immediately seized on and railed against. (O’Rourke’s aides later insisted that he was misunderstood.)
Beto “seemed to call for” that in the way that Mike Mulvaney “seemed to” admit Trump’s Ukrainian the quid pro quo.
I’m sorry to say it, but this Bruni column reeks of calling for Democrats to be hypocrites, instrumentalizing a religiosity they don’t actually hold. Yeah, sincerity is everything. If you can fake sincerity, you’ve got it made.