Thursday, May 18, 2006
On the Road to 2008 - Brother Jeb and 'Value Voters'
Jeb Bush * John McCain * Hillary Clinton * Italy's Romano Prodi
- On Sunday a Los Angeles Times article on the possibility of a presidential run by Florida Gov. Jeb Bush reported: "The Family Research Council, an influential evangelical activist group, has invited Gov. Bush to appear at a fall conference of 'values voters.' " On Monday the Wall Street Journal quoted a pastor who is president of a Texas-based organization, Vision America, that mobilizes conservative pastors: "Values voters see their vote as a sacred trust." The phrase "values voters," which has become ubiquitous, subtracts from social comity by suggesting that one group has cornered the market on moral seriousness.
- Last Saturday, when John McCain delivered the commencement address at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, he was said to be reaching out to values voters. Hillary Clinton, speaking recently at the annual U.S. Chamber of Commerce convention, scolded "kids," by which she evidently meant young adults, for thinking "work is a four-letter word." She was said to be courting values voters. If so, those voters must value slapdash rhetorical nonsense as well as work.
- "We consider the war in Iraq and the occupation of the country a grave error," Prodi told the upper house of Parliament, wire services reported. "It has not resolved, but complicated the situation of security." Italy has about 3,000 troops in Iraq in peacekeeping roles. They are already due to be withdrawn in groups before the end of the year. Prodi did not set forth a timetable for withdrawal and it was unclear whether he would speed up the departure."