But it is in their proposed solutions to regaining power that they reveal they simply don't get the "morals" issue. To them it's more about appearances and the packaging of values than about the core beliefs supporting them.
As Margaret Carlson wrote of Kerry, "Always religious, he didn't frame what he stood for in Bush's language of good and evil, right and wrong. A Catholic, he lost Catholics, for God's sake."
Always religious? Most people knew better. Kerry could not successfully pass himself off as a devout Catholic just because he said he was -- as an obligatory afterthought, no less.
And Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen wrote, "If you set out to create the perfect Democratic presidential candidate, you would probably choose someone from the South or the border states? and someone who is comfortable talking the language of religion and values, since John Kerry was not."
No, Margaret. No, Richard. It's not about pious appearances, it's not about talking the religious talk. It's about actually believing it. It's about walking the walk, even against the intimidating forces of secular political correctness.
These liberals ought to go with their first instinct: that they do idealize a different America than do most Americans, which are decidedly conservative, and not just on values. (The liberals are so convinced that President Bush botched Iraq, they are attributing their defeat primarily to moral issues, which is partially true. But I happen to believe the main reason the president won is because he has been an effective wartime president, and the people trust that he will continue to be.)
I've been saying for some time now that the idea of an equally divided America is a myth. (If the Old Media hadn't been in the tank for Kerry, there's no telling what the scope of Bush's victory would have been.)
For the liberals to regain authority -- absent external circumstances, which there could easily be, or a major realignment in the electorate, they're going to have to do more than find a candidate who merely pays lip-service to the "right" things but who means them.