But loose cannon Howard Dean finally lets the cat out of the bag:
"This country is not a theocracy," Dean said. "There are fundamental differences between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party believes that everybody in this room ought to be comfortable being an American Jew, not just an American; that there are no bars to heaven for anybody; that we are not a one-religion nation; and that no child or member of a football team ought to be able to cringe at the last line of a prayer before going onto the field."Okay, let's get this straight. America is not a "theocracy." But then, what does that make the Democrat Party, which believes "there are no bars to heaven for anybody"? A theocracy?
Clearly unfamiliar with syllogistic logic, Dean rejects theocracy, while at the same time citing theocracy as the basis for his party's philosophy. Of course, this kind of cognitive dissonance is perfectly at home in the dialectical universe of Karl Marx, enabling Democrats to perfect their patented political parlor trick of coming down on both sides of an issue without anybody noticing.
Fortunately, Eugene Volokh pins down the essence of the issue rather nicely:
...how ... can Dean assure Jews, or anyone else, that "The Democratic Party believes ... that there are no bars to heaven for anybody"? He can assure people that he believes in this; he can surely declare his own theology even if the Democratic Party shouldn't declare one of its own. He can assure people that the Democratic Party stands for civil equality without regard to religion, or make similar secular commitments (assuming that is indeed the official position of the Democratic Party). But he can no more make assurances about the Democratic Party's stand on salvation through works than he can about its stand on transsubstantiation or Papal infallibility.