Another week, another bit of pandering jackassery masquerading as idealism. First came his “principled” refusal to vote on the MoveOn resolution even though he voted on a similar resolution the same day, then came his statement of conscience about the flag lapel pin that claimed for that symbol all kinds of grandiose meanings it didn’t have just so he could pretend to be reclaiming those meanings by not wearing it. Now this:

The senator from Illinois delivered his campaign message to a multiracial evangelical congregation in traditionally conservative Greenville, South Carolina. “I think it’s important, particularly for those of us in the Democratic Party, to not cede values and faith to any one party,” Obama told reporters outside the Redemption World Outreach Center where he attended services…

“I think that’s a healthy thing, that we’re not putting people in boxes, that everybody is out there trying to figure out how do we live right and how do we create a stronger America,” Obama said.

He finished his brief remarks by saying, “We’re going to keep on praising together. I am confident that we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth.”

Righties are complaining that if Bush said something like this, Andrew Sullivan and the other “conservatives of doubt” among the nutroots would need smelling salts. True, but both parties have subjects on which they’re uniquely suspect. LBJ couldn’t open China for fear of spooking the electorate into thinking the left had gone soft on communism; Nixon, the Republican, could. By the same token, the public isn’t as worried about the religious left having designs on church/state separation as they are the religious right, thanks in part to some of the latter’s rhetorical excesses over the years. That’s why Obama is held to a different standard. That said, this is meaningless utopian idiocy, cynically calculated to play to his beatific image as the candidate of hope and change and sugar and spice and all things nice. He doesn’t say he’s the man to bring about the Kingdom, but of course, since he’s America’s savior, that’s implied. They don’t call him the Messiah for nothing. Obama ’08: I Am Who Am.