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Sunday, February 18, 2007

How the Religious Right Helps Democrats

It's going to suck to be the religious right in 2008. So far, neither of the GOP frontrunners meet the standards of purity and the candidates who do -- Brownback and Romney in order of crazy -- look to have pretty much no chance.

New York Times:

The chairman of the local Republican Party here in the most populous county in Arizona has in his possession a bright yellow button with a black line slashed through the name McCain.

"I don’t wear it out very often," said the chairman, Lyle Tuttle of the Maricopa County Republican Committee, in a slightly sheepish coda to a 20-minute vituperation about the state's senior senator, served up from his living room chair.

"I think those who do not support Senator McCain," Mr. Tuttle continued, "if they could just get the word out and help people to understand what has happened with him, we could have an impact."

The word being that John McCain isn't purely GOP. His stands on immigration and campaign finance reform put him at odds with his party and his reputation (more than a little unearned) of being a 'maverick' troubles the religious right -- maverick's don't toe the line and they do that scary 'independent thought' thing.

Meanwhile, the other frontrunner looks even worse to the average values voter.

The Hill:

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who said Wednesday night he is making a bid for the White House, will not be America’s 44th president because he supports abortion rights and gay rights and has been married three times.

At least so says Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

Land is considered an influential evangelical leader, and he has a new book, due out next month, entitled The Divided States of America? What Liberals and Conservatives Are Missing in the God-and-Country Shouting Match — with a foreword written by Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn).

Land told The Hill in an interview this week that as it stands now, the top tier of Republican presidential hopefuls lacks a candidate social conservatives can be fully comfortable voting for.

There's almost a sense of entitlement to the religious right. They believe their own hype -- that they are a decisive electoral force -- despite the results of the last election. Turns out no one really wants the party represented by the circus of idiots outside Terri Schiavo's hospice. Getting congress to horn in on people's lives turns out to be about as unpopular as you'd think it would be.

While they back losers, they harm their party's chances. They go into full attack mode, telling their followers to hate the candidates who are most likely to win their party's nomination. Out of all the republican candidates, Giuliani looks like the mostly likely to win the office at this point, but the religious right will make sure he doesn't get nominated and, even if he does, will have trained their voters to despise him -- they'll stay home.

Same with McCain, who I'm still saying stands the best chance of getting the nomination at this point -- although his star is fading. By teaching values voters to hate anyone other than the candidate the evangelical would-be kingmakers back, they pretty much guarantee that the GOP won't win.

Can't say that makes me unhappy.


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