Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Religion, politics, and the campaign

Here’s an unsurprising summary of how various religious groups regard the leading Democratic and Republican contenders. We learn that evangelicals are the outliers on Giuliani, apparentlty narrowly favoring Fred Thompson (see this post).

Will Pat Robertson’s endorsement of Giuliani change this? If you agree with the WaPo’s Chris Cillizza that Pat Robertson is "one of the most influential figures in the social conservative movement," you might think so. That statement might have been true in 1988 (if you didn’t take into account that charismatics like Robinson don’t always generate warm fuzzy feelings from non-charismatic evangelicals).

Sam Brownback’s endorsement of John McCain might be a little more meaningful, if it helps in Iowa. But I was puzzled by this statement, not as a description of McCain, but as a reflection of Brownback’s opinion: "Brownback said McCain is the most fiscally conservative candidate, has the best foreign policy experience, was right on the strategy for Iraq and takes a tough anti-abortion stand." This must be the Brownback who was for the surge after he was against the surge. His only excuse is that it’s an evidence-driven flip-flop.

Discussions - 15 Comments

I was flabbergasted and disgusted by Bob Jones III endorsing Romney. I was flabbergasted and disgusted when Weyrich endorsed Romney. But Robertson endorsing Giuliani takes the cake. This is a totally shameful act of treachery. I am seriously considering the virtue of imprecatory prayer.

Robertson said this as justification: "To me, the overriding issue before the American people is the defense of our population from the blood lust of Islamic terrorist..."

Oh really? The overriding issue? More babies died at the hands of abortionists on 9/11 than died at the hands of the terrorists on 9/11. And the same number continue to die each day.

Also, which candidate is against the "war on terror" and the Iraq War (what he is obviously referring to) other than Ron Paul? McCain doesn't want to fight those "blood lusting" Islamic terrorists?

I have said it before and I will say it again, conservatives including many Christian conservatives just totally lost their minds post 9/11.

I'm inclined to believe Robertson's endorsement of Guiliani is not all that meaningful in the grand scheme of things. Robertson has his following, but it's not what it used to be.

Plus, I'm starting to believe the "Evangelical vote" is far less monolithic than it once was. Why I'm not sure. Candidate selection is one thing. But I think a deeper cause is a growing awareness that ultimately outcomes are in God's hands. It's one thing to desire an election outcome, it's quite another to drift over into near-idolatry over the thing.

I'm intrigued by the spate of endorsements all of a sudden. Was there a starting bell I didn't hear? Is there something magical about the roughly 6 weeks before things get hot after the new year?

Red, you will be "flabbergasted and disgusted" many times before this campaign is over. Indeed, before this primary campaign is over. People who agree with you (and me) on most issues will make judgment calls -- as Mr. Robertson has -- that you can't stomach. Maybe you'd do yourself a favor by getting out of this kitchen now. It's pretty clear that you can't stand the heat. Why not plop down in that lounge chair with a cold one, turn on ESPN, and absent yourself from a campaign that, whether the Democrats of the Republicans win, will clearly end in profound disgust for you, with moments of disgust on at least a weekly basis in the interim. Some folks will be out there trying to save the country from Shrillary -- either verbally or more directly. They don't need to hear your mutterings. Keep them to yourself.

During his endorsement speech, Robertson said that Rudy "stood tall as his city was rocked by the worst terrorist attack in America's history." What he didn't mention was that shortly after the attacks Robertson "totally concur(red)" with Jerry Falwell in saying that America brought the attacks on because the agenda of the ACLU, People for the American Way, gays & lesbians, and the abortionists and "pagans" "helped this happen." Talking about how we're responsible for God's wrath, Robertson said, "The problem is that we’ve adopted that agenda at the highest levels of our government."

I'm not sure what's crazier about this. That Giuliani, the man who is basing his candidacy on his cradling of 9/11 NYC in his ever-loving arms, would want to stand next to and accept an endorsement from a man who would say that Americans had brought the attack on themselves, and that the suicide bombers were agents of God's will, OR that Robertson would be willing to endorse a man with a record that has been largely favorable to gays, lesbians, and the dreaded abortionists. Does Robertson really want to adopt those agendas "at the highest level of our government" - the White House? Since the right-wing is typically so concerned with the personal lives of politicians, Rudy's numerous divorces and fractured family also hardly seem fitting for Robertson and his proclaimed "700 Club" values.

Unless of course Robertson's primary values are keeping his religious marketing empire alive and well, his multinational corporate investments in the black, and his bank accounts flush.

And since he can't even get the 9/11 first responders on his side, perhaps Giuliani is just desperate?

Did you hear any of Laura Ingraham the other day? She was absolutely unhinged.

There are some who just don't get that there are other issues, equally important, some, MORE important, than abortion. Were the GOP to adopt Laura's style, they would turn people off, alienate the very voters they're trying to court. Reagan wasn't like that. Reagan was a moral man with moral policies, but he never creeped people out, as Laura is doing of late.

It's almost as if she's temporarily lost her sanity.

The meaning of Robertson's endorsement is in its timing. Laura Ingraham and others have been trying to strong-arm Evangelicals behind a single candidate, namely, Romney. Robertson is aware of that, and drove a spike through that back-door, backhanded political maneuver, by coming out and announcing he's for the very candidate they're all trying to tarnish. Robertson knows Giuliani is an Originalist, knows he worked in the Reagan Justice Department, {which unlike the Bush administration, was chock-a-block with staunch, true Conservatives} understands the importance of Conservatives staffing the many agencies and departments of the federal government, and understands too, that Hillary represents but the visible portion of an iceberg of ice cold secular radicalism. That being the case, Robertson demonstrated some savvy, some political maturity, took a look around at the most likely candidate to defeat that creature, and naturally cast his eye on Giuliani.

Take a look for a moment at the alternatives. Romney tried to defeat Kennedy for his Senate seat by running to his left. Thompson hasn't run so much as a street-side lemonade stand. McCain, so eager to court the adulation of a media that detests the GOP and Conservatism, declared war against the base of the party.

So who is left?

"Some folks will be out there trying to save the country from Shrillary"

Thanks for the advice David but I think I'll stay in the kitchen. Perhaps you should actually get in the kitchen with me. While you are trying to save the country from Shillary, I will be busily trying to actually restore the Constitution. It would be nice if so-called conservatives would help.

Robertson is a preacher. He is a well know spokesman of the Gospel and supposedly represents Christian conservatism. The standard is higher for him. For him to endorse Rudy is simply outrageous. It is almost as outrageous that the other shills are trying to rally people behind Romney.

So selling out is a sign of maturity? I think not. It is a sign of spineless cowardice and/or ulterior motives.

Dan: Sorry to correct you, but Romney didn't try to "run to the left of Kennedy." I think it's time to stop the bald faced lies and look honestly at the candidates strengths and weaknesses.

Take a look at Romney's 1994 running platform, for example and you will see that the ONLY issues in which he was in agreement with Kennedy were to 'retain a woman's right to choose', and 'fighting discrimination of all kinds.' He was pro-choice politically, (not personally) which is not very different from Fred Thompson's current stance, by the way (or Rudy's for that matter).

Look, all the top five candidates have very good qualities which would be much better than Clinton's.

Rudy: Good fiscal Conservative, strong Foreign policy. Very weak in the Family Values area and with Evangelicals, but still much better than Hillary (even though he is "OK" with Roe v. Wade remaining the status quo).

Thompson: Not as strong as Rudy in the Foreign policy, I can't see any difference from Rudy in the Social Conservative category (federalist disguised as a SoCon).

McCain: Record of strong support for the military, Fiscal conservative with some problems with evangelicals. A very fine candidate except for his unpredictability and first principle of compromise.

Huckabee: Social Conservative, and his conservatism ends there. Clueless on foreign policy (immigration also), some questionable ethics problems.

Paul: We don't need a blind self-interested isolationist idealogue running this country. We don't need somebody who won't respond to a world military catastrophe should China, Russia, or Iran & Saudi Arabia go (proceed in) the way of the megalomaniac idealogue.

That leaves,

Romney as the only candidate who has a record proving himself in all three pillars of Conservatism: defense of family and life, Fiscal Conservative, as well as a strong foreign policy against islamofascism.

(Except Duncan Hunter, but he is not really a viable candidate at this point).

Red Phillips wrote: "Robertson is a preacher. He is a well know spokesman of the Gospel and supposedly represents Christian conservatism."

There exists the possibility that Robertson's view of "the Gospel" has drifted considerably from what Jesus provides. It's not like that hasn't happened before.

Personally, I think Robertson does more damage to "the Gospel" than he does good. But not based on his political endorsements. Rather, by his cartoonish portrayal of what it means to be a "Christian." It's an uncompelling portrait. And one the secular press uses to great effect in their quest to damage the message of Christ.

That said, I tend to agree with Robertson on his main point, which is that the main priority now is not abortion but the continued focus on facing the evil that is militant Islam. But that view has nothing whatever to do with "the Gospel."

This is on Robertsons CBN.

Senator John McCain is considered the Republican front runner for President in 2008. But he has not had the coziest relationship with Evangelical Christians in the past. Many question if he’s really committed to such important issues of traditional marriage and abortion. Yes, he calls himself pro-life but it’s not an issue he talks a lot about in public. That’s now starting to change. He now says he supports overturning Roe V Wade. Huh? Is this an election year suck up

And then Roberson endorses Giulaini, the most rabidly pro-abortion candidate the GOP has ever considered?

Rudy: Good fiscal Conservative, strong Foreign policy

Giuliani is very poor on fiscal policy. Its hard to say anything about his foreign policy, because he has zero track record to look at.

Thompson: Not as strong as Rudy in the Foreign policy, I can't see any difference from Rudy in the Social Conservative category (federalist disguised as a SoCon).

You might want to get your eyesight checked then. Rudy supports Roe, Fred opposes it.

Romney as the only candidate who has a record proving himself in all three pillars of Conservatism: defense of family and life, Fiscal Conservative, as well as a strong foreign policy against islamofascism. (Except Duncan Hunter, but he is not really a viable candidate at this point).

I concur. I could live with a Romney/Hunter ticket.

Joseph and Don,

Please point out to me the bodies of all the people who have died since 9/11 on American soil from "militant," "blood lusting" "islamofascists." Talk about a cartoonish portrayal. If Islamofascists are the most we have to worry about then all is pretty well.

And the best way to prevent more acts of terror is to disengage from the region and bring our boys home.

And Joseph please elaborate on what this Chinese or Russian menace might be that is lurking out there that will require an American military response. While you’re at it, please show me the Article and section of the Constitution that suggests the American military is supposed to police the world.

You chicken little "the big bad Islamofascists are out to get me" types are just downright irrational. You can not be reasoned with. You are operating in lizard brain territory. Why the obsessive need for an enemy?

Ron Paul is the obvious choice for conservatives. He is clearly not the obvious choice of big government jingoists.

Red, do you honestly think the Islamic terrorists have not struck our soil again for lack of wanting to? Do you honestly think that if they had the capability to level downtown Manhattan that they'd drop the plans simply because we "disengage from the region?"

If so, you are a stunningly naive person. Truly, you are.

I'm thankful the likes of you and Ron Paul stay fringe elements, in much the same way I'm thankful the followers of Dennis Kucinich and Ralph Nader hover in the low single digits.

Oh please, I'm not gonna bother delineating Romney's positions, because he hasn't maintained them long enough for them to actually acquire the mantle of "positions." Romney's "positions" are more like angles, locales, settings, depots, sites, standpoints and of course, talking points.

But they are not the "positions" that a mature man takes and holds after decades on this earth, and years of genuine public service. Romney's "positions" are nothing more than the political equivalent to 3 hour parking spots.

Thus I point blank refuse to credit Romney with even having "positions," at least positions worth the while discussing.

His naked ambition gives opportunism a bad name.

Away with him!


I'm thankful the likes of you and Ron Paul stay fringe elements

Is it fringe to want to follow the Constitution? If so, that is an indictment of you, not me. BTW, is 4.2 mil in one day fringe?

Do you honestly think that if they had the capability to level downtown Manhattan that they'd drop the plans simply because we "disengage from the region?"

Doesn't the fact that they don't have the capability enter into the equation before you go killing people? But small acts of terrorism (Something short of leveling Manhattan. There is that fear mongering again.) are easy to pull off and nearly impossible to stop. So where are the car bombs? Where are the suicide bombers? Since they are all crazed "blood lusters" you would think there would be bombs going off every day.

Also, if we disengaged from the region, why would they level downtown Manhattan which would invite massive retaliation and just bring us back over there? I know they are such "militant" "fascists" that they can't help themselves. And the Legion of Doom and COBRA want to take over the world also. Maybe we can get GI Joe to protect us.

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