Falling In Line

by digby

Via Kevin, I find this from Rich Lowry:

Just talked to a top social conservative. He says, hinting that more prominent social cons will end up going with Rudy, "There's plenty more where this comes from." On the impact of the Robertson endorsement on the race: "What it does for Rudy is it says, 'It's OK to vote for Rudy.' I think there will be more of that, pre-nomination and post-nomination." On conservative evangelical voters and Giuliani: "If Rudy is the nominee, they're going to vote for him — period."

I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so. Back in March actually.

It's possible that these people will reject Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani for the same "moral" reasons they condemned Clinton. But I very much doubt it. Dobson and Falwell and all these guys are hucksters and the people who follow them either have no moral consistency or they are shallow and insincere. Oh, they'll find some lame rationale, as all Republicans do, but it's long been clear that the only thing that matters to them is that the candidate be a member in good standing of the tribe and that they pay tribute to the High Priests.

I continue to wonder when the Democratic establishment is going to recognize that the Christian Right is run by a bunch of powerful phonies and that this small slice of the American electorate has been the tail that very cleverly wagged the dog of American politics for far too long.

(I thought at the time they'd end up backing Gingrich, but Newtie doesn't have the sadistic torture thing going for him and that really turns on the folks.)

Kevin also asks if Giuliani will appeal more to these young, moderate evangelicals who everybody's so excited about. I wrote about that too a while back based on this article:

Rebuffing Christian radio commentator James C. Dobson, the board of directors of the National Association of Evangelicals reaffirmed its position that environmental protection, which it calls "creation care," is an important moral issue.

Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, and two dozen other conservative Christian leaders, including Gary L. Bauer, Tony Perkins and Paul M. Weyrich, sent the board a letter this month denouncing the association's vice president, the Rev. Richard Cizik, for urging attention to global warming.

The letter argued that evangelicals are divided on whether climate change is a real problem, and it said that "Cizik and others are using the global warming controversy to shift the emphasis away from the great moral issues of our time," such as abortion and same-sex marriage.

If Cizik "cannot be trusted to articulate the views of American evangelicals on environmental issues, then we respectfully suggest that he be encouraged to resign his position with the NAE," the letter concluded.

The Rev. Leith Anderson, the association's president, said yesterday that the board did not respond to the letter during a two-day meeting that ended Friday in Minneapolis. But, he said, the board reaffirmed a 2004 position paper, "For the Health of the Nations," that outlined seven areas of civic responsibility for evangelicals, including creation care along with religious freedom, nurturing the family, sanctity of life, compassion for the poor, human rights and restraining violence.

My comment was:

I heard CNN say that Giuliani is up 16 points now on McCain and that he is just as popular among social conservatives as other Republicans. This makes me wonder about the above. Giuliani holds the opposite views of these evangelicals on every single issue. He is an economic conservative, anti-family values, anti-environmentalist, pro-choice and pro-gay rights. On human rights and restraining violence, he is completely off the scale. There is literally nothing that any of the evangelicals in this article have in common with Giuliani --- except, perhaps, his authoritarian leadership style, which is what I think controls most Republicans.

I have seen nothing to change my mind. The Religious Right will back Rudy. And they know that Rudy will probably lose. But by falling in line they will keep their seat at the table --- and blame the loss on the fact that Rudy wasn't a social conservative. I don't know how many times they can run this game, but it's all they've got. Their real problem is that they hit their high water mark over a decade ago: