Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 9, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

THIRD-PARTY EVANGELICALS....If the Republican Party nominates abortion-friendly, gay-friendly Rudy Giuliani for president, will James Dobson make good on his threat to support a third-party nominee? Steve Benen says yes:

These religious right leaders are making bold threats, but they really don't have any choice. Dobson & Co., not to mention their loyal followers, believe they have enormous influence in Republican circles, and can dictate the party's direction. If the Republicans nominate a pro-choice, pro-gay, pro-gun control, thrice-married serial adulterer who wants to invest in stem-cell research, the religious right's masquerade will be over. It will be obvious that the movement is practically powerless in the party, and the groups' benefactors will have far less reason to keep writing the checks that keeps the movement afloat.

This sounds right to me, though there's a good counterargument: judges. Dobson might be pissed, but what he really cares about is judicial appointments, and he knows that even Giuliani will appoint judges that he likes. Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, by contrast, certainly won't. So in the end, even if Rudy gets the GOP nomination, he'll swallow hard and endorse him.

Really, though, it's almost impossible to predict whether the religious right will follow through on this threat. My guess is that they don't know themselves. But here's my question: If they do follow through, who will be their candidate? It has to be somebody willing to bolt the party, and with at least enough name recognition not to be a joke. Alan Keyes won't cut it. Has there been any buzz about this in evangelical circles? So far I haven't heard anything.

Kevin Drum 2:18 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (113)

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Actually, I don't see why Dobson would think President Rudy would name the kinds of judges he likes. Giuliani's main concern is his own authority, and will choose judges who believe in the "unitary executive" concept. Many of those judges are anti-abortion, but he might find it easier to get Congress to confirm a judge who gives him the power he wants, but who is also in tune with his other values (that is, somewhere in the middle on abortion, not homophobic, etc).

Posted by: Joe Buck on October 9, 2007 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

If it becomes apparent that Dobson will trade values for victories using "end justifies the means" logic, will the Christian right follow?

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on October 9, 2007 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

But here's my question: If they do follow through, who will be their candidate?

Dobson himself?

Posted by: Mark on October 9, 2007 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Dobson might be pissed, but what he really cares about is judicial appointments, and he knows that even Giuliani will appoint judges that he likes.

Well, Dobson was on Hannity yesterday earnestly arguing that Giuliani's record means he won't appoint judges that are acceptable to the Christian right.

However, I agree with you that Dobson will support Rudy in the end.

Posted by: shortstop on October 9, 2007 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Michael Savage? Ann Coulter? Who knows?

Posted by: gregor on October 9, 2007 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

One Christian Evangelical group representative on Neil Cohen's radio show was talking about throwing support behind Huckabee. I doubt he'd be willing to be the face of a doomed third party bid, though.

Posted by: Jackmormon on October 9, 2007 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

Judge Roy Moore's name was floated in 2004. I wouldn't be surprised if he's in the running again. I could also see somebody like Pat Buchanan, who ran under the Reform Party banner in 2000, being wooed. Or maybe even a Republican who has nothing to lose like Mike Huckabee. If the religious Republicans were smart, they'd be supporting his candidacy now instead of waiting to lose the primary.

Posted by: greg on October 9, 2007 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

As people say, who knows really.

But if Dobson and his crew really do hold their noses and accept Rudy they will lose any tiny bit of respect I have for them. They've been instrumental in many Republican wins and yet they are played as chumps. Stupid chumps.

Posted by: Tripp on October 9, 2007 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

I'd love to see a reprise of the Obama-Keyes election.

Posted by: Disputo on October 9, 2007 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Gary Bauer.

He is untarnished by scandal and has nothing better to do.

Posted by: jimmy on October 9, 2007 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

Democrats' billionaires should clandestinely fund a third party candidacy of Judge Moore. That willl ensure a Democratic presidential victory. Democrats' billionaires should fund an evangelical party candidate every four years.

Posted by: Brojo on October 9, 2007 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

The specter of Sen. Bob Smith (ex R-NH) hangs over this whole discussion.

His fate is what awaits anybody within the GOP with the temerity to run on a third party line.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on October 9, 2007 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

who will be their candidate?

Rick Santorum- he's got nowhere else to go. He won't win a Pennsylvania race any more.

Posted by: fostert on October 9, 2007 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

How about Brownback - he regularly switches his religious affiliation, why not bolt the Reclepticans?

Posted by: Dan on October 9, 2007 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

but they really don't have any choice. Dobson & Co., not to mention their loyal followers, believe they have enormous influence in Republican circles, and can dictate the party's direction.

That's one way to look at it. One could argue then that lefty types HAD to support Nader on account of something or another.

If the Republicans nominate a pro-choice, pro-gay, pro-gun control, thrice-married serial adulterer who wants to invest in stem-cell research, the religious right's masquerade will be over.

Well, presumably Guilani will be a big spender, so he would in effect be taking the opposite position of everything most everyone on the right believes in. The only reason they would have to vote for him would be the war, and a great many of them aren't so sure about that anymore, yes?

Why would they support someone who doesn't support anything they believe in? If Hillary came out against Universal Health Care, poo-pahed global warming as a fraud, declared that she really liked torturing Muslims, and said she wanted to give even more tax breaks to rich people while increasing taxes on the poor, why would any lefty support her?

Dobson and over leadership types may be primarily concerned with his own power or not, but what's with the weird framing about it? Shit, if they supported Guilani, THAT would be much more an indication of their concern with own power.

max
['Yes?']

Posted by: max on October 9, 2007 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

I'd love to see a reprise of the Obama-Keyes election.

It sure was fun the first time around.

And Keyes may be the only one crazy enough to run as the doomed third-party guy. Plus, the anti-choicers who are also flaming racists would be in quite a bind.

Posted by: shortstop on October 9, 2007 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

That's one way to look at it. One could argue then that lefty types HAD to support Nader on account of something or another.

Not really. Nader supporters never had the Democratic party by the so-and-sos. The religious right has had such a hold on the GOP, and so there's much more at stake for them power-wise.

That's not to say I agree with Steve Benen's conclusion that they've got no choice but to back a third candidate. Certainly some of them will frame their decision in those terms, but I am unconvinced that most of them will prove so unpragmatic when the rubber meets the road. And then...pass the popcorn.

Posted by: shortstop on October 9, 2007 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with you that Dobson will support Rudy in the end.

After Ted Haggard and Larry Craig, it wouldn't suprise me in the least...

Posted by: Gregory on October 9, 2007 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

Nader supporters never had the Democratic party by the so-and-sos.

Also, Nader supporters didn't have God Almighty telling them Gore was a sinner.

Posted by: thersites on October 9, 2007 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

After Ted Haggard and Larry Craig, it wouldn't suprise me in the least...

Oh, my. Did I make a dirty-dirty and fail to notice it? I'm slipping!

Posted by: shortstop on October 9, 2007 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin's right, Dobson could care less about "ideological purity", it's all about access to the levers of power. He'll figure out soon enough that a little access is better than none at all.

If Rudy wins the primary (a big "if"), Dobson will have a "come to God" meeting with Rudy, and determine that Rudy has apologized for his past transgressions, and Dobson sees him as suffieciantly ideological.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on October 9, 2007 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

But, the judges alone cannot ban abortion ... they still have to rely on state legislatures. So the pro-life project cannot end with Rudy; it has to keep going after him.

Posted by: Nicholas Beaudrot on October 9, 2007 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

I think the dirtiness was in the eye of the beholder.

Posted by: thersites on October 9, 2007 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

I think what Steve Benen said in the quote says it all:

"the groups' benefactors will have far less reason to keep writing the checks that keeps the movement afloat"

Dobson et al will be focused on continuing their gravy train of loyal donors. To do so, they need to keep the outrage going -- they don't actually need to change policy or elect politicians.

I bet they DO support a third party run, even if it does further doom Republican chances.

All Dobson and gang care about is keeping their donors going. If the Republicans lose (and lose big), it probably increases their take and supports their "embattled Christian" position.

Posted by: mobilelements on October 9, 2007 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK
Dobson might be pissed, but what he really cares about is judicial appointments, and he knows that even Giuliani will appoint judges that he likes.

What Dobson really cares about is his own ability to crusade against an unfriendly society and to, by doing so, make lots of money.

Aside from tax policy and other financial areas of policy that directly relate to his ability to make and keep large sums of money, I think it would be a mistake to think that he cares as much about policy (including, but not limited to, judicial appointments) as he cares about seeming to care about policy.

Posted by: cmdicely on October 9, 2007 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

When I hang around with evangelicals their favorite current politicians are Joe Lieberman and Eric Cantor.

I don't see Cantor running on a Dobson ticket. But what would Lieberman loose by doing so?

Posted by: TKG on October 9, 2007 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Dobson will support a guy who likes to dress up in women's clothes? Send the Rockette pix to the religious right activists and watch their heads explode.

Posted by: Man with No Name on October 9, 2007 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

speculation that i'm reading is that it's all a ploy by the fundie wingnuts to ensure they have some influence on who the vice presidential nominee is.

Posted by: linda on October 9, 2007 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Nader supporters never had the Democratic party by the so-and-sos.

Might want to ask Al Gore if the grip was tight enough or not.

On the other hand, the debates between the right-wing third party candidate and the left-wing third party candidate should be interesting.

Posted by: harry on October 9, 2007 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

harry: Might want to ask Al Gore if the grip was tight enough or not.

Ah, a classic tbrosz MO: throwaway snark that just manages to miss the point. You haven't changed a bit, Tom.

Come up with a few examples of the Dems rewriting their platform to kiss Naderite ass--any example will do!--or shifting the entire spectrum of political debate far to the left to accommodate our Nadery friends, and then we'll talk.

On the other hand, the debates between the right-wing third party candidate and the left-wing third party candidate should be interesting.

I can hardly wait myself. You'll be reporting on these as they take place in your head, will you?

Posted by: shortstop on October 9, 2007 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

If Rudi wins the nomination, will he act like McCain and start mouthing just enough of the evangelical agenda to be considered to be at least partly on their side? Of course for the extreme cost in independent support McCain lost courting the Religious Right he has seemed to gain no help in his primary campaign.

So we have several things that must play out.

(1) Attempts to mollify the Religious Right to prevent them from outright bolting.

(2) How the RR interprets (1).

(3) How the rest of the voters interpret (1).

Posted by: bigTom on October 9, 2007 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

“Being unable to reason is not a positive character trait outside religion” - Dewey Henize

Posted by: MsNThrope on October 9, 2007 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't this more likely a gambit by Dobson to make sure Giuliani never wins the nomination in the first place? If big money donations to Giuliani dry up, then Dobson was probably a major factor.

Posted by: jonp on October 9, 2007 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

What is your point, Shortstop? Surely you aren't pretending that Nader didn't cost Gore the election.

Posted by: MaxGowan on October 9, 2007 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't this more likely a gambit by Dobson to make sure Giuliani never wins the nomination in the first place?

Think so, yes. Going to be fun to see if it works.

Posted by: shortstop on October 9, 2007 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” - Seneca

Posted by: MsNThrope on October 9, 2007 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

My point, Max, is that Nader and his supporters have been unsuccessful in moving the Democratic party farther to the left or in getting it to embrace more progressive policies. The same (in reverse, of course) is patently untrue of the Christian right.

The ability to spoil an election--and Nader voters undeniably did that, much as they love to pretend that their actions had zero effect--is not the same as holding the entire party hostage to your policy demands for a period of at least 20 years.

My point is that Naderites have never had an entrenched, influential and widespread power in the Democratic party. The religious right has had quite a lot of the same in the GOP and is now trying to figure out how not to lose it.

Posted by: shortstop on October 9, 2007 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

Of course Dobson is also smart enough to realize that if Evangelicals stay home Republicans lose the Presidency and Democrats may get 60 in the Senate. Better to lose the presidency and keep the evangelicals voting for senators who'll filibuster everything in sight.

Posted by: Rob on October 9, 2007 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with you, Shortstop, although take a look at Jon Chait's op-ed in the NYT today - pointing out the Republican Party is actually run by the economic hard-right. It's a well constructed argument.

Posted by: MaxGowan on October 9, 2007 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone who thinks Rudy Giuliani is going to appoint Supreme Court Justices that overturn Roe v. Wade is an idiot. For example, Sean Hannity believes that but Dobson does not.

Seriously, people. What President would EVER knowingly appoint Justices that will rule against what he believes? What pro-choice New Yorker is going to want to carry around the label of "guy who got Roe v. Wade overturned" with him the rest of his life? Remember, when President Guiliani gets out of office...he's not going to go live in the Bible Belt. He'll go back to New York, where he's not going to want to have an argument about abortion every single day for the rest of his life.

Now, Giuliani may even be lying to himself about it right now, but if the moment comes he's not going to appoint Justices that make people like Dobson happy.

Mike

Posted by: MBunge on October 9, 2007 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Just to save the headaches from Nader supporters: Originally my post at 3:27 had "the ability to help spoil an election" and I inadvertently edited "help" out. I am not arguing that other factors besides Nader helped cost Gore the election. But I have had it with Nader voters who refuse to consider that their actions alone were enough to tip it to Bush.

Posted by: shortstop on October 9, 2007 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

AAARRGH, I am really off today.

"I am not arguing that other factors besides Nader DIDN'T help cost Gore the election."

Enough now. Apologies for dragging this out in several posts that won't even be of interest to most.

Posted by: shortstop on October 9, 2007 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Unlike radical liberals who bolted for Nader and will do so again, radical conservatives have learned from their past mistakes and will not bolt.

Besides, conservatives have the stomach for swallowing even the vilest of compromises in furtherance of their agenda, supporting candidates and office holders who in the name of partisan success have embraced torture, interventionist foreign policy, adultery, corruption, pedophilia, the undermining of the justice system, big government, big spending, abuse of our soldiers, the harmful leaking of national security information, increased national insecurity, and deferrence to polticial operatives rather than military leaders when it comes to military strategy, to name a few.

Posted by: anonymous on October 9, 2007 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

But here's my question: If they do follow through, who will be their candidate? It has to be somebody willing to bolt the party, and with at least enough name recognition not to be a joke.

McCain

Why do you think he has been making amends with the Dobson? John is so desperately seeking the office he'll make any deal that gives him even a long shot. At least the evangelicals won't bring up that whole "Shura" market thing.

Posted by: TJM on October 9, 2007 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

"What President would EVER knowingly appoint Justices that will rule against what he believes?"

It depends on the strength of those beliefs and how important they are to the candidate. Keep in mind that overturning Roe v. Wade does not make abortions illegal. Giuliani may well be okay with turning this back to the states, even if it means that half of them will ban most or all abortions immediately.

Posted by: PaulB on October 9, 2007 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

I think Dobson figures that no matter who the GOP nominee is, either Hillary or Obama will win the general election and be the next president. Therefore he won't support ANY credible GOP candidate. Then, he'll at least have set himself up to be able to say to the GOP in 2012, "See what happens when you don't have our support, YOU LOSE."

Posted by: bicmon on October 9, 2007 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Keep in mind that overturning Roe v. Wade does not make abortions illegal.

Hey, you got the talking points we sent you! Thanks for carrying our water, dear heart!

Posted by: the GOP on October 9, 2007 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

How about John Ellis Bush? He's a Bible thumper.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeb_Bush

Bush is both pro-life and a supporter of the death penalty.

Bush was involved in the case of Terri Schiavo, a woman with massive and irreversible brain damage, who was on a feeding tube for over 15 years, and whose husband and legal guardian, Michael Schiavo, wished to remove the tube. This move was opposed by Terry Schiavo's parents in the courts. Bush signed "Terri's Law," a law passed by the Florida legislature that permitted the Governor to keep Schiavo on life support.

Posted by: Luther on October 9, 2007 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

Overturning Roe V Wade will not make abortions illegal per se, but will open the door to maybe 20-odd states that will then be able to make abortion illegal. That's where the "Christian" right and the economic right will have a real fight. This is the last thing the economic right wants. They understand how this will help the Democratic party. It's a dirty secret.

Posted by: MaxGowan on October 9, 2007 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

ooohhhhh, what if Dobson supports .....
INKBLOT FOR PRESIDENT.

Posted by: optical weenie on October 9, 2007 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

I suppose you have to be raised an evangelical from the South to see this. Dobson is like all the televangelists of the 20th (cum 21st) Century.

It is all about the donations.

A Hillary presidency will be for Dobson what the Iraq War has been for Halliburton. Donations will double, triple or quadruple in one year. The Religious Right organizatins will shine in the eyes of their donor base in comparison, not only to Hillary, but in comparison to the failed and corupt Republican Party.

Posted by: Catfish on October 9, 2007 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

It will be obvious that the movement is practically powerless in the party, and the groups' benefactors will have far less reason to keep writing the checks that keeps the movement afloat.

Good! Let them take their cross and go home never to muddy politics again in this country. They're worse than communists and, given the new Robber Baron/Gilded Age we are living in, even less relevant.

Posted by: JeffII on October 9, 2007 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

I'm thinking that Giuliani will ask Huckabee to be VP. That would probably satisfy the Dobsonites.

Posted by: Cols714 on October 9, 2007 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

If it becomes apparent that Dobson will trade values for victories using "end justifies the means" logic, will the Christian right follow? Posted by: wishIwuz2

Baaa!

Posted by: JeffII on October 9, 2007 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

Apologies.

Naderites have never had an entrenched, influential and widespread power in the Democratic Party

If Leftists can cost Democrats presidential elections, they should continue to do it until they have entrenched, influential and widespread power in the Democratic Party. Then, even if another W. Bush becomes president, Democrats will be able stand up and fight against Republican war pigs and do a better job opposing them. It does not do Leftists any good to support Democrats who cannot oppose any of the Republican issues. Saying Leftists must support Democrats otherwise Republicans will do all of these terrrible things, when Democrats do not oppose these terrible things anyway, is illogical from the Leftist perspective.

If Leftists can hold the Democratic Party hostage and make it more liberal by preventing their candidates from winning presidential elections, they should do it. The theme that Democrats will protect us from Republicans is either a lie or illusion. Democrats protect Republicans from Leftists and Leftists should stop protecting Democrats because of their failure to oppose Republicans.

I have been saying those who are not happy with the current Democratic Party leadership should wait until 2010 to mount energetic challenges to their prominent Congressional seats. I want to thank shortstop for pointing out that strategy only prolongs Leftists being taken for granted by the ineffective Democrats. If Leftists can ruin Democrats' plans, they should leverage that power to attain their goals. I think that is how the DLC became an entrenched, influential and corrupting power in the Democratic Party.

Posted by: Brojo on October 9, 2007 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

Also, Nader supporters didn't have God Almighty telling them Gore was a sinner.

Actually they did - Ralph Himself. Hardcore Naderites are about one notch behind Larouchies in that department

Posted by: just sayin on October 9, 2007 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

I'm thinking that Giuliani will ask Huckabee to be VP. That would probably satisfy the Dobsonites.

Not a chance. In the first place, Huckabee isn't angry enough (if he's even angry at all.) In the second place, he's not barking mad. What's the appeal of you're a Jeezus Lover?

Posted by: junebug on October 9, 2007 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

If Leftists can cost Democrats presidential elections, they should continue to do it until they have entrenched, influential and widespread power in the Democratic Party. Posted by: Brojo

First, the Naderites and people even to the left of them probably make up a smaller portion of the electorate in the U.S. than even the "dead enders." Votes for Nader affected the outcome for Gore in only two states. Otherwise, their numbers in 2000 were meaningless in the other states Nader was on the ballot.

While I would like to see the party move to the left on a lot of issues, the fact of the matter is that even if this doesn't happen, there was, is a huge difference between how Gore would have governed and how Shrub has mismanaged every aspect of the federal government since taking office. Gore is being considered for a Nobel Prize. Bush is already considered to be the most incompetent president in American history.

Nader insisting that there was, is no difference between Gore and Bush was idiotic in the extreme. While the approximately 49% of American who voted for Bush should be too ashamed to show their faces in public, Nader should have topped himself on the first day of the Iraq invasion if he really cared more about America than his inflated sense of self. At the very least he should have issued a public apology and promised to work to defeat Bush in 2004. However, he hasn't done shit, and so will forever be viewed in the same negative light as Bush. A pox on them both.

Posted by: JeffII on October 9, 2007 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

I think Dobson is serious, but at this point he just hopes to stop Guiliani before he gets the nomination. And I hope he succeeds because if the choice is between Hillary Clinton and Rudy Guiliani in 2008,...well, ewww.

If Guiliani gets the nomination, who knows what the fundamentalists will do. In my outrage that HRC is even running for the nomination, I claim that I would vote for a third party rather than support Hillary Clinton, but when the moment comes, I'll vote for her, angrily, but realistically.

But for the fundamentalists to vote for an abortion-rights, thrice married guy? I don't think they will. So they will probably find someone who is not deeply tied to either political party--is Pat Robertson still alive? I can't remember...or maybe Pat Buchanan. McCain would be a viable choice--I can see him skimming off unhappy Democrats as well--but I can't see him agreeing.

Posted by: Ptate in MN on October 9, 2007 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

And yet, Brojo, you plan to vote for the Dem presidential candidate in 2008, as you've been telling us, because of what's happened the past six years. Shall we believe you when you state that you've had a revelation today that to back the Dem would be immorally prolonging the Democratic party's viability? Who can keep track of your revelations? Who cares?

Consistency is a trait you constantly demand from others here, yet never from yourself. Indeed, the only constant in your posts appears to be a desire to attract negative attention by any means necessary, in the manner of a 12-year-old child or a winger troll. Any good points you make--and you do sometimes make some excellent ones--are entirely incidental to this larger purpose of yours.

Posted by: shortstop on October 9, 2007 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

If Leftists can cost Democrats presidential elections, they should continue to do it until they have entrenched, influential and widespread power in the Democratic Party. Posted by: Brojo

And until then, fuck all the people in this country and around the world murdered, impoverished, or otherwise harmed by the actions of the Republican regimes who are elected thanks to this, right? This attitude really helped out the Iraqis, did it?

Posted by: Stefan on October 9, 2007 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

Only one candidate has the intellect, the integrity and the experience to lead this country on the path of righteousness.

That candidate is Terri Schiavo.

AHHH WAAA OOOO IHHH in '08.

Posted by: James Dobson on October 9, 2007 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

Their candidate ? How about Dr James Dobson ?

Posted by: robert waldmann on October 9, 2007 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

You gentlemen have heard of the Constitution Party have you not?

These so-called "religious right" folks don't need to find a candidate, they've got a party they can vote for already to teach the GOP a lesson.

CP National Chairman Jim Clymer happened to be at this meeting of "religious right" leaders by the way.

Posted by: Sean Scallon on October 9, 2007 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

You can call me names and you can claim I am inconsistent, but can you refute that Leftists ought to prevent Democratic candidates from winning elections if they have that power, and that they should use that power to attain their goals? If Leftists do not have that power, then you can stop blaming them.

Posted by: Brojo on October 9, 2007 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

You can call me names and you can claim I am inconsistent, but can you refute that Leftists ought to prevent Democratic candidates from winning elections if they have that power, and that they should use that power to attain their goals? If Leftists do not have that power, then you can stop blaming them. Posted by: Brojo

Look, you idiot (this is the first time I've called you a name, but it may not be the last), socialism isn't going to fly in the U.S. The U.S. has always been a fairly conservative country, but that's beside the point.

I guess guys like you are all just going to hold your collective political breath until you turn blue regardless of what kind of incompetent, dishonest, and/or murderous SOB the Republicans nominate or, in the case of Bush, were twice successful in getting "elected" president. If that's the case, go fuck yourselves. The choice is yours. The cliche applies here: you can either be a part of the problem or part of the solution. Standing on the sidelines because you don't get everything you want makes you the former.

Posted by: JeffII on October 9, 2007 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

"But what would Lieberman loose by doing so?"

The Dogs of War?

Posted by: Cal Gal on October 9, 2007 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

It is likely to be all about turnout--and fraud-- and that is why Guiliani's only chance in a general election is Hillary as the Democrat. No matter what Dobson says, the base is not going to turn out to support Rudy, but they might to oppose Hillary. At the same time, Hillary has her own problems in motivating her base, but has the advantage that she can get people to vote for her based on opposition to Rudy, Romney, Thompson, McCain or any of the other possible GOP candidates. Throw a viable third part religious right candidate into the mix and it has the potential to hurt Hillary as much as Rudy because the nose holding Hillary voters may figure they can stay home and Rudy was unlikely to get many of those who would vote for the third party anyway.

Posted by: Terry on October 9, 2007 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK
You can call me names and you can claim I am inconsistent, but can you refute that Leftists ought to prevent Democratic candidates from winning elections if they have that power, and that they should use that power to attain their goals?

Clearly, causing Democrats to lose is not, on its own, something that advances "Leftist" ideology, and there is no real coherent argument offered for how it, in general, would serve as an instrumental means of doing so.

I don't see that anyone has a need to "refute" a position that whose advocates haven't bothered to provide a prima facie case supporting.

Posted by: cmdicely on October 9, 2007 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

Besides, conservatives have the stomach for swallowing even the vilest of compromises in furtherance of their agenda, supporting candidates and office holders who in the name of partisan success have embraced torture, interventionist foreign policy, adultery, corruption, pedophilia, the undermining of the justice system, big government, big spending, abuse of our soldiers, the harmful leaking of national security information, increased national insecurity, and deferrence to polticial operatives rather than military leaders when it comes to military strategy, to name a few.

That is the agenda.

Posted by: Jimmy Jazz on October 9, 2007 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

I would just like to point out that calling Nader supporters murderers is a fairly inefficient way of convincing them to support a mainstream Democrat in the next election.

It's also a disingenuous argument, in my opinion. Nader didn't cost Gore the 2000 election. Gore ("let's not bother campaigning in Ohio") did that all by himself. And speculation about how he would have reacted to 9/11 is just that.

But how 'bout those loony right-wing fundamentalists, though? Isn't that what we were talking about?

Posted by: Not taking the rap for Bush on October 9, 2007 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

They'll pull the trigger. They have been having conferences for ministers on this for about a decade. There are many that are bucking for independence within the religious right lower ranks.

Posted by: patience on October 9, 2007 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

I would just like to point out that calling Nader supporters murderers is a fairly inefficient way of convincing them to support a mainstream Democrat in the next election.

Oh, okay. Should we call you an extremely remedial reader, then? Because you'd have to be to get the above statement from this: all the people in this country and around the world murdered, impoverished, or otherwise harmed by the actions of the Republican regimes who are elected thanks to this.

Nader didn't cost Gore the 2000 election. Gore ("let's not bother campaigning in Ohio") did that all by himself.

Thanks for obediently rushing to demonstrate what I said at 3:26/3:38/3:41. You guys never fail to underwhelm with your "call the two parties to account by demonstrating unending personal non-accountability" strategy.

Posted by: shortstop on October 9, 2007 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think Dobson is thinking ahead. He is flexing his muscles now to hurt Rudy's chances and to keep people talking about Dobson's favorite subject: Dobson. If Rudy wins, Dobson will rationalize something, and if Rudy loses, then Dobson will take credit for bringing him down.

What do you expect him to do? Stay out of the spotlight? Puh-leeze.

Posted by: reino on October 9, 2007 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

Fundamentalists won't abandon the Republican Party. Whatever their view of the presidential nominee, the GOP remains their power base at state and local levels. They know as well as anyone else that third parties don't sprout grassroots; they're not going to endanger their control of legislatures and boards for the sake of making a protest gesture in 2008.

Posted by: allbetsareoff on October 9, 2007 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

but what he really cares about is judicial appointments

No, what he cares about is power. He has a grip on a major party right now. He won't give it up. He's made these threats many times over the years. What's the deal? Why are people so anxious to ascribe some sort of principles to this man. He will not subvert the GOP nominee regardless of his position on any issue at all.

Posted by: mark on October 9, 2007 at 8:48 PM | PERMALINK

A lot of what is going on here is the RR being extremely disappointed by the Bush presidency. They saw him as a conservative evangelical who would change government to their liking, and so worked their little butts off to get him elected and re-elected. However, they didn't get much in return.

A classic example is homosexual marriage. The RR is totally opposed to it and also civil unions. Bush talked like he was on their side, but he never pushed for legislation, and then just a week before the 2004 election he announced he thought civil unions were ok. The RR wound up feeling totally betrayed.

The problem for the RR is that a considerable majority of the country is opposed to their agenda, so if the Republics were to carry it out they would lose at the polls outside the South. So the Republicans pretend to be on their side to win RR support, but then govern in a way, at least on social issues, that is a lot closer to the center.

The RR has finally caught on, and has announced it is going to take its marbles home. Which is really bad news for the Republicans, because without the RR, they don't have much of a chance nationally. To put it another way, this is the end of Karl Rove's dream of a permanent Republican majority.

Posted by: bobo the chimp on October 9, 2007 at 8:48 PM | PERMALINK

This is nothing but a smear campaign by desperate liberals to drive wedges into the conservative big tent coalition. When it comes down to it, Americans know that their core values are best represented by the Republican party, and that is why it will win the Presidency and the Congress in 08.

Posted by: Al on October 9, 2007 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

Poor Al, the GOP is a party of hypocrites and perverts, and you're simply their self-deluded enabler.

Don't you ever get tired of being the subject of derision and ridicule at parties, at ball games, at the office, and at home by friends, colleagues and even your grandparents who probably voted for FDR all four times?

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on October 9, 2007 at 9:09 PM | PERMALINK

Hah.

You Regressive-Democrats KNOW that Guliani is going to beat Clinton or anyone else. The fear is palpable. And you should know he will win. But why so hostile. Clinton will run if win be even more quasi-Republican than her Welfare Reform/NAFTA/nominal-tax-increase husband. Guliani will bring competence to government and he will always put the US ahead of himself in ways Clinton never would. The whole history of her time in the Senate has been thinking about her political career before the nation's interests and her Iraq waffling and pathetic attempts to pay for votes ($5000 for kids; matching funds for 401K) are proof of that. Guiliani, as he did in NYC, will make the quality of life and the economic well being of the poor and middle income better. He is a nicer person, a more intelligent person, and a more real world problem solver than Clinton. I say this with sincerity; especially since they are taking the same position on Iraq and Iran, why not consider voting for Guliani over Clinton.

TOH

Posted by: The Objective Historian on October 9, 2007 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

Off Topic:

Soooooo, why did Glenn Greenwald remove Kevin's link to his website? :/

(Now what did ya do? Or not do, as the case may be. Or is Kevin aware of this?)

Posted by: James on October 9, 2007 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

The fear is palpable.

What was it that gave it away? The relentless partying with other Democrats? The poorly stifled yawns whenever the subject of Giuliani came up? The smell of champagne on our breath? The uncontrollable giggling?

Posted by: frankly0 on October 9, 2007 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK
....You... KNOW that Guliani is going to beat Clinton or anyone else. The fear is palpable........why not consider voting for Guliani over Clinton. The Objective Historian at 9:17 PM
You need to convince your fellow loonies first. It seems that 27% of christo-whacks would not support your hero, Rudy your hero, Rudy

...27% of Republicans Would Vote for Pro-Life Third Party Instead of Giuliani...
Of course, Clinton has a pretty solid lead over your favorite the cross-dresser now
RCP Average Clinton +5.5
ABC News/Wash Post Clinton +8.0
FOX News Clinton +7.0
Rasmussen Clinton +5.0
Cook/RT Strategies Clinton +2.0
NBC/WSJ Clinton +7.0
CNN Clinton +4.0

May you have better wet dreams about your sweetie in your own private Idaho.

Posted by: Mike on October 9, 2007 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK

And you, my dear shortstop, like too many others on this blog and elsewhere, are quite adept at denying the Gore campaign ANY responsibility when it comes to the 2000 election. Denying reality that is.

As JeffII stated above, Nader was only influential (and I think that is stretching that term immensely) in two states. And as I have pointed out, over and over and over again. Had Gore won his home state and Arkansas, instead of losing, it would have made any loss in Florida inconsequential.


Actually, why don't you whiners ever pick on McReynolds? Haven't heard of him? Well he was on the ballot and got 622 people to vote for him Florida. If those "murderers" had voted for Gore instead then Gore would have won.

Hell, there's also Moorehead with 1804 votes that would have done the trick, or Phillips (1371), or Browne (16,415), or Hagelin(2281) or Harris (562) or anybody that ran in Florida would have tip election to Gore.

Or maybe, just maybe Gore could have run a better campaign. So why don't you be adults and blame the people who had the greatest ability to determine the outcome of the 2000 election, Al Gore and his campaign advisors.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on October 9, 2007 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK

>...why not consider voting for Guliani over Clinton.

Because Rudy is a dishonest, dumb, poor example of a good American. I just wish he'd figure out how many wives he wants. I wonder if his 3rd wife would call his cell phone while Rudy is giving the State Of The Union address; even when she'd be sitting only a few feet away!

Now that would be cool to hear and see:

*********************************************
[Location: Prez Rudy at the State of the Union address.]

Prez Rudy: "...and if we don't do something about the evil country of Iran..."

Rudy's phone rings. Rudy looks at who is calling.

"Just a minute my follow Americans. I have to take this."

"Yes, Dear."

"What? Speak louder? Your sitting 20 feet from me. Oh, you don't like the seating arrangments."

"Am sorry, I'll see what I can do. Now let me get back to....Yes, I love you too. Yes, 9/11 was terrible. Yes. Bye. Kissy, Kissy."

Prez Rudy giggles: "Women. You can't live without them, ya can't live with them."

*************************************

Oh yes. A Prez Rudy would be fun.

Posted by: James on October 9, 2007 at 9:52 PM | PERMALINK

Children ... I don't mean to patronize, but you really are political children.

Whatever polls say, voters will have a stark real world choice in 2008: Clinton, Guliani, or a vote that will help Clinton or Guiliani win (i.e., a vote for a 3rd party extreme conservative or regressive). The Dobson crowd will pick Giuliani, who will appoint strict constructionists anyway because, well that is the job is it not? When, after all, has the religious right ever voted for an 3rd party candidate? Only Nadar-nitwits would do that.

But in any case you have 3 big reasons to fear Giuliani:

Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida.

He will win all three - guaranteed; and that is the election right there.

See you in 2016 when Romney takes over from Giuliani.

Ta,

TOH

Posted by: The Objective Historian on October 9, 2007 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK

Rudy is going to win with the gay abortion doctor vote.

Posted by: Matt on October 9, 2007 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

Steve is right - if Dobson says he's leaving - well then who knows, maybe Judge Roy will run.

Posted by: Me_again on October 9, 2007 at 10:22 PM | PERMALINK

Oh good Ford. The Obtuse Histrionic has really hit the wingnut ball out of the part tonight.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on October 9, 2007 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

Sadly, stefan, the 'fuck you' attitude that you say is indicated by a vote for Nader is the same attitude that the Democrats in congress currently hold.

A vote for the Democrats last November did almost nothing to slow down Bush's crimes. We got the surge, supplemental war funding and expanded wiretapping powers. The war in Iraq continues with no end in sight. A vote for Democrats has proven to be every bit as big a 'fuck you' to the world as was a vote for Nader.

Posted by: Slobber on October 9, 2007 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK

Politically energized evangelicals and other conservatives have the political power to demand the Republican Party at least cater to their policies if they expect their support. They have spokesperson's who make demands on the party and make organizational contributions to the party. Obviously leftists do not have that kind of power with the Democratic Party. If Nader, the Greens and the various Socialists did, they too would be using that power. Until they are able to deliver elections, rather than spoil them, they probably won't. Perhaps what makes MoveOn more influential is they are not a competing entity to the Democrats, but trying to become more like the conservative influence groups, but in a much more progressive and grassroots way. That might be a place for me to find a guide to making Democrats more liberal and responsive.

Giuliani scares me very much. He is the best reason to vote Democratic in our troubled times. I think those who vigorously disagree with W. Bush and the neo-con agenda need to find better ways to oppose them. Increasing the police and military state is the worst possible course for the country. I cannot help but question the current Democratic leadership's ability to reverse this disastrous course and want to find a way to do that. I wonder about a lot of things, and wondering about ways to use party politics to persuade Democratic politicians to my point of view may seem incongruous to opposing W. Bush and the next W. Bush. It comes from a lack of confidence in the Democrats.

Posted by: Brojo on October 9, 2007 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

OH: "The fear is palpable."

Yes, we can even hear you palpating! But do try to change the sheets now and again.

Posted by: Kenji on October 9, 2007 at 10:58 PM | PERMALINK

Increasing the police and military state is the worst possible course for the country. -Brojo

Thats the neo-conservative dilemma. You have to create an authoritarian state to hatchet the government to pieces which makes government bigger.

Posted by: Ya Know.... on October 9, 2007 at 11:21 PM | PERMALINK

Don't you think that Rudy will pull a play from Alan Alda in the West Wing and nominate someone like Mike Huckabee as his running mate? And then hope a Huckabee/Browneback side-kick will quite them down. Say exactly what Alan Alda did that Rudy will discuss his judicial appointments with his conservative vice-president.

Anyway, neither browneback or Huckabee will buck the party by splitting. The religious right, if they really do run a third-party candidate, will need someone like Judge Moore, or some really former governor, senator, (or general) that doesn't hope to get back in politics but misses the spotlight and wants to make a point. Someone definitionally not on the radar right now. It doesn't matter really who they are as long as they have governor or senator or secretary or general in front of their name. Then they will seem reasonable enough.

Posted by: Scu on October 9, 2007 at 11:43 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I think your judges argument doesn't wash. Most important to the Religious Right, above all else, is a pro-life judge, and, unless he's had a conversion experience of some sort, there's no indication that this is anywhere close to a judicial litmus test for Rudy.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on October 10, 2007 at 12:01 AM | PERMALINK

If I was Dobson I would follow through on the threat.

Guliuani doesn't stand a rats ass chance of getting elected, even if he were to get nominated and Hillary is his opponent.

By pulling the rug out from the main stream Republican party, just this once, it may be a power move that could, in the end, put the fundie right in control of the party.

Face it - they are tired of being the weak sisters and feel that they provide the numbers so they should have the say so.

As far as I am concerned, the farther to the right the republicans get, the easier they should be to beat.

So I see this as a positive development.

Posted by: Bubbles on October 10, 2007 at 12:52 AM | PERMALINK

The neo-cons are unloading Focus on the Family. Dobson was surely pressured by the neo-cons via roundabout ways to make this stand. The whole point of this exercise is to show that the 'emperor wears no clothes'. Dobson had a large following because supposedly Dobson was the 'wave of the future'. With a no 'wave of the future' Dobson has no following. The neo-cons have a new 'wave of the future' - endless war.

Abortion is still a top issue, of course, but with people other than the neo-cons as was always the case. The issue vis-a-vis abortion now is whether an abortion is murder or the life of the mother is stake. Allowing only early abortions and abortions to save the life of the mother is basically where the US stands. Contraception is widely practiced and there is no turning back now. Attacks on contraception are loosing strategy vote wise. People in the US are against murder and for sex.

Posted by: zed on October 10, 2007 at 1:05 AM | PERMALINK

There's every reason to think Dobson won't go through with his seeming threat of a third-party should Rudy win. The man runs a multi-million dollar organization that he built from scratch, and is a best selling author: he hasn't made miscalculation, politically speaking. Anne Coulter has it right on this one. Remember, she followed Dobson on Hannity & Colmes. Republicans need to remember that the primaries are still to come, and that there is still time to do better than Rudy. Dobson, by threatening the third-party, has gotten everyone's attention and made them question why Rudy and Thompson are running on top when Huckabee is the real conservative in the bunch. Give Dobson a hand for attempting to turn the party back to some semblance of conservatism. Let's win, sure, but let's do so conservatively, with a real conservative on the ticket. When did we start thinking the two are mutually exclusive?

Posted by: BingCrosby on October 10, 2007 at 1:41 AM | PERMALINK

"Actually, why don't you whiners ever pick on McReynolds? Haven't heard of him? Well he was on the ballot and got 622 people to vote for him Florida. If those "murderers" had voted for Gore instead then Gore would have won. Hell, there's also Moorehead with 1804 votes that would have done the trick, or Phillips (1371), or Browne (16,415), or Hagelin(2281) or Harris (562) or anybody that ran in Florida would have tip election to Gore."

Gore did win Florida, in the sense that more people voted for Gore on that day than voted for George Bush. Who knows, some of those votes that you cite might have been intended for Gore.

But as regards your main point, McReynolds, Moorehead, Phillips, Browne, Hagelin and Harris were not running national campaigns that claimed there was no difference between the liberal and the far right wing candidate, and that it really didn't matter which one won.

So now we know better.

Posted by: Ptate in MN on October 10, 2007 at 1:48 AM | PERMALINK

And you, my dear shortstop, like too many others on this blog and elsewhere, are quite adept at denying the Gore campaign ANY responsibility when it comes to the 2000 election. Denying reality that is

Complete nonsense, Dr. Morpheus. I've been a vocal critic of the many missteps, bad judgments and flat-out idiocies of the Gore campaign. You will not be able to produce a single example of me "denying" the Gore campaign any responsibility.

And it's disappointing to see you repeat the blatant mischaracterization of Stefan's post made by "Not taking the rap for Bush." WTF is with that?

All I have ever argued here is that Nader voters need to accept responsibility for their votes being a factor in giving the election to Bush...a significant enough factor that they alone were enough to do it in a race everyone knew would be exceptionally tight. When you throw out red herrings of other candidates whose campaigns, as PTate notes, were not national operations aimed specifically at likely Gore voters, you show that you unfortunately still can't do so.

Posted by: shortstop on October 10, 2007 at 6:54 AM | PERMALINK

Facts are stubborn things: On Election Day 2000, 42% of Nader voters said they would have voted for Gore had Nader not been on the ticket. That's not only Florida by a comfortable margin, but also New Hampshire, West Virginia and maybe a few others. So let's dispense with the childish notion that there are no sheep on the left. "The white luxury vote" as Jesse Jackson Jr. put it. Even Nader supporter Michael Moore said a day later. "We've made a terrible mistake."

And since we know history repeats itself twice, the first time as tragedy, the second as farce, let's put this farce in perspective: 1968, where the left torpedo'ed Humphrey to give us Nixon and the Nixon court. (In New York, it happened in Senate races two other times - 1970 and 1980.)

Brojo will still say anything to justify his wingnut positions. Where would the right be were it not for the narcissists like him?

Posted by: MaxGowan on October 10, 2007 at 8:31 AM | PERMALINK

Nader I think must have some kind of Leninist thing about how things have to get really bad before they get good. He was apparently not too bummed about Reagan beating Carter because Reagan was going to get people so angry that there would be a public advocate renaissance (band name!) and it would shatter the American right. It's logic like that which leads me to believe that Nader's only real purpose in running was to get Bush to win: a tactical defeat allowing a strategic victory so wonderful none of us could possibly imagine.

If not, what was Nader's motive? Gore was running to win the presidency of the United States. He failed. Nader was running for... why exactly? What was the point of that campaign? What great events did it cause that could not have happened had Nader not run and we had President Gore?

Jesus, if Gore was as bad a president as some Naderites say he would have been, why not just have voted for him? Then he'd invade Iraq and build 100 nuclear power plants and everyone would see the Dems for the corporate puppets they really are. Then Nader could make glorious revolution!

Jeez, he could have had a shot had he just waited four years... same thing happened to John Glenn, shame...

Posted by: sweaty guy on October 10, 2007 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

The Religious Right will have to join with another disaffected, third-party-ready constituency to have a real third-party shot, and that constituency is: The All-That-Matters-Is-Killing-Illegal-Immigrants-Community.

The immigration issue has mobilized the disaffecteds and the pissed-offs.

The candidate will be: James Dobson.

Posted by: Mike on October 10, 2007 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

I mean we Democrats can be incoherant and ridiculous at times, but what the hell are you guys doing?

(sorry to extend this horrible old wound any longer, but I just had to get my two cents in. I say Dobson stays put in the GOP if we're taking a vote)

Posted by: sweaty guy on October 10, 2007 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

What I don't understand is: why did these guys wait until now, all the time complaining they didn't have a decent candidate to support? Couldn't they have prescreened all eligible candidates early on, select one and then support him? That's what the economic rightwingers and oilmen did in 2000. They annointed Bush and gave him money and he took off.

Dobson and his guys should have done the same kind of thing this time. Maybe if they had supported Huckabee early on and announced that he will be their candidate and helped him in fund-raising, he would be leading in the polls and money right now.

Posted by: ecoast on October 10, 2007 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Nader made clear his motive: To punish the Democratic party. He said so repeatedly and still does. He expected a coronation from the Dems in '93 and was shocked when he didn't get it. Remember the goofy smile on his face at the creation of the Florida debacle? Wonder why he supported Bush on the re-count?

Posted by: MaxGowan on October 10, 2007 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

Either:

At the convention, Rudy renounces Satan and is born again, live on teevee, with Dobson officiating. The religious right will love it, and they'll readily embrace the idea that Rudy has been washed of all his prior sins. In fact, it makes for the best made-for-tv-story of all! They'll support him all the more because there's nothing quite so righteous as a repentant sinner.

Or:

Dobson goes back to what he did all through the 90s - he gets filthy rich soaking his flock by railing against our sinful president.

A win-win for Dobson.


Posted by: gypsy howell on October 10, 2007 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

The US had eight years of decent Democratic leadership. President Clinton did a very good job of guiding domestic policy. His foreign policy record might have been better. His policy to keep the military huge and the most overwhelmingly powerful in the world is where I break with him. Keeping the military a large and ready offensive force allowed W. Bush to invade Iraq. The next Democratic president probably won't invade another nonthreatening country, but all of the front runners declare they will continue to grow it. To me, the Democrats are going to grow the military so the next Republican can use it. Perhaps the Greens and various Socialists parties are going about trying to change the Democratic Party's militancy the wrong way by competing with them at the polls. Perhaps the MoveOn model, or Dobson's, is a better way to change the Democratic Party to beome less aligned with the interests of defensecare, but it is not an explicit way to oppose it. Some voters, like myself, do not ever want to vote for a candidate that proclaims they are going to keep America strong by keeping its military strong. Speaking only for myself, voting for candidates who extol the virtues of the military is a betrayal of my values. Knowing that a Democratic candidate probably won't use it, but will keep it strong for the next Republican to use, is not much of an incentive for me to join their united front against Repubilcans. If Democrats were really against Repubican use of force, they would have a platform putting restraints on its use in law to prevent what W. Bush has done in Iraq, Pappy Bush did in Panama and Reagan did in Nicaragua. I am unfamiliar with any such policy of the Democrats, which is why I am skeptical of them and why I would like to find a way for them to better represent me. The argument that it is either us or them is very confining and forces me to compromise on an issue I think is vital to the long term interests of the nation. Even with the disatrous W. Bush legacy, the US can do a lot worse. I am worried that without making real institutional change to the nation's foreign and military policies, it will. The short term gain of the next Democratic presidency may resolve some of the problems W. Bush created, but it will probably not resolve the problems of Truman's and Eisenhower's legacy, which allowed W. Bush, Pappy and Reagan to use American power so poorly. I want to change that legacy before the next Republican president nukes somebody, and I think that no Democratic administration will make that change unless forced to by party politics.

We know Dobson's group and others like them have at least the ear of their political party. When I survey who has the ear of the Democratic Party, I do not see a liberal group who can persuade it to at least consider a reduced military role for the US. I am being aske to trust and vote for Democrats because of what W. Bush has done and the next W. Bush will do, but I do not see any policies that will prevent the next W. Bush from waging the same kind of war in future.

Posted by: Brojo on October 10, 2007 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

But why would the religious right ultimately care about "the lesser of two evils", but the true left went for Nader, even though obvious that would just throw the election to Bush?

Posted by: Neil B. on October 10, 2007 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

'Twas ever thus, Neil B. The left also threw the election to Nixon. The left is always splitting their forces. Maybe a death wish. They don't really want to run things; it would compromise their purity. The right got over that. Watch the religious right swallow hard, even if they won't have their hearts in it. They like the power more than the left does.

Posted by: MaxGowan on October 10, 2007 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

I think the DLC would prevent a liberal Democratic candidate from winning in order to entrench their power in the Democratic Party. I recall a similar, if not a satellite, organization running smear advertisements against Dean because he was too liberal, yet commenters here at Political Animal do not accuse moderate Democrats of thowing elections, which the Dean smear may very well have done. Dean was a better candidate than Kerry. The DLC has been so good at using its political power that when they cause Democrats to lose, in order to entrench, influence and obtain power in the Democratic Party, no one notices their handiwork.

Posted by: Brojo on October 10, 2007 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, right it's not Dean's fault he lost. He actually didn't want it, and when he referred to fellow Democrats as "Washington cockroaches," he lost me and a lot of others. He was Rove's dream candidate, too, btw.

Posted by: MaxGowan on October 10, 2007 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

A person might disagree that the Democrats who made that smear advertisement with Dean and bin Laden were cockroaches.

Posted by: Brojo on October 10, 2007 at 11:39 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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