Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 7, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

RUDY AND THE CHRISTIAN RIGHT....Here's a passage from that David Kirkpatrick piece I linked to last night. The hook for the piece is a visit to Wichita, for many years considered ground zero for Christian right activism:

At the end of last month, [James] Dobson was the foremost among the roughly 50 Christian conservative organizers who declared they would support a third-party candidate if the nomination went to Giuliani, who is their greatest fear. Some even talk of McCain — once anathema to them — as a better bet.

I could see why they were worried. Among the evangelicals of suburban Wichita, I found that Giuliani was easily the most popular of the Republican candidates, even among churchgoers who knew his views on abortion and same-sex marriage. Some trusted him to fight Islamic radicalism; others praised his cleanup of New York.

Today:

The televangelist Pat Robertson endorsed Rudolph W. Giuliani today at the National Press Club in Washington, providing the former New York City Mayor with a big symbolic boost as he tries to allay the concerns of Christian conservatives about his candidacy.

The endorsement by Mr. Robertson could have some impact because of Mr. Robertson's clout through the Christian Broadcasting Network, where Mr. Giuliani can deliver a central argument of his candidacy: that the threat of terrorism is too important and should outweigh voters' concerns about his stand on abortion.

Now, Robertson is very clearly a member of the oldest of the old guard among Christian conservatives, and it's unclear how much weight his endorsement carries. But — the whole point of Kirkpatrick's piece, and several others I've read, is that the younger generation is less focused than the older guys on abortion and gay marriage as exclusive litmus tests for candidates. So this might be the canary in the coal mine. If even Robertson is willing cave on abortion and endorse Rudy, maybe some of the younger evangelicals will too. Stay tuned.

Kevin Drum 11:40 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (55)

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Comments

Rudy's gonna win it all.

bookmark my words.

Posted by: cleek on November 7, 2007 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

I want some reporter to ask Rudy if he agrees with Robertson that:

a) The US deserved 9/11 because of our moral weakness

b)Katrina was God's retribution for allowing abortion in this country

c)We should assisnate Hugo Chavez

If Rudy wants to tout his endorsement from Robertson, he should be asked what parts of Robertson's agenda he agrees with.

Crickets chirping.

Posted by: Teresa on November 7, 2007 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

I think the key is Robertson's CBN. I think what we will see is some programming changes at the network. There will be less programming on social issues and far more programming on "Islamofascism." As long as Pat can keep evangelicals talking about Rudy's strong points (for them), Rudy can win their vote.

Posted by: fostert on November 7, 2007 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

Why are people in suburban Wichita terrified about Islamic terrorism?

Posted by: ferg on November 7, 2007 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Guess the question has been answered as to whether the religious right wants power more than it wants to uphold its stated core values.

Of course, Rudy is privately telling all these guys that he'll stack the Supremes with Roe overturners, so there's that.

Posted by: shortstop on November 7, 2007 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

The triumph of politics over principle.

Posted by: anandine on November 7, 2007 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

"the younger generation is less focused than the older guys on abortion and gay marriage as exclusive litmus tests for candidates."

If true, then what issues *are* these younger evangelicals voting on? Is it just that they want to back a winner, and any Republican is considered better than a liberal, or are they voting for the candidate who pledges to kill more Muslims?

Posted by: luci on November 7, 2007 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

If even Robertson is willing cave on abortion and endorse Rudy, maybe some of the younger evangelicals will too.

How is Robertson caving in on abortion by endorsing Rudy? As Representative Peter King has pointed out, Rudy is also pro-life and pro-family which is why conservative and libertarians support him for his pro-life convictions.

hotlineblog.nationaljournal.com/archives/2007/10/hotline_after_d_276.html

Rep. Peter King (R-NY): "I'm pro-life myself. I'm supporting Rudy Giuliani for a number of reasons, one of which is that, on the life issue, the judges he would support to the Supreme Court, judges like Alito and Scalia and Roberts, they are strict constructionists." "And, on federal funding of abortion, he supports the Hyde amendment, would not allow federal funding of abortion."

Posted by: Al on November 7, 2007 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

So, how powerful is Pat Robertson's endorsement?

When he ran in the GOP '88 presidential primary, he presumably endorsed himself. How'd that work out?

More to the larger point, with the political fracturing of the lunatic holy men, how will their faithful flocks deal with the prospect of actually thinking for themselves for a change.

Posted by: Dennis M on November 7, 2007 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

The whole point of Kirkpatrick's piece, and several others I've read, is that the younger generation is less focused than the older guys on abortion and gay marriage as exclusive litmus tests for candidates. So this might be the canary in the coal mine.

Ah, kevin.

If that's true, it just means that the Democrat Party has mainstreamed perversion, pedophilia, and infanticide. Not much to be proud of, is it?

Posted by: egbert on November 7, 2007 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

Nothing Pat Robinson can do or say will erase the myriad of pictures of Rudy in drag and his divorces.

Posted by: Mandy on November 7, 2007 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

The Religious Right cares about being on the "winning" side more than anything, and would endorse Satan himself it it were necessary to do so. This is entirely predictable. The real entertainment value lies in watching them contort themselves into positions that would make an acrobat at Cirque du Soleil envious to endorse a man who has always been pro-choice, pro-adultery and pro-divorce as a means to holding on to power. Pass the popcorn.

Posted by: Jersey Tomato on November 7, 2007 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

Democrat Party has mainstreamed perversion, pedophilia, and infanticide. Not much to be proud of, is it?" Posted by: egbert on November 7, 2007 at 11:56 AM

And Foley and Craig, are they much to be proud of? Perhaps is acceptance was mainstreamed a bit by your side, these gentlemen wouldn't have to resort to soliciting youngsters by email or tapping feet in bathrooms.

Posted by: zit on November 7, 2007 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

When it comes down to it, right wing Christians are more interested in their wallets than they are in saving unborn babies.

Better to keep a Republican in office to press for more tax cuts and more government subsidies to religious groups that keep up the fight to save fetuses.

Posted by: fidelio on November 7, 2007 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

Check out our trailer on Gay Marriage. Produced to
educate & defuse the controversy it has a way of opening closed minds & creates an interesting spin on the situation: www.OUTTAKEonline.com

Posted by: Charlotte on November 7, 2007 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

How is Robertson caving in on abortion by endorsing Rudy? As Representative Peter King has pointed out, Rudy is also pro-life and pro-family which is why conservative and libertarians support him for his pro-life convictions.
Posted by Al

Rudy, the serial open and notorious adulterer, whose children despise him? He's pro-every-family-but-his-own.

Posted by: DJ on November 7, 2007 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

Fidelio-- Actually, eliminating state-sponsored infanticide is one of the top priorities of the religious right. Thanks to the Supreme Court reading the right of infanticide into the constitution, however, there's not much it can do, except for help elect presidents who will appoint Supreme Court Justices who don't act as super-legislators.

Posted by: egbert on November 7, 2007 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

DJ-- Many great men are estranged from their families, because their obligation to the world sometimes gets in the way of their obligation to their family. Einstein's wife divorced him, but his contribution to the world as a Republican scientist is incalculable.

Posted by: Al on November 7, 2007 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

DJ-- Many great men are estranged from their families, because their obligation to the world sometimes gets in the way of their obligation to their family.

You must be a parody troll. Nobody could be that stupid. Except Egbert. And then there's Norman Rogers, but he can't help his illness.

Posted by: DJ on November 7, 2007 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

Ann Coulter-lite Laura Ingraham had this to say today:

"I like all the Republicans running, I really do, I think all of them will be better than Hillary, but get out! I mean, Pat Robertson is endorsing Giuliani, because what, he thinks that…I get it, here it is: you’re standing up for social conservatism because you, Pat Robertson, believe that if Giuliani gets the nomination, you see the train going down the track, the pro-Giuliani train, you want to hop on board because you think you’re going to be riding on that train until what? The glory days? Here’s my view: get ready to be thrown off that train at 65 miles an hour because that’s what’s going to happen to Pat Robertson. That’s my view."

Posted by: Teresa on November 7, 2007 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

Why are people in suburban Wichita terrified about Islamic terrorism?

They are both religious and racial bigots.

Posted by: Brojo on November 7, 2007 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

Robertson can read the handwriting on the wall, to put it in Biblica terms. Rudy's going to be the nominee and the God squad had better suck it up and vote for him or their worst nightmare, Hillary, will be running the country.

That about cover it?

Posted by: dalloway on November 7, 2007 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

Did I just enter alternate reality political animal. It seems that some of the posts here are so outright crazy and downright stupid that those posting these comments would do a dark ages inquisitor proud with their blatant ignorance.

Posted by: Gandalf on November 7, 2007 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

As per Al above, add expertise in the Special Theory of Relativity to the list of Rudy's core competencies.

Posted by: gregor on November 7, 2007 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

Einstein's wife divorced him, but his contribution to the world as a Republican scientist is incalculable.
Posted by Al

Einstein, a Republican Socialist?

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1132/is_n8_v40/ai_6944290

Al, stick to crayons, construction paper, and blunt scissors. And don't eat the Elmer's Glue.


Posted by: DJ on November 7, 2007 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

It's just one chicken hawk endorsing another.

Posted by: fafner1 on November 7, 2007 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

If even Robertson is willing cave on abortion and endorse Rudy, maybe some of the younger evangelicals will too.

I don't read it this way. I read it as Robertson being desperate to maintain a relationship with someone (who could be) in power.

Posted by: F. Frederson on November 7, 2007 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

As Representative Peter King has pointed out, Rudy is also pro-life and pro-family

Damn right. Obama's only ever had one family. Edwards has only had one family. Clinton's only had one family. Rudy's had three! He's obviously pro-family! It's like someone with three cars is more pro-car than someone with one car.

Posted by: ajay on November 7, 2007 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

it just means that the Democrat Party has mainstreamed perversion, pedophilia, and infanticide.

Wingnut projection at its finest.

Posted by: F. Frederson on November 7, 2007 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Pat Robertson endorsed another person who happened to be indicted for war crimes... says a lot about Pat's endorsements

Posted by: peg on November 7, 2007 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

One wishes Rudy could find some way to disavow the endorsement of Pat Robertson. Robertson may be the most repulsive figure in American politics today.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 7, 2007 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

And Foley and Craig, are they much to be proud of? Perhaps is acceptance was mainstreamed a bit by your side, these gentlemen wouldn't have to resort to soliciting youngsters by email or tapping feet in bathrooms.

Zit-- Did you just analogize the murder of babies with consensual sex?

No- I think he was analogizing your original post to those people who throw rocks and live in glass houses.
(And very few would consider a relationship between a congressman and a 16 yr old as consensual)

Posted by: bindleson on November 7, 2007 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Argh. I thought it was really good news that young evengelicals were less hung up on the traditional social conservative litmus tests. And now you tell me that they are going to concentrate who is the best at killing "islamofascists" instead? Not good news.

How about social justice you guys? Feeding the poor and tending the sick?

Posted by: EmmaAnne on November 7, 2007 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

One wishes Rudy could find some way to disavow the endorsement of Pat Robertson. Robertson may be the most repulsive figure in American politics today. Posted by: ex-liberal

That's why the make such a cute couple!

Posted by: JeffII on November 7, 2007 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

If true, then what issues *are* these younger evangelicals voting on? Is it just that they want to back a winner, and any Republican is considered better than a liberal, or are they voting for the candidate who pledges to kill more Muslims?
Posted by: luci on November 7, 2007 at 11:54 AM
^^^^^^^^

Perfect question to ask that defines what is really going on here. Answer: The candidate who pledges to kill more Muslims. It is quite simple, really. I live in the Midwest and there are quite a few Bible-thumpers who are supporting Rudy and have been for quite a while. Defining characteristics? They are revenge/retribution freaks, intolerant, and temperamental. Well, just like... Rudy. Ironically, a lot of them are females, especially divorcees. And even MORE ironically they hate Hillary for "putting up with Bill"..."she should have divorced his ass". Very, very weird.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on November 7, 2007 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

"....his contribution to the world as a Republican scientist is incalculable."

Posted by: Al on November 7, 2007 at 12:10 PM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My son is a scientist. When he's in the lab I hardly think his political orientation affects his judgment. He'd find the notion of a "Republican" or "Democrat" scientist laughable. His only concern is arriving at empirical truths. Of course empiricism is a bitch when you're a Republican.

Posted by: steve duncan on November 7, 2007 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Gandalf: Did I just enter alternate reality political animal. It seems that some of the posts here are so outright crazy and downright stupid that those posting these comments would do a dark ages inquisitor proud with their blatant ignorance.

Nope, just the usual run of normals and crazies. Al and Egbert are this blog's domesticated trolls. Without Al and Egbert to destroy them, we would be overrun with strawmen.

Posted by: anandine on November 7, 2007 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

This is why Rove remains optimistic about the GOP next year. For seven long years they have been scaring the Great American Public, especially those in the heartland who really have nothing at all to fear. Tom Ridge would be planning to orchestrate his colors; what might Chertoff be planning for next October?

Posted by: Rula Lenska on November 7, 2007 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

Par for the course: He suppoted Arnie in California.

Posted by: john steohen lewis on November 7, 2007 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

I find it really amusing that Pat Robertson -- who seemed to blame 9/11 on social liberals -- now argues essentially that he can endorse a social (sort of) liberal because of 9/11.

Posted by: Joe on November 7, 2007 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

what might Chertoff be planning for next October?

A subcontract employee at the largest nuclear power plant in the US, Palo Verde, was found to have a pipe bomb in the truck he drove to work last week. The subcontract employee claimed it wasn't his, he usually rides his motorcycle to work, is not being prosecuted, and is back on the job (with some new access restrictions). Americans fear Jihadists, who will bear the blame if something should happen at a nuclear facility.

Posted by: Brojo on November 7, 2007 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Right-wing Chistianity is just an expression of tribal identification, with at most an accidental connection with anything Christ might have preached. Supporting Rudi is all about who will take the most pugnacious approach to the other tribes: Liberals and strange brown Muslims.

Posted by: Matt on November 7, 2007 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

Any Rep presidential candidate who accepts an endorsement from Pat Robertson is a freaking fool! The guy is a looney tunes from the get-go. For Rudy to have this guy on his team is like having an iceberg in the path of the Titanic....the idiot.

Posted by: Roger on November 7, 2007 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Who knows...maybe Rudy needs a prayer..cause take a look..Bernie is about to be indicted

Kerik Tells Friends He Expects Indictment Next Week

and this invloving Judge Mukasey's son Marc:

GIULIANI'S BERNARD KERIK SHIELD


Posted by: avahome on November 7, 2007 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

Robertson may be the most repulsive figure in American politics today.

You aren't giving yourself enough credit, "ex-liberal."

Posted by: Gregory on November 7, 2007 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

uh-oh, three posts by egbert without a single spelling or grammatical error? i smell a rat.

what have you done with the semi-real egbert?

your pal,
blake

Posted by: blake on November 7, 2007 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

Kerik Tells Friends He Expects Indictment Next Week Posted by: avahome

With any luck, this will be coming to a head in late summer, after Rudy has become the defacto Rethug nominee.

Posted by: JeffII on November 7, 2007 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

So wait; on one hand Kirkpatrick says evangelicals are mad at Bush because he rushed into the war in Iraq, but they're also supporting Rudy, the guy most likely to get us into more wars in Iran and Syria, because he's the toughest on terrorism. There's a bit of a disconnect here, isn't there?

Posted by: Doug-E-Fresh on November 7, 2007 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

This is all tied in to the evangelical fixation with the end-of-time narrative. Rudy is probably the most likely Republican candidate to keep us involved in the Middle East whilst it descends into pre-apocalyptic chaos. Then, the conversion of the Jews, the Second Coming, etc. Rudy has the loony factor in his favor which is why he and his campaign advisors are threatening Iran.

Posted by: Andrew on November 7, 2007 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

Robertson endorsed Giuliani?

Perfect, because there's a great anti-Rudy TV commercial in the making.

It looks like this:

Roll tape of Robertson & Fallwell blaming 9/11 on

"The ACLU, the abortionists, Pagans, feminists, gays lesbians"

As those people are mentioned, show either footage of Giuliani supporting those groups (as he has in the past, e.g. cross dressing or at a fund raiser with Gloria Steinem etc) or headlines of Giuliani supporting them.

Run this ad 20 or 30 times a day.

Especially in "The South".

Beat Rudy over the head with who he is until he's dead and buried.

Posted by: TB on November 7, 2007 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

But, there's always Ron Paul!

(Making up for the wingnuts who haven't commented here.)

TB: The GOP candidate who can first get that ad on in the air in South Carolina could make a great leap forward there.

McCain is certainly the semi-major to major Rethug who would best benefit from that.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on November 7, 2007 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

Robertson's endorsement might matter to those who watch him on tv (instead of attending services at a brick and mortar church). I have a hunch that many of those who get their religion from tv probably never quite make it to a polling place to vote.

Posted by: coldhotel on November 7, 2007 at 11:56 PM | PERMALINK

Most evangelical power brokers just want to cozy up to power, whoever and whatever that is. It really doesn't matter what their actual positions are.

Posted by: Elisha Sessions on November 8, 2007 at 7:29 AM | PERMALINK

If this wasn't so frightening it would be funny. The unholy alliance of Rudy and the evilgenitals would make a better video game than Left Behind, never mind the stink of christo-fascism.

Posted by: Cliff on November 8, 2007 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK
I find it really amusing that Pat Robertson -- who seemed to blame 9/11 on social liberals -- now argues essentially that he can endorse a social (sort of) liberal because of 9/11.

Just another wonderful product in the 9/11 Changed Everything™ line.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 8, 2007 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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