I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Karl Rove's Frankenstein - Part II

A few days ago I discussed poor Rich Lowry's sudden realization the the crazy bible thumpers of the Religious Right had taken over the Republican party. I said at the time:
This was oh so predictable. Karl Rove marshaled the 16th century masses to vote against their own best interests in order to stop a woman's right to choose, an individuals right to die with dignity and to enforce selected portions of Leviticus. They all but took over the party. Well they are once again being ignored by the party's movers and shakers and they don't like it. Well guess what? They have their own guy in the race, Mike Huckabee, and they don't see any reason to support the anti Leviticus, Rudy, or the cultist, Mitt. A Frankenstein monster indeed.
Well poor Rich is at it again.
A shiny Christmas present for the Democrats
The GOP’s social conservatism inarguably has been an enormous benefit to the party throughout the past 30 years, winning over conservative Democrats and lower-income voters who otherwise might not find the Republican limited-government message appealing. That said, nominating a Southern Baptist pastor running on his religiosity would be rather overdoing it. Social conservatism has to be part of the Republican message, but it can’t be the message in its entirety.

Someone needs to tell Huckabee. His first TV ads in Iowa touted him as a “Christian leader,” and his target audience of evangelicals has responded. But according to a Pew poll released in early December, only 1 in 7 nonevangelical Republicans support him in Iowa and 1 in 20 nonevangelicals in New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Huckabee has declared that he doesn’t believe in evolution. Even if there are many people in America who agree with him, his position would play into the image of Republicans as the anti-science party. This would tend to push away independents and upper-income Republicans. In short, Huckabee would take a strength of the GOP and, through overplaying it, make it a weakness.
I have to wonder how the Religious Right feels about suddenly becoming "a weakness". The Republican Party could not have won an election without the Social Conservatives. Over the last seven years they took control and did any number of nutty things that offended the majority of Americans making them a liability. John Cole reminds us that Lowry and his magazine were cheerleaders for much of that 16th century insanity.
Where the hell has Lowry been the last decade? Let’s review this GOP’s greatest hits:

Terri Schiavo
Marriage Amendments
Stem Cell Bans
Doctoring Scientific reports
Evolution Denial
Global Warming denial
Just Us Sunday
Abstinence Only
Faith-based initiatives
Election year anti-gay ballot initiatives

And so on and so on. The GOP is, quite simply, little more than freakish display of social conservatism. And you can go through the NRO archives and see what they had to say about every one of those issues and others (protip- they were supportive). Rather than trying to run from his creation, Lowry should embrace it- he and his cohort had a good hand in making the GOP what it is today. Enjoy, and quit pretending to be surprised when the villagers race to destroy your monster with pitchforks and torches.
To quote the Bible:
As you sow so shall you reap

~Galatians VI

Andrew Sullivan has some thoughts.
It's amazing to me to watch Rich Lowry and Charles Krauthammer begin to panic at the signs of Christianism taking over the Republican party. Where, one wonders, have they been for the past decade? They have long pooh-poohed those of us who have been warning about this for a long time, while cozying up to Christianists for cynical or instrumental reasons. But now they want to draw the line. Alas, it's too late, I think, for Charles to urge an openness toward atheism or non-religion in a party remade on explicitly religious grounds by Bush and Rove. Who was it, after all, who cited Jesus Christ as the most influential "philosopher" in his life as part of his electoral strategy? Who reorganized his party to base it on churches? The man whom Krauthammer eagerly supported in two consecutive elections.
And he concludes with this:
This, to me, is the critical distinction between a Christianist and a mere Christian. One wants to infuse politics with religion; the other wants to respect both, separately, and to keep religion private. I should add I do not want to banish the word "God" from the public square. But I do want that invocation to be as thin and as empty and as formal as the Founders intended. The current Republican party has reinvented itself as a force on opposite grounds. The party of Huckabee and Romney, the party of Hewitt and Dobson, the party of Ponnuru and Neuhaus is emphatically not a secular party.

And that is why part of me, I confess, wants Huckabee to win. So he can lose. So the GOP can lose - as spectacularly and humiliatingly as possible. If we are to rid conservatism of this theocratic cancer, we need to start over. Maybe it has to get worse before it can get better. But it is certainly too late for fellow-traveling Christianists like Lowry and Krauthammer to start whining now. This is their party. And they asked for every last bit of it.

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