Tuesday, October 09, 2007
On the Road to 2008: The Religious Right or 'Value Voters'
NY Times - October 7, 2007
What unites them right now is their dismay — even panic — at the idea of Rudolph W. Giuliani as the Republican nominee, because of his support for abortion rights and gay rights, as well as what they regard as a troubling history of marital infidelity. But what to do about it is where they again diverge, with some religious conservatives last week threatening to bolt to a third party if Mr. Giuliani gets the nomination, and others arguing that this is the sure road to defeat.
The Religious Right or Value Voters became power drunk; their leaders had easy access to the White House. They began to flex their muscle by sponsoring legislations against abortion rights, teaching of evolution, and for display of religious symbols in public buildings. They not only had the president in their corner, the shifting of balance in the Supreme Court assured them of support from the conservative justices.
With just above twelve months before the 2008 election the situation is quite different, and how! Scandals and changing dynamics, especially the impact of the war in Iraq, resulted in loss of support for them and for their champion in the White House. A good example of "What goes up must come down" (© Karma Lyrics, Alicia Keys). There is panic among the Religious Right. Although its most aggressive followers are evangelical Christians, Catholic clergy, too, joined them in previous elections and urged the faithful not to support candidates who were pro-choice. Now, as positions of 2008 candidates are beginning to be known, there is no one who fully meets the aims and expectations of the Christian groups.
Politicians are adept at doing somersaults and experiencing sudden epiphanies when it comes to election campaigns. While it will not work if one of the campaigning Democrats becomes an Armageddonist, Republican candidates could be thinking about it. If he can pull it off, one of them will. McCain has already shown his flexbility on matters religious. See John McCain, Semi-Baptist. Giuliani, currently at the head of the pack, could wake up one morning and declare himself a Born Again Christian and retreat from his position on women's right to choose. That and an immersion might make him acceptable.