Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Be afraid. Be very afraid because you deserve it

Via the Huffington Post, I ran across a very interesting piece:

This campaign is knee-deep in religion, and it's only going to get worse. I'd thought that the limits of professed public piety had already been achieved during the Republican CNN-YouTube debate when some squirrelly looking guy held up a Bible and asked, "Do you believe every word of this book?" -- and not one candidate dared reply: None of your damn business.

Instead, Giuliani, Romney and Huckabee bent a knee and tried appeasement with various interpretations of scriptural literalism. The right answer, the only answer, is that the very question is offensive. The Constitution prohibits any religious test for office. And while that proscribes only government action, the law is also meant to be a teacher. In the same way that civil rights laws established not just the legal but also the moral norm that one simply does not discriminate on the basis of race -- changing the practice of one generation and the consciousness of the next -- so the constitutional injunction against religious tests is meant to make citizens understand that such tests are profoundly un-American.

Who wrote that you may ask. Was it one of my fellow "Godless liberals?" Was it a fellow purveyor of the "gay agenda?"

Why no. It was neoconservative Charles Krauthammer. Apparently he took time out of his busy schedule of defending President Bush's hideous war in Iraq on Fox News to sound an alarm horn regarding religion in this campaign.

And it pinpoints a fear that is slowly gripping the Republican party this election cycle. Over this summer, we heard repeatedly from "Conservative Christian leaders (i.e. the anti-gay industry) that they disapprove of the Republican presidential candidates.

Now they seemed to have zeroed in on one that they will support: Mike Huckabee. Subsequently, he has moved up in the Republican polls. And this seems to have the Republican party on the whole scared because while Huckabee appeals to the "conservative Christian" base, it is that same appeal that makes him unelectable.

Interesting statements he has made regarding lgbts, AIDS, and variety of social issues (the newest being him comparing homosexuality with necrophilia) have made him more and more appealing to the "Christian conservative" base. But the problem is that Huckabee can't seem to temper that appeal with assurances to moderates that he won't go all Khomeni should he get elected.

It is definitely a different ballgame from 2004.

Remember that lovely election cycle when the Republican party used the "threat" of gay marriage of rally their base and give Bush a second term? Things are different now. The very thing that worked for the Republican party then has returned to bite them in the ass. (I am aware of the gay subtext so hush up)

So now we are at this point. Huckabee seems to be slowly gaining ground and as he does, he is turning on the piety even more, thereby appealing to more "Conservative Christians" but potentially alienating moderates and maybe even the majority of voters in the nation.

And the Republican party is scrambling behind the scenes to somehow control the situation.

Lawd, I am enjoying this.