Friday, October 06, 2006



Today's WAPO has a story by Alan Cooperman presaging a problem for the GOP on the right. GOP's Hold On Evangelicals Weakening goes further than anything I've heard so far. I mean I figured, and many of my friends figured, that a good many Christian Conservatives, sickened by the crass Republican cover-up of Congressman Mark Foley's online (and off-line, as will become more and more evident in the next few days) love life, would just stay home, depriving the Republicans of a key component of their coalition. But according to Cooperman, there may actually be religionists so disgusted by the Republicans that they'll actually vote for Democrats.

"Even a small shift in the loyalty of conservative Christian voters... could spell trouble for the GOP this fall. In 2004, white evangelical or born-again Christians made up a quarter of the electorate, and 78 percent of them voted Republican, according to exit polls. But some pollsters believe that evangelical support for the GOP peaked two years ago and that what has been called the 'God gap' in politics is shrinking. A nationwide poll of 1,500 registered voters released yesterday by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center found that 57 percent of white evangelicals are inclined to vote for Republican congressional candidates in the midterm elections, a 21-point drop in support among this critical part of the GOP base."

And that was before people read about the obsessed Republican boy-loving size-queen and the household name Republicans who covered up for him for years. Among white evangelicals support for the GOP over the last year has fallen from 63% to 54%. And one of the big problems (pre-Foley) was that the Republicans aren't honest and don't govern ethically. I have a sneaking suspicion that as the enormity of the conspiracy to keep Foley viable on the part of Dennis Hastert, John Boehner, John Shimcus, Roy Blunt and Tom Reynolds starts to sink in... well that 54% will be something the GOP will be wishing they had.

Part of the problem for Republicans among serious evangelicals is summed up in the best-selling book The Purpose-Driven Life by Rev. Rick Warren. Suddenly Christian politics isn't all about reflexive Republican hot buttons issues like "gay marriage" and abortion. Even above and beyond out-of-control Republican corruption and the disaster that is Iraq, evangelicals are looking at Jesus' actual message and factoring it into fighting poverty, being good stewards of the environment and... well, then there's the Bush Regime's obsession with torture. What would Jesus say?

"To the extent that evangelicals now view these issues as 'matters of conscience' alongside abortion and same-sex marriage, they could shift some votes into the Democratic column, said Ron Sider, head of the group Evangelicals for Social Action. It should be very interesting this Sunday to hear what pastors have to say to their parishioners about the Republican response to the Foley scandal.


At 8:14 AM, Blogger Alicia Morgan said...

That's the danger of the Rovian strategy - pulling together groups who have little in common and promising each one that their agenda will be implemented. That strategy, so far, has been overwhelmingly successful. But it can't hold together indefinitely, because there is an innate conflict between evangelicals and plutocrats, which till now has been brushed aside in the common pursuit of power. The problem arises when the bill comes due.

They've put it off for as long as they can, but it's time to pay the piper, and the moral bank account is empty.

At 4:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, then there's the Bush Regime's obsession with torture. What would Jesus say?

He might not disapprove all that much. After all, everyone who disobeys his rules gets to spend eternity being tortured.

Dr. Frog (I'm only "Anonymous" until I get my blog up and running!)


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