Perkins Tags In

While the Religious Right came into this election cycle in some disarray—fueling countless premature “Religious Right is dead” articles—that doesn’t mean they can’t still make a major impact. They’re sure going to try. Witness James Dobson’s tirade last week against Barack Obama’s faith—a move so crass it’s made some allies blanch. And on Friday, Family Research Council unveiled a TV spot against Obama, focusing on abortion.

FRC President Tony Perkins—who also stars in the ad—said the timing, on the heels of Focus on the Family’s anti-Obama radio series, is a coincidence.

The ad quotes a recent Obama speech on Father’s Day, in which the senator said, “We need fathers to recognize that responsibility doesn’t just end at conception.” Perkins, baby in arms, changes the subject from raising children to abortion: “If, as you say, fatherhood begins at conception [sic], when does life begin?”

And it’s only June. Both Perkins’s ad and Dobson’s radio rant may suggest that the two Religious Right heavyweights are worried about Obama making a good first impression among the religious conservatives they claim as their own constituency. But these attacks also suggest that we can only expect more over the next four months.