In a conversation flowing out of Norman Podhoretz’s new book, gadfly blogger Robert Stacy McCain makes a typically ridiculous point:
The demonization of the “Religious Right” was a project developed by Norman Lear and others during the Reagan era, after Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority played such a key role in the 1980 election, and this theme has defined the politics of the Democratic Party ever since.
As a political tactic, it is both amazingly effective and fundamentally false. The Republican Party is chiefly devoted to political policies having nothing specifically to do with evangelical Christianity. Yet there is an entire industry of liberal propagandists who specialize in seeking out various outre pronouncements of “Religious Right” leaders and presenting these views as if they would become firm policy in the next Republican administration. . . .
While we’re always thrilled to hear our founder and board member given credit for “[defining] the politics of the Democratic Party” from 1980 onwards, he might want to check before he claims that the pronouncements of the Religious Right won’t become the firm policy of the next Republican administration. After all, the candidates running for the Republican nomination keep promising exactly that.
Mike Huckabee, Tim Pawlenty, and Mitt Romney–all likely candidates for the presidency–are confirmed guests at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC next week, as are Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader John Boehner. (Sarah Palin is invited but not confirmed, which is surprising as she doesn’t have a full time job at the moment.) If past behavior is any guide, all of these party leaders will take the opportunity to pledge undying fealty to the far right platform espoused by the Family Research Council. And while we were founded on the principle that one could disagree with that right-wing platform without being a “bad Christian,” I’d be surprised any of the attendees of the summit attendees to say it out loud.
If any of those candidates decide to use the opportunity to distance themselves from the “outré pronouncements” of the Religious Right, we’ll be sure to let you know.
Don’t hold your breath.