World Gone Mad

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Hapless Dupes

Jonathon Chait, writing in The New Republic, unfortunately hits the nail on the head for religious conservatives:

"There are two basic ways to think about President Bush's relationship with the religious right. The first is that Bush is a genuine ally of social conservatives who, while often cagey in public, takes every opportunity to advance their agenda. As liberals would phrase this interpretation, Bush is a tool of the religious right.

The second--utterly diametrical--theory is that Bush is mainly interested in harvesting votes from religious conservatives in order to implement an agenda dominated by his economic backers. In liberal-ese: Social conservatives are hapless GOP dupes.

At this point, five years and two Supreme Court nominations into the Bush presidency, we can arrive at a definitive answer. And the verdict is: hapless dupes. ...

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Sad, Sad Gullibility of Christian Leaders

Here is the previously "confidential" information Karl Rove told Dr. James Dobson about Harriet Miers, in Dr. Dobson's own words:

[he told me that] "Harriet Miers is an evangelical Christian, [that] she is from a very conservative church, which is almost universally pro-life, that she had taken on the American Bar Association on the issue of abortion and fought for a policy that would not be supportive of abortion, that she had been a member of the Texas Right to Life."

OK, let's break that down. There are four points being made by Rove here:

1. HM is an "evangelical Christian" from a very conservative church. Let's assume this is a factually accurate statement.

2. HM's church is "almost universally pro-life." Leaving aside the fact that this is not the same thing as saying that Harriet Miers herself is pro-life (although no doubt that was the implication Mr. Rove wanted to leave in Dr. Dobson's mind), let's assume this statement, too, is truthful and accurate.

3. HM has "taken on the American Bar Association on the issue of abortion and has fought for a policy that would not be supportive of abortion."

This statement is, at best, a gross distortion. The fact is, Ms. Miers, along with many other lawyers, tried to get the ABA to go from a pro-abortion position to a neutral position. Clearly, it is one thing to say that the professional organization which represents you should not take a position on abortion, and entirely another thing to say that that organization should take a position opposing abortion. The former tells you absolutely nothing even about what the proponent's personal views on abortion are, let along how the proponent might rule as a judge. My guess is that Mr. Rove knew these facts very well. My question is, why didn't Dr. Dobson? Didn't he check out these claims independently before endorsing Ms. Miers?

4. HM "had been a member of Texas Right to Life." This is an accurate statement, as far as it goes. Interestingly, however, Mr. Rove apparently neglected to add that at other times, HM had been a Democrat, and either personally or thru her law firm's PAC had donated money to Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, and others who are clearly pro-abortion.

Here again, the question that fairly leaps off the page is, why didn't Dr. Dobson or his staff check out Mr. Rove's claims? Has our Christian leadership come to the point that it blindly accepts any claim of a Republican President?

If this is all it took to convince Dr. Dobson to support Ms. Miers, as Dr. Dobson's own statements on his broadcast would lead one to believe, we are in a sorry state of affairs indeed.