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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Valueless

From the NYT:

Mr. Robertson, the founder and chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network, said in endorsing Mr. Giuliani in Washington, that he believed “the overriding issue before the American people is the defense of our population from the blood lust of Islamic terrorists” and praised Mr. Giuliani as a “true fiscal conservative.”
Right, but Jesus was not a fiscal conservative, and Jesus did not advocate making war against people we think may attack us. (Not to say YHWH didn't from time to time, but Robertson claims to be a Christian.) Pat Robertson is not speaking as a Conservative who is also a Christian. He is speaking publicly and bringing with him the trappings of a church leader.

Robertson's ilk have supported pro-business, pro-war Republicans because those same people are also anti-gay and anti-choice. Fine. You can certainly read the Bible and come away anti-gay. I guess you can be anti-choice, although it takes an awfully, awfully strained reading to do so. And, I even guess, you can find those things mroe important that standing for peace and against poverty (and lets not forget justice).

But Rudy does NOT support their hateful anti-choice and anti-gay agenda. (Stop: Some people do this in a way that is not hateful, but Robertson blamed 9/11 on gay people right along with Falwell. Theirs is a hateful agenda.) And he is pro-business and extremely pro-war. And, he is a "law and order" guy, which makes me very nervous about rights for the accused, a/k/a justice, that have been viciously assaulted by the Bush administration.

At times politics requires one to make a Hobson's choice. So I can understanding holding your nose and voting for the lesser of two evils (although we've recently heard from someone here who does not accept this position), but there is no way you can endorse such a person by lending your status as a religious leader to him.

And this is my concern about progressives' principled rejection of the lesser evil. It is not a level playing field. Pat Robertson has figured out the best way to forward the power of the party that works best for him, and he will say whatever it takes to keep them in power. On the one hand, I don't want to play that game. On the other hand, I'm tired of the greater evil being in power.

5 comments:

Matt Dick said...

Pat Robertson has figured out the best way to forward the power of the party that works best for him, and he will say whatever it takes to keep them in power.

Jim I think it's the other way around. I think Pat Robertson has figured out a way for Pat Robertson to keep himself in power -- or more properly to keep himself relevant. Should Hillary Clinton win the general election, a fractured Republican party might split and a guy like Pat Robertson will find himself in the weeds, trying to be a fiscal and moral conservative without a large following. He needs a large following, and Guiliani in power at least kicks the can down the road a bit for Republicans.

JimII said...

I understand the distinction but I don't see how it changes my concern. I guess if none of Pat Robertson's followers listened to him it would change it. But, I'm assuming it is safe for Robertson to do this.

I think this demonstrates how Christian Conservatives are willing to endorse Republicans over Democrats, even when those Republicans share none of their values. Am I wrong?

Matt Dick said...

Well I think a part of the cognitive dissonance for people is the fact that the far right is not as monolithic as it has appeared for a long time.

Also, and we haven't really touched on it much -- Robertson endorsing Guiliani is *huge*, politically.

David Johnson (Chandler, AZ) said...

"At times politics requires one to make a Hobson's choice. So I can understanding holding your nose and voting for the lesser of two evils (although we've recently heard from someone here who does not accept this position). . . ."

Here are some other folks who have similar reservations.

JimII said...

David,

Thanks for the link. For me this was the money quote (from 1967): “The Democrats have learned well that they have the lib-lab vote in their back pocket, and that therefore the forces to be appeased are those forces on the right.”

I had a friend in law school who made the exact same argument with regard to the Black vote. (And I recognize she wasn't alone either.)

The assumption behind these positions is that the Republicans and Democrats are similar enough that it doesn't matter which is elected. In 2000, I found that to be a really difficult position, but after eight years of a conservative Democrat, okay. I disagreed, but okay. But, today? I will tell you that I have a really hard time understanding that notion, even if I am aware that it is out there. What has happened as a result of a conservative Republican, and the prospects for 2008, would seem to challenge that assumption.