Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Lowry on evangelicals

Oh I just know the "fan mail" will roll in when I'm done with this piece, but after reading this post from Rich Lowry at NRO's The Corner I just couldn't resist myself:

Remember how evangelicals had "matured"? Remember how the war on terror had replaced social issues? It shouldn't be hard, since all those things were being said a couple of weeks ago (heck, still being said maybe even a few days ago). Part of what seems to be going on with the Huckabee surge is evangelicals sticking their thumbs in the eyes of the chattering class—we're still here, we still matter, and we still care about our signature issues.

Remember the lack of excitement in the Republican race, especially among dispirited social conservatives? Well, now there is some excitement, and it isn't over free market economics or the war on terror, but a candidate who doesn't speak compellingly about either of those things but instead about social issues. As a friend I was talking to a little earlier points out, the most important moment of the campaign so far came when a social conservative excited a social conservative audience—Huckabee with his "I come from you" speech at the "values summit." This friend argues that the Huck surge makes it harder, not easier, for Rudy to win the nomination. Now that many evangelicals have a horse in this race, it would be very hard to tell them that not only will their guy not get the nomination, but they'll have to settle for a pro-choicer. I don't know about that, but Huck has certainly trashed about nine months-worth of conventional wisdom on the changing nature of social conservative voters.

OK, let me start by saying that we do respect the evangelical voters. they were a boon in 2000 making sure that Al Gore lost. their grass-roots support of President Bush should never be forgotten, especially when it comes to elections. They do have a solid spot in the base, and their opinions are noted. They're right about their signature issues. They do matter a great deal to the base as they do provide the backbone of the GOP.

However, the excitement they're supposedly generating for Huckabee isn't going to last. Furthermore, this election will show them where their place in the base is. It's right behind us security minded voters. They had their say in 2000. They had their say in 2004. But national security, the war on terror, immigration reform, and maintaining the record-setting economy we have are priorities this time around.

They want abortion gone; Roe overturned. OK, but Huckabee can't do that. Executive orders don't work like that, and he has no say in a constitutional amendment. He can support it, voice his approval of it, but he has nothing to do with the process at all. Congress deals with that. The best way to fight Roe is in the courts, and that means putting solid, originalist jurists on the Supreme Court.

They want an amendment denoting marriage is between one man and one woman. Same situation, folks -- the president doesn't have anything to do with it. That is all Congress, and that means getting the majority back. Two-thirds of the Congress have to agree on that, and then comes the uphill battle in the states. (You need three-fourths of the states to agree to it before it becomes an amendment to the Constitution.)

So while they're correct that their issues matter, getting excited about Huckabee isn't going to help matters. He is far too soft on too many issues, and his "compassionate conservatism" makes him out to be a populist moderate, like the president is. The difference is that President Bush is tough on the war, and given Huckabee's positions on certain things (waterboarding, Gitmo, foreign relations, etc.) he isn't the strong leader we need. Yes, he's generating a great deal of buzz, and maybe that's good for those that have been "soul-searching" their way through early primary politics.

I Corinthians 13 has a very important lesson<li> that evangelicals should take to heart:

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.

In politics, one must be ready to admit when their candidate has no shot. This is that time. We don't care what the polls say because the polls rarely reflect the outcome. This is a two-man race. It's between Mitt and Rudy. I'd love to keep the evangelicals on board, but if they choose to go off on their own -- either supporting a third-party candidate, or sitting at home in a snit -- then you reap what you sow; you get what you deserve. For your selfishness, you will get that in return when your learn the Democrats have won on election night.

And if you thought that Mitt or Rudy were going to be bad for the nation, can you imagine what the Democrats plan to do to the country? Imagine what the high court will look like because that's what Ginsburg, Stevens, Breyer and Souter are waiting for. They don't want a Republican president naming their successors. They want the ideology of their seats maintained.

Imagine the economy coming to a grinding halt due to their high taxing ways. (And that also goes for Huckabee, too. He is a "big-government "conservative" just like the president is.) They will ram so much of the government down our throats -- from health care to taxes, to oversight on environmental issues, to education, etc. -- that the notion of smaller government will become a defunct idea.

Support whomever you want to, but just remember what the repercussions will be. They won't be good, nor will they be fun, and you'll have no one but yourselves to blame. It's not my intent to offend any evangelicals. On the contrary, I just want you to seriously consider your actions before leaping off that cliff. You won't just be doing this to yourself. You'll be taking the country with you.

Publius II


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