Tuesday, May 24, 2005

So the filibuster issue is resolved, for now. Personally I would have liked to see everything come to a full head now rather than being left, potentially, for a Supreme Court fight. But the compromise certainly isn't a bad outcome. The Dems let in some judges they don't like; the GOP played a major hand -- the religious conservatives -- and lost.

Plainly, the main fallout here is that the fault line between religious conservatives and political conservatives is now wider -- and more apparent -- than ever before. At the least, Dobson certainly never said anything like this during the Shiavo case:
This Senate agreement represents a complete bailout and betrayal by a cabal of Republicans and a great victory for united Democrats. Only three of President Bush’s nominees will be given the courtesy of an up-or-down vote, and it's business as usual for all the rest...

We are grateful to Majority Leader Frist for courageously fighting to defend the vital principle of basic fairness. That principle has now gone down to defeat. We share the disappointment, outrage and sense of abandonment felt by millions of conservative Americans who helped put Republicans in power last November. I am certain that these voters will remember both Democrats and Republicans who betrayed their trust.

Look at that last paragraph in particular. For anyone still wondering whether Dobson's crew threw itself behind Bush or the GOP, Dobson just came out and said that he and his supporters ally themselves with individuals, not parties.

That, in itself, makes the compromise a huge victory for the Democrats. Frist no longer has a shot in 2008, meaning a good many of Dobson's sympathizers will simply stay home -- and while the size of Dobson's base is generally exaggerated in the press, it is at least around the 3 million that the Dems lost by.

But the biggest victor? Constitutional governance in general, and all those -- left or right -- who favor it.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Mike_Atlanta said...

I am a social conservative and an evangelical (a right-wing nut, based on current MSM terminology). Let me make a few points here:

* Personally, I think it's disingenuous NOT to ally with people (as opposed to political parties). Most evangelicals I know don't ally strictly with Republicans. I personally claim to be an Independent because there is so much I dislike about both parties. I would vote for a Democrat if he/she shared my opinions. I like Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson, and (of course) Zell Miller. However, the limited choices we usually get in elections lead me to vote Republican more often than not -- and I believe that is true of most evangelicals. So, realizing that evangelicals align with individuals doesn't seem like much of an epiphany to me.

* While there may be only 3 million folks that could be classifed as Dobsonians, the evangelical base is MUCH more than 3 million. There are tens of millions who independently share his most of his opinions. And these are people that vote and that care about what's happening in our country. My guess is that evangelicals will be even more active in the next elections. They're not going to give up or stay home.

* While the left and the MSM loves to hang on every word that comes of out the mouths of James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson, they are NOT the true mouthpieces for the overwhelming majority of evangelicals. Again, most evangelicals would share many of their beliefs and opinions, but I know that many of us wish they all would just pipe down and quit making ridiculous statements. Of course, I'm sure that most reasonable liberals wouldn't want to be represented solely by the words of Michael Moore, Jesse Jackson, or even Howard Dean. Similarly, I believe that most social conservatives like me do not really care what Dobson, Falwell, or Robertson have to say.

* I do agree that Dr. Frist is toast now (in terms of a presidential run). I don't think he was ever a strong candidate, though. The inability to display leadership and creativity in this situation did doom him in my eyes, however.

Anyway, I just wanted to address what I view as some of the fallacies about evangelicals that are perpetuated in the MSM (and were posited in your write-up with respect to Dobsonians). Although the MSM tries to (and thinks it does) understand evangelicals, it is still way off.

Evangelical...out!

11:10 PM  

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