There has been quite a bit to look at this week, when nothing has been actually happening in the portfolio of this blog. Today is no exception.
What’s Mitt Doing?
In the process of crisscrossing the country and campaigning for other candidates, Romney also can work on bridging the divide between Evangelical Christians and Mormons within his party. The depth of this division was one of the hard lessons of Romney’s campaign this year, and it could prove to be a barrier to his presidential aspirations. By giving speeches and pressing the flesh with the party faithful, he may be able to overcome some of that suspicion and drive home the message that on the issues that count to Evangelicals, he and other Mormons are simpatico.
That divide could explain why Romney has said he’s not expecting to be on the short list to be John McCain’s running mate. Evangelical Christians are suspicious of McCain already, and many of them also are suspicious of Romney, so it is unlikely that Mitt would help balance a McCain ticket, at least from the religious standpoint.
That makes a lot of sense with this one proviso – I think the “average” Evangelical has been a bit chastised by the McCain victory. I think they now understand that Romney is better than the alternative. I am not sure Romney can repair relations between McCain and Evangelicals, but I do think he cannot hurt anymore.
Frankly, Evangelicals have been relegated to the sideline this round. They have to decide to vote for McCain, because McCain is who they have the problem with. Who he chooses for V.P. will not help with the “abortion and gay marriage is the ONLY issue” crowd. It’s that crowd that would not like Romney anyway, and they have lost this round.
Romney working on his relationship with them is wise for the future of conservatism.
Lowell: I find it amusing that the Tribune thinks Romney is doing something novel by trying to bridge “the divide between Evangelical Christians and Mormons within his party.” He’s been tireless in that effort since well before he announced his candidacy. Indeed, that’s been a Romney quest. He has never moved from his position regarding Evangelicals and common moral values. He never created any “divide” or contributed to one. Any such alienation arose entirely from the bigotry or fear or lack of knowledge of a minority of Evangelicals, exploited skillfully by Mike Huckabee and his supporters. The Trib would have done well to add that perspective to what Mitt is trying to accomplish.
Although . . .
A WaPo reporter thinks that the relationship between McCain and Evangelicals is too broken to fix anyway. That is just nonsense – nonsense that paints Evangelicals as small-minded, unthinking, and dim. But then what’s new?
But Then . . .
In the matter of religion, I have no preference. I don’t care what you believe or what you preach, though I’ll be obliged if you don’t preach creationism in the schools. This nation is far enough behind in the sciences without digging that hole any deeper.
Where elected officials are concerned, though, I want decisions to be made on pragmatic grounds. I have friends, for instance—OK, acquaintances—who see no reason for conservation, because Christ will come back and carry us all away before everything runs out. Use up the oil, cut the old-growth trees, foul the water—makes no difference, because soon there will be a flash of light, a burst of music, and we’ll all grow wings and flutter off to Heaven (I may have some details wrong, but that’s the gist of it).
Certainly they can believe that if they choose. But I don’t believe it, and I don’t want a politician who believes it making decisions that affect what the world will be like after he or she is gone.
Lowell: What claptrap. This is a wearisome tendency among the writer’s MSM ilk: Put up a caricature of religious belief, then attack that. It’s so much easier than dealing with reality. How many religious conservatives really believe what Corey Farley says they believe? I have never seen such a preposterous and irresponsible view of our stewardship over the earth proposed anywhere, other than in the fanciful writings of people like Mr. Farley, who admits he does not have any religious friends.
Finally . . .
Obama has more pastor problems. (some video here) I really hate this stuff. This pastor, like Wright, is clearly engaged in political speech and therefore subject to criticism, but to have speech from the pulpit so subject is truly troubling. But then it is the preacher’s fault.