Religion Moves Front-and-Center, The Jeb Microbubble Burst Already, The Barbour Bubble Expands, and more…
So last week we saw all sorts of Mormon talk which has not died completely, but it is now being expanded to bring Evangelical talk to the fore as well. But let’s start with the Mormon stuff.
The WaPo “On Faith” feature, which never really reached its potential, and the fortunes of which have slipped mightily since its inception, finds a new low. (“Mormonism’s Moment” – more on that idea next paragraph.) The comments are worse than the insipid and ignorant question posed by the writer. Otterson rightfully deflects. Time for this thing to go away. Here’s the story that started it all – an equally vapid effort to tell a story that has been told and told and serves no purpose other than reinforcing the bias of some and boring the rest of us.
Frankly, I find the idea that there is a “moment” for any group problematic. It could be argued that the current administration was elected because of the wide spread perception that it was “a moment.” It may have been, but that does not change the fact that we have hired ourselves ineptitude on an immense scale. We need to worry less about moments and more about competency – maybe even more that party affiliation. I am truly beginning to wonder if we any longer assume that the winnowing and primary process assures us of competency. For two of the last three Democrat occupants of the White House, competency has been scarce. Certainly the odds of getting compentency are better on the Republican side, but I wonder if it is a guarantee when the party cannot not even be counted on to keep the simplest of promises?
And speaking of silly, a piece from Nevada that bemoans the lack of POTUS candidates playing to the Silver State, takes a shot at the only candidate that did by saying that it was Mormon fidelity, not his organization, that allowed Romney to win the state in 2008. Yes, most Mormons voted for Romney, but the numbers still don’t add up to that contention.
This guy seems to think Mormonism is no longer an issue, and I tended to agree with him until last week. His argument, based on poll numbers is not that convincing since Romney has always polled reasonable well. The left and the press (oh wait – same thing) are determined to try and pluck this strong until someone listens to the note. The din last week was just too loud for this issue to be dead yet. Effective? – we have to wait and see, but there is going to be a lot of noise. I mean when a guy like our old “friend” Damon Linker keeps coming up, some one is going to bite. Someone is going to try and may hay out of this….
Meanwhile, in other religions, Michael Gerson is calling for Roman Catholics to be less diverse. I think he is overstepping here – it is up to ecclesiastical leadership to raise such questions.
And the Pawlenty-Evangelical connection is beginning to be drawn. But some are claiming Evangelicals belong to Obama. Evangelicals may have voted for The Big O in significant numbers in ’08, but I can promise you that trend will not hold. His governance has more than erased the romanticism that lead to that statistical anomaly.
Playing The Field…
Chris Cillizza wonders if the GOP bid is worth it. (YES) And while we are there, this is fun. But does the race really start at this weekend’s forthcoming CPAC? The journalists want us to think so because it is a small contained place that they can easily cover. CPAC matters but not that much and certainly not this early in this race.
Back to Cillizza, who surveyed the filed on Tuesday which is a good transition to discuss the candidates.
The real bubble this week has surrounded Haley Barbour. His aides are talking and he is traveling. He is even losing weight. Scott Conroy looked at his “Southern Handicap.“ The problem is going to run deeper than just perception of Southerners. I promise you somewhere in his past, likely youth, he has said something quite unsavory on race – it is almost mandatory having grown up in Mississippi. They’ll bury him with it. But that would probably account for why the left is tilting him up – think bobo doll.
Tim Pawlenty continued to get some press this week. He seems to be “in the crosshairs.” He is taking a little fire from his neighbors. Politico thinks he is an “underdog.” The Corner says is is “not Mitch Daniels.”
After looking at an Evangelical that went to a Mormon school a while back, let’s look at an Evangelical going to Catholic Mass.