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"Religion, Politics, the Presidency: Commentary by a Mormon, an Evangelical, and an Orthodox Christian"

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Evangelicals for Mitt has arrived: it’s the target of “an actual mainstream media hit piece”

Posted by: Lowell Brown at 09:45 pm, December 12th 2011     —    2 Comments »

It was only a matter of time before Evangelicals for Mitt, well-known to most of our readers, came under MSM attack. After all, an influential website that challenges a favorite MSM narrative – Evangelicals won’t support Mitt Romney – could not realistically hope to escape the attention of outlets like Time Magazine’s Swampland Blog.  The charge in Mark Benjamin’s post is that there’s something very, very…well, fishy about the way David and Nancy French, EFM’s leaders, are so supportive of Governor Romney.

Try this evidence and reasoning on for size:

Though David and Nancy French deny it, campaign finance experts say the couple’s group looks like a thinly disguised extension of the Romney campaign. “They appear to be able to spend lots of money, but won’t say where it comes from,” says Fred Wertheimer, founder and President of Democracy 21. “It is circumstantial evidence, but it suggests this is a shell group for a Romney operation.”

(Emphasis added.)  Pretty damning stuff, isn’t it?  The post goes on to detail EFM’s various connections with … Romney supporters and financiers. Benjamin also admits, with supporting quotes from a legal expert, that there is nothing unlawful in EFM’s apparent close ties to the candidate Nancy and David support.

That’s enough snarkiness.  We fail to see the relevance of fully legal connections, friendships, and other ties between two activist writers and bloggers and a campaign they choose to support.  Why is it important?  There is an Evangelicals for Ron Paul organization too.  One wonders why that one doesn’t seem interesting to Swampland.  I can’t shake the suspicion that the folks at Time just couldn’t believe serious Evangelicals would actually support Romney so unreservedly.

Not surprisingly, David French responded on his blog:

Here’s the way Evangelicals for Mitt works.  When there is no presidential campaign we have the liberty to spend our own money and to raise money from friends to convince Mitt to run and to argue that he’s best equipped to repair our economy, defend life, and confront jihad.  The instant the campaign officially starts, we stop spending and raising money (thank you, John McCain for limiting my freedoms) and just run our little blog, write in other outlets, answer media inquiries, volunteer when we can, and talk to anyone who’ll talk to us.  We give the maximum donations to the campaign, but that’s it.

In other words, we support a candidate for president, we put our money where our mouth is, we work hard, and we comply with the law.  Last time I checked, that was called “citizenship.”

The Christian Post also ran an article on the Swampland post, with interviews from David and Nancy French; and David writes in more detail at NRO, and in even more detail at Patheos.  (The Patheos piece is a particularly devastating fisking of Benjamin’s work.)

So there have it. Much ado about…well, you know the rest.

(Full disclosure:  Article VI Blog derives 100% of its funding from John and me.  We remain open to offers of lavish financial support, however; there’s a lifestyle to which we’d like to become accustomed.  Just e-mail us!)

John Chimes In…

“Lavish?!” please Lowell, I was thinking more along the lines of “extravagant.”

Anyway, It took me all night to figure out why Time bothered with this piece, after all, there is absolutely, positively nothing there.  Then it dawned me.  The cover story of the last, if not the current, issue of the magazine  features a picture of Romney and the title “Why Don’t They Like Me?”

Time was following the religion angle on that question!  That’s the genesis of this blog post.  The implication is, “You have to pay Evangelicals for them to like Mitt.”  Once again, playing on suspicion or reservations since the out-and-out bigotry of some has been delegitimized.

All of which makes this the funniest headline I have read in a decade or so:

Romney uses Mormon faith to deflect attention from wealth

“The Indianapolis Colts used their winless record to hide the fact that without Peyton Manning they really, really stink.”  You don’t emphasize a negative to hide a negative!  Time blogging about nothing and Reuters writing headlines that are absurd on their face.  It’s official, the campaign has entered The Twilight Zone.  Que the music.


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