Yep – Wyoming. Beauty Contest? Sure, but so were Santorum’s supposed “big three” wins of a couple of weeks ago. Santorum’s beauty wins were “news” – this took a little digging. No, no press bias here. Press bias is hardly unexpected, but it sure is making strange bedfellows.
Some of it has to do with Santorum’s willingness to engage in some pretty over-the-top rhetoric. But as Ann Coulter points out, in the middle of his bombast he is often self-contradictory, misrepresentative, and clearly does not argue effectively for conservative principles.
Santorum can’t be the one arguing for our side.
Even when he’s asked to defend his own blindingly obvious point, Santorum manages to blow it. A few weeks ago, George Snuffalupagus asked Santorum about a perfectly reasonable quote from his book “It Takes a Family,” where he suggested “that a lot of women feel pressure to work outside the home because of radical feminism.”
Santorum disavowed the quote and gallantly blamed it on his wife: “Well, that section of the book was co-written, if you want to be honest about it, by my wife, who is a nurse and a lawyer.”
Mrs. Santorum is neither listed as a co-author nor thanked in the acknowledgments of the book. (Rick should read his book! It’s probably chock full of interesting quotes like that.)
Then, when asked about another criticism of radical feminists from his own book, he said: “I don’t know — that’s a new quote for me.”
My imaginary beagle could have defended Santorum’s book better.
But the story line that keeps creeping up is the “divide” between Romney and Evangelicals and the GOP and Evangelicals. Of course, preachers trying to capitalize on the headlines is almost non-news that makes news because the press wants it – goes around begging for it really. The more interesting stuff is the exit poll analysis from places like NPR and the fact that there, over on the sidelines – the Rubio religious attacks continue. (Talk about a preemptive strike!)
All of this is to pretty much be expected. The press loves Obama and Romney is the best chance to unseat him. What I do not understand for the life of me is why so many of my coreligionists – people with the same public interest I have – want to aid them in the matter. As Jim Geraghty pointed out yesterday, as Jay Cost pointed out yesterday, as Hugh Hewitt pointed out yesterday, as we pointed out yesterday the race may not be over but the race IS decided. That’s the point in every race where the rhetoric shifts. It’s the point in the race where you stop throwing hammers and start rebuilding the coalition for the big fight ahead.
It should be the time where religious leaders like Richard Land and Franklin Graham find a way to embrace Romney’s faith. Newsmax was all over their most recent declarations that Mormonism is not Christian yesterday. Newsmax’ behavior is unsurprising, but Land and Graham have got to get smart and get smart fast. They are making “the Santorum mistake,” making their point in the wrong circumstance in the wrong way.
Look, I have little doubt that if Romney is elected president many of the religiously unwashed will come to view Mormonism as just another branch of mainstream American religion which is considered vaguely “Christian.” I know that is incredibly important to some people. But it is also a discussion for the mission field, not the political one. When I invite people to my Presbyterian church I often get Pentecostal objections thrown in my face. I am sure when Land asks people to his Baptist church he hears about Catholicism. Well guess what people, maybe now we’ll have to work a little harder to distinguish ourselves – maybe, but frankly here in the Jello Belt I find “the confusion” pretty prevalent already.
But one thing is for sure at this particular juncture - The very public rhetoric of Land and Graham aids Obama’s reelection chances. It’s as simple as that. Now remember – that means that by making sure everyone knows “Mormons are not Christian” they help reelect the President that would FORCE a church to act against its religiously formed conscience.
Right now I do not want to argue the point with these guys, I just want them to understand that they have to find a different way to talk about it – at least until the election is over. Let’s try this on for size “Well, that’s an interesting question and one that deserves an answer far more complex than I can give in this setting – but what I will tell you is this; it’s vitally important for religious freedom and conscience that Obama not be reelected.”
Once Romney is elected, there’s going to be panels and coverage galore. Can you imagine the amount of words that will flow simply about how the inauguration might or might not be different for a Mormon. There will be plenty of opportunity to make your point after November. But for now, let’s keep our powder dry.
Anything else and you find yourself in bed with the Obama loving MSM. Not where I think you want to be.