Laying Traps

I wonder if some people understand how they play into the political oppositions hands?  Today brought us a story about how Evangelicals and Catholics can work together:

Despite differences over contraception, evangelical leaders have fallen in step with Catholic bishops over what they see as federal compulsion to provide services against their conscience.

[...]

Evangelicals including Chuck Colson, Albert Mohler, and Jim Daly specifically said the issue was not just a Catholic one. While evangelicals do not take the same stance against all contraception, they generally oppose forms of birth control that block uterine implantation.

And yet, one of the biggest names in Evangelical leadership, Ralph Reed, tells us:

But Santorum and his supporters may have the last laugh. From John C. Fremont to William Jennings Bryan in the 19th century to Barry Goldwater, Eugene McCarthy, George McGovern and Ronald Reagan in our time, losing presidential candidates have previewed the ideological trajectory of their parties — and often of the nation.

Romney would be wise to remember this in his general-election campaign. Of course he can’t neglect independents, or women, or Hispanics, or other nontraditional Republican constituencies. But his immediate task is to consolidate conservative support and unify the party. The best way to do that is to appropriate the best parts of Santorum’s message.

So, rather than follow the lead of the party, like Evangelicals are doing on the contraception issue with Catholic leadership, they are telling the WINNER that he has to move towards them.  In other words, they are emphasizing the divide inside the party at the time when the clear message is to come together.  Reed is absolutely right when he says the immediate task is to “unify the party,” but given that Evangelicals, in the form of their designated candidate Rick Santorum, are the LOSERS is not the onus on them to make concessions to party unity?

And so, into this picture steps Team Obama and their more-then-willing allies in the MSM.  First we turn our attention to Marc Thiessen at WaPo:

Mitt Romney handed President Obama a political gift this weekend, when his campaign announced that he would not file his tax return on time. Romney made the announcement at 5 p.m. on Friday — the time politicians usually put out bad news they hope no one will notice. Team Obama noticed all right. The president took a break from the Summit of the Americas in Colombia to criticize Romney’s lack of transparency, while Obama campaign manager Jim Messina declared that it “begs the question — what does he have to hide?”

[...]

The “secrecy” charge is particularly damaging for Romney because it is a clever way for Obama to exploit some Americans’ discomfort with Romney’s Mormon faith without ever raising the issue directly. Recall the outcry last August when a senior Obama adviser declared their intention to highlight the “weirdness factor with Romney.” Team Obama knows many Americans see Mormonism as a “secretive” religion. Calling Romney a “secretive” candidate is a way to tap into those fears without incurring any political blowback.

Now. lay on that Lois Romano’s Politico piece of early this morning:

Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith has hovered over his 20-year political career like a thick layer of incense at Easter Mass. Negative perceptions of the religion so worried his 2008 presidential team that the dilemma had its own acronym in campaign power point presentations: TMT (That Mormon Thing).

Worries persisted this year as skeptical evangelical Christians flocked to other candidates—any other candidate it seemed — causing Romney to avoid all things Mormon in public.

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