Barbara O’Brien of Mahablog is one of my favourite political bloggers – her posts are sharp and insightful. In a recent post she looks at the effect of so-called “values voters” on the Republican party. The Republicans are beholden to the Religious Right, a group which finds its meaning in its opposition to abortion and gay rights. With Rudy Giuliani as the Republican front-runner, some of these voters are threatening to vote for a third-party candidate if Giuliani becomes the nominee. O’Brien writes:
Tim Watkin says the Republicans are hoisted by their own values. James Dobson’s announcement that the religious Right will not support a pro-choice candidate is more than a blow to Rudy Giuliani’s candidacy, he says. The statement also “shows just how the Republicans have gotten themselves tangled in knots over all things moral and signals a turning point for the religious right in America.”
But for the religious Right, the only “value” that seems to matter is sexual purity, rigidly defined. Is that to be the sole measure of a leader?
O’Brien goes on to discuss the problem with defining “values” solely in terms of sexual purity. And, of course, this doesn’t include issues like marital infidelity. It’s a sad day when Rudy Giuliani is the best presidential candidate the Republican party can provide. Setting aside the issue of the candidate, the Republican party’s chances are not great in the 2008 elections. But if the Religious Right makes good on their threat to bolt, it could be a landslide defeat for them. Not that I’m complaining…