Saturday, July 7, 2012

The things you learn from wingnuts

In my travels around the internets, I ran across this article at Pat Robertson's web site about how Mitt Romney is reaching out to the evangelical community behind the scenes.
The Brody File has learned that Mitt Romney’s campaign has begun a serious push to engage evangelical leaders behind the scenes, including weekly meetings, personal phone calls from Romney, discussions about appearing at more faith-based events, and serious dialogue about convening a gathering this fall with national evangelical leaders.
First of all, oops to the Brody File. If he's doing it "behind the scenes," it probably means that he doesn't want it broadcast for all the world to see :-)

But apparently, Mitt hasn't managed to seal the deal with these folks yet.
While the Romney campaign is making a serious push to bring evangelical leaders on board, it isn’t so much the leaders that need convincing. Rather, the focus now is on getting the conservative evangelical base motivated. To that end, The Brody File has learned that last week around 70 conservative Christian leaders met in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., to discuss what it would take to get behind Romney...

While no final plan was hatched, there is now more communications going back and forth between this group and the Romney campaign where ideas and concerns are being communicated about how best to mobilize the base. What is clear is that evangelical leaders are mostly on board with Romney but their constituencies are not quite there yet.
If you have any doubts about why Romney's shake of the etch-a-sketch has him stumbling to create anything as a replacement to his primary season rhetoric...there it is. For instance, here are this group's demands.
The bridge between reluctancy and enthusiasm as it pertains to the Romney candidacy is called trust. Can evangelicals trust Romney not only to fix the economy but also will Romney defend life, strengthen the family, push back on the incursions regarding religious liberty as made evident by the HHS mandate? In other words, can evangelicals trust Romney with the trifecta of evangelical concerns; faith, family and freedom?
What they want is more anti-choice, anti-GLBT, anti-contraception from Romney. After all, what says "freedom" more than the government telling someone who they can/can't have sex with?

But here's the really creepy part. Check out Romney's approach to these folks from the past.
In The Brody File’s just released book called, The Teavangelicals, new details emerge about how Romney has been discreetly courting evangelical leaders for years. During a private meeting at his home in the Boston suburbs in 2006, Ann and Mitt Romney visited with more than a dozen evangelical leaders, including Franklin Graham, the late Jerry Falwell, Richard Land, Jay Sekulow, Frank Wright, and Gary Bauer.

They sat in a circle and ate sandwiches while discussing topics like the fight against radical Islam, stem cell research, and Romney’s Mormon faith. About a month later, all the evangelical attendees received a giant box. Inside was a chair with a brass plate on the back of it. Inscribed on the plate was Romney’s signature with the words, ‘There will always be a seat for you at our table.’
OMG - no wonder they want to keep this shit secret!!!!!!!


  1. I have said this many times before: Romney has a huge strategic disadvantage in this election, because he has to continue to struggle to preserve the integrity of his own troops while Obama's fights for "independents" and the GOP's left wing. There would need to be some massive external balance on Romney's side to even things out, but there's not nor does it seem likely it will be.

    Job numbers aren't great, but they are not negative, i.e., jobs are being created. A contrast is still formed with 2008.

    Then there is the tactical problem for Romney, which is that he courts the evangelical base's leadership under the assumption that that will turn out the votes. Obama's campaign contacts individual, actual voters on the capillary level, phone call by phone call. The GOP, with its fetishization of "leadership" imagines that real politics takes place in closed-door meetings between people with titles. Obama knows that in this system it is about turnout, and turnout happens one-to-one.

    Clearly, nothing is in the bag, but the lay of the land, if we work it, is favorable.

    1. Good point about "top down" vs grassroots.

      I'd also add that this is exactly the same problem McCain faced when he won the nomination. The base didn't trust him either - which is what led him to pick Palin. Looks like Romney is not going to repeat that mistake. But it does demonstrate that this problem is a feature in the Republican Party rather than a bug.

    2. Thank you for your kind words.

      You are also right that this problem is a feature for the GOP, though one that really only became exposed in the second GWB term.

      Fundamentally, the GOP's problem is that they bet against the New Deal. The issue is not the New Deal per se, but the fact that the New Deal was the Keynesian response in the US to the contradictions in global, industrial capitalism. To run a modern economy, you either face depression (economic style) or you use the state as a steering mechanism for the economy. This means you need to use government to stimulate effective demand. Demand is the key.

      The GOP rejects this established fact because, given the diminishing returns on investment in mature capitalism (post-1973), elites refused to pay the short term costs of the system's long term upkeep. So, it has to form a coalition in an electoral system however it can, and we know that race and religious fanaticism was the tool to get people to vote GOP en masse. Problem is, and I am not original in this observation, at some point people want more than rhetoric. The GOP elite cannot pay what it promised, and you get 2006 and 2008. 2010 I still read as deviation from this larger trend. The President is Black, and that motivates the racist element of the GOP coalition.

  2. you find the best stuff, smartypants.
    thanks for telling us. I will definitely spread the word about this creepiness.