Dobson Slams McCain
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Apr 02, 2008 at 01:21:31 PM EST
There have been  a lot of rumblings on the right, particularly the religious right about Sen. John McCain that do not bode well for his ability to unify the GOP. McCain once rightly called Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson "agents of intolerance." He meant it, and he has always been independent of the religious right on mmany things -- but he had also been seeking to patch things up as he prepared for his presidential campaign. His efforts have met with some success. But not enough.

Right wing talk show host Bill Cunningham and the ever-notorious Ann Coulter would rather vote for Hillary Clinton. Richard Viguerie is encouraging conservatives to sit this one out and regroup. And Alan Keyes is leaving the GOP altogether and will seek the nomination of the theocratic Constitution Party. (He will reportedly announce his intentions on April 15th, (tax day) in Pennsylvania.)

And now James Dobson tells the Wall Street Journal:

"I have seen no evidence that Sen. McCain is successfully unifying the Republican Party or drawing conservatives into his fold," he said in a written statement, reflecting his personal views. "To the contrary, he seems intent on driving them away."
In a written statement to the Journal, he stated:
To my knowledge, he has not reached out to pro-family leaders or changed any of the positions that have troubled them. He still believes, for example, that federal money should be allocated for laboratory experiments with tiny human embryos, after which they would be killed when they are no longer useful. He continues to favor allowing each state to create its own definition of marriage, potentially giving the nation 50 different legal interpretations. It would create chaos within families.

On March 7th, the senator delivered a speech to influential members of the The Council on National Policy, during which he thoroughly disappointed and irritated many of those in attendance. By contrast, McCain spoke last week during to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council on Foreign Policy, and reiterated his support for governmental intervention in the global warming debate, proposed shutting down Guantanamo, blamed the U.S military for torturing prisoners of war and promised to pander to our European allies before defending America's interests around the world. These policies frustrated conservatives, whom McCain seems to have written off.

One of his senior advisors asserted recently on Fox News that 'the right' can just go its own way, stating that McCain can win by attracting moderates and crossover Democrats. That seems to be the strategy. These are not the policies and pronouncements of a man who is seeking to 'unify the party.' Indeed, they appear to be fracturing an increasingly divided constituency. "

Oh yeah, and unmentioned by Dobson and for that matter, the Journal is that McCain advisor, former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger's recent statement that the religous right is "a serious problem."

...I have had in 8 years. I so want these idiots to sit out the election. When thinking of Dobson, the word "Peevish" comes to mind. Repeatedly.

by SharonB on Wed Apr 02, 2008 at 03:35:28 PM EST a rats' patootie what Dobson thinks. John McCain has been  targeting John Hagee and his crowd for a specific reason. Hagee and the CUFI/AIPAC are very definitely "fellow travellers" in the ongoing crusade against Islam. I also think that Dobson will soon be coming to the table especially if Barak Obama gets the nomination.

by Frank Frey on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:51:28 AM EST

Dobson may be griping, but just a couple of weeks ago he was telling his millions of radio show listeners that the outcome of the November elections was incredibly important for the future direction of the country.

With at least two likely supreme court positions opening up in the next term, Dobson may distrust McCain, but he knows for certain that he will not like whoever Obama selects.  So, in the end, Dobson will hold his nose and in spite of his distaste for McCain and his disgust over the reasons why the Republicans lost in 2006, come the fall, he will be carrying their water and rallying the troops just as strongly as he did in 2004 and 2006.

Don't forget, Dobson is a big "fear the evil brown Muslim horde" booster, and that is probably one area he feels he can trust McCain on.  So if he needs to rationalize his eventually support for McCain to his listeners, that is the way he will do it (and they will all believe him, of course).

by tacitus on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 01:32:00 AM EST

Dobson sat out the election of 1996 when Bob Dole was the candidate -- another rather independent and ideologically unreliable Republican.  Dobson later said he voted for the Constitution Party candidate when he got to the voting booth.

He has also repeatedly threatened the GOP with holding back or bolting if they ever nominate anything other than a pro-life candidate. McCain is a mixed bag as far a Dobson is concerned. He has said he will never support John McCain. I believe him.

I am not a prognosticator of political behavior. But I don't discount what people have done in the past. That is why I was only mildly supprised that Pat Robertson endorsed Giuliani this year. Robertson protege Ralph Reed and Giuliani were fierce allies (Giuliani campaigned and raised funds for the Abramoff tainted Reed in his unsuccessful 2006 run for Lt. Governor of GA.) And Robertson and Reed were strong Bob Dole partisans during the GOP primaries and in the general election. Reed was Dole's floor manager at the 1996 GOP convention in San Diego.

Dobson is far more of a purist than Robertson and most others. His public posturing is more tortured than most too, as he tries to deal with the fact that nobody is Dobson enough for Dobson.

by Frederick Clarkson on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 09:44:17 AM EST

I used to believe that Dobson was, at least, a man who was more honorable than most religious right leaders and more principled, but I changed my opinion after hearing him operate during the run up to the 2006 election.

He did everything he could to shore up the Republican majority, including defending the Republican leadership during the gay page affair and having Ann Coulter on the show twice, (I find it hard to believe that he doesn't know that Coulter is about as nasty a piece of work there is in punditry and her modus operandi is as un-Christian as they come).

So, while I understand his public animus toward McCain, I remain to be convince that he will refuse to put aside his differences with the Republican candidate at least enough for him to encourage his flock to vote in the election.

Perhaps he won't name McCain or endorse McCain, but any exhortation to vote or to get involved will essentially be the same thing, since he always makes it obvious that any Democrat, no matter how moderate is beyond the pale.

by tacitus on Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 12:51:46 AM EST

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