Weak Reed: Religious Right Operative Fails To Deliver On Grandiose Election Promises
Rob Boston printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 10:07:55 AM EST

Like a lot of you, I got way too many political calls in the lead-up to the election. In fact, I stopped answering the phone.

I made an exception just days before Nov. 6 when my caller I.D. announced that Ralph Reed was calling. Reed, former executive director of the Christian Coalition and now head of the Faith & Freedom Coalition (FFC), is a longtime Religious Right hack, and I wanted to hear his spiel. I raced to the phone. (In case you're wondering, I have attended FFC conferences in the past, and that's why I'm on Reed's call list.)

Unfortunately, all I heard when I picked up was a woman's voice ask, "Is this Mr. Boston?" before the line went dead.

The next evening, Reed tried once more. And again I jumped up from the couch (sending an alarmed cat scurrying upstairs) and grabbed the phone before the second ring. This time, I didn't even hear a voice, just a dial tone.

If this was an example of Reed's much-vaunted voter outreach, it leaves something to be desired.

The fact is, Reed had a bad night Nov. 6. Months prior to the election, he bragged about his plans to distribute 25 million voter guides and reach out to more than 100,000 churches. An army of right-wing evangelicals, he said, would march into the nation's voting booths and propel Mitt Romney to the White House.

Sorry, Ralph, but it appears your army went missing in action.

Conservative columnist Steve Deace says Religious Right evangelical turnout actually dropped in two key states - Virginia and Florida.

"The exit polls also said white evangelical turnout in Virginia was down 7% from 2008, and Romney did not improve evangelical turnout in Florida from four years ago while losing about 40,000 to libertarian Gary Johnson," wrote Deace.

Christianity Today reported that evangelical support for the GOP ticket also dropped in Ohio, the mother of all battleground states. It was only a 3-point drop, but in a tight race that might have made a difference.

"In Ohio, Romney had a more difficult time convincing evangelicals to support him," reported the magazine. "In 2008, McCain received 71 percent of evangelical votes in Ohio. Exit polls this year don't show much change, with 68 percent of evangelicals voting for the Republican ticket."

Just to be clear, Romney got a lot of support from white evangelicals on Tuesday. Something like 78 percent backed him. But Reed didn't promise to merely help Romney maintain the status quo. He bragged about a dramatic influx of new voters and an aggressive get-out-the-vote strategy to boost Romney's numbers.

Didn't happen. As CNN reported, the Republicans' ground game was, well, not on the ground and not much of a game. Ralph reportedly got $10 million from right-wing fat cats to turn out the vote for Romney. I wonder if they'll ask for a refund?

Reed did enlist a few right-wing heavy hitters to make robocalls for him. Among them were Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, former Sen. Rick Santorum and that towering Christian leader Donald Trump.

Reed even reportedly persuaded Focus on the Family founder James Dobson to do a robocall. Dobson must have a short memory because the last time he worked with Reed, he ended up being duped into backhandedly aiding casino interests during the infamous Jack Abramoff scandal. (Reed was in that thing up to his neck but escaped serious scrutiny.)

But here's the thing: In ReedWorld, you never have to say you're sorry. The day after the election, Reed appeared at a press conference in Washington, D.C., to insist that he had done his job.

"We can't do the Republican Party's job for them," a testy Reed said. "We can't do the candidates' job for them." He blamed the poor GOP showing on "candidate performance issues."

What about the millions of phone calls Reed promised to make? What about his vow to implement the most technologically sophisticated voter ID and outreach effort the conservative world had ever seen? (Reed told The New York Times in September that his group would call 17.1 million registered voters in 15 key states and that two million people would receive personal visits.) What about his scheme to flood the nation with slanted voter guides?

Reed insists he did all of that stuff. Two hang-up calls later have left me skeptical.

The sad thing is, I suspect Reed doesn't really care if his outreach wasn't all it was cranked up to be. After all, he still got paid. And for Ralph, that's the bottom line in more ways than one.




Display:
One might say his rallying call was a bit Reed-y? But I can't say I'm shocked, the more level-headed pundits were calling the past election for Obama before the republican primary had finished

by Hirador on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 03:28:41 PM EST

"What about the millions of phone calls Reed promised to make?"

Rob, you got two of the million.  LOL

by JerrySloan on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 05:04:44 PM EST



WWW Talk To Action


On Christmas Day, in the Morning
In recent years at Christmastime, I have posted a response to the preposterous-but-malevolent claims broadcast on Fox News and elsewhere that there is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Hallelujah, Mike Huckabee, Hallelujah
Fox News personality Mike Huckabee had a defining moment in the wake of the Newtown massacre. One that as we enter the 2016 presidential......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Moses And Michele: Departing Member Of Congress Spreads More Misinformation
The Religious Right's Moses fixation continues to grow.As you might recall, the Texas State Board of Education recently demanded social studies textbooks that highlight......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Christian Right Silent about Bob Jones U Sex Abuse Report
One of the deep scandals of our time, and apparently times past, is that sex abuse, particularly of children, has been so tolerated and......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Boot These Bigoted Bans: Movement Seeks To Remove Anti-Atheist Bias From State Constitutions
Eight states still have provisions in their constitutions that either bar atheists outright from holding public office or require people to believe certain things......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
James Madison and Tax-Supported Chaplains
In light of former Sen. Rick Santorum's recent silly declaration that “the words ‘separation of church and state’ is not in the U.S. Constitution,......
By Chris Rodda (0 comments)
Death to Obama; Death to "Homos"; What's Next?
When the Obama administration was young, threats against the president were common, and sometimes quite public. One notorious such incident was that of Rev.......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Rick Scarborough's America
When Stand Up Sunday was convened by Mike Huckabee in Houston it was to feature the leading spokesmen for the Religious Right agenda.  The......
By wilkyjr (0 comments)
The Republican Diversity Program... Is Working
I don't usually write directly about electoral politics, but sometimes I bring an outsider's perspective to how the inside looks to some of the......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
American Christian Right Leaders in Rome
The remarkable and growing alliance between conservative Catholicism and protestant evangelicalism was on prominent display at a recent event at the Vatican. My colleague......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Religious Supremacism on the Rise Against Marriage Equality
This is a crosspost of an op-ed I recently published at LGBTQ Nation.  -- FC Christian right undermines marriage equality with religious supremacism FREDERICK......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
The Author of Loathing Lincoln Explains Why Some on the Christian Right Loathe Lincoln
One under-reported result of the 2014 elections was the rise of Neo-Confederate politics in the U.S. This included the election of unabashed apologist for......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
A Catholic Theocracy Grows in Florida
Catholic Right pizza mogul Tom Monaghan and his Ave Maria School of Law are back in the news.  Journalist Eleanor Bader has a new......
By Frederick Clarkson (6 comments)
Mississippi Madness: Group Wants To Designate An Official Religion
A group in Mississippi is collecting signatures for a ballot initiative to change the state constitution in several ways.The proposal put forth by the......
By Rob Boston (5 comments)
I Stand Sunday Part 2
I Stand Sunday took place in Houston, Nov. 2, 2014, motivated by the cities' mayor who subpoenaed sermons from local pastors.  The host church......
By wilkyjr (1 comment)

Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (0 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (0 comments)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (2 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (5 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (4 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (1 comment)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents
This caught me by surprise. I guess times are a changin in Dixieland. ------------------------------------- Cross posted from the HRC blog. Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents January 21,......
COinMS (0 comments)
Robert Knight: Running against evolution could potentially be a winner for the GOP
In one of the starkest instances yet of how far gone the religious right is, one of its leading activists thinks that he's found another potential wedge issue that could drive more people into......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
First Catholic official convicted in child sex abuse scandal has conviction overturned
Last year, Monsignor William Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's secretary for clergy, was convicted of reassigning a priest whom he knew had molested a young boy to a parish that had a school attached......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Quotes From Sarah Palin 'War on Christmas" Book v. Quotes From 1920s Anti-Jewish Propaganda
The point of this comparison is not to cast Sarah Palin as a Nazi. Rather, my intent is to underline uncomfortable similarities between contemporary "war on Christmas" talking points propagated by elements of the......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Francis sets up commission on how to deal with pedophile priests
Late yesterday Pope Francis announced--apparently after some prodding--that he will set up a panel to advise him on how to deal with child abuse by priests. The announcement was a forthright acknowledgment by the......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.