Is there evidence that suburban independents chose not to vote Republican primarily or even pluralily* because they worried about what Kathleen Parker calls the Oogedy Boogedy sect within the party? (i.e., Andrew’s Christianists, Ross’s conservative evangelicals.)? Lots of people assume that there is. This assumption is common more to liberals and centrists than it is to conservatives, of course. It’d be good to see some hard numbers from either side of this debate.
The problem with Sarah Palin, at least according to pre-election polls, was not that she exemplified/amplified the Christian right. It was that voters perceived her to be incompetent and not able to handle the job of commander in chief. In any event, there might be evidence to support this claim; Barack Obama ( a self-described evangelical, it must be said) turned over a whole bunch of suburbs in fast-growing areas. Democrats tried mightily to make inroads with conservative evangelicals, and they failed. This demographic group is, as Larison points out, is one of the most reliable factions within the party. At this point, they matter enough. The dirty secret is not that a large part of the Republican establishment is worried about their influence. There are two secrets, actually: one — that the “leaders” of the various movements within social conservatism are ill-adapted to modern politics and can exacerbate tensions between the movement and outsiders; and two — that a large part of the Republican establishment believes they can pander to these voters, not address their core concerns, and still rely on them for support. You can’t build a Republican Party without them, but, depending on where you are in this great land of ours, you can safely ignore their cultural demands and still be a success, even if you’re a Republican. When Charlie Crist ran for governor of Florida, he vacillated between pandering to the right and ignoring them. As governor, he’s ignored them. And his approval rating is at 68%.
Well, did you think Rod Rosenstein was going to say, “You got me. The Mueller probe was inappropriate and politicized?” No, you didn’t. And the deputy attorney general did not disappoint. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, Rosenstein defended the investigation as “appropriate ... Read More
In Brooklyn, there is an occult bookshop called Catland Books. “Catland” is, one imagines, an apt description of the homes of the women who congregate there. The operators of the establishment have announced that they are planning to hold a special hex session this weekend to make Supreme Court justice ... Read More
Representative Joaquin Castro (D., Texas) claimed without evidence Friday that White House adviser Jared Kushner may have prompted the Saudi government to assassinate journalist Jamal Khashoggi by including his name on an “enemies list” provided to Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. During an appearance on ... Read More
It’s been a bad week for Heidi Heitkamp. Last night, the North Dakota Democrat squared off against Republican congressman Kevin Cramer in a debate, as she fights to hold on to her Senate seat. With less than three weeks to go until the election, Heitkamp already appeared to be at a disadvantage; most recent ... Read More
I must have missed something: Was there some kind of all-hands white-people meeting at which we voted to kick the Democrats out? Elizabeth Warren, Rachel Dolezal, Beto O’Rourke — what’s up with all the ethnic play-acting? Isn’t cultural appropriation supposed to be a bad thing among progressives? Isn’t ... Read More
‘The world is not a dark and evil place,” insists an exasperated woman played by Judy Greer in Halloween. “It’s full of love and understanding!” I put the question to the class: Is she right? In the new film (not a reboot but a sequel that occurs 40 years after the events in the 1978 original and ... Read More