Panic Mode?

Is the religious right about to hit panic mode after Mitt Romney edged out Rick Santorum in the Iowa Republican presidential caucuses? POLITICO reports that James Dobson (Focus on the Family), Don Wildmon (American Family Association), Gary Bauer (American Values) and other movement leaders have been invited to a confab next weekend at the Texas ranch of Paul Pressler (who helped lead the right-wing takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention in the 1970s). According to POLITICO, the invitation reads:

“You and your spouse are cordially invited to a private meeting with national conservative leaders of faith at the ranch of Paul and Nancy Pressler near Brenham, Texas, with the purpose of attempting to unite and to come to a consensus on which Republican presidential candidate or candidates to support, or which not to support.”

Many of the invitees are members of The Arlington Group, a secretive cabal of religious-right political leaders. It’s no secret that those Christian fundamentalist poo-bahs are appalled that Romney, a Mormon and pseudo-moderate, might become the GOP presidential nominee. But Bauer told POLITICO that the purpose of the meeting at the Pressler ranch isn’t to find a way to stop Romney.

Well, we’ll see.

Interesting side note: Pressler, a former Texas judge, is the campaign treasurer for Donna Bahorich, a Houston Republican who is seeking election the Texas State Board of Education this year.

UPDATE: Dallas Morning News writer Wayne Slater is reporting what at least one expected participant at the Pressler meeting told him:

“One thing unites all in this group — Romney is not their guy…. The goal is to come together around somebody who will carry our issues and won’t abandon those issues when he becomes president.”

Slater writes that other invitees include Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, Christian Zionist leader John Hagee of San Antonio, and Kelly Shackelford of the Plano-based Liberty Institute (the Texas affiliate of Focus on the Family).

10 thoughts on “Panic Mode?

  1. I have one query regarding religious affiliations and other non-profit religious groups engaging in the political arena……why not revoke their 501c3?

  2. Dang. I had the most wonderful long post for you guys and lost it while typing. It was a masterpiece. Really. I swear. Well, I will just give you my conclusion that I never wrote.

    Pressler and the Religious Right boys have come to the conclusion that ALL of the current Republican candidates are unacceptable for assorted reasons. In my lost post, I laid out my analysis as to why they probably believe this and did it on a candidate-by-candidate basis. In my opinion, the boys are meeting together to do what my wife calls “running it all through the equation” to make sure that this is indeed the case.

    You have to remember the McCain case in 2008. The Religious Right stayed home (feeling bilked). In their righteous (so they believe) anger over being ignored in that election cycle, they swore that they would one day band together and demonstrate to the Republican Party that they (and they alone) have the power (by their discrete action) to MAKE or BREAK the Republican Party in a national election. With a liberal-leaning Romney candidacy looking ever more likely, his unacceptable religious beliefs, and a Republican candidate field that is absolutely the pits—scraping the bottom of the barrel—downright homely, I believe the Religious Right is now poised to intentionally and willfully play that promised “make or break” card in the big game. No—they now feel compelled to play that card.

    This is what we are about to see. The Religious Right is about to caucus and identify their candidate for President—and it will not be anyone in the current field of Republican candidates. He or she will be a dark horse candidate—in my opinion one picked by Satan himself while sitting at his desk. They will then go to the Republican leadership and say, Either you run this person we have selected or else:


  3. Let me say this out loud: the social conservative religious right wing nuts are total morons. Stupid, stupid, stupid!

    Such whining and gnashing of teeth for a “conservative candidate.”

    Well, they had George W. Bush in the White House for 8 years! How did that God-fearing social agenda work out, huh? So, what does anyone think that Bachmann or Santorum could really do? Are these conservatives totally insane, deluded or totally ignorant of how government actually works or all of the above?

  4. There is an interesting dynamic at play here that was also present in 2008. The social conservative “revival” of 2000-2006 is long over. A social conservative candidate can do well in some republican primaries but certainly not in a general election. 40% of all voters are independents, the largest bloc, and they simply will not vote for a Santorum or Perry or Gingrich or Bachmann. Of this current crop only Romney and Huntsman have independent appeal. Which is not to paint Ron Paul with the religious right brush but, although he is right on target with some of his ideas, especially on the Patriot Act, he appeal is limited.

    The ideal solution would be for the FRC and the AFA and FOF to leave the GOP and form their own party. We need a viable 2 party system in this country and we simply don’t have have that when the GOP is under the influence of the religious right parasites. Quite simply their agenda is not legitimate because it is unconstitutional and they do not deserve a place at the table.

  5. As various news commentators have noted post-Iowa, the tight Iowa race suggests the seams in the GOP big tent are showing. Santorum is the current Tea-vangelical favorite; Ron Paul the more Libertarian, fiscal conservative wing (plus the serious racists); and Romney represents the pragmatic business-oriented “Rockefeller Republican” types (including the “hold your nose; now, who can best beat Obama” faction).

    I am so hoping for a convention floor fight.

  6. Back to my ranting, we have to dump these people.

    The Base? What is The Base?

    Oh, let me recall something from the mid-east. The Base, hmmm, The Base… what was it called The Base?

    Personally, I don’t care about The Base because neither do they represent me nor do they represent a majority of Americans. The Base are very small, but noisy, and stupid.

    I think O is a shoe-in and I will support him tooth and nail against the American Taliban as represented by The Base.

  7. Doc Bill I call your Base and raise you one Christian nationalist. (Ironically James Dobson recently compared the 3 years of the Obama adminstration to the rise of Nazism in Germany.)

    “The government, being resolved to undertake the political and moral purification of our public life, are creating and securing the conditions necessary for a really profound revival of religious life.” Adolph Hitler, from a speech on March 23, 1933.

    “Parallel to the training of the body a struggle against the poisoning of the soul must begin. Our whole public life today is like a hothouse for sexual ideas and simulations. Just look at the bill of fare served up in our movies, vaudville and theaters, and you will hardly be able to deny that this is not the right kind of food, particularly for the youth. Theater, art, literature, cienma, press, posters, and window displays must bel cleansed of our rotting world and placed in the service of a moral, political, and cultural idea.” Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf, Volume 1.

    “The greatness of every mighty organization embodying an idea in this world lies in the religious fanaticism and intolerance with which, fanatically convinced of its own right, intolerantly imposes its will against all others.” Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf, Volume 1.

  8. Americans only react when something affects them directly. My first data point is the Oil Embargo in the mid-seventies. Gas prices shot up from 35-cents a gallon to, gasp, 75-cents a gallon and possibly higher! The US was being starved of oil and Nixon mandated a nationwide 55 mph speed limit. Remember those days? Yes, it took forever to cross Texas but your miles per gallon shot up 30% or more!

    Energy savings. Turn out lights. Conserve, conserve, conserve.

    Then, it ended as soon as it started and we went from 4-cylinder to 6 to 8 to HumVee’s and beyond! Crazy.

    So far the social conservatives have been a fringe group. Imagine what will be the reaction when they start closing the Internet, bars and shoving Jesus into schools. Because it won’t be religion in schools, it will be Jesus and then the backlash will start.

    I would prefer not to engage in that experiment. We don’t need cheaper or domestic sources of oil, we need to find our energy in renewable sources which requires education and science. We don’t need Ozzie and Harriet, we need George Jetson. Hopefully, America will wake up and see that’s the case.

  9. DocBill,
    If you are voting for Obama, there really is no need to try to change your mind.

    One is either a Progressive/Marxist…or not. These are opposing positions.

    Either you believe that the Constitution means something…or not.

    You either recognize the overreach of Obama – and that, while he cries “Obstructionists,” what he really means is that his respect for our process is so little that he refuses to even engage.

    This is it. For those of you who do not recognize, think about his week alone…and the three illegal appointments…his continued and flagrant abuse of power.

    If he is re-elected, I’ll check back with you here…and I am sure we will find that you have moved to another, more hospitable country…maybe a democratic one.

  10. One is either able to the difference between Obama and a Progressive/Marxist…or not.