Date: Fri, 6 Nov 1998 16:24:17 EST
Subject: Theocratic Fascism Fails...Fortunately


Here is AP's analysis of the Christian Right's efforts to steal this country from Americans and turn it over to disloyal wannabe theocrats, just plain scammers and crazed delusionals. They go through all of this effort to "energize" imbeciles who by all rights should be under the care of a guardian...and surprise (!) (guffaw) they a) don't do too well politically b) only manage to successfully find employment for the oceans of hacks who get paid to administer this foolishness. Like they say "A fool and his money are soon parted"...the "Christian right" has this down to a science...the stupider the rabble the more money they give....but even the stupid have limits....They cannot afford to forever fund lay-about self-righteousness mongers who produce nothing of value....and who...even the stupid can eventually figure out...are only in it for themselves while they harvest money and notoriety from their victims.


Religious Right Had Tough Election


.c The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Election Day 1998 was a disappointment for religious right groups, which spent millions to get their supporters out and their favored candidates elected.

"They saw some of their staunchest allies defeated. ... And many of their challengers didn't win," said a non-partisan observer, political scientist John C. Green of the University of Akron.

The movement fared far worse than in the last off-year election, 1994, and posted one of its worst showings since it emerged in the 1980 campaign. But friends and foes agree it remains a pivotal force in Republican politics.

Religious right favorites lost numerous high-profile races, even in the Southern stronghold of conservative Protestantism. Voters ousted Alabama Gov. Fob James, South Carolina Gov. David Beasley, and North Carolina Sen. Lauch Faircloth. There were gubernatorial defeats in California, Georgia, and Iowa; and U.S. Senate defeats in Arkansas, California, South Carolina, and Washington State.

Christian Coalition analysts said local peculiarities rather than ideological trends explain many of those results.

Looking for bright spots, coalition strategists cited the new governors in Florida, Colorado, and Nebraska, and these gains in opposing abortion: victories by three new House Democrats and three new Senate Republicans who agree with the organization's stance. Also: a net gain of one Senate vote to override President Clinton's veto and ban late-term abortions.

Besides its signature issue of abortion, the Christian Coalition rated congressional candidates on such matters as: school prayer, preventing religious persecution overseas, tax breaks for private school families, affirmative action for homosexuals, needle exchanges for drug abusers and funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.

Opponents were gleeful.

Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State said a backlash against the movement has begun. "It was a humiliating defeat. They've really hit the wall. They have embarrassingly little to show for the millions they poured in."

Mike Lux of People For the American Way said "they put in more resources than with any other election."

The movement's most publicized organization, Christian Coalition, said it spent $1.3 million distributing 35 million voter guides to churches, plus a million postcards and 500,000 phone calls to get supporters to the polls.

Another group with money and moxie, Campaign for Working Families, said it pumped nearly $3 million into 225 races at the federal and state level. CWF boasts of being the nation's sixth richest political action committee. The organization was founded two years ago by the Family Research Council's Gary Bauer, a prospective presidential candidate and ally of Christian radio kingpin James Dobson.

The broadest indicator of the movement's grass-roots impact was the fate of the 115 candidates for the U.S. House endorsed by CWF.

Two-thirds of them won, but most were incumbents. More significantly, CWF choices won eight races for open House seats (in California, Colorado, Kentucky, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Wisconsin) but lost five (in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Nevada, and Washington).

One challenger backed by CWF, Wisconsin's Mark Green, beat an incumbent, but three incumbents backed by the group were ousted: Vince Snowbarger in Kansas; Mike Pappas in New Jersey; and Bill Redmond in New Mexico. Religious right opponents listed a fourth toppled incumbent, Washington's Rick White, who had an 80 percent rating from the Christian Coalition but was not endorsed by CWF. He was wounded by a third-party challenge from the right.

In the post-ballot recriminations, Christian Coalition executive director Randy Tate said the Republicans failed to offer a "clear conservative agenda" to match Democratic proposals, as they had done in 1994.

"Republicans tried to win a campaign based solely on anti-Clinton sentiment," he said.

At CWF, executive director Connie Mackey agreed, and expressed dismay that "the Republican Party did so poorly in energizing its base."

Charles Cunningham, the Christian Coalition's national field director, also criticized Republican tactics and contended that the movement remains vital to the party's prospects ." If the religious conservatives weren't there as a firewall the Republicans would have lost control of the House, and would have had a net loss of seats in the Senate."

Lux disputed that interpretation. "The lesson they're drawing is the Republicans didn't follow what we want so they lost," he said. "I would argue the Republicans followed what the religious right wanted too closely and that's why they lost." He predicted a tough internal fight in the Republican Party between those viewpoints. "You're going to see a blood bath."

C. Welton Gaddy at the Interfaith Alliance, a group of 80,000 religious moderates and liberals, remarked that if the right's scenario held true, "Fob James would still be governor of Alabama. He had the issues, he had the rhetoric, he had the spirit, but he didn't have the votes."

Movement leaders command a solid core of voters, he said, "but I think there's a good possibility they are losing some influence in the Republican Party. For the health of our two-party system, I hope so."

>From outside the battle lines, political scientist Green saw a more nuanced situation. By and large, he said, Democrats who were successful did not campaign as social liberals. "They didn't take on the Christian right on the issues, but raised other issues and built a broader coalition."

For instance, South Carolina's governor-elect Jim Hodges "wasn't running against the religious right. He was running past it. He didn't send off liberal cultural vibrations and he focused on the need to fund education."

Meanwhile "the Bush boys" won governorships in Florida and Texas by building coalitions of their own, attracting Hispanics, blacks, and moderates.

"You want to follow the George W. Bush strategy, a broad-based coalition that doesn't ignore social issues but puts them alongside tax cuts and limited government," said Green. "If candidates are too closely identified with the movement so that they put its agenda ahead of other issues, they're vulnerable. Even in the Deep South."

AP-NY-11-06-98 1307EST

Copyright 1998 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.


The views and opinions stated within this web page are those of the author or authors which wrote them and may not reflect the views and opinions of the ISP or account user which hosts the web page. The opinions may or may not be those of the Chairman of The Skeptic Tank.

Return to The Skeptic Tank's main Index page.

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank