Friday, January 4, 2008

prez politics: on that crazy little thing called separation of church and state (part 2 in an ongoing series)

So I was wrong about Huckabee. Or I was right then, but he's a rising star, who's figured out that the way to win over the GOP is to appeal to voters' religious beliefs and values.

According to an entrance poll for The Associated Press, 8 in 10 Huckabee supporters said they are born again or evangelical Christians and 6 in 10 said it was very important to share their candidate's religious beliefs.

What's particularly disconcerting here, in the aftermath of two consecutive Bush terms, is that this little idea called Separation of Church and State---which actually comes from the Constitution and is an important part of our national identity---means nothing to the conservative Right. These very same people are more often than not Biblical literalists who believe in taking scripture at its word, and who claim to interpret the Constitution on the grounds of original intent, meaning what the Founders meant at the time. So what gives?

Given the current political climate, I think what gives is fear. It's hard not to look at Huckabee's win and think about all the voters who are grasping at straws, voting for the candidate who's most like them. Romney doesn't stand a chance. It really is all about religion. And no one plays to people's fears and sense of moral superiority like the religious right.

Last night John King was on CNN comparing Obama to Bobby Kennedy, saying that it's not very often that a candidate is able to rise above the fray, and that there's something in the momentum he's building that's going to transcend all of this bullshit (I'm paraphrasing, of course). And the poll numbers provide some support for that viewpoint. Republicans got 115,000 voters out as opposed to some 239,000 for Democrats. That's a HUGE difference, and encouraging.

I'm scared of living another four to eight years in a country whose practice of pushing its religious values and moral superiority has already created a disaster of incomprehensible proportions in terms of our global image and relationship with the Middle East.

I do not HEART Huckabee.



Sarah said...

Good post. It is scary, but I think Huckabee's going to come down several notches as the primaries roll on. I refuse to believe that we could possibly end up with a candidate who openly states that he doesn't believe in evolution ("openly" being the important word here.) New Hampshire will be telling for him and there's no way he's going to come out of that primary on top.
BTW, what's with all the candidates ending their speeches with "God Bless"? That always drives me crazy.

Krista Lyons-Gould and Brooke Warner said...

Thanks, S. I totally agree. In fact, I had an interesting conversation the other night. Someone was telling me how there's a strong Evangelical contingent in Iowa and how different it's going to be in New Hampshire. The amazing thing, too, is that Romney is polling way better than his actual numbers would suggest, which seems to point to the fact that no one wants to ADMIT that they would actually not vote for him just because he's Mormon, even though lots and lots of people take issue with that religion. Funny the things people don't say and how that actually ends up being fairly transparent here.

God Bless. Yeah, I agree with you on that one.