James Dobson and the Religious Reich are making more noise about bolting from the GOP if Rudy Giuliani is the nominee of the party.
Key conservative and religious leaders will continue discussing a mass defection from the Republican Party in a private meeting at a Washington hotel Saturday afternoon, just hours after the pro-choice presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani speaks before thousands of pro-life voters.
The unnamed group of about 50 people first met in late September in Salt Lake City, sending shivers through the Republican establishment by adopting a resolution to consider a third-party candidate if Republicans nominate someone like Giuliani. “If the major political parties decide to abandon conservative principles, the cohesion of pro-family advocates will be all too apparent in 2008,” warned Dr. James Dobson, of Focus on the Family, in a published article after the meeting.
In addition to Dobson, the September meeting was attended by the Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, conservative activist Richard Viguerie and former presidential candidate Gary Bauer, who called in by phone. Before the meeting ended, the group agreed to meet again this weekend at the Hilton Washington Hotel, where thousands of social conservatives are expected to gather for a “Values Voter Summit” beginning Thursday.
“There will be further exploration of what is to be done,” said Howard Phillips, the president of the Conservative Caucus, who participated in the Salt Lake meeting. “And there will be some discussion of who would be a viable independent candidate.”
This isn’t the first time they’ve threatened to find a viable independent candidate, but they really mean it this time. Really. No kidding.
Not to give too much credit to the average Republican voter, but if Rudy Giuliani truly represents the majority, it suggests that there might be some chinks in the armor of the holy terrorists, and if Dobson et al can’t rally the troops behind the outspoken conservatives already in the race — Brownback and Huckabee — then they truly are on the wane. (Alan Keyes is apparently too crazy even for them.)
Besides, anybody that pisses off the Religious Reich gets creds in my book. Even with all his flaws, foibles, and one-note campaign theme — “9/11!” — (not to mention his terrible taste in women’s clothes — pearls with a sweater?), Mr. Giuliani is, by default, better than anyone the fundies could come up with… which says a lot about how thin the GOP field is in the first place.