The Washington Post has a disappointing article today about John Danforth — and his criticism of the Christian Right. Of course, the MSM never misses an opportunity to bash "Christian Conservatives" — and if they can get a Republican to do the bashing — all the better. I’d like to take this opportunity to rebut a few of the points made in this hit piece:
According to the article, John Danforth "traced a relationship between increased activism by Christian conservatives and the collapse of collegiality." This might surprise you, but I will agree with that.
Here’s why: Before Christians got involved in politics, Republicans were happy to "go along to get along." (It’s easy to have a "collegial" atmosphere when the Democrats are the overlords and the Republicans don’t put up much of a fuss). Never mind the fact that these "moderate" Republicans were sitting back and allowing our country to fall apart, at least, there was "harmony" in politics.
See, for forty years, Democrats dominated Congress. During that time, the Republican establishment accepted the fact that they were in the minority, and tried not to make too many waves (so long as they got an occasional bridge for their district). These Republicans were so demoralized, they figured they were lucky to get to play golf, and enjoy the "crumbs."
Then, something amazing happened. There was an awakening among religious folks. They realized that part of their stewardship was making sure this country remained free. Then, in 1980, for the first time in modern history, Christian conservatives worked to elect President Reagan. And then, in 1994, they helped take Congress.
This was a revolution — and let me point out that revolutions are rarely "collegial."
Saying "Christian conservatives brought about the collapse of collegiality" is like saying, "the burglary was peaceful until the police showed up." It’s pure revisionist folderol.
Another argument advanced in this article is that conservatives are using wedge-issues to anger the Republican base.
While it is true that, as Morton Blackwell says, moral outrage is the best motivating force in politics, their argument is flawed: You cannot manufacture voter anger out of thin air.
A prime example occurred in 2004. Republicans were able to motivate our base because the Democrat Mayor of San Francisco decided to break the law and marry homosexual couples. My point is that conservatives are merely pointing out how radically out-of-touch the Left in America is.
If standing up for our values isn’t seen as "collegial," well, too bad.