I have always thought it rather strange that the American States of the US were originally united by their desire to separate church from state and pursue a ‘democratic ideal’, yet they continue to fail miserably to keep this separation even in these ‘modern times’. This is evidenced again by the petty, ugly shenanigans and attempted smear campaigns going on between the presidential contenders. It would seem comic were it not for the high stakes. After all, the US is the world’s remaining ‘superpower’. These kind of antics merely compound the derision and contempt of the rest of the world toward this tragi-comic, dangerous, bullying behemoth.
by Michele Cottle
Rudy and the religious nuts: why Giuliani gets a pass.
Unfortunately for the competition, there just aren’t that many red meat issues by which to starkly distinguish oneself from the pack. Most everyone in this group (thanks to a few strategic adjustments by Mitt in recent years) opposes abortion and gay marriage, loves guns, and cannot wait to round up America’s 12 million illegal immigrants and send them home in cattle cars. As for the war on terrorism, it’s hard to get to the right of Rudy, whose entire candidacy is based on his swaggering machismo and endless reminders that he is the Big Dog who helped New York survive 9/11. Mitt Romney took a stab at out-toughing Rudy by sharing with us his presidential dream to “double” Gitmo. But since even George W. Bush is talking about disbanding the facility, Romney’s grand plan doesn’t make him look manly so much as confused.
This is not to say that there aren’t plenty of policy differences between the guys battling for the base. But we’re talking here about pressure points that play on a visceral level with the God-fearing grassroots–meaning the issue needs to involve sex, drugs or rock n’ roll. Barring that, the only thing left is to play the God card. Most of the electorate will snigger and roll their eyes and dismiss it as empty pandering. But many of the GOP faithful will know exactly what you’re talking about and will share your doctrinal concerns. (As noted, the Southern Baptists’ chief political spokesman and Fred Thompson groupie, Richard Land, has been lecturing Mitt Romney about the need to publicly address his Mormonism if he wants to win over evangelicals.)