Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

June 17, 2004

by V

Tying Bush to the Deranged Religious Right

Kevin Drum hits on something important:

The Washington Monthly: SULLY AND BUSH
Can Kerry do for Bush and the Christian Right what Bush Sr. did for Michael Dukakis and Willie Horton: make them inextricably linked in the public's mind? Sullivan may be an extreme case, but I think he's an example of what could happen if Kerry manages to link Bush strongly with the social intolerance of the Christian Right. When you combine that with his poor performance in Iraq and his lack of dedication to small government, there are a fair number of moderate conservatives who might jump ship to Kerry or at a minimum at least stay home in disgust.

One of the longtime arguments of mainstream Republicans has been that the Christian Right doesn't really have much influence on the party, so there's nothing to worry about. Gay marriage, though, is an opportunity to show that that's not true. After all, if Bush is willing to amend the constitution to ban gay partnerships in order to win their votes, what might he do next?

...here's the kind of ad I see. Open with the Twin Towers smoking in the background and Jerry Falwell telling us that 9/11 was God's punishment for America being an immoral nation. Pat Robertson nods in agreement. Cut to Paul Weyrich (or someone) saying that unless Bush supports a gay marriage amendment, the Christian Right walks. Fade out and then show Bush caving in by supporting the amendment. Cut to fanatic crowds of Christian Rightists cheering and stomping. Fade to black, with an ominous voiceover that asks, "What's next?"
Republicans and the right-wing media are constantly trying to tie Democrats to their least-appealing sympathizers. This shouldn't be hard to match and exceed, since Bush & co. really are very careful to keep their radical fundamentalist right cohorts happy.

Cornering Bush into a place where he has to either disavow some of the weirder beliefs of his supporters or publicly agree with statements noxious to the mainstream is a win-win.

Of course, one will have to be careful not to attack the beliefs of ordinary, sane Christians, but I'm sure that can be managed.

(update) Commenters in Drum's thread are mixed on whether this is a smart move, and say that this should at least come from some other source than the Campaign. Could be.
Posted by V at June 17, 2004 08:19 AM

They won't do it. Why? Because it's a winning technique.

Posted by: Janis at June 17, 2004 02:55 PM

Personally, I keep hoping that some Democratic (or affiliated) group will use some of the weirder pronouncements of Rev. Moon. One benefit is that it'd throw off some of the more fundamentalist Christians, too.

Posted by: Dori at June 17, 2004 05:22 PM

If you want to max out appetite for laughing at a Christian Right site, click on the kids art at http://objective.jesussave.us/kidzart.html featuring a goat that's an athiest and an elephant that's a muslim, both going to hell.
See how to start the propaganda when they're young. Very entertaining site. : P

Posted by: Two Dishes at June 18, 2004 12:11 AM

Recommended Reading:

The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity: A Diplomat's Memoir
The Politics of Truth... A Diplomat's Memoir

Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush
Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush

Against All Enemies by Richard Clarke
Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror

LIES by Al Franken
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

The Great Unraveling
The Great Unraveling

The Great Big Book of Tomorrow
The Great Big Book of Tomorrow

Clinton Wars
The Clinton Wars

Blinded by the Right
Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative

Waging Modern War: Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Future of Combat

Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture

Living History

The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton

John Adams

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace

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