Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Republican Ralph Nader


Alarmed at the chance that the Republican party might pick Rudolph Giuliani as its presidential nominee despite his support for abortion rights, a coalition of influential Christian conservatives is threatening to back a third-party candidate in an attempt to stop him.
The group making the threat, which came together Saturday in Salt Lake City during a break-away gathering during a meeting of the secretive Council for National Policy, includes Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family, who is perhaps the most influential of the group, as well as Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, the direct mail pioneer Richard Viguerie and dozens of other politically-oriented conservative Christians, participants said. Almost everyone present expressed support for a written resolution that “if the Republican Party nominates a pro-abortion candidate we will consider running a third party candidate.”
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What a great idea, a Republican Ralph Nader. And why not? Whichever of the desperate white men now running for the Republican nomination, throws his last firmly-held-since-last-Saturday belief in the pot, they are pretty well guaranteed to get whomped.
Thus, this is the perfect year for the conservative evangelicals to flex what little muscle they have left and try to persuade future candidates they can't be done without. The result, of course, will be to not only lose the presidency by the widest margin in four decades, but to do the same in the House and Senate.
I am not anxious to see that. Democratic control of all three levers of government isn't likely to move the country anywhere other than a liberal disaster equal to the neocon wreck. We are at our best as a nation when we are in the 'close tension' of narrow majorities.
That hasn't proven true in this administration, but that's not the fault of the premise. There has not been an administration like this in a century, perhaps ever. The bi-partisanism born of close majorities would be a tragic baby to throw out with the bath-water.
Who knows, perhaps Ralph will run again and we'll have a 4-party free-for-all. That would be a fitting tribute to the sunset of these disastrous Bush-Cheney years.

* For more in-depth articles by Jim on Washington at Work, check out Opinion-Columns.com