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Dobson: I might be free for lunch on election day

by Jeremy Hooper

You know what's cute in the literal sense? Pink bunnies bouncing on a marshmallow. You know what's cute in the snarky, insincere, "I can't believe you think this bothers us" sort of way? When social conservatives act as if they are shooting anyone other than their own side in the foot when they declare that there's no way they'll vote for their party's likely nominee, John McCain.

 Good As You Images Dobneg-1-1The latest religious right leader to make the "cute" declaration that if McCain gets the nod, he'll stay home on election day: Focus on the Family's James Dobson, who today issued comments like the following to "The Laura Ingraham Show":

"But what a sad and melancholy decision this is for me and many other conservatives. Should Sen. McCain capture the nomination as many assume, I believe this general election will offer the worst choices for president in my lifetime. I certainly can't vote for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama based on their virulently anti-family policy positions. If these are the nominees in November, I simply will not cast a ballot for president for the first time in my life. These decisions are my personal views and do not represent the organization with which I am affiliated. They do reflect my deeply held convictions about the institution of the family, about moral and spiritual beliefs, and about the welfare of our country."

You know, it usually makes us sad to see one become disengaged in the political process. But when it comes to a man who has fought against our lives and loves for decades, we quickly become like Morales in A Chorus Line -- we feel nothing.

Dr. Dobson: ' I Cannot, and Will Not, Vote for Sen. John McCain' [CitizenLink]

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Your thoughts

LOL!!! Wasn't this the same guy who a few weeks ago was going to a so-called "religious" event, that he claimed "wasn't political"?

Why these fundie idiots (including the "ex-gays") haven't gotten their tax-exempt status yanked away from them is beyond me.

Posted by: Scott | Feb 5, 2008 5:01:49 PM

Wow! Scott. Religious leaders aren't to be allowed any freedom of speech on political matters. Not even to discuss their own votes. Brilliant.

Posted by: David | Feb 6, 2008 3:25:38 AM

Given Dobson's litany of complaints against Senator McCain I don't see how he can be viewed as shooting himself in the foot. Isn't it more to shoot oneself in the foot (or perhaps elsewhere)to betray most of one's own principles in voting for a candidate?

It is strange that you say you feel nothing at the prospect of Dobson and other religious conservatives possibly not participating in this year's presidential election. Their disengagement would help counter the power of the Florida marriage referendum to "bring out millions of would-be Anita Bryants," would it not?

Since you asked your snarky "I can't believe you think this bothers us" question in the first place, Jeremy, you might as well celebrate Dr. Dobson's condundrum. After all, you want every possible chance of "healing the wounds that have been caused by 7+ years of right-wing executive rule." Wounds like giving the nation's children a lesson on fellatio and how it doesn't count as a sex act, a chief executive who commits perjury and bribes another to do the same, an attorney general who loves to send paramilitary-style law enforcement into places where children are, and a Supreme Court that thinks vacuuming out the brain of a mostly-delivered baby is a constitutional right -- and good health care too!

Oh, wait. I seem to have my presidents confused.

Posted by: David | Feb 6, 2008 4:09:09 AM

David: Not shooting himself in the foot in terms of principle -- shooting the GOP in the foot by saying they will stay home and not give the party the evangelical boost. There is a difference. If I personally felt that I could in no way vote for any of the Democratic candidates, I might also make the choice to follow my principles and stay home. However, I wouldn't kid myself into thinking this would in any way help my cause on a political level. The tone being employed by folks like Dobson almost sounds threatening, as if they are going to send a resounding message to Washington and America if their side stays home. It's true, they very well MIGHT send a message. But it's not going to be one that 's in any way beneficial to their conservative causes.

As for feeling "nothing" -- I said I usually am disappointed in voter apathy, but in this case I feel nothing. It was just to say that the usual annoyance with non-participation is absent. Sure, if you want to get literal, I will absolutely be happy if the results that come from low evangelical turnout in places like Florida lead to the defeat of the marriage amendment. But in tis case I was simply saying that I'm not going to preach to Dobson about how all Americans should utilize their right to vote. I really didn't think this needed more explanation.

But as usual, thanks for commenting. Your contrarian opinions are always an enjoyable read.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Feb 6, 2008 8:29:18 AM

LOL David. I know you may THINK that we're under the "dominionist christian nation" at the moment (that you would LOVE to have), but there's still separation of church and state in this country. I win.

Posted by: Scott | Feb 6, 2008 12:05:35 PM

So that's what it takes to get him to stay home and keep his self richeous beliefs to himself.

Posted by: Patrick B | Feb 6, 2008 12:24:20 PM

The ideological purists always end up destroying themselves in the end. Dr Dobson is a good example of this.

Let's not fail to vote for Obaba or Clinton because they champion "civil unions" not the marriage ideal. Otherwise we would be as foolish as him.

Posted by: Bill Ware | Feb 6, 2008 9:27:09 PM


It is ironic you used the word "idiot" in your first post since you aren't exactly showing yourself off to be a genius.

I don't know what being "under the 'dominionist christian nation'" means exactly. It's irrelevant anyway as I'm not even a Christian let alone a Christian dominionist.

The separation of church and state to which you refer simply means that religious institutions are one thing and government institutions another. That has nothing to do with a religious leader engaging in political activity, which he has as much right to do as anyone else.

My comment to you was meant to point out how many leftists like yourself do not respect the free speech rights of conservative religious folk like Dobson. (Left-leaning religious types seldom elicit a similar reaction from your ilk.)

So your boast of victory was premature. You lose.

Posted by: David | Feb 7, 2008 11:45:52 PM

I'm glad you find my contrarian comments enjoyable reading, Jeremy.

I'm sure that if Dobson thinks the GOP is being shot in the foot then the GOP is doing it to itself -- and that McCain and not he is the accomplice. But your post didn't say that social conservatives were hurting the GOP's cause; it said they were hurting their own. Dobson's statement indicates he thinks his causes would be hurt more by voting for McCain than by not doing so. This is a point that can be debated, but it isn't beyond the realm of reason.

Your point about Dobson not causing your usual concern over voter apathy didn't need further explanation. I got it the first time. I was simply exhorting you to carry your snarkiness to its logical conclusion. (Of course Dobson didn't say he was disengaging from the political process this year. He simply said he wasn't going to cast a vote in one particular race.)

Now that we have thoroughly dealt with Dobson, it would be greatly appreciated if you would explain just what terrible wounds President Bush has inflicted on the culture that equal or exceed those mentioned previously on Bill Clinton's behalf.

Posted by: David | Feb 8, 2008 12:13:23 AM

David says:

"But your post didn't say that social conservatives were hurting the GOP's cause; it said they were hurting their own."

However, the post actually reads:

"You know what's cute in the snarky, insincere, 'I can't believe you think this bothers us' sort of way? When social conservatives act as if they are shooting anyone other than their own side in the foot when they declare that there's no way they'll vote for their party's likely nominee, John McCain."

Why, exactly, do you not interpret this to say that social conservatives were hurting the GOP's cause? The GOP IS their party!!!! I specifically mentioned their party and their likely nominee!!

As for the "terrible wounds" that came about under Clinton: David, you run a website where you work to oppose "the militant pro-abortion activism of the federal courts," and you seemingly stand in opposition to all liberal ideals. Clearly we're not going to agree on much of anything.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Feb 8, 2008 8:36:57 AM

You didn't find my latest contrarian writings so enjoyable, did you Jeremy?

You ask, "Why, exactly, do you not interpret this to say that social conservatives were hurting the GOP's cause?"

Simply because when discussing social conservatives I consider "their own side" to be social conservatism (or what the particular people in question consider to be social conservatism).

You further state, "The GOP IS their party!!!!" Uh, no. The Republican Party is the one where they have real influence, it is true. But the various varieties of social conservative form only part of the conservative movement. And, as John McCain's success demonstates, the conservative movement is not all their is to the GOP. The different brands of conservatism simply do not exert the kind of control over the Republicans that the left exerts over the Democrats.

Now, Jeremy, if you are going to say that I "stand in opposition to all liberal ideals" then you clearly do not understand me. In particular, my website is an excercise in standing up for liberal ideals. I accuse the federal judiciary of engaging in pro-abortion activism because it has. The Federal Constitution does not say that abortion cannot be regulated or proscribed as the legislature sees fit; the courts have said otherwise. The Federal Constitution does not say that a human fetus isn't a person; the courts have said otherwise. All of this is the usurpation of legislative authority; it is undemocratic and profoundly illiberal.

When I say that the Federal Courts' pro-abortion activism has been of a militant kind I say so because it is the truth. When I judge asserts that the law cannot forbid the deliberate killing of a partially-delivered fetus -- not even one kept partially-delivered on purpose -- as a safeguard against promoting infanticide, said judge is a militant supporter of abortion. Period.

There is nothing liberal about treating unborn children like excrement. Supporting such treatment goes against the liberal principle that led to the abolition of slavery, the franchise for women, and today's liberation of gays. I am sorry for you Jeremy if you cannot see this.

Of course your focusing on the judicial activism question is meant to distract attention from partial-birth abortion/infanticide as an issue. That you don't even bother to mention the other anti-Clinton points I brought up suggests you know Clinton's behavior there can't be defended either. (Although if you seriously like to try I'm willing to read your response.)

It was you who hoped for a chance of "healing the wounds that have been caused by 7+ years of" Bush's presidency. Anyone who visits this site has a perfect right to ask just what you think those wounds are. I decided to tweak you about Clinton's bad behavior since you made it clear you think a Democrat as president is the only real hope for healing the Bush-caused wounds on American society. However, you needn't deal with Clinton to answer my question.

Stop using the political/philosophical differences between us as an excuse to dodge my questions. Just what wounds has Bush caused?

Posted by: David | Feb 9, 2008 9:23:11 PM

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