The Biggest (Republican) Losers

I know many registered Democrats who are exemplary, civic-minded Americans. They do not view national elections as mere contests, games … Continued

I know many registered Democrats who are exemplary, civic-minded Americans. They do not view national elections as mere contests, games in which their “team” must emerge victorious at any cost.

No! For them, the electoral process is about gaining acquaintance with the two most qualified candidates for the presidency. Their sincerest hope is that the GOP selects the best person for the job. This assures that the issues which most concern our citizens will receive their most serious hearing.

The question I am about to pose is not for this type of Democrat:

Which of the current front-runners do you want to win the GOP’s presidential nomination, if only because he will be trounced by either Hillary or Barack or John? Put differently, who do you want the Republicans to designate as a winner, knowing full well that he will be a loser come Election Day?

As always, when it comes to ethically dubious endeavors, I am here to help. What follows is a brief analysis of the most glaring Faith and Values liabilities of the leading Republican contenders (A Democratic version of this exercise will follow shortly):

Mike Huckabee: The single biggest negative confronting Mike Huckabee in a general election might be described as Inordinate Degree of Affiliation with the Christian Right. In a previous post, I have noted that many voters, be they Democrats, independents, or unaffiliateds, will come out in droves on Nov. 4, 2008, in hopes of re-secularizing the public sphere. On this score Huckabee, who anointed himself a “Christian Leader,” is extremely vulnerable to mobilized coalitions of nonbelievers and Church/State separatists.

What is fascinating is that “Brother Mike,” as he was once called, does not always conform to the secular stereotype of a conservative White Evangelical. His views on immigration, taxes, race relations, big business and even biblical hermeneutics strike many Red-Staters as far too liberal. In short, he is fully capable of appealing to non-Republicans.

Unfortunately, this is an appeal that an Opposition Research department can undermine within the time it takes to air one episode of “The Jimmy Swaggart Telecast.” If Huckabee wins his party’s nomination, he will attempt to show mainstream America that he is no religious fanatic. He isn’t. But that claim will be difficult to defend after Democratic operatives ransack thousands of hours of religious radio and television broadcasts from a pastoral career that Huckabee has left behind. When all the attack ads are said and done, the former governor’s remarks about quarantining AIDS patients will look like the Sermon on the Mount.

Mitt Romney: There is no reason to believe that conservative Evangelicals are the only ones who harbor anti-Mormon prejudices. In a general election, Romney will be battling deep-seated, anti LDS-church biases that are pervasive in the United States.

Like Huckabee, he will also be hampered by the claim that he is a pawn of the Christian Right. But unlike Huckabee (who will need some pointers on how to sound and look more ecumenical) Romney has earned himself some wiggle room. He has already established himself as a friend of all religions (and an enemy of nonbelievers). Better yet, the one-time governor of Massachusetts is virtually unsullied by any sort of personal scandals or irregularities. Which brings us to. . . . .

Rudy Giuliani: As for scandals and irregularities, let’s just say that America’s Mayor has got a few. Then again, unlike the two candidates mentioned earlier, Giuliani has not bent over backwards to court conservative Christians. If he somehow emerges victorious as a result of Huckabee and Romney’s mutual annihilation pact, he may be able to siphon off some secular voters. Of course, his Democratic foe will be sure to call attention to character issues. Worst yet, he may be hit with a slew of “communion-denial stories” which might cut into his Catholic base.

Neither John McCain, nor Fred Thompson are too closely associated with that Conservative Christian worldview which secularists will do anything to keep out of office. (Indeed, prior to his recent “Christian nation” banter , McCain was widely seen as the one GOP candidate who had stood up to the Evangelical and Fundamentalist demagogues). Nor are the two currently plagued by character issues.

So, to the handful of unscrupulous Democrats out there, I would venture that Mike Huckabee is your man, followed by Romney and Giuliani in a dead heat. As far as Faith and Values liabilities go, he presently gives the Democrats the best chance to win.

By Jacques Berlinerblau | 
December 18, 2007; 8:19 AM ET

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  • Mary

    Perhaps, Jacques. But frankly, as a rational conservative Republican, having watched the party behave smugly and sanctimoniously for years, while “cooking the books” to avoid true conservative financial issues… gives me great pleasure to see the party’s Pharisees hoist on their own petards. Peggy Noonan’s latest lament about the religious right’s power in the very party she enabled their ascension with her own sanctimonious support of issues like Terri Schiavo made me LAUGH OUT LOUD. Built on sand, and all that. Heal thyself, and all that, too. With all due respect.

  • Victor Ponelis

    Hmmm…as one of those Secular Atheists that Romney is warning everyone about, I have to admit that come Election Day, I will be forced to cast my vote for a Believer (or, at least someone who SAYS they are a Believer), and THAT’S OK.Why? Democracy is about compromise. One should not expect one to get everything one wants. Most of the folks running for office are qualified, at a minimum level. If they also have an invisible friend who tells them what to do, I can only hope it is a nice invisible friend. Most people have these invisible friends, and most of them are fine folks.That said, an informed electorate is vital to the long-term survival of this nation, and the coup-d’etat of 2000 and election of 2004 show that there are a lot of people in this country that need to pay more attention to what’s going on, their invisible friends notwithstanding.For the record, we Atheists don’t want “god” out of the public space…we want it out of the GOVERNMENT space.

  • Jkoch

    Ron Paul does not even make the list? I guess his unwillingness to be assertive in the Mideast disqualifies him from the get-go. Perhaps Berlinerblau can put up with a candidate of the Religious Right, just so long as he pledges to keep the Holy Sepulcre of Jerusalem out of the hands of the Saracens and is prepared to launch the battle of the approaching End Times. In any case, heaven forbid that any factor other than religion be the primary topic of debate. Let the candidates dispense with policy issues and focus instead on witnessing their faith. If they seem unintelligible on specifics, perhaps it is because they are speaking in tongues.

  • Annette Reed

    Well written, enjoyable article. However, I don’t agree. Huckabee is no moderate, and I wouldn’t want to trust the world’s future to a man who believes civilization started 6000 years ago. A man who denied an abortion to a mentally retarded girl who had been raped by her stepfather. He made that decision on HIS best interests, and he also released convict Drumond because Drumond converted to Christianity and convinced gullible,religious Huck he was good. Then Drumond killed two women soon after release. (Huck blamed this on Clinton in a recent interview.)


    Mike Huckabee will be the gift that just keeps on giving if the GOP nominates him for 08. Lord almighty, I feel my temperature rising…Must be that Hucka Hucka Burning Love…hehehehe

  • Oliver Scott

    How about Ron Paul? He is the front-runner in the Republican race, the best candidate the GOP has to offer, and the one that will probably win the nomination. I may go for Obama in the general election, but I would love to have a Ron Paul to counter the hawkish Hillary in case she pulls it off. Get rid of these hawks on both sides, and recognize the benefits of a foreign policy of peace. Obama/Kucinich or Paul/Hagel in 2008!

  • Oliver Scott

    To specifically address your issue, I would still say Ron Paul. How about a Republican that does not kowtow to the Religious Right? How about a Republican that kowtows to liberty and freedom of religion? I think that would be a great breath of fresh air that our country desperately needs, as another secular atheist that the Religious Right keeps warning us about.

  • Oort

    I go along with Oliver Scott, except I’d rather have Richardson as VP on the democrat side. not nearly so idealogical as Kucinich, lots and Lots more foreign policy and foreign relations experience.It’s kind of sad that Romney is so terribly faithy, he does seem to be the most competent executive in the bunch at least when viewed from his history – a predictor of future behavior, not a guarantee.Now is certainly the time for the American electorate to let the evangelicals know their time at the helm is over. It is sad indeed that the only way we have to make this assertion is by electing democrats.Having just re-read Atlas Shrugged for the nth time, I have to say that whatever else I may feel about Ayn Ran’s philosphies I very much like her description of the sides in this argument: the mystics of spirit vs the mystics of muscle.C’mon people, can’t we dump the mystics this time?

  • Louis Levario

    MY,MY Joe Lieberman endorsing John McCain, for President. In the 2000 presidental was’nt Joe Lieberman known to Carl Rover and that crowd as Joe Looserman, Poor Joe, doesn’t no what side of the fence to jump..Bush needed some allies but Lieberman, give a break..

  • Louis Levario

    MY,MY Joe Lieberman endorsing John McCain, for President. In the 2000 presidental was’nt Joe Lieberman known to Carl Rover and that crowd as Joe Looserman, Poor Joe, doesn’t no what side of the fence to jump..Bush needed some allies but Lieberman, give a break..

  • Louis Levario

    MY,MY Joe Lieberman endorsing John McCain, for President. In the 2000 presidental was’nt Joe Lieberman known to Carl Rover and that crowd as Joe Looserman, Poor Joe, doesn’t no what side of the fence to jump..Bush needed some allies but Lieberman, give a break..

  • Louis Levario

    MY,MY Joe Lieberman endorsing John McCain, for President. In the 2000 presidental was’nt Joe Lieberman known to Carl Rover and that crowd as Joe Looserman, Poor Joe, doesn’t no what side of the fence to jump..Bush needed some allies but Lieberman, give a break..

  • Grant

    But wouldn’t it be nice to piss off the fundamentalists by voting for the Mormon…. I really believe Romney should court the secularist vote more. He does not possess the antipathy towards non-believers that seems to be assumed in these blogs.

  • John

    Let it be Huckabee. After two Bush terms a Southern Bible-thumper will be way too close for comfort in the minds of swing voters. If not Huckabee then Romney. I know a thing or two about the white blue-collar, not necessarily religious, men who’ve been voting Republican since Reagan. Mr. Perfect and his Hallmark family will be a total turn-off. Without those voters Republicans lose the whole Midwest with the exception of Indiana.

  • Will in Seattle

    Aren’t we just going thru the usual beginning of the century freak out we always get – for the last couple of thousand years – and the religious fanatics will all wake up sometime in the next decade and disappear for another 80 years?

  • Mara

    er, I’m kinda hoping that Ron paul gets the nomination. A Paul/Obama matchup to the presidency might actually be MEANINGFUL. With two sane candidate we might get the focus off of stupid crap like Hillary’s fashion choices, Mitt’s Magical Underwear, or Huckabee’s Mighty Gawd. Maybe we could focus on cleaning up the fiasco in Iraq, restoring civil liberty protections, securing the nation, and repairing the damage BushCo has done to our foreign relations.And besides…if those were the two candidates, I wouldn’t have to sit up late on election night filled with fear that the “wrong one” will win. Either way, we’d get a president who respects the Constitution and the Law.

  • Practical Progressive

    Oh, no, I think Romney is the best “down in flames” candidate by far. He’s going to work so hard to prove that he’s ideologically pure in order to get the nomination, then he’ll have to reverse his positions (yet again!) in order to appeal to centrists, and everyone will be left feeling betrayed. The bottom line is that the man has no convictions whatsoever — and it’s plain for everyone to see.As a side note, it’s just amazing to see someone who refers to another as a “rabid little jerk” turn around and criticize others for not being “articulate” and “constructive.” Peoples’ capacity to abandon all reason in favor of hate surprises me every time.

  • dwight

    your comments are very partison. Are you a christian hater because from your article thats the impression I get. Keep in mind Christians and Jews worship the same GOD, as should we all.

  • Rich

    It’s really too early for this, this is just an exercise at shooting fish in a barrel. Both parties still have in play plenty of guys with low poll numbers who would generate a ton of respect for their “honesty” or “candor” while getting trounced on election day because they don’t have the energy and consistency to carry on a national campaign. Huckabee, Paul, and Thompson are in that category, and I tend to think Paul is actually the weakest because dedicated right-wingers and dedicated left-wingers both have a proper sense of contempt for libertarians, the most naive and unrealistic voters on the political spectrum…

  • Christopher

    I used to joke that the Republicans could run Jesus Christ as a candidate in 2008 and they’d still lose. And now, shock of all shocks, they seem to be TRYING to. I’m sorry, but this is getting absolutely ridiculous on the Republican side. Who’s closer to God? Who’s brother to Satan?!? JEEZUM CROW! But I suppose when you’ve got nothing positive to run on, and 8 years of absolute CRAP policies that have damaged America, the Consitution, and our own culture, you’ve got to turn to Jesus because he’s the only one who’ll still love you…

  • Athena

    The Republican establishment will never let Rep. Paul win. Right now, they view him as a crazy old uncle who’s trying to be the center of attention. At the first sign that he’s anything but, the Mighty Wurlitzer will start cranking up against him. For the record, I’m undecided right now. I like Richardson, but I realize that he could be out of the race by the time it gets around to my state’s primary.

  • JBE


  • Bucinka

    To all you Ron Paul supporters: I think JB didn’t include him because he’s not a loser. Or, at the very least, he has no Faith and Values liabilities, which is what the column was about.

  • Oort

    Do you think the evangelicals pushing Huckabee into the front really expect to win the nomination, and from there the presidency? or is it some kind of martyr thing they’re doing?We already know they are blind and deaf to facts and realities which don’t fit their picture, do you suppose they think their god is going to put huckabee in the whitehouse, the way they think bush was put there?How far will they fall out of scope if the electorate throws them out of washington, how long will they stay there … how much will they fight among themselves, accusing each other of satanic stupidity for losing … How did we ever get where we are today? How could we have been so stupid. I don’t just mean the bush supporters, how could the democrats have lost twice to that man? You know you’re a real loser when you lose to bush.

  • Hank Whatever

    I wish J.C. had thrown the politicians out of the Temple along with the merchants. History is that the United States has seen alot of evangelical movements come and go through exposing the lavish lifestyles of these Christian mega-stars not practicing humility. And that politics is vehicle to money and power stooping so low to exploit religion.Am always posting on WAPO boards to attempt a bridge from Mainstreet America to the Altered State, The District of Columbia. Mainstreet has had it with corrupt politicians playing the “Jesus” card. Mainstreet is tired of watching politicians take care of themselves only or One-Percenters. Mainstreet is paying on average a 200% increase in fossil fuels since 09/11. If that is not inflation then I have no idea what to call it.Primaries are in fact going to kill some candidates for the long haul. Current day strategy is to appeal to about less than 2.5% of conservative voters for a nomination. America will remember their words today. Advice is not to underestimate the knoweledge and wisdom of average Americans.

  • Dan

    You’ve nailed it, Jacques. The only way the Republicans can lose to Hillary Clinton is if they are stupid enough to let the ultra-right wing, knuckle-dragging, retarded “true conservatives” control the nomination process and nominate a Bible-thumper like Huckabee. I’m still hoping that John McCain can make a comeback. He’s been my preferred candidate for a long time. But I would have no problem voting for Rudy or Romney either. But if the choice came down to either Hillary or Huckabee (that last name itself makes me laugh), I’d probably stay home on Election Day. And given my loathing of Hillary Clinton, THAT is saying quite a bit!But what I’d really like to see would be a “dream ticket” of McCain/Lieberman running under a third party banner! The two main parties have been co-opted by the fruitbat elements on their respective fringes, meaning that the 70% of us that are “in the middle” … who are more concerned about progress than ideology … are left out in the cold while the Michael Moores and Sean Hannitys of the world spend their days pissing all over each other. A third “Centrist” party in this country would really shake things up.

  • Dan

    Also, I would never vote to entrust the leadership of the Free World to any moron who, with a straight face and on national television, would claim that he doesn’t believe in evolution, despite the MOUNTAINS of evidence supporting it! Either Huckabee is an out & out idiot, or he’s shamelessly pandering to the fundamentalist Christian right. Either way, he’s not someone I would want in the White House.

  • Christopher

    Word up, Dan! When I saw those people raising their hands to say they didn’t believe in evolution, I secretly hoped that trap doors would open underneath them right on the spot. This is the PRESIDENCY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY!!!! You have to be at LEAST this smart to ride this ride. I felt the same way when Bush starts talking about amending the Constitution. This is the document of JEFFERSON, FRANKLIN, ADAMS…you have to be of that caliber or better or you shouldn’t even be able to LOOK at this document, let alone AMEND it.

  • Thomas

    My easy-win vote goes to Giuliani because he’s going to get trashed on both fronts. His cold-war rhetoric and hawkish opinions on Iran alone will keep democrats voting for whoever’s against him, but what’s going to really hurt him is his own party. Even if the many scandals blow over (which they won’t), the religious right will not stand for a pro-choice gay-tolerant president. They will either get a spoiler 3rd party or just not show up at polls.The evangelical church is certainly a stain on a political image nowadays (thanks, Pat Robertson), but even Barack Obama gave Huckabee a compliment when asked to name a GOP candidate that he thought was a decent guy. People think that exposing him as a religious ideologue will make him a piece of cake to beat. But no, no, people thinking that are in for a big surprise – because most democrats actually ARE tolerant of all religions, some could look past the church and find a reasonable guy behind it all.

  • Anonymous

    VOTE: R*O*M*N*E*Y for PREZ! Ya!

  • Bucinka

    OORT, how soon you forget. The Democrats (of which I am not one, by the way) didn’t lose to that a$$ Bush. He stole the White House twice, and we all know it.

  • Oort

    Bucinka, we all lost when the democrats let bush steal that election. When I looked at what happened in 2000 I realized that whichever one of those candidates won it would be a selection, not an election. The behavior of both parties was even more disgusting than Nixon, and more damaging to our constitution. At least we were able to force that criminal out, we don’t seem to be able to do anything anymore. Neither party has earned the right to be in a used outhouse, let alone the whitehouse.Why are the party faithful so unwilling to question the incompetence of their own leadership? What happened to America first?The boat is sinking, and instead of everybody trying to bail it out all we see are the party pukes jumping up and down to sink it faster.I wonder how are country is going to survive the republicans and the democrats.

  • Terra Gazelle

    Does anyone know what a libertarian is..Ron Paul is one. Why not check up on what his stand is..and don’t vote just because Paul wants to get out of Iraq…he also wants to get out of Social Security, do away with the Board of Education…and all and any social net and he would privatize everything. Really folks pay attention to all of what he is saying. He is a republican, he is not an Independent…he is wearing a sheep skin, but under that he is still a GOP. He believes that parents should have full control of their kid’s education. That is fine but how far will we get with all those Homeschoolers learning nothing but Intelligent Design? How about Health Care? he does not want Universal care…he is one of those who thinks if you can not afford health…die.You will get plenty of tax credits with him. Its fine if you are in a higher bracket…he wants Limited Government…yep from the same group that wants to shrink the government down enough to drown in a bath tub, and allowed citizens to drown in their homes. Limited government is what we have and incompetant. He wants to remove more regulations…you think that is what we need…? More deregulation for drug companies and insurance companies? Read between the lines folk…Ron Paul is a member of the republican party…you think you will get something different then what we have…the only difference is with him we will have Ayn Rand and not the Christian God.”Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to become the means by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of other men. Blood, whips and guns–or dollars. Take your choice–there is no other”. Think again.

  • John Stephens

    Hey! Is it just me, or are some folks missing the point? I do believe Monsieur Jacques or Herr Berlinerblau asks which GOP candidate is the most likely to LOSE to the jackass party.I agree it’s Huckabee with Mitt running a close second.I still find it passing strange how all the ostensibly religious candidates spend a lot of time telling us how devoted they are to their faith, then spend a lot of time telling us how they are going to set those beliefs aside as soon as they get in office. How does either please anyone, religious or secular?

  • Anonymous

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  • Benny

    I would hope that Rudy Giuliani could make it as the candidate in your senerio. My primary reason is his continued position on fear, 9/11 and the rest of the world. If he could be soundly defeated, it may show the rest of the world that we are not a bunch of blood-thirsty imperialists hiding in our corner waiting for another excuse to beat another country to a pulp. Forrest Gump’s mom had it right – “stupid is as stupid does” – and allowing Rudy to run this country for four years is really stupid. Trading cowboy diplomacy for mafia diplomacy will sink the US faster than you can say “fugidaboudit”.

  • Roy

    Other than Huckabee’s anti-Mormon campaign, Romney might have another reason to fear Huckabee. Romney probably thinks Huckabee is the Protestant Pastor that showed up on the side of Satan in Romney’s temple wedding rites.

  • Mortifus

    Hey, as long as we’re quoting Ayn Rand, here’s my favorite: “A sin without volition is a slap at morality and an insolent contradiction in terms: that which is outside the possibility of choice is outside the province of morality. If man is evil by birth, he has no will, no power to change it; if he has no will, he can be neither good nor evil; a robot is amoral. To hold, as man’s sin, a fact not open to his choice is a mockery of morality. To hold man’s nature as his sin is a mockery of nature. To punish him for a crime he committed before he was born is a mockery of justice. To hold him guilty in a matter where no innocence exists is a mockery of reason. To destroy morality, nature, justice and reason by means of a single concept is a feat of evil hardly to be matched. Yet that is the root of your code.”This is a perfect description of the real republicans and the “real christians” running the party.The real christians want intelligent design taught in public schools. They want faith to suppress reason wherever it discomfits faith, at the same time they want new scientists coming out of each generation who will be capable of using their reason to cure diseases and solve our evergrowing problems with technology. Only an idiot thinks this kind of mutually exclusive process can work, or the insane.Huckabee and Romney actually believe the crap coming out of their mouths, they don’t just say it so it sounds good to the flock. Our best hope is that Huckabee and Romney and their followers will so pollute the air with their ridiculous and vindictive battles over who is the real christian that we can ALL be free and willing to point them out as …. drum roll please …. NUTS.

  • Bucinka

    Terra Gazelle, you bet your booty Ron Paul is a libertarian. Do I want the government out of Social Security? You bet. It’s a Ponzi scheme that’s going to crash any day now and take MY (and your) hard-earned money with it, money I could have invested privately and done far better with. Do I want the government out of education? Yup. Do I want the government out of my suitcase? Yup. (My civil liberties are violated at least twice a week by those $5-an-hour-power TSA twits.) Do I want the government out of health care? Yup. Being a doctor himself, by the way, Ron Paul does not want you to die. He just doesn’t think the government should be in the business of health care. Do they know more about medicine than doctors? The answer is clear. The list goes on and on.And yet, Michael Cloud, a great libertarian communicator, tells us that when we sense we are debating with a statist like you, we shouldn’t waste our time. So I’m going to sign off here. Good day.

  • Barry U. Headinsand

    Since we’re dealing with hypotheticals, how about this?

  • Christopher Thompson

    There are no registered Democrats who are exemplary, civic-minded Americans. In fact there are no Democrats who believe in God; these are mutually exclusive items. Your God is Marxism and your civic-mind is the Communist Manifesto.

  • Mike Brooks

    You keep talking about the GOP Evangelicals. What about the Fundimentalists of the Democrats? You know, the old guard Bolsheviks of the 60’s feminist movement, the ones that attack any Democrat who posts qualms about Clinton and her polcies? Now, I live in Oregon; I am a Democrat, but out here the radical feminst stuff doesn’t play well. In fact, it’s so bad that Senator Gordon Smith, one of those seats targeted by the DNC has moved into “safe” territory. Worse yet, Washington Governor Christine Gregoire is likely to *loose* to Rossi in the upcoming election. All because of Clinton and the religious zealotry of her true believers. Now, I’m not familiar with most of the rest of the country, but I’d bet that Clinton costs Democrats in close races (and more than a few not so close races, too) everywhere. In the end, it doesn’t even matter if she is the nominee, the very idea that we would contemplate her and the the religious fervor of her more fanatical followers is scaring the bejesus out of voters. The Republican’s are simply reprinting some of the more shrill and hysterical pronouncements of her minions. Creationism may not be acceptable in some circles, but the Clinton glospel that heterosexual men are evil or stupid clodhoppers has a lot worse play in Peoria….or Spokane or Salem or Bend or Tacoma.

  • Eric

    Grant:Thanks! I hadn’t seen that. Your link said it all.Practical Progressive:Have you ever taken a look at Romney’s family? Do you think a person can build a strong, cohesive, intact family with “no convictions whatsoever?”Consider also for a moment that Romney’s wife has MS. He is hugely wealthy and very handsome. He has every opportunity to find himself a fully functioning trophy wife and a few girlfriends on the side. Do you think he “just happened” to get a strong family? Or does that take work and commitment? Some things in life operate by the Law of the Farm, which simply is, “You reap what you sow.” There is no last minute cramming on the farm, no procrastinating about important matters till the last moment, and then expecting to get a wonderful harvest. Romney is where he is by prioritizing, hard work, and living by his convictions.

  • Anonymous

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  • MultiplePOV

    Grant: I really believe Romney should court the secularist vote more. He does not possess the antipathy towards non-believers that seems to be assumed in these blogs.MPOV: That ship has sailed for Romney. Didn’t you hear his I-like-all-faiths-except-the-“religion”-of-secularism speech?

  • Ed Harris

    The problem is that there is little difference between the parties. Voters deserve candidates who say who provide clarity on the issues without fuzzy logic.I foresee either a referendum on the war,Take your pick.How about teaming up John McCain and Joe Liberman. I can see the bumper sticker now:Give WAR a ChanceOr among the Democrats an unbeatable ticket would be Dennis Kocinich and George NooryGive ALIENs a Chance

  • Kase

    Gee, SO hard to choose given that ALL the GOP possibles are such shallow, witless, bible-thumping, morons…

  • qualquan

    Typical blinkered MSM thinking. Ron paul is going to be the GOP nominee. Then what?

  • rick cole

    It doesn’t matter who the Republicants nominate. W has poisoned the waters for the GOP for decades to come. Dishonesty and incompetence are hard traits to overcome.

  • Anonymous

    VOTE: ((( Peace Love Rockn Roll nRap Mitt_ROMNEY for Prez 08 YEA!. Happy Every Day ))))))))))

  • Bob

    I’m an right of center independent who really wants McCain. If I can’t have him then I’ll vote for Hillary, a person I swore I’d never vote for and personally can’t stand but I’ve listened to her over the past few years. While I don’t like everything she says and has done at least she has been consistent, unlike others in her party like Pelosi who I’ve listened to in public and then at a convention where she went way left of left which I believe most of the democratic candidates really stand. Yea I know Pelosi isn’t running but whoever is President will have to deal with her. You have to listened to her when she thinks only the dems are listening. Gives some insight into the scary side of that party.I believe McCain when he says something. I believe Hillary has changed her tune to court the votes and will change back if elected. I also believe these two can be more than a match for Pelosi and the other left / right nut jobs in the congress.If it’s not McCain or Hillary then I’ll vote republican no matter what. Bush may have poisoned the waters but I’ll still vote for the lesser of the two evils and with what’s left over it’s the republican.

  • Practical Progressive

    Hi Grant and Eric, and thank you for your responses. Of course, no doubt, I was engaging in hyperbole in stating that Governor Romney has “no convictions whatsoever.” What is clear, however, is that he is prepared to misrepresent his convictions depending upon expediency (suggesting that honesty is not one of his convictions), and that his convictions do not include positions on abortion or gay rights.At the same time, I think it is a mistake to conflate conviction with personal loyalty, work and commitment, as your posts suggest you do. Loyalty is a value I admire, but loyalty without conviction gets a person into the situation Mayor Giuliani finds himself in with Bernie Kerik and his shadier associates. It is one thing, and an admirable thing, to go to bat for and support your loyal employees, and to do everything for your family. But to have compassion for the faceless person whose job or pension you’re trashing with your leveraged buyout — that requires not loyalty but conviction. And, in those cases as in the others I cited, Governor Romney demonstrates lack of conviction.

  • jonfromcali

    Mr. Berlinerblau’s question is moot, as far as I can tell. Forget about religion (though Huckabee or Romney will make things even easier than they might be otherwise). The 2008 election is shaping up to be sorta like last year in the NFL: Hillary and Obama are the Colts and Patriots (or vice versa), and the flock of GOP contenders are all the NFC teams who were competing like mad to be wiped out in the Super Bowl. Don’t fool yourselves into thinking Hillary’s too unlikeable or Obama’s not strong enough. November is going to be a wipeout–take it to the bank.

  • Practical Progressive

    This blog has got me to thinking a little more about the God Vote, and, specifically, what’s troubling about the possibility of a theologically conservative evangelical in the White House. Huckabee is a good case study in a way because he seems like a pretty decent guy, and he also seems to take the liberal side of his religion — compassion for the poor and the oppressed — fairly seriously, so he is pretty much the most inoffensive of possible religious right candidates, from a progressive perspective.The fundamental issue is the one that came to our attention in the last presidential election — the fact-based vs. faith-based divide. I am not a believer but was raised in a religious household, and have respect for the ways in which religion aspires to promote and express the nobler human proclivities, and also respect the mythopoeic function of religion. But every society must establish a way of agreeing, for public decisions, upon what is true and not true; and, in a pluralistic democracy, that way must be by following the rules of science and reason. While I acknowledge the importance that faith plays in the lives of many, because it is so personal and particular, this role must be limited to individuals’ lives, not to our collective life as a nation; otherwise, we have no principled way to settle our differences. And that is why, decent and compassionate as he seems, the prospect of Governor Huckabee becoming President is so alarming;. He denies the truth, incontrovertible by the tools of science and reason, of, say, the age of the Grand Canyon, and is willing to enact that denial into education policy. How can I have any confidence that he will use our agreed-upon process for making other consequential policy decisions?So, as someone who respects religion and diversity, I must nevertheless impose this religious test: any candidate for public office, to receive my vote, must demonstrate an unshakable commitment to using reason, not faith, to factually inform his or her public decisions.

  • Sarah

    How cleverly snotty. If one answers your question, that would place that person in the not exemplary, not civic-minded American camp. You obviously had the same rhetoric instructor as Tucker Carlton.Here’s a question for you. Are you still beating your wife?

  • TheodoreRoosevelt

    Someone forgot Ron Paul a REAL Republican who is far more qualified, far more honest then any you spoke of.ladies and gentlemen seriously take a few moments and read what Ron Paul stands for and why he scares the Republican and Democrat elite, why the media tries to ignore him and why Corporations that RUN the Congress are shivering in their gucci’s PRAYING that Ron Paul continues to be ignored.We you and I need Ron Paul and his convictions and principles.Ron Paul 2008

  • Bob from Brooklyn

    For MENECK: I can see you don’t know a lot about Jews. My neighbors in the Boro Park section of Brooklyn (NOT including myself) are 100% conservative Republicans, for the same reasons that Mike Huckabee is–they are appalled (rightly or wrongly) with what they perceive to be the increasing secularization of America. On the other hand, most Jews in Manhattan are conventional liberals, except for those resident in Greenwich Village, who are off-the-deep-end leftists who mostly despise liberals as being too milk-and-watery. In short, stereotyping is a very risky business, not so?

  • Bob from Brooklyn

    Dear Practical Progressive:Your 7:05 PM post ended thusly: “So, as someone who respects religion and diversity, I must nevertheless impose this religious test: any candidate for public office, to receive my vote, must demonstrate an unshakable commitment to using reason, not faith, to factually inform his or her public decisions.”That’s about how I feel. I would add that while I am devoutly religious in an established faith, I sharply draw the line at imposing my views on anyone else in any shape or form, save to protect myself and my rights. My nose ends where someone else’s begins, and vice-versa. I’ve seen a lot of hatred in my lifetime which arose out of religion, not to mention reading about the Crusades and the Thirty Years War, and I resolved a while ago that, while I was going to stick up for myself, I wasn’t going to initiate hatred against anybody, or call anybody a sinner for not sharing my beliefs.That’s an important reason why I can’t wait for That Man in the White House to leave it. He’s all too ready to ram his beliefs down my throat, and my reaction is to regurgitate.

  • Coldcomfort

    The Christian Coalition, who has shown itself very quick to pick up a 38-cal. gun (of the state) and impose its moral authority on every other citizen, “Throw them in jail, tell them what they can and cannot do with their bodies, etc.,” put George W. Bush in office and cheered as he started a war and was quick call any who disagreed “unpatriotic.”To all Christians everywhere I would say, “Ye will know them by the fruits they bear.”

  • Mike

    “knowing full well that he will be a loser come Election Day?”How broadly pompous can you get with an opening statement like that…knowing full well that whatever candidate comes out of the GOP, unless a 3rd party throws into the mix an auto-win for Hillary, we’ll be counting chads and holding our overnight counts from Ohio just like Bush-Kerry election. Don’t count Huckabee out so quickly. He’s fought and beat the Clinton Machine in every election – he Has Reagan’s top man at the campaign helm, and more importantly Mike is Right for U.S.! He will unite the GOP’s he will take DEM votes (especially if Barak or Hillary win the nomination) I will admit John Edwards v. Huckabee would make me very nervous indeed. The other two Dem’s wouldn’t cause me to lose sleep in the least.AS for Romney and Giuiliani….it would be a good opening for a 3rd party candidate to enter the race….and we’ll have a Democrat for President – sending the GOP’s a very clear and strong message as to who where their meat and potato’s come from.Bottom line – Clinton’s can’t win without a 3rd party in the mix…in fact that’s probably true of any Democrat in our current national divide.

  • Freestinker

    Edwards is the strongest Democratic candidate for the general election.Romney is the weakest Republican, followed by Huckabee, Thompson, McCain, and Guiliani appears to be the strongest.Edwards would easily beat any of them.