Well, to be fair, James Dobson, head of Focus on the Family, isn't exactly a preacher; it's just that he looks and sounds like one all the time — and he's clearly lying about the main point of his op-ed piece in today's New York Times.
"REPORTS have surfaced in the press about a meeting that occurred last Saturday in Salt Lake City involving more than 50 pro-family leaders," the piece begins. Of course, we've all learned by now to translate "pro-family" to its true meaning: "Anti-abortion/pro-censorship."
"The purpose of the gathering was to discuss our response if both the Democratic and Republican Parties nominate standard-bearers who are supportive of abortion," it continues. "Although I was neither the convener nor the moderator of the meeting, I'd like to offer several brief clarifications about its outcome and implications."
"After two hours of deliberation, we voted on a resolution that can be summarized as follows: If neither of the two major political parties nominates an individual who pledges himself or herself to the sanctity of human life, we will join others in voting for a minor-party candidate. Those agreeing with the proposition were invited to stand. The result was almost unanimous."
Now let's be clear about who they're talking about here: All the Democratic candidates and pretty much all the Republican front-runners, including (despite what they say now) Giuliani, Thompson and Romney (who'll also get zapped because the state of which he was governor is the only one that's legalized gay marriage), and I think McCain fits that bill as well, as does Ron Paul, though neither could be described as "frontrunners" these days. As for the others, while I'm not sure about Tancredo, Brownback, Huckabee and Hunter are solidly anti-choice, but frankly, I'll be surprised if one of them takes the nomination. So we can be pretty sure that the Republican nominee will at least have a background that's pro-choice — or at least that's not been consistently anti-choice — and one has to wonder to what lengths these "50 pro-family leaders" will have to contort themselves to support a candidate who, whatever he pledges, will not work very hard for the defeat of Roe v. Wade.
So what other solutions were discussed?
"The other issue discussed at length concerned the advisability of creating a third party if Democrats and Republicans do indeed abandon the sanctity of human life and other traditional family values. Though there was some support for the proposal, no consensus emerged."
Yeah; like these political creatures would actually be stupid enough to pull their support away from the Republican, no matter who he is, in favor of a candidate who stands zero chance of winning! Ergo, when push comes to shove, the likelihood that Dobson and his ilk will actually recommend voting for a third-party candidate is about the same as the likelihood of their announcing that hell has indeed frozen over. In my book, that makes Dobson — and those "50 pro-family leaders" — liars if they expect us to believe they won't wind up supporting the Republican no matter what his positions on abortion, stem-cell research, gay marriage and porn turn out to be.
"Speaking personally, and not for the organization I represent or the other leaders gathered in Salt Lake City," Dobson continued, ever mindful of the IRS code prohibiting 501(c)(3) organizations from supporting or opposing particular candidates, "I firmly believe that the selection of a president should begin with a recommitment to traditional moral values and beliefs. Those include the sanctity of human life, the institution of marriage, and other inviolable pro-family principles. Only after that determination is made can the acceptability of a nominee be assessed."
Well, I venture to say that those "50 pro-family leaders" favor the death penalty, oppose government anti-poverty programs that don't funnel money through churches, and we know they oppose gay marriage and embryonic stem-cell research — so I guess there must be some other "traditional moral values and beliefs" they think the candidate should recommit himself to, since it can't be the ones he mentions! In other words, he's lying again!
"The other approach, which I find problematic," Dobson says, "is to choose a candidate according to the likelihood of electoral success or failure. Polls don't measure right and wrong; voting according to the possibility of winning or losing can lead directly to the compromise of one's principles. In the present political climate, it could result in the abandonment of cherished beliefs that conservative Christians have promoted and defended for decades. Winning the presidential election is vitally important, but not at the expense of what we hold most dear."
Anybody want to start a countdown clock to see how long it takes before he reverses himself on that bit of sophistry, and decides that keeping a Republican in the White House is monumentally more important than the "cherished beliefs that conservative Christians have promoted and defended for decades"?
The smart money says this fucking liar will reverse himself within six months ... but you know all bets are off by next Labor Day, when whoever the nominee is will have undergone — metaphorically, at least — a fundamentalist rebirth ... at least in the minds of those "50 pro-family leaders."