It's rare that my analyses get confirmed so quickly, but a story in yesterday's Washington Times, which I picked up via the daily emailing from Alliance Defense Fund, did just that.
"Religious conservative leaders say they don't expect to win if they carry through with preparations to run their own presidential candidate next year," the story begins, then quoting American Family Assn. president Donald Wildmon that, "The only reason to go third party is to hurt another party, as Ross Perot did and Ralph Nader did."
One of the religious right's uber-movers and shakers, however, wasn't so sure.
"It's way too early to be talking about a third party," said Free Congress Foundation President Paul M. Weyrich, a Catholic. "But if Giuliani gets the nomination, the Republican Party will be useless to Christian conservatives. So at that point, we would have to make some kind of determination of what do we do."
Tell ya what, Paul, you've got two choices: Either hold your nose and vote Repugnican because you want that party to win at all costs, because you know you'll be able to get some of your legislative agenda through, even if the Big Guy isn't "pro-family" enough to your liking ... or go third party and lose the election for the 'Pugs, then rag on the Democrats for the next four years, sniping and lying in the hopes of making people forget how bad the 'Pugs have been since they took over Congress in the mid-'90s, and even worse since Bush took office.
"If Giuliani gets the nomination, it can be said that the Republicans self-destructed," said Mr. Wildmon. "They will have done it to themselves. It will not be those of us who are social conservatives who did it."
Um ... no, Don; it's because of the "social conservatives" (not to mention the one feeding at the national debt trough) that the 'Pugs have self-destructed.
"Nor is it clear whether a third-party candidate fielded by Catholic and evangelical leaders would deny the Republican ticket a victory — or have an major effect, except in an extremely close contest," the story says. "There is no way of knowing beforehand whether rank-and-file voters on the Christian right will follow their leaders."
OF COURSE they'll follow them; THEY'RE SHEEP! And considering how close the popular vote in the past few elections has been, any identifiable segment of the fundies going over to a third party WILL lose the election for the 'Pugs.
"Here's one thing I'll say about Republicans," Mr. Wildmon said. "They may not win with us, but they cannot win without us. The leadership needs to think seriously and long about that proposition."
Damn straight! But guess what, Don: You can't win without them, either!