It’s Pat!

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abortion, National Security, Republican Party

I’ve been living away from the Bible Belt too long to claim that I have my finger on the pulse of the Jesus vote. So I can’t say if Pat Robertson’s endorsement of Rudy Giuliani is the gift-wrapped advantage for Hizzoner some pundits seem to think it is. Perhaps it is, but Robertson’s influence peaked nearly thirty years ago. Today Robertson is mostly a media sideshow freak whose celebrity endures even as memory of whatever he was originally celebrated for fades away. Sort of like Britney Spears.

Gail Collins:

Even within the ranks of the social conservatives, Robertson is regarded as a tad over the top. Who among us will forget the time he claimed that the special protein shake he was marketing had enabled him to leg-press 2,000 pounds? Or the time he said God had given Ariel Sharon a massive stroke because he let the Palestinians run Gaza? (He did apologize for saying the United States should assassinate the president of Venezuela.)

My impression is — and I could be wrong — that these days Robertson claims a following only among a particular subset of Radical Christendom: those who hate Muslims even more than they hate women.

Robertson’s backing will surely give Giuliani a leg up among voters who believe that God sends natural disasters to punish Americans whose school board members believe in the theory of evolution, or who have the bad luck to live near an inclusive amusement park. (He warned Orlando that when Disney World welcomed gay patrons it was letting them in for terrorist attacks, “earthquakes, tornadoes and possibly a meteor.”)

Yesterday, Robertson said that America’s Mayor had won him over because “to me, the overriding issue before the American people is the defense of our population from the bloodlust of Islamic terrorists.” (So much for judicial activism.) “Our second goal should be the control of massive government waste and crushing federal deficits.”

Now this is the part that I have never been able to get. When did government spending become part of the divine agenda? Is there something in the Bible about smiting down federal bureaucrats?

Keep it straight: Religious righties don’t look to the Bible to learn what to believe. They look to the Bible to justify what they believe.

Steven Thomma and Matt Stearns of McClatchy Newspapers say the Robertson endorsement has “fractured” social conservatives. The Robertson endorsement is significant because it shows the social conservative movement has not coalesced around any one candidate. I suspect this “fracturing” is mostly at the top. As I’ve written before, I think the rank and file of the movement would coalesce around Mike Huckabee if left to their own devices, but the “leadership” is determined to pull their followers in other directions. I can only guess why.

I suspect television bobbleheads, few of whom have ever attended a tent revival, will seize the Robertson endorsement as proof that Giuliani’s support for abortion rights (and his three marriages, and his proclivity for cross dressing, and his gay friends) will not matter to social conservative voters, even though those things probably do matter and Robertson isn’t speaking for anyone but Robertson.

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. k  •  Nov 8, 2007 @9:55 am

    I know this is off message(- Giuliani is total self serving principle less individual- but so are alot of others)

    The media says(hah) that the single women vote is the one to go after this year. Like they really care……… Hillary stopped her bus to grab a meal , the whole entourage coming in to be waited on by a single mother of 2 working her 2nd job( the first one is/was a nursing home job) and they didn’t leave a tip. Yea they really understand how it is out here all right. Because the media got ahold of it, the single mom lost her nursing home job- seems her supervisor hates Hillary. anyway having been there and done that myself ( the single mom 2 job thing)I can say there is no more disrespect than leaving no tip. You just lost the single woman vote Hill.

  2. c u n d gulag  •  Nov 8, 2007 @10:51 am

    Rudy’s howling authoratianism is what appeals to these people. To meet their needs, his serial overexagerations mount every day.

    Recently, Rudy basically claimed that he tortured mobsters to get them to squeal.
    That he has studied Islam for over 30 years and is an expert (this, from the guy, who put his communications center in the WTC – the better to diddle his mistress).
    That waterboarding isn’t torture – it depends on how it’s done, and by whom.

    The list of his outragious overexagerations is too long to present here.
    Next, he’ll say that the reason the Yankees haven’t won a World Series since the year 2000, is that he, as Mayor, was the one telling Joe Torre when to hit-and-run, bunt, and change pitchers. And that they haven’t won one since he left as Mayor.

    You want an American Mussoline? Vote for Rudy. I lived in NYC under Rudy. If you were white, it was alright. If you were black, brown, or any color other than white, it was life under an oppressive police state.
    I don’t live there any more. But my friends who do say that Bloomberg is a much better Mayor. From a distance, I agree.

    The fascistic leanings in this country are frightening.

  3. c u n d gulag  •  Nov 8, 2007 @10:53 am

    Oops, should read “Mussolini.” And please don’t read that as a dig against Italians.

  4. Sachem  •  Nov 8, 2007 @11:47 am

    I agree with gulag, the neo-armageddonites are truly frightening. The total rejection of cerebral reasoning and human compassion led to the carnage of the 20th century. And though it might seem off topic, I want make sure that you all saw Max Blumenthal’s piece from this past summer at the “Citizen’s United for Israel” conference. It give a whole new meaning to the utterance “bring it on”!!

    Don’t let the Rapture pass you by

  5. joanr16  •  Nov 8, 2007 @1:21 pm

    I actually know some conservative Republicans who find Pat Robertson so offensive, they will change their vote to avoid the candidate Robertson supports. Of course, that just reduces Giuliani’s numbers in the Republican primary of a state that doesn’t matter. But I imagine my state’s Republicans aren’t the only ones to feel that way.

  6. moonbat  •  Nov 8, 2007 @1:38 pm

    “Rudy il Duce” – has a certain ring to it, no? And Robertson – if there’s anyone who’s jumped the shark, it’s him. And yet I’m sure he still has some influence with whoever still watches The 700 Club.

    Do see the intrepid Max Blumenthal’s infiltration of the “Value Voters Summit”, hosted by Dobson’s Focus on the Family and its lobbying arm, The Family Research Council:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvhn43BmdWM

    These people are desperate, and a lot more serious than Pat Robertson.

  7. biggerbox  •  Nov 8, 2007 @2:09 pm

    My guess is that Robertson is only influential among the “crazy old coot” fans, who probably were going to vote for St. Rudy the Confabulator anyway, drawn by his obvious insanity. The endorsement just makes both of them look crassly willing to do anything for political power.

    The big upside for us is that it opens Rudy to a gazillion questions about whether he agrees with each of Robertson’s loony pronouncements, and builds a platform for expanding the meme that Rudy has surrounded himself with nutjobs and crooks, including Podhoretz, Kerik, etc.

  8. daveinboca  •  Nov 8, 2007 @2:34 pm

    Gail Collins today proves again how she was so spectacularly out of her league and over her depth that the NYT had to gently dislodge her from her post overseeing the Op-Ed page. She and I share the same alma mater [Marquette], so I wanted to cut her a little slack when she got the job. But she made such a hash of it that I turned on her as did almost every sane reader of the few pieces allowed to be viewed free-of-charge back in her day.

    Anything Bill does in the adultery department appears to be okay by Gail, doesn’t it? Just your everyday double-standard liberal hypocrisy—not even noteworthy because it happens on a daily basis in the NYT.

    Maureen now is starting to turn on Hillary, as the deep-throat crowd appear to be past their cut-off [or is it penetration?] point with Hillarious and her wandering philandering Bubba-hubby.

  9. moonbat  •  Nov 8, 2007 @2:58 pm

    Anything Bill does in the adultery department appears to be okay by Gail, doesn’t it? Just your everyday double-standard liberal hypocrisy…etc, etc, etc, ad nauseum

    You just can’t let go of it, can you? It’s 2007, hello? Thousands have died for Bush’s lies, our country’s reputation is in tatters, we have loonies in power who are agitating for World War III, our Constitution is being shredded by the same, and on and on.. and you’re fixated on what? Bill’s philandering?

    It is you who are truly Hillarious. While adultery is nothing to be proud of, it’s infinitesimally small potatoes in the greater scheme of things. Small things for small minds, and yours is one of the tinier ones I’ve seen laterly. And do keep sounding ridiculous, you give us all a needed laugh.

  10. Swami  •  Nov 8, 2007 @3:27 pm

    Q. What do you get when you mix an oaf with an imp?

    A. Pat Robertson

    Robertson should stick to praying away hurricanes and leave the political endorsements to people with sound minds.

  11. VJB  •  Nov 8, 2007 @5:44 pm

    ‘Keep it straight: Religious righties don’t look to the Bible to learn what to believe. They look to the Bible to justify what they believe.’

    No truer words.

  12. whig  •  Nov 8, 2007 @6:08 pm

    Now come on, he did leg press 200lb ten times, and that surely is the same thing as pressing 2,000lbs.

  13. erinyes  •  Nov 8, 2007 @7:50 pm

    It’s name is Pat, but I’m not quite sure what Pat is.
    Is Pat a business or a religion? Is Pat a Christian or a money hungry fake? Whatever this thing called Pat is, it called for the destruction of a place called Orlando, the place I call home. It also said our country was attacked because of the seculars, the homosexuals, and internet porn. This creature called Pat laughs while he says terrible things, he is the poster boy for evil.
    I wish him “well”.The followers of this creature and his club are either stupid beyond belief or just plain nuts.

    I’m sure Pat endorsed Rudy because Rudy will kill Muslims in great numbers if elected, which pleases Pat.
    Jesus would be proud………..

  14. Dan  •  Nov 8, 2007 @8:22 pm

    “Keep it straight: Religious righties don’t look to the Bible to learn what to believe. They look to the Bible to justify what they believe.”

    Actually, “righties” look to charlatans to tell them that the Bible justifies what they believe… Most of them really do not have that much familiarity with the Bible itself.

  15. WereBear  •  Nov 9, 2007 @10:49 am

    Keep it straight: Religious righties don’t look to the Bible to learn what to believe. They look to the Bible to justify what they believe.

    Love it!

    I’m convinced, from having lived among them, that they live in a fog of absolute cluelessness about How Things Work. On any level. From governmental initiatives to economic underpinnings to the true inner lives of their spouses and children.

    Or, for that matter, their own.

    Thus they are utterly vulnerable to even quarter-assed explanations.

    As I’ve always said, if someone can’t expand to reach the divine… they shrink the divine to fit them.



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