Reading Kathleen Parker’s rant in her Washington Post column yesterday is an example of what shouldn’t be the way forward for the Republican party.  Apparently the blame for the GOP’s loss on is to be laid at the feet of evangelicals.  She writes:

As Republicans sort out the reasons for their defeat, they likely will overlook or dismiss the gorilla in the pulpit. Three little letters, great big problem: G-O-D. I’m bathing in holy water as I type. To be more specific, the evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP is what ails the erstwhile conservative party and will continue to afflict and marginalize its constituents if reckoning doesn’t soon cometh.

First off the degrading of social conservatives is not what the GOP needs.  The GOP is successful when candidates successfully unite social conservatives (by the way they are not just evangelicals), fiscal conservatives, and national security conservatives.  McCain didn’t do that, and that is one of the reasons why he lost.  To think that you can regulate these voters to “to wooden crates on street corners,” and still expect to win election is asinine.

This is actually the type of language I expect from the left.  You know the one’s who feel average American’s cling to their “guns and religion.”  The hostility with religion, and Christianity in particular does no good.  No one was applying a litmus test for our presidential nominee.  Sarah Palin was chosen at the VP candidate because of her faith, but rather for her conservatism – social, fiscal and national security.

Also Parker needs a wake up call – the social conservative causes that many evangelicals hold dear were not in the forefront of this election.  It was “the economy, stupid.”  That was the top concern for the majority of voters and Obama won those voters.  Period.  McCain’s message on the economy didn’t resonate.  He didn’t make a great case.  Also Republicans lost credibility on the economy and being the party of “fiscal responsibility” through the big government and spending increases that we saw with the Bush administration and which a Republican majority pre-2006 passed through.

That is why Republicans lost.  I’m not sure who Ms. Parker is writing to, but to throw evangelicals/social conservatives under the bus would be to throw the Republican Party under the bus as well.  Let’s get to the heart of our problem, and it isn’t a politician bringing up God on occasion.

Update: This argument is being made in Iowa as well.

24 comments
  1. This is the same as everyone saying that conservatism lost this election. Problem is, real conservatism didn’t show up to be voted on. We were split by three candidates who each took the issues most important to us, but none of them united us.

  2. This is the same as everyone saying that conservatism lost this election. Problem is, real conservatism didn’t show up to be voted on. We were split by three candidates who each took the issues most important to us, but none of them united us.

  3. Evangelicals had a candidate who could have beat Obama.. especially on the economy.. but we sanctimoniously rejected him because he is a Mormon and went after an ex-preacher who.. pardon the pun.. didn’t have a prayer of winning on the economy.

  4. Evangelicals had a candidate who could have beat Obama.. especially on the economy.. but we sanctimoniously rejected him because he is a Mormon and went after an ex-preacher who.. pardon the pun.. didn’t have a prayer of winning on the economy.

  5. I went back to read Ms. Parker’s article. It would appear to me that she is not only throwing Christian conservatism under the bus, but she is THE sure fire recipe for a repeat defeat in 2010 and 2012. She is forgetting what it takes for the Republican party to win.

    It’s not strategy. It’s not marketing. It’s not demographics. It’s not party values, causes, platforms, issues, personalities, leadership, or even political cycles.

    Sure, all those things play a part, but that’s all they are – parts to a bigger picture.

    What Kathleen Parker completely missed out on is this:

    C-O-A-L-I-T-I-O-N

    That’s how Reagan won. That’s how George W. Bush won. It takes all conservatives to push a conservative agenda. You want small government and cut government spending, you can’t just have the fiscal conservatives backing you. You want to over-turn Roe Vs. Wade and put conservative judges on the Supreme Court, you can’t just have social conservatives backing you. You want to win the War on Terror and secure the borders? It would be nice to bring moderate democrats along for the ride.

    Coalition is the key to victory, and you won’t get it, if you bash the people in your own party. If you can’t win an election with them, you certain won’t win an election without them.

  6. I went back to read Ms. Parker’s article. It would appear to me that she is not only throwing Christian conservatism under the bus, but she is THE sure fire recipe for a repeat defeat in 2010 and 2012. She is forgetting what it takes for the Republican party to win.

    It’s not strategy. It’s not marketing. It’s not demographics. It’s not party values, causes, platforms, issues, personalities, leadership, or even political cycles.

    Sure, all those things play a part, but that’s all they are – parts to a bigger picture.

    What Kathleen Parker completely missed out on is this:

    C-O-A-L-I-T-I-O-N

    That’s how Reagan won. That’s how George W. Bush won. It takes all conservatives to push a conservative agenda. You want small government and cut government spending, you can’t just have the fiscal conservatives backing you. You want to over-turn Roe Vs. Wade and put conservative judges on the Supreme Court, you can’t just have social conservatives backing you. You want to win the War on Terror and secure the borders? It would be nice to bring moderate democrats along for the ride.

    Coalition is the key to victory, and you won’t get it, if you bash the people in your own party. If you can’t win an election with them, you certain won’t win an election without them.

  7. @Kansas Bob – I didn’t support Romney because I didn’t trust him. Not because he was a Mormon. If he had governed conservatively in Massachusetts I could have been convinced.

    I went for Huckabee because he was a Governor of a state for 10 years and Lt. Governor before that. He had been a Lt. Governor and Governor for longer than he had been a pastor so why do people insist on calling him an ex-preacher?

    His economic message, by the way, I think would have resounded. I looked into his positions very carefully before supporting him.

    @Paul – very true.

    @Steve – I don’t think we should ever be beholden to a political party. What we need to do is realize that politically speaking just like Paul said we need to remember that we are part of a coalition. Then Kingdom speaking need to remember that politics are not going to change hearts, only Jesus will. So we need to be about the business of making disciples.

  8. @Kansas Bob – I didn’t support Romney because I didn’t trust him. Not because he was a Mormon. If he had governed conservatively in Massachusetts I could have been convinced.

    I went for Huckabee because he was a Governor of a state for 10 years and Lt. Governor before that. He had been a Lt. Governor and Governor for longer than he had been a pastor so why do people insist on calling him an ex-preacher?

    His economic message, by the way, I think would have resounded. I looked into his positions very carefully before supporting him.

    @Paul – very true.

    @Steve – I don’t think we should ever be beholden to a political party. What we need to do is realize that politically speaking just like Paul said we need to remember that we are part of a coalition. Then Kingdom speaking need to remember that politics are not going to change hearts, only Jesus will. So we need to be about the business of making disciples.

  9. As I’ve been saying for a bit over a year now:
    A lot of great Dems ran for president, this year– unfortunately, they ran on the GOP ticket.

    Mitt was OK, a very moderate Repub; Huck was great on life, but sucked for spending and thinking that gov’t can fix things; Ron Paul is great on life, but sucked at the whole foreign policy thing; Rudy is great on spending and foreign, but sucks on the life issues; McCain takes far too much joy in spitting in folks’ eye, and sucked on boarders, speech, etc.

  10. As I’ve been saying for a bit over a year now:
    A lot of great Dems ran for president, this year– unfortunately, they ran on the GOP ticket.

    Mitt was OK, a very moderate Repub; Huck was great on life, but sucked for spending and thinking that gov’t can fix things; Ron Paul is great on life, but sucked at the whole foreign policy thing; Rudy is great on spending and foreign, but sucks on the life issues; McCain takes far too much joy in spitting in folks’ eye, and sucked on boarders, speech, etc.

  11. Shane – I agree with you. The idea that being half-baked Democrats will win us elections is asinine. The lack of clear definition hurts Republicans. You play in the middle and you appeal to no-one. You stand for something, stick to conservative (social AND economic) principles, and show backbone – you win.

    Simple marketing if nothing else. Be all things to all people and irritate most. Have laser focus and contrast yourself with your competition and win every time! Every survey shows America is still conservative. We just don’t market ourselves to energize that base of support, we lose in early-voting efforts, and we have no charismatic leadership nationally or in Iowa.

    It’s time to start over. From the Right. Not the middle.

  12. Shane – I agree with you. The idea that being half-baked Democrats will win us elections is asinine. The lack of clear definition hurts Republicans. You play in the middle and you appeal to no-one. You stand for something, stick to conservative (social AND economic) principles, and show backbone – you win.

    Simple marketing if nothing else. Be all things to all people and irritate most. Have laser focus and contrast yourself with your competition and win every time! Every survey shows America is still conservative. We just don’t market ourselves to energize that base of support, we lose in early-voting efforts, and we have no charismatic leadership nationally or in Iowa.

    It’s time to start over. From the Right. Not the middle.

  13. To clarify: every national survey of people’s value systems shows that the vast majority of Americans are pro-life, want tax cuts, believe that Government can’t solve all our problems, are opposed to gay marriage, want to maintain a strong military, support the overall war on terror, etc. These are conservative issues. We run on them. We win.

  14. To clarify: every national survey of people’s value systems shows that the vast majority of Americans are pro-life, want tax cuts, believe that Government can’t solve all our problems, are opposed to gay marriage, want to maintain a strong military, support the overall war on terror, etc. These are conservative issues. We run on them. We win.

  15. Eric,

    I wouldn’t quite say that the U.S. is conservative, but I would say “center-right”.

    Iowaguy, if Obama governs from the hard left – he’s toast in 2012 or at the very least you’ll see a repeat of 1994 in 2010. The reason Clinton won reelection was because he shifted from left back to the center which was what he ran on to begin with. Clinton was under tremendous pressure to shift left. Obama will be too.

  16. Eric,

    I wouldn’t quite say that the U.S. is conservative, but I would say “center-right”.

    Iowaguy, if Obama governs from the hard left – he’s toast in 2012 or at the very least you’ll see a repeat of 1994 in 2010. The reason Clinton won reelection was because he shifted from left back to the center which was what he ran on to begin with. Clinton was under tremendous pressure to shift left. Obama will be too.

  17. the lefty illuminati DID do a better job of uniting their group. The divisiveness of the republicans, including the evangelicals (whom parker criticizes) is a major factor in the loss of the election

  18. the lefty illuminati DID do a better job of uniting their group. The divisiveness of the republicans, including the evangelicals (whom parker criticizes) is a major factor in the loss of the election

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