Tuesday, September 18, 2007

“Values Voters” Get Testy

No wonder none of the top-tier GOP candidates showed up at the great Values Voter Debate Monday night. If I were Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney or the rest, I’d have stayed away, too.

For this crowd, “values" are defined as anti-gay and anti-abortion. Poverty, the war, environmental destruction (aka, “Creation Care”), the death penalty, corruption, or any number of other values are not on their radar. Surely the 25 million or so evangelical Christian voters care about other things besides gay marriage and abortion? But to the self-appointed leaders of the religious right, it's a two-issue movement. And they call us out of touch?

Anyway, War Room posted a few of the questions candidates were asked, whether they were in attendance or not:
Question for Giuliani, asked by a teenage girl with an apparent speech impediment:
"Eighteen years ago, an abortionist was hired to kill me, but he failed. Nuns came and rescued me and took me to the hospital, where I stayed for two months. My heroic parents then adopted me. Mayor Giuliani, your position on abortion would have left me dead. Now that you see me, Mayor Giuliani, do you honestly believe that an abortionist had a right to kill me?"

Yeah, I’m sure any candidate would have loved to take that question.

The other questions posted were just as bad. I think more than anything it’s a sign of the imploding religious right. With layoffs at Focus on the Family and the Christian Coalition headed for insolvency, the religious right is headed toward irrelevancy, and the top GOP candidates know it. That explains why they stayed away from this ridiculous excuse for a debate; why subject yourself to a stupid “values” exercise where the only sure result will be an embarassing headline?

Much as I wish Mike Huckabee or Sam Brownback would win the GOP nomination, I just don’t see it happening. Guess Democrats will have to work just a little bit harder for their 2008 win.