29 October 2007

The crack-up

The Sunday Times magazine yesterday had a lengthy piece by David Kirkpatrick on the growing state of political detoxification of American evangelicals, covering the same general topics I've touched on in the past year or so but with much more detail and exposition. Kirkpatrick in particular cites several examples of the laity revolting against the single-track gospel-as-Kulturkampf message preferred by the powers-that-be. (Another possible explanation is that, being authoritarian followers, they are uneasy with the prospect of no longer being on the winning side.)

The indispensable Jeff Sharlet writing in The Revealer, however, worries that Kirkpatrick's article will be the latest in a long history of declaring conservative evangelicals prematurely dead as a political force. Sharlet points out that the trickling of evangelicals away from the Republican party has less to do with a leftward political drift from their part as much as the Democrats careening rightward to try to win them over. (The DLC-Blue Dog Dems would love nothing more than to trade in their leftist base for docile, corporate-friendly petty bourgeoisie.)

This shake-up has produced some strange and seemingly inexplicable outcome, such as the support for Rudy Giuliani among some evangelicals while others in the Old Guard plot a third-party bid if the thrice-married, pro-choice Giuliani wins the Republican nomination.* Giuliani's popularity, I think, can be atributed to being a Unity Candidate in an otherwise lackluster field; he is the biggest Big "Murica hawk of the bunch, surrounding himself with the likes of Norman Podhoretz and Daniel Pipes, the Architects of the architects that delivered Bush's imperial presidency.

*The possibilities for third-party candidates in 2008 could turn out to be quite intriguing. Will Michael Bloomberg throw his billions into the ring (creating the possibility of a three-way all-New Yorker race)? Will Ron Paul take his newfound national fame to the Libertarian Party ticket--on which he's appeared before? I'll take this opportunity to note the Socialist Party has recently unveiled its 2008 ticket.

EDIT: By the way, not running for President? Lyndon LaRouche.