Tuesday, June 10, 2008

McCain and the Conservative Base!


I found 2 articles that talk about how McCain isn't resonating and/or doing well with the conservative base and Evangelicals in the Republican party. It might have something to do with the fact that he continues to spit in our face!! Nevertheless, David Limbaugh warns that its an extremely dangerous strategy to think that McCain can ignore us and still win. Here is an excerpt from his column entitled, McCain's dangerous courting of moderates:
"Exacerbating McCain's precarious position is that he has repeatedly betrayed the conservative base with McCain-Feingold, McCain-Kennedy, McCain-Lieberman, the Gang of 14 and demonizing achievers, for starters. He also has a habit of deprecating Christian conservatives, such as when in 2000, following the South Carolina primary, he denounced Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and other evangelicals as "agents of intolerance."

After making some overtures to the Christian right this time around, McCain has reverted to form by choosing to make conspicuous public breaks with pastors John Hagee and Rod Parsley. And a news report yesterday stated McCain even declined to meet with the Rev. Billy Graham, but later in the day, his campaign claimed that it has been working directly with the Rev. Franklin Graham's office to facilitate a meeting between the beloved evangelist and the GOP candidate.

McCain may think he can take "values voters" for granted because he is a Republican, but their support isn't mindless or free. Many already feel his lack of love toward them, which could feed into the Democrats' cynical semantic ploy to win over Christian voters by restating their message in moral language at the suggestion of linguist George Lakoff. Cloaking their positions on poverty, global warming and AIDS in the garb of Christian language could yield abundant electoral fruit for Democrats.

Don't forget that McCain finished last among the nine candidates in the "Values Voters" summit straw poll last year or that the revered James Dobson announced in February that he couldn't support McCain. Also don't forget that the press repeatedly reminds us that Obama is a committed Christian who is "very comfortable talking about his faith."

"He must also understand that analyzing the impact of Christian conservatives on GOP politics isn't merely a numbers game. Christian conservatives are the foot soldiers at the grass roots, who deliver victories to the GOP because of their intensity and corresponding commitment to the cause – a cause McCain has yet to convince them he believes in.

As Family Research Council President Tony Perkins ominously noted, "For John McCain to be competitive, he has to connect with the base to the point that they're intense enough that they're contagious. Right now, they're not even coughing."

This article also echoes some of the exact same points that I have been making the past few months:
"Lori Viars, an evangelical activist in Warren County, Ohio, essentially put her life on hold in the fall of 2004 to run a phone bank for President Bush. Her efforts helped the president’s ambitious push to turn out evangelicals and win that critical swing state in a close election.

But Ms. Viars, who is among a cluster of socially conservative activists in Ohio being courted by Senator John McCain’s campaign through regular e-mail messages, is taking a wait-and-see attitude for now toward Mr. McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee.

“I think a lot of us are in a holding pattern,” said Ms. Viars, who added that she wanted to see whom Mr. McCain picked for his running mate.

Ms. Viars’s hesitation illustrates what remains one of Mr. McCain’s biggest challenges as he faces a general election contest with Senator Barack Obama: a continued wariness toward him among evangelicals and other Christian conservatives, a critical voting bloc for Republicans that could stay home in the fall or at least be decidedly unenthusiastic in their efforts to get out the vote."
The person that wrote this article and talked to Ms. Viars could just as easily have been talking about me. Mine is the same exact story!! I too put my life on hold in 2004 to run phonebanks for Bush in a swing state. And now I am taking a wait and see attitude towards McCain, like Viars, I'm waiting to see who he picks for his running mate before deciding.

Bottom line: Even if all of us politcal junkies hold our nose and vote for McCain, he's going to have a hard time. Why? Because as I have been saying for months and Limbaugh points out in his article the conservative base are the foot soldiers in campaigns. Unless McCain can elicit some excitement, passion and trust among the base he's going to have a hard time getting people willing to volunteer. And without volunteers to get out the vote, you'll have an extremely difficult time winning.

Message to McCain: Pick J.C. Watts, Governor Sarah Palin or another outstanding conservative for your running mate and quit spitting in our faces and maybe you could win our votes and our support!

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