AGREED: the religious right is crucial!

Via an email from, I found myself drawn to an interesting argument that Hillary Clinton will win the election by splitting the Republican Party:

“We’re not making a flat prediction, but a plausible case can be made that she will become president on Jan. 20, 2009,” writes Greg Valliere, chief political strategist with the Stanford Group Company, a research group.

Here’s Valliere’s year-by-year scenario.

Her 2005 plan: Keep moving toward the center on national security and social issues. A litmus test will be the senator’s vote on the John Roberts nomination – if she votes to confirm the Supreme Court nominee, it would be a sure sign that she plans to run.

Her 2006 plan: Pull out all the stops for a landslide win in her Senate re-election bid. “Will any Republican of note be suicidal enough to take her on? We doubt it,” the report states.

Her 2007 plan: Raise tons of money. Clinton and her husband have access to tens of millions of dollars in campaign funding from a range of party activists. “She’ll probably set a record for the most money raised by any candidate for a nomination – and in the process will scare off most serious challengers.”

Her 2008 plan: Wrap up the nomination by early March, then watch a furious fight between mainstream Republicans and the religious right. If Sen. John McCain’s campaign gains steam, it could send “horrified” religious conservatives to the sidelines.

“Therein lies the heart of our analysis that Sen. Clinton could win the presidency: If McCain or another mainstream Republican wins the nomination, the religious right – so crucial in providing votes for George W. Bush – may sit at home,” Valliere writes.

The problem with this argument is that it ignores the inverse: if the religious right wins the nomination, "the mainstream" might do more than sit at home; they -- along with the "swing voters" -- might vote for a woman who's already got a head start in packaging and selling herself as a moderate (and who by then will have established such solid moderate credentials that those who cite her far-left past will look like right wing cranks).

As to the religious right votes which are called so "crucial" to Bush, where were they in California during the Schwarzenegger phenomenon? They had voted for McClintock, and if it had been up to them (as it normally would have been in a conventional primary), McClintock would have had every single one of these "crucial votes."

And McClintock would have lost another crucial election, just as the Republicans did before him.

How are we to define "crucial?" Sure, it's desirable for any candidate to get as many votes as he can. But it seems to me that crucial means the difference between getting elected and losing.

It worries me that the religious right see themselves as crucial, AND Hillary also sees them as crucial. She wants to have a Republican opponent from the religious right just as much as they do. This agreement is, I think, crucial for her victory.

I'm also worried that many on the religious right would prefer to see Hillary Clinton as president than a "mainstream Republican."

As I've said before, when enough people want something to happen, it will happen.

The reasons are less crucial than the reality.

MORE (08/08/05): In a lengthy political analysis today, the Philadelphia Inquirer's Dick Polman portrays Senator Santorum as the be-all and end-all of the future of the Republican party:

Republican pollster David Winston, who works with Santorum and the Senate GOP on policy issues, said the other day: "This is the race of 2006, with huge long-term national implications. If Santorum, for the third time, can win as a conservative in a blue state, if he can demonstrate that his brand of 'compassionate conservatism' can play well, that clearly would tell us that Pennsylvania will be in play for us" in the next presidential campaign.
Oh yeah?

Well who is us?

posted by Eric on 08.07.05 at 09:51 AM


I do not believe that the Left can ever really win in America. It may win elections here and there but it has not, not since the middle of the 20th century at least, been able to win in any deeper sense among the majority of the American people. Americans have never accepted socialism, it has always had to be snuck over on the voters in the form of Fabian or creeping socialism (progressive income tax, New Deal, etc.). Nor do the majority of Americans like atheism or secularism. The majority of Americans are deeply religious and demand the freedom to express their religious beliefs. Every Leftist "cause", however legitimate it may have been in its original idea (Negro rights, feminism, etc.), has inspired a popular "backlash" (easily manipulated) against its excesses or distortions.

While the Left, with its dominance in the schools and universities and in the mass media, can weaken and demoralize, it can never rule. While the proximate danger (particularly to our military strength) is from the Left, the ultimate danger is still from the lower quadrant of the Right. They sense what the real issues are and act accordingly.

"Religious Right" is a misnomer, an "anti-concept", invalid, contradictory, disastrously misleading, and concocted by concrete-bound, range-of-the-moment journalistic mentalities. As Peikoff would say, it's one of the "dirty words" that "nobody should ever use!" As you've probably noticed, I refuse to use the term. I am on the Right or the Far Right (conservative, reactionary, absolutist, elitist, etc.) on many spectra, and I absolutely refuse to surrender religion to my enemies. As I wrote in my comment to your previous post (apropos "environmentalism" as a religion):

Yes, as I said, we men and women, created in the image of the Gods and the Goddesses (Elohim), are inherently religious. The need to worship is inherent in our being. We need a religion, i.e., an overarching view of the origin, meaning, and destiny of ourselves and of the universe we live in, an idea of the existence and essence of the highest type of being, and all that gives rise to in terms of myth, ritual, sacrament, etc.. Religion, not economics, is the most powerful force in history. Like fire, it can either light our way or burn us. It cannot be ignored.

I refuse to surrender religion to my enemies, to organizations devoted to destroying your and my most primordial freedoms. What distinguishes these organizations is not that they are "conservative" (indeed, they are radical) nor that they are religious, but that they advocate government control over religion, sexuality, etc., i.e., the spiritual realm, which is far more important than economics. The proper term for them, therefore, is moral collectivists. I must oppose them, and I must oppose them with their own weapon, which is the strongest of all weapons: religion. I must become more extreme and dogmatic in my own religious beliefs, i.e., Polytheism. Against Akhenaton's blasphemous revolution, I am a counter-revolutionary.


There is an answer to the Hillary Clinton candidacy. Mike Huckabee, Governor of Arkansas.

BSR   ·  August 7, 2005 5:57 PM

What is a "mainstream" Republican? Maybe the so-called Religious Right is really the mainstream? I would like to see Goldwater Republicans be the "mainstream," but they aren't. Well-respected and a significant chunk of the party, but not a majority, and certainly not enough to claim "mainstream." I don't think there IS a "mainstream."

Gary and the Samoyeds   ·  August 7, 2005 6:14 PM

If the Falwell/Robinson Right (if I can't call them religious - that'll do) is indeed the Republican mainstream, the Democrats will elect the next president if they nominate a centrist.

I'd vote for Hillary over Santorum or Keyes any day of the week. I'd have had a difficult time deciding if she'd run against Bush this last time - she's been consitently hawkish.

Kathy K   ·  August 7, 2005 8:19 PM

I get depressed just thinking about going through this whole thing again in 2008. Can't we just burn down DC, lynch and pillage the Senate & Congress, and start all over again?

alchemist   ·  August 9, 2005 7:26 PM

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