by John Hawkins | February 20, 2004 11:59 pm
As I perused an article called “Evangelicals frustrated by Bush” at the Washington Times, I just could not believe what I was reading. Here are few quotes to give you a feel for the piece…
“Their list of grievances is long, but right now social conservatives are mad over what many consider the president’s failure to strongly condemn illegal homosexual “marriages” being performed in San Francisco under the authority of Mayor Gavin Newsom.
…Religious conservatives helped Ronald Reagan win the presidency in the 1980s and helped Republicans retake the House and Senate in 1994, but complain that they have little to show for their loyalty to the GOP.
…”I’m not blaming the president, but religious conservatives have been doing politics for 25 years and, on every front, are worse off on things they care about,” said Gary Bauer, president of American Values. “The gay rights movement is more powerful, the culture is more decadent, the life of not one baby has been saved, porn is in the living room, and you can’t watch the Super Bowl without your hand on the off switch.”
…Conservative Christian concerns with White House leadership extend beyond homosexuality, pornography and abortion to issues of art, education and law.
Sadie Fields, a Bush supporter and Christian Coalition activist, says she’s heard grumbles that Mr. Bush stood aside while the man he nominated for a federal appeals court appointment, Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor, prosecuted that state’s popular chief justice, Roy Moore. Mr. Moore was forced from office after defying a federal court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the rotunda of Alabama’s State Judicial Building.
…Mr. Bauer, a former Reagan White House adviser who was briefly a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination four years ago, said pro-life voters were dismayed by Mr. Bush’s repeated statements during the 2000 campaign that he would not make abortion a “litmus test” issue for judicial appointees. Since Mr. Bush took office, Mr. Bauer said, many of the same voters were disappointed by Mr. Bush’s ineffectiveness in pushing conservative bench nominees past liberal Democrats in the Senate.”
Now, I’ve delivered rhetorical shots to Bush’s solar plexus on more than a few issues and I can certainly understand why any conservative would be unhappy with much of his domestic agenda. However, the complaints in this article are for the most part, ridiculous.
The Bush administration has been VERY friendly to the Evangelical agenda. Bush is a Christian who is not afraid to openly talk about his faith, Bush tried to get his Faith Based Initiative passed, he signed a ban on partial birth abortion, W. is going to support a Constitutional Amendment to block gay marriage, he has nominated plenty of conservative, pro-life judges, Bush has been the strongest supporter of Israel in our history, and the FCC has been all over the Super Bowl half-time show.
I just question how any social conservative or Evangelical can look at that record and go, “Gee, why isn’t Bush supporting us?” Pushing to get as much of your agenda made into law is understandable, but you also have to bow to political realities and understand that you can’t always get everything you want.
Also, since I’m on this subject, let me clear something up about Roy Moore. This probably isn’t going to sit well with some of you, but he isn’t a hero. To the contrary, I think people have every reason to distrust his motives. I say that because that whole fight over the 10 Commandments monument he was involved in was nothing but manipulative grandstanding. He slapped that monument up in the middle of the night for no other reason than to start a fight and then he played to the public in order to set himself up for a future run at public office. I can say with 100% confidence that the way the Supreme Court currently interprets the First Amendment is wrong, but just because Moore hung his hat on that issue doesn’t make him worth fawning over given the circumstances.
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