Evangelicals Split Between Romney and Huckabee

"Evangelicals haven't fallen in love with any candidate yet," said MSNBC's Lester Holt, analyzing the Republican presidential primaries. Tsk tsk.

They are dividing their votes fairly evenly three ways tonight between John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Mike Huckabee. If I were Keith Olbermann, I might try to figure out who is worse, worser, and worst person in the race for reproductive rights. But it's such a toss-up that I'll pass on awarding that prize, so coveted by the fundamentalist hard right. . All three would overturn Roe v Wade faster than you can say "Supreme Court". But that's just the beginning of the damage each would do to women's most fundamental human rights to make their own childbearing decisions–including access to birth control–without government interference.

When I write that last phrase about government interference, I think about the late Senator Barry Goldwater–known as Mr. Conservative–would turn over in his grave. His wife Peggy was a founder of Planned Parenthood in Arizona and Barry was a staunch supporter of reproductive rights precisely because he believed such personal matters weren't the government's business. And he once said good Christians ought to kick Moral Majority founder Rev. Jerry Falwell in the ass. Republicans of Goldwater's stripe are rare as hen's teeth these days, thanks to an unholy alliance between the Republican party and the fundamentalists that was nurtured over a generation at the grassroots precinct level where control of the party mechanism begins. That's why those who think the fundamentalist right is losing steam need to think again.

Yes, everyone wants to fall in love with a candidate. But in the end, this is a group that does what all citizens in a democracy should do: the unromantic work of sustained participating in the political process. And if history is a predictor, they are likely to continue to do so in a much more disciplined way than the Democratic constituencies tend to do. So watch out. If you care about reproductive justice, be very afraid of any of these candidates. Batten down the hatches and be prepared to work very hard between now and November. Because when it comes to advancing the fundamentalist right’s goals, Tina Turner was right: love has very little to do with it.

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