I’m disinclined to pull any punches here. On what conceivable planet do godzillions of abortions that have already been happening every year for some time constitute less ‘overrding’ an ‘issue’ to the maximization of American lives than ‘Islamofascism’? I can’t think of any other way to put this, since those are the terms on which Robertson supposedly operates. Jim Antle is gobsmacked:
Oddly, Roberston in his endorsement appears to echo the view social issues take a subordinate role to economics and foreign policy. All that is required is that a candidate not be overtly hostile to social conservatives, in the Pete Wilson mold. This is only savvy if you don’t especially care about social issues, but it doesn’t make much sense if those are an important motivator of your political involvement. In fact, it is part of the reason that social conservatives can’t point to policy accomplishments of the same scale as those achieved by economic and foreign-policy conservatives even though they arguably represent a bigger slice of Republican voters.
But the longer you ponder the more devilishly explicable it becomes. This isn’t odd. This is the terminal velocity of something that long ago stopped being odd and started being the straight up flattery of power. It’s silly: the only grounds on which I really can’t fathom pulling the lever for Giuliani are War Issues. And here’s Robertson insisting that the determinative factor for his pulling the level in favor for Giuliani is…the War Issue. The issue is not whether a candidate manages not to attain ‘overt hostility’ to ‘social conservatism’, but whether a candidate’s overt hostility is inimical to conserving society. This, as any political observer must confess, renders the Pete Wilson comparison inapt. Even if I ‘didn’t care’ about social issues I would shy away from Guiliani, who must hope and beg that his opponent be HRC because hers is the only more Gorgon-like power-lust face on the circuit.
There are further problems. Social conservatives ‘can’t point to policy accomplishments’ precisely because they put faith the size of a mountain in the mustard seed of temporal power. What a shocker: Atlas can smash whole nations and triple its expenditure of fantasy money, all while keeping up a brisk trade in Sam’s Club products, and yet when it comes round to ‘social issues’ you get two Supremes and a long, elaborate shrug. ‘Social issues’ don’t mean anything anyway but sex stuff — canceling pregnancies accidentally conceived with other objectives in mind, marrying someone of the same sex (or gender!), indulging in drugs that are not tremendously fun unless sex is in the air. Pot is a red herring, and so is affirmative action. The bottom line in the culture war is sexual ethics, and the federal government is no hope there. Nor should it be, except as far as federalism is concerned: a point Fred Thompson seems to grasp, to the great disappointment of evangelicals who have come crawling to Washington.
How pathetic it is, then, to see Pat Robertson shove Islamofascism up the behind of the war over sexual ethics:
“To me, the overriding issue for the American people is the defense of our population from the blood lust of Islamic terrorists.”
A poor, poor fit. An unnatural fit, Mr. Robertson. Yes, there seems to be something about Sharia law that both represses and can’t repress deviant sexual desires right along with typical ones. But blood lust? Are you serious? Why haven’t I heard that language until now? Ah, but lust hath power / To assume a pleasing shape; yea…