David Kuo's Tempting Faith
It's hard to believe, but Bush does disdain evangelicals: Kuo's book creates cognitive dissonance for liberals. Conspiracy theories about theocracy have haunted liberals for the last few years, and, if you believe that religious conservatives lead Bush around by the nose, evidence to the contrary is impossible to absorb. Everyone on the left 'knows' that the faith-based initiative is a slush-fund, a jackpot for religious conservatives. If it turns out instead to be a political sham that produced only 1 percent of the new funds it promised for faith-based organizations, liberals need rethink their theocracy-phobia...Evangelicals have become increasingly disillusioned with the Bush administration and the Republican Party in general over the last two years. While 78 percent of white evangelicals voted for Bush in 2004, only 57 percent approve of the job he's doing now, and only 52 percent say they are likely to support Republicans in the November elections...evangelical support has plummeted in large part because they, along with other religious conservatives, have begun to suspect they've been played by Republicans--used for their votes and then ignored.
Hard to believe??? Of course elite conservatives are as contemptuous of conservative Christians as elite liberals are. The American elite, whether conservative or liberal, is secular and most members have little sympathy with the socially conservative agenda that the current administration has pretended to promote. No surprise here.
The difference between liberal and conservative members of the elite is that conservatives have lied to lower class conservative Christians, played them for fools, taken their money and used their support to promote policies that are contrary to their interests. Somehow Dubya managed to persuade hoi polloi that he was just a regular dumbass, inarticulate guy with a bad accent who cut brush on his "ranch," and to persuade everyone that he really thought that "the jury was out" on evolution. Really? After Andover and Yale--even though his daddy had to buy him into both?
Nothing new. Renaissance Popes frolicked and made their "nephews" cardinal archbishops in their teens, while the pious Catholic peasantry worshipped holy bones. Henry opined that Paris was "worth a mass," while Protestant peasants were convinced that the Pope was the Anti-Christ. Everything changes, everything remains the same. The Republican elite giggled about Mark Foley's silly little flirtations with youths and covered it up lest their redneck supporters on the ground find out.
I don't know how the Democrats could play this one. What should they say to these lower class people who keep the Republicans in power--"look these guys despise you just as much as we do, and are exploiting you to boot"? What should these people do? Pull out of the Republican party and support genuine populists from amongst them--splitting the conservative alliance and guaranteeing a liberal win? Somehow the message has got to be put across: everyone with any money, education or power thinks you guys are stinking shit; anyone you could vote for--Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or Green--anyone sufficiently educated and articulate to get on any ticket--detests you. So you may as well vote your economic interests--so that if not you, at least your children can become upper middle class latte-drinking liberals.