WTMA commentary broadcast 7/22/08:

When Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Neal Boortz and the rest of the usual suspects were calling John McCain an unacceptable nominee for the Republican presidential nomination, most observers knew it wouldn’t be long before the allegedly conservative hosts were singing the Arizona senator’s praises. Predictably, they now tell us that nothing is worse than a Democrat, and every day talk radio makes the case that Barack Obama would be the worst president in history, while ignoring the fact that the current Republican president just might already fit the bill.

Early on, conservative Christian leader James Dobson said he could not, in good conscience, support McCain. Whereas televangelist John Hagee ended up campaigning for McCain and Pat Robertson even endorsed Rudy Giuliani, who had even defended partial birth abortions, Dobson said emphatically that McCain’s positions on embryonic stem cell research and gay marriage prevented him from giving the GOP nominee his support. “I would not vote for John McCain under any circumstances” said Dobson.

Circumstances have changed, but only as they relate to Dobson. Taking his cue from his fellow GOP pitchmen on talk radio, Dobson now says he could support McCain because “Barack Obama contradicts and threatens everything I believe about the institution of the family and what is best for the nation. His radical positions on life, marriage and national security force me to reevaluate the candidacy of our only other choice, John McCain.”

This doesn’t even make sense. If family values are a primary concern, then how does Obama, a man who has been married to the same woman for nearly two decades with two daughters to show for it, “contradict” and “threaten” Dobson’s view of the family? When it comes to questionable family values, Dobson may want to focus on McCain’s, or as Alexander Cockburn writes “(McCain’s) caddish behavior to the first Mrs. McCain when he dumped her for the younger and very rich beer heiress Cindy Hensley was given a thorough workout in the Los Angeles Times last week. The Times reported that Nancy Reagan has never forgiven McCain for his foul conduct, hence her tepid endorsement of McCain. But since many Americans are divorced and stand accused by the betrayed partner as utter swine, McCain’s not going to face too much trouble on this one.”

To disqualify a candidate based on their personal family problems is not something I endorse, but Dobson certainly does and has. To choose McCain over Obama  when it comes to “family values” is completely illogical, unless one understands that like talk radio and Hagee and Robertson, Dobson has proven himself to be a man who cares more about party than principle.

Wrote fellow Christian leader and this year’s Constitution Party presidential candidate Chuck Baldwin in 2004; “the Religious Right has obviously and patently become little more than a propaganda machine for the Republican Party… It also appears painfully obvious to me that in order to sit at the king’s table, the Religious Right is willing to compromise any principle, no matter how sacred. As such, it has become a hollow movement. Sadly, the Religious Right is now a movement without a cause, except the cause of advancing the Republican Party.”

Baldwin is right. Dobson’s recent flirtation with the McCain campaign does little more than remind Republican politicians that no matter how much the GOP routinely ignores the issues of concern to millions of Christians, religious leaders will always faithfully support the GOP and encourage their followers to do the same. Said Dobson in 2004 “”Values Voters are not going to carry the water for the Republican Party if it ignores their deeply held convictions and beliefs;” that Republicans “ignored the moral issues year after year, term after term;” and he warned that Christian conservatives would “abandon (the Republican Party) if they continue to ignore the most important issues.”

No they won’t and James Dobson just proved it.