23
Nov
08

Religious right still in control


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Originally uploaded by johnvierdsen

Earlier last week, word went around that Don Wildmon of the American Family Association is backing SCGOP Chairman Katon Dawson for the top spot at the RNC. According to a blog for liberal magazine The American Prospect, Wildmon used as one of his reasons an interview that former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele’s interview on “Meet The Press” about Steele’s abortion views.

Now Steele has defended himself against the charges, taking to the reporters and editors of the Washington Times to explain his position: he’s against Roe, he’s for amending the constitution to criminalize abortion, and he’s in favor of the legality of abortion being decided by the states.

So, there’s that. Erick Erickson of RedState.com sees Dawson with the advantage, though he’s holding off on making a solid prediction.

Right now, the odds on favorite would be someone like Katon Dawson of South Carolina. Both he and Saul Anuzis, from Michigan, know the party, are workers within the party, and can be effective. Between the two, I hear committee members slightly favor Dawson to Anuzis because, I’m told, Dawson has been able to keep the big egos in his state from hurting party efforts [ed. note: Ha!]. With everyone wanting to be the face of the Republican Party, there is no division among the RNC committee members on this point: someone is going to have to put their ego aside and bring all the party’s factions together to fight.

Oh, lordy, it’s the Mark Sanford syndrome all over again. It seems like if you can go to DC enough and network enough and spread some tasty propaganda, people won’t vet your ass. The state Republican Party has been rife with back-biting, back-stabbing and everything else short of shooting people in the back for the past several years. Want a good analogy? Dawson is like President James Buchanan. The guy who came before Abe Lincoln didn’t exercise his leadership like he should have and let our country barrel headlong into the Civil War.
 
Vierdsen could be wrong here, but while Dawson could be picking up points with social conservatives and the base of the party, it might not be the best thing for the RNC. The general consensus among conservatives is that the national party needs to head right. But, it will take a definition of what “conservatism” is these days.

It’ll take a smart guy (and smart staffers) who knows what it’s like to come from behind to win. It just doesn’t seem like someone who presided over a factionalized party in a solid state will be able to get the job done. The social conservatives that seem to have the power to swing the RNC chairmanship should keep that in mind — becoming allied with a guy that could dig the party a deeper hole will only marginalize your interests.

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3 Responses to “Religious right still in control”


  1. 1 S.C. Observer
    November 23, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    I’m sure the Democrats would like nothing more than to see the RNC elect a guy like Katon Dawson as the face of the new GOP.

    Symbolism check:

    A white guy with a thick Southern accent from South Carolina who loves the Confederate flag and is/was a member of an anti-black country club and has literally split the state Republican Party in half by aligning himself with that rich, New York school vouchers guy.

    Sounds good to me.

  2. 2 Mac Demere
    November 24, 2008 at 7:50 am

    After hearing Republican Representative Joe Knollenberg’s remarks on the Neil Cavuto show (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZ04sejXKUs) that “It’s not your money”, I have changed my registration to Libertarian.

    Until the Republican Party aggressively repudiates Mr. Knollenberg’s remarks, I will not vote for another Republican. If y’all are the same as Democrats, why should I care?

    –Mac Demere
    Simpsonville, SC

  3. December 3, 2008 at 2:33 am

    The problem facing the Republican party is that they abandoned any recognizable form of conservatism, other than social conservatism, a long, long time ago. Fiscal responsibility has become a farce and the federalism argument has been subsumed by the “national security interest,” meanwhile, American is becoming less WASP-ish with each passing day. There are still strong currents of support for a true conservative point of view (e.g. the majority of South Carolinians), but the Republican party has abandoned its conservative positions in favor of the traditional power grab.

    Katon Dawson is more of the same. The only reason Republicans consistently win in this state is because the Republican brand has yet to be divorced from the conservative ideology, like it has in much of the rest of the nation. Like the faux-hawk and patent leather, the realization that “Republican” does not equal “conservative” will reach South Carolina much later than it did in the rest of the country.


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