Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Rudy Giuliani, Pat Robertson, Selling Divine Indulgences

Here's Salon's take on why Rudy might have screwed up by allowing Pat Robertson to endorse his campaign for President.

Or maybe not.

Mitt Romney had Bob Jones III in the bag.

John McCain received a divine rebuke when Jerry Falwell died before placing the hand of God's Favor on a McCain presidency as McCain had hoped.

Having a tame Evangelist inside a campaign inoculates the candidate from major religious criticism when the primaries are over and the candidate inevitably reaches out to the other side to People Who Ain't Like Us.

But Senator Charles Grassley had effectively muted at least half a dozen leading televangelists, as noted here, because of possible misuse of ministry money. Anyone associated with The Oral Roberts mess was also radioactive.

The whorefest was great, but the laborers were few. (Please forgive me for that pun.)

Rudy immediately needed to get at least one of the remaining Free Range TV Preachers into the corral. Therefore, Pat Robertson got one more moment of political relevance.

Salon's best point is as follows: Endorsements do give voters a permission slip to do what they otherwise want to do. Loyal viewers of Robertson's "700 Club" who militantly oppose abortion and recoil at libertine lifestyles are unlikely to switch to the Catholic thrice-married, publicly cross-dressing, pro-abortion rights Giuliani. But conservatives already strongly attracted to the former New York mayor's toughness and 9/11 allure might put their qualms about abortion aside because of Robertson's imprimatur.

In other words, some of Pat's followers might admire Rudy's performance record in cleaning up New York City, love his post 9/11 image, and like his odds of defeating the Hilldebeest next November. But they worry that he doesn't hate other people enough.

They can relax.

Pat Robertson says he's ok.

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