MY MONSTER HAS ESCAPED FROM THE LAB!
I'd have some sympathy for Peggy Noonan now --
The Republican race looks--at the moment--to be determined primarily by one thing, the question of religious faith. In my lifetime faith has been a significant issue in presidential politics, but not the sole determinative one. Is that changing? If it is, it is not progress.
... there is a sense in Iowa now that faith has been heightened as a determining factor in how to vote, that such things as executive ability, professional history, temperament, character, political philosophy and professed stands are secondary, tertiary.
But they are not, and cannot be. They are central. Things seem to be getting out of kilter, with the emphasis shifting too far.
-- if she hadn't written this two months after 9/11:
We have learned that in the life of this nation faith trumps everything. Faith trumps culture, faith trumps politics, faith in God is simply at the heart of the American experience and has been from the very beginning, from the first Thanksgiving, which was a giving thanks to God.
And this just after Bush's 2001 inaugural:
The tone was properly ecumenical, but the content was God-filled....
... his speaking so much and so feelingly of God's place and precedence, his speaking so explicitly of poverty and disadvantage as failures of love, puts the Democrats of Congress in another interesting position. If you don't give room to faith-based help, and freedom-based assistance to children in trouble in school and on the streets, God and I gonna open up a can of whupass on you.
And this three years ago:
Stop the war on religious expression in America.... The Constitution says we have freedom of religion, not from religion. Have Terry McAuliffe announce that from here on in the Democratic Party is on the side of those who want religion in the public square, and the Ten Commandments on the courthouse wall for that matter.... The Democratic Party should put itself on the side of Christmas, and Hanukkah, and the fact of transcendent faith.
Boo-hoo, Peggy. That's what you and your pals wanted, and Huckabee is what you got. Reap what you've sown.
More from Noonan today:
I wonder if our old friend Ronald Reagan could rise in this party, this environment. Not a regular churchgoer, said he experienced God riding his horse at the ranch, divorced, relaxed about the faiths of his friends and aides, or about its absence. He was a believing Christian, but he spent his adulthood in relativist Hollywood, and had a father who belonged to what some saw, and even see, as the Catholic cult. I'm just not sure he'd be pure enough to make it in this party. I'm not sure he'd be considered good enough.
Oh, please -- they're selling the thrice-married Newt Gingrich's Rediscovering God in America at Christianbook.com. Ann Coulter's star shone brightest in the years when she was attending rallies with right-wing televangelist Rod Parsley, publishing a book that accused liberals of hostility to religion, and pretending to be a deep religious thinker (and yes, that's the same Ann Coulter of whom a fellow conservative said, "When I first met her, she was walking around with a black miniskirt and a mink stole, making out with Bob Guccione Jr. in the stairwell"). The leading general in the war on "the war on Christmas" is loofah/falafel-loving sex harasser Bill O'Reilly.
The GOP doesn't care, and that includes the Christian right. All that matters is (1) you're sufficiently disaapproving of abortion and gay sex and (2) you're not a Mormon.