RIGHTIER THAN THOU
I wanted to talk about the Tim Pawlenty interview in Newsweek that was flagged by Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs:
Where are you personally?
Well, you know I'm an evangelical Christian. I believe that God created everything and that he is who he says he was. The Bible says that he created man and woman; it doesn't say that he created an amoeba and then they evolved into man and woman. But there are a lot of theologians who say that the ideas of evolution and creationism aren't necessarily inconsistent; that he could have "created" human beings over time.
I think it's very possible that, as of January 20, 2013, we're going to have a Republican House, a Republican Senate, and a Republican president -- the Democrats have done that good a job of squandering goodwill (and failing to figure out how to fend off a relentless GOP assault). In the leftosphere, a lot of people would say, "Well, so what? The Democrats are indistinguishable from the Republicans anyway. Both parties are right-wing. Both parties love big business. So who cares?"
That, of course, is what a lot of people said in 2000. And we know how that worked out.
The Democrats haven't given us nearly enough change. But that doesn't mean that the parties have become one -- because the GOP we've had wasn't necessarily as right-wing as the GOP we might have in the future.
Consider Pawlenty. He seems to have the nouveau right-wing belief about evolution: whether or not it exists, it didn't happen in the case of people -- heavens, no! And that's exactly where Sarah Palin falls on the question of evolution. Mike Huckabee appears to be a flat-out evolution denier. So is Ron Paul. Bobby Jindal signed a "teach the controversy" law on the subject of evolution as Louisiana governor and pals around with religious right extremists.
Now compare this to the race for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination. At the outset of that race, it was big news when candidates were asked who among them didn't believe in evolution and three out of ten said they weren't believers.
Three out of ten? It looks as if we're already way past that for 2012. What potential candidate fully believes in evolution, besides Romney?
My point is that you may think the parties have met on the right, but the GOP never stops going further and further in that direction. We thought Reagan was the acme of extremism, and then George W. Bush came along; I'm saying that the next Republican president could be as far to Bush's right as Bush was to Reagan's -- on culture-war issues, on taxes, on the role of government, and quite possibly on war and civil liberties and torture.
So don't get complacent; don't let the Democrats' failings lull you. The next GOP wave is going to be appalling.