Ex-Evangelical to Republicans: Go negative and you're toast

Frank Schaeffer, the son of Francis Schaeffer, one of the founding fathers of the Religious Right movement, has switched over to Obama after supporting McCain's 2000 candidacy and offers some grim advice for his former colleagues:

If the Republicans -- not to mention their bedrock supporters, such as evangelical Christians, neoconservatives and others -- do not grasp the Obama moment, and then rise to the occasion, when it comes to understanding the significance of having the first black American to become an authentic presidential aspirant, they will have doomed themselves to political obscurity and moral opprobrium forever.

In a time where we are seeing more and more evidence that the only hope John McCain has is in destroying Obama, this man, one of our former enemies, has an intriguing message.  Let's see what else he has to say:

How Republicans, Democrats, and independent voters react to Obama's candidacy will define us all in ways that today can hardly be imagined. While most Republicans (and many Democrats too) seem to be concentrating on present and narrowly defined victory, the real issue is how we all will be perceived in the future. Our great, great grandchildren will pass judgment on us, and so will the world.

Simply put: Republican strategists who think that business-as-usual -- i.e., the slanderous politics of the past 30 years -- will take care of matters this time around are deluded. Worse than that, they will doom the reputation of the Republican Party and turn it into a marginal footnote of American history if they keep trivializing this historic event. That is too bad because, as I said, we need a two party system.

Let's re-iterate that: Schaeffer believes that tearing down Obama using the standard tactics is going to backfire so strongly that it could turn people away from the Republican party for generations.  Certainly with Ron Paul's movement, Campaign for Liberty ( http://www.campaignforliberty.com/ ), there are forces at work trying to fix the corruption and loss of message that has resulted from the Republicans glutting themselves on power for so many years.

He gives some handy advice to his former compatriots:

1. Categorically repudiate and denounce the sort of slime attacks that are already being mounted against Obama and his wife until they stop.

2. Refuse to go along with the snickering half-wits at places like FOX News. They will take you down with them into well deserved oblivion.

3. Pay homage to what Obama means to America and what his candidacy stand for in the same way that Obama pays homage to McCain's Vietnam War service and do so often and where it counts.

4. Decide now that it would be better to lose this election than win a race-based or innuendo-based pyrrhic victory that decimates the Republican Party's (or angry Clinton fans') reputation forever.

5. Debate the issues, not the man. The point is not to belittle Obama. You can't. He's already a giant of American history and became such just by getting this far in a country that was still lynching black men in our parents' lifetimes. But that doesn't mean that you have to agree. Say that his tax hikes will hurt. Say that his medical coverage is going to cost. There are real issues. Call him on those if you will. And experience is a legitimate issue too. But stay out of the slime.

6. Don't be too clever by half. Play even the hint of the race card, no matter how cutely or while pretending innocence, and you're toast.

With the backlash that's hit FOX of late over the stupid "baby mama" and "terrorist fist-jab" remarks, I'm starting to think that Mr. Schaeffer here has a point.

The Republicans won't go down easily, and surely they won't go down alone, but some people that know the movement quite well are starting to think that they're in serious trouble if they treat Obama like Kerry or Dukakis.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frank-scha effer/a-warning-to-my-old-repub_b_106676 .html

Check the full article; the guy is 100% won over by Obama.

Tags: Barack Obama, Francis Schaeffer, Frank Schaeffer, religious right (all tags)



Re: Ex-Evangelical to Republicans: Go negative and

Excellent diary. I've always thought that there are many elements in the evangelical message, and many evangelicals themselves, which could be construed as more democratic than republican. Though a non believer myself, I was brought up by a believer, and my experience of Quakers and Evangelicals in the UK is that their message can lean to the left more than the right

by duende 2008-06-13 06:25AM | 0 recs

Populist messages of feeding the poor, housing the homeless, aiding the sick, and sharing the wealth are all very Christian (well, traditionally Christian; there are modern supposedly Christian churches such as Mac Hammond's that worship money).

Huckabee is a model Republican evangelical, and he was laughed off the stage.  It shows that the Republican party has been hijacked by these money-worshippers, that the evangelicals have been used.

It's no wonder that many are starting to switch sides; especially when Obama obviously respects religion a great deal.

by Dracomicron 2008-06-13 06:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Certainly


by rankles 2008-06-13 08:08AM | 0 recs

I'm honored that you'd use my sig, rankles.

by Dracomicron 2008-06-13 08:24AM | 0 recs
Looks like someone

needs to push away from the computer for a while.

by ReillyDiefenbach 2008-06-13 08:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Wow

I like to make fun of ignorant sigs

by rankles 2008-06-13 06:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Certainly

Excellent Point. Huckabee was a favorite of mine from back in August of last year. This was him at a conservative conference:
Huck: We need to keep marriage between a man and woman.
crowd: Cheers
Huck: We need to preserve human life from the womb!
Crowd: Cheers
Huck: We need to be more like Jesus and take better care of our earth and feed, shelter and care for the needy!
Crowd: crickets

If Obama can wake up evangelicals and show them just how anti-Christian the corporate and libertarian wings of the Republican Party, we will win this thing pulling away.

It might also help if the Democratic Party was a tad more flexible on abortion as well, but that's another story.

by xodus1914 2008-06-14 05:04AM | 0 recs

We're already recruiting pro-lifers to run against Republicans in red districts; I'm not sure what you want here.

I'm sure that will lead to some reverse-coattails... as long as we can figure out how to make our red state Democrats not imply that Obama is a terrorist (stupid Tennessee).

by Dracomicron 2008-06-14 05:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Certainly

Well, Repubs have misleadingly said they are more charitable than Democrats.

I would certainly hope that people who form a much larger % of every higher income group would have more donations to charity.

And nobody asks for your political affiliation when you put money into the collection box at church, or put clothes into the Salvation Army bin.

Doesn't it defeat the purpose for the right to boast of their charitable donations, as Matthew 6:16 says?

by BlueEngineerInOhio 2008-06-14 05:04AM | 0 recs
Come on now

You're suggesting that Christians should act 100% Christian.  All religious folk except the most pious are selective in how they worship and read the Bible.

Not everyone can be Flanders.

by Dracomicron 2008-06-14 05:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Come on now

Do you mean that honestly, sarcastically, or some combination? (I honestly can't tell, but I can say that I'm not perfect in my Christianity.)

by BlueEngineerInOhio 2008-06-14 09:43AM | 0 recs
A little of all of it

Flanders from The Simpsons said that he was careful to follow everything in the Bible to the letter, even the stuff that contradicted the other stuff...

It's impossible to obey every stricture in the Bible; we all look at it from our own perspective and pick what works for us.

by Dracomicron 2008-06-15 04:28AM | 0 recs
Just like Rev Wright

Do remember that the "moral majority" included many blacks, who would say that "abortion is wrong" -- then turn around and say "but don't you DARE outlaw it!"

Black liberal Christians rock!

by RisingTide 2008-06-13 07:33AM | 0 recs

by Dracomicron 2008-06-13 07:42AM | 0 recs
go to streetprophets

for the citation that Trinity is an evangelical black church in a mainline white denomination.

As for the rest, it has been blogged about extensively on some blogs that I read (I'm thinking either skepticalbrotha or Field Negro, but I don't remember which, and I can't be bothered to dig through the gadzillions of posts, particularly since the comment was in the comments).

But I'm pretty sure it's factual.

Maybe try google yourself? It might be quicker!@!

by RisingTide 2008-06-13 08:08AM | 0 recs
Useless from work

My work has draconian firewalls, and most relevant sites can't be viewed.

by Dracomicron 2008-06-13 08:21AM | 0 recs
Rec'd just for xkcd!

by BrighidG 2008-06-13 06:14PM | 0 recs
Assuming what you're saying is true

(And, btw, as the person who presented the statement the onus is on you to verify, not anyone else.)

Many liberals, even those who are not religious, support keeping abortion legal and easy to attain but also believe abortion is wrong and to be avoided.

It's not such a rare idea. And I have no idea what Rev. Wright has to do with any of this other than to serve as some sort of boogieman for some folks.

by BrighidG 2008-06-13 06:13PM | 0 recs

Great diary.

History will not look kindly on the GOP tactics of division.  Howard Zinn's great grandkid will have a field day with Reagan, the Bushies, and now, John McCain.

by fogiv 2008-06-13 07:23AM | 0 recs
Very correct

If Gen Xers and Millenials are any indication, people that believe that fearmongering about race is going to be looked at fondly by people in the future are in for a rude surprise.

The only reason it even kinda sorta works right now is because Boomers are such a huge voting bloc, and Boomers, for all their good works, are still racially defined from their struggles.

by Dracomicron 2008-06-13 07:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Very correct

Agreed.  We're still playing catch-up with other other industrialized nations (i.e. europeans) in terms of progressive values and social equality.  The Republicans have spent the last 40 years operating as divisive obstructionists.

They've still got fingers plugged desperately into the dam.  The coming years under an Obama administration may just bring about the final death rattle of the modern GOP.  It's high time too.

by fogiv 2008-06-13 07:43AM | 0 recs
social equality is hard without citizenship

there are ways america is much better than europe.

by RisingTide 2008-06-13 08:08AM | 0 recs
True enough

Part of the reason Obama is so big in Europe is because, in most of those countries, he'd never get the chance to become president.  National identities are very strong in these places; while they're well beyond us in terms of social justice, they have their own biases.

Thing is, Obama's candidacy is making them look at their own systems as well.

by Dracomicron 2008-06-13 08:23AM | 0 recs
Re: True enough

Yep, yep.

by fogiv 2008-06-13 08:57AM | 0 recs
Re: True enough

Obama is making me look at my own system.

However, here's a question without an answer:

Is Obama in this position because the US is exceptionally ethnically unbiassed, or is it because he is an exceptional person benefiting from an exceptional set of circumstances?

by french imp 2008-06-14 02:18PM | 0 recs
Re: social equality is hard without citizenship

True, but I'd like to see us be far more secular than we are now.

by fogiv 2008-06-13 09:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Very correct

Generally Europe is ahead of the US however not where race is concerned. Europe is very far behind the US on race. It will be at least 50 years, and that is being generous, before you have a person of color as a viable candidate for leadership of European country.

by TMP 2008-06-14 10:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Ex-Evangelical to Republicans: Go negative and

It may spell the end for Republicanism in any case.  The truth is that for the last forty years or so the Republicans have been depending on wedge issues and fear tactics to win elections across the spectrum, national, state and local.  It's the only way they've been able to get large segments of the population to vote against their interests.  Finally, the electorate in general (evangelicals, in particular, here) have started catching on.

by xeju 2008-06-13 07:54AM | 0 recs
Hopefully we'll see party reform

If we can get instant runoff voting in the majority of states, we will be able to see genuine coalition parties arising around fiscal conservatives and evangelicals on one side and moderate and green types on the other.

by Dracomicron 2008-06-13 08:00AM | 0 recs

I really like the idea of instant runoff voting.  I'm also a huge fan of issues-based politics, as opposed to the bogey-man and identity-based stuff we've been subjected to in recent years (read "my whole adult life").

by xeju 2008-06-13 08:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Ex-Evangelical to Republicans: Go negative and

Speaking of fear...the Republicans have used the fear of the "foreigner" to their advantage.  But here Obama has something of a secret weapon.  It may pull in votes from unexpected places.  

"Obama: It's the Name, Stupid"

by Mitchell A 2008-06-13 09:03AM | 0 recs
The GOP is is in Gabby Johnson Mode

"What he say?"
"He said the new sheriff is near"

They are Gabby Johnson in Blazing Saddles jumping up and down. That is the point of the birth certificate. That is the point of Baby Mama Obama. That is the point when Pat Buchanan calls Obama exotic.

by molly bloom 2008-06-13 08:37AM | 0 recs
This goes double for Democrats, by the way.

You expect the bigotry, hackery, and slime from the official party of deadenders (the GOP), but it's not going to be tolerated any more from Dixiecrat Deadenders.

by Firewall 2008-06-13 09:18AM | 0 recs
He goes into Dems more in the article

I didn't quote most of his comments about "Clinton deadenders" because I thought it wouldn't be that productive here.

But yes, you're right.

by Dracomicron 2008-06-13 09:21AM | 0 recs
Very good then

A little delusional, but I appreciate the sentiment. :)

by Dracomicron 2008-06-13 09:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Very good then

Care to expound on that? You do realize that we a nick like that, we are all ready to believe that you are a raving lunatic. If you are not, I'd welcome the rational debate - because it is one we'll win. Republican foreign policy is the greatest risk to the security of our nation since the civil war.

by pneuma 2008-06-13 10:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Very good then
What exactly is McCain's experience on foreign policy /national security? How an being a POW be considered as experience on foreign policy? How can his being against then for torture, how can being against habeas corpus count as experience on foreign policy or national security? I can't see how you could take him seriously on those issues.
by french imp 2008-06-13 09:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Very good then

He's in favor of war as a general practice. To Republicans, that's instant national security credentials. If I'm wrong, Clinton4McCain, name someone in office that was a hawk but would be unqualified for foreign policy.

by vcalzone 2008-06-14 10:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Very good then

So you prefer the NSEC posture that brought us Iraq?

by LiberalDebunker 2008-06-14 06:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Ex-Evangelical to Republicans: Go negative and

Well I don't trust the religious right voters on Obama's side for a second, However I welcome them into the collation and allow for the possibility of trust over time if they repudiate the unchristian actions of the Bush administration.

by AIegra 2008-06-13 10:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Ex-Evangelical to Republicans: Go negative and

The circle widens....

"Ya gotta stop children
what's that sound.
Everybody look at
what's going down.."

..and the sheep look up..

(by the way..if you have never read Brunner's novel..or last read it 36 years ago..some novels are timeless)
//www.amazon.com/Sheep-Look-Up-John-Brun ner/dp/0345347862

by nogo postal 2008-06-13 02:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Ex-Evangelical to Republicans: Go negative and
of course the link is
http://www.amazon.com/Sheep-Look-Up-John -Brunner/dp/0345347862
by nogo postal 2008-06-13 02:15PM | 0 recs
They will be embarrased by their embrace of

racist commentary.  History is not kind to people like that.  This country is changing and you either evolve or fall off.

by mishiem 2008-06-13 02:25PM | 0 recs
He's right but politicians seem to either

lack an ability to accurately assess how their actions will impact the future or they just don't give a damn.

by LiberalDebunker 2008-06-14 06:17AM | 0 recs


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