Ralph Reed, who back in January wanted you to believe that the Evangelical vote is a myth, and who last year claimed dominionism was a conspiracy theory, is again proving how easily lies come to this disgraced Evangelical. For a guy who claims the Evangelical vote is a myth, the would-be kingmaker is sure working hard to make that vote decisive in the coming elections.
Just the other day, on May 21, he announced that ,
“Former Governor and 2012 GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is confirmed to speak at the 2012 FFC Conference & Strategy Briefing!” He tells his mythical Evangelical voters, “You don’t want to miss this historic gathering!”
Wow, from myth to historic…there is no doubt that the ever-glib snake-oil salesman would look direct into your face and tell you the Evangelical vote is still a myth, even as he works feverishly to organize it, as the endorsement by Sean Hannity (liars have to stick together, after all) demonstrates:
“Ralph Reed has built an incredible organization and I’m gonna tell you, it’s going to grow into a force to be reckoned with. And that’s the Faith & Freedom Coalition. It’s going to be the modern day Christian Coalition and it’s gonna have a big impact.”
The FFC site even proudly boasts the endorsement of radio talk show host Mark Levin, who says,
“Faith & Freedom Coalition is organizing in all 50 states, opposing the Obama agenda in Washington, and preparing to distribute 50 million voter guides and turn out a record number of pro-freedom voters in the all-important 2012 elections.”
Fifty million voter guides for a mythical vote for “pro-freedom voters”. Employ what euphemism you will, that sounds like an Evangelical vote to me, and to Mitt Romney too, apparently. Mitt says of Reed’s efforts, “Ralph Reed is doing a great job here with the Faith & Freedom Coalition. This is going to make a big impact across America and I appreciate the work you are doing here.”
CBN agrees, saying, “Although still fairly young, the 2-year-old Faith & Freedom Coalition is making an impact in this year’s race for the White House.”
Who knew a mythical voting bloc could get so many endorsements? And the digs ain’t bad either.
The 2012 Faith and Freedom Conference and Strategy Briefing will be held at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C. on June 14-16. A whole heavenly host of right wing authoritarian figures will be present, including not just Mitt Romney but GOP presidential also-rans Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich, along with luminous loudmouths like Glenn Beck, Herman Cain and The Donald. We don’t know yet exactly what will be discussed since the agenda is only tentative even a month out, but it takes little effort to guess given the guest list and the host.
Yes, Reed is a liar but he’s a slick liar: Evangelical vote? What Evangelical vote?
Reed has done all this before, of course. After helping to establish Evangelical dominance of the Republican Party and indeed, of America’s political process, his apogee being Time Magazine’s 1995 “Right Hand of God,” his star eclipsed due to his own actions, resigning in the Christian Coalition in 1997. After a brief period of being nearly invisible (Time Magazine wrote Ralph Reed’s political epitaph, July 23, 2006), he reappeared, seeking chairmanship of the Georgia Republican Party in 2001, in 2006 running for Georgia’s lieutenant governor, and working on the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2004. He started the Faith and Freedom Coalition in June 2009 and since then he has managed to keep himself in the spotlight.
Resurrection has become a reality in 2012, with Right Wing Watch reporting that “GOP Presidentials Line Up to Kiss Ralph Reed’s…Ring.” Right Wing Watch tells us that in South Carolina “Romney, Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Rick Perry all paraded before a gathering convened by Ralph Reed’s “Faith and Freedom Coalition” just hours before the latest debate.” Reed was working hard to position himself once again as a Kingmaker, giving Evangelicals the political clout he claims is a myth.
And this is the nature of Republican politics today, to seek approval not from secular voices but from religious. It is blatant campaigning from the pulpit. And it is akin to asking for the Pope’s blessing. Reed and others (like Bryan Fischer) position themselves as authority voices and anyone who wants to certify their bona fides must kneel and kiss the metaphorical ring. Without that blessing, they are doomed. Throughout this election cycle, when a Republican presidential hopeful wanted to be heard, they would speak through a religious organization, be it radio, television or web-based.
The Constitution says no to the establishment of state religion but that is exactly what fundamentalists like Reed are working toward. The Constitution says there shall be no religious test to hold office, but that is exactly what fundamentalists like Reed wish to impose.
And they are quite open about this while at the same time hiding behind a false façade of patriotism, stroking the Constitution fondly with one hand, the other holding a pair of scissors behind their backs. The Bush presidency was a near-miss for American theocracy but so close zealots like Reed could smell it, and they want to ensure that they don’t miss this time and that mythical Evangelical voting bloc is a big part of their plans.
There is no doubt that they are buying Mitt Romney’s soul and Mitt knows exactly who he is selling his soul to in order to land his dream job. Oh, I’m sorry: you want to know what your role is in all this? Think pig with apple in its mouth.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.