The Religious Right is tired of being ignored by Establishment Republicans, and doggone it, they’re going to get the candidate they want this time around. They say the establishment stuck them with McCain and Romney the last two elections and they’re not having that happen this time.
Apparently, Donald Trump and his “little wine” and “little crackers” isn’t doing it for them. As PFAW’s Right Wing Watch tells us, “After years of angling to prevent that from happening in 2016, ‘several dozen’ Religious Right leaders met in secret in early December and voted to rally around Ted Cruz.”
There are literally hundreds of these guys, so several dozen isn’t a quorum, but some of the bigger names are involved in this process, which involved another “secret meeting” (remember, the Establishment just had one of these too). This one was organized by hate group leader and Family Research Council president Tony Perkins.
According to Tim Alberta of the National Review, this conspirators’ tryst took place “the first Monday of December, inside a boardroom at the Sheraton Hotel in Tysons Corner, Va.”
Sounds like the perfect venue for this crowd. In the end it came down to two men: Ted Cruz and not Mike Huckabee, but, of all people, Marco Rubio. In fact, Alberta tells us, “It didn’t take long for the participants to winnow down their list. They eliminated the weaker contenders: Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, and Ben Carson among them.”
Cruz, perhaps not coincidentally, is polling at #2 behind Trump and well ahead of dead-last Mike Huckabee, and Huckabee isn’t even in the top 5 of a recent Washington Post/ABC News Poll showing who has the best chance of getting elected:
The upshot of Cruz’s victory was immediate, said Alberta:
Three prominent participants — direct-mail pioneer and longtime activist Richard Viguerie, the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown, and The Family Leader’s Bob Vander Plaats – announced their support of Cruz within 72 hours of the meeting at the Sheraton.
But this barely scratches the surface. An avalanche of endorsements is forthcoming from conservative leaders, including James Dobson, founder and chairman emeritus of Focus on the Family, Ken Cuccinelli of Senate Conservatives Fund, and of course, from Perkins himself.
It is unclear just how effective the support from NOM will be, given their ongoing fundraising difficulties. After all, the whole reason for their existence is stopping Marriage Equality, and the Supreme Court drove a stake into the heart of that issue. But they see Cruz as their savior, someone who will “reverse the same-sex marriage ruling” (and he does promise to do that). Meanwhile, NOM is apparently determined to “stop the persecution of people who refuse to be involved in the lie of same-sex marriage.”
It was later reported that Mike Huckabee is not happy with the outcome. Here he went full-mental for the Religious Right, and they go out with another girl…er, guy.
We’ve all seen how he has relentlessly, even ruthlessly, positioned himself as the Religious Right champion du jour, making himself Kim Davis’ personal champion, even strong-arming the eventual winner, Ted Cruz, from the stage so he could have the spotlight to himself.
Huckabee’s response was,
“For reasons I don’t fully understand, years and years of actually doing something and getting things done didn’t matter,” Huckabee said of the group’s deliberations. “And I don’t understand that.”
According to Alberta,
Huckabee, according to sources, has often reminded Perkins and his fellow influencers that a major reason he gave up his Fox News show and launched a 2016 campaign was because he expected to have their backing. Their decision to instead support Cruz, then, seemed to sting Huckabee personally as much as politically. “You know, everybody has a right to do what they want to do. But it was disappointing to me. These are guys I’ve worked with for years and years. Many of them I’ve helped with their projects and their various endeavors,” Huckabee says, shaking his head. A moment later, he adds, “But you know, that’s life.”
That’s life. Poor Mike. He martyred himself on the altar of religious tyranny and this is what he gets. He can always accuse the left of being “utterly duplicitous” and “phony hypocrites” and that we are the ones who aren’t in touch with reality: “The left lives in la-la-land,” he said on Wednesday.
Well, it’s not his problem anymore, is it? It’s all in the hands of would-be messiah Ted Cruz, the Cuban who sneaked across our un-defended Canadian border to position himself as the choice of the Religious Right to impose theocracy on his adopted land.
Will Cruz position himself as an Establishment candidate as well? Or will a sagging Jeb Bush, who has become Trump’ punching bag? Trump has already zeroed in on Tea Party angst and claimed their cause for his own, and if Trump goes independent, will they follow him or switch to Cruz? They agree with the Religious Right on so much else it’s at times hard to tell them apart.
One thing is clear: Because Mike Huckabee is polling at the bottom anyway, and Marco Rubio has proven he is not the wonder boy he was once thought to be, the Religious Right has settled nothing with their choice, and the GOP is a long way from figuring out who will represent them on Election Day 2016.
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.