Kathleen Parker has some harsh words for conservative evangelicals:
Evangelical Christians never had it so good, but they seem not to know it. Instead of supporting the candidate who most shares their values — Mitt Romney — they seem hell-bent for the proverbial cliff.
Meeting recently in Salt Lake City, conservative Christian leaders almost unanimously approved a resolution to support a third-party candidate if neither major party nominates someone who is pro-life.
To their credit, these leaders are unwilling to sacrifice conviction for political expediency, but they may be creating their own worst nightmare by dividing the party and making a Democratic victory more likely.
That leaves just one person — Romney — as the obvious pick for the values party. If anything, the golly-gee guy is too perfect. Nary a follicle out of place, he’s never enjoyed a caffeine buzz nor awakened to the rare tortures of having been overserved.
His resume otherwise has perfect creases. As governor of Massachusetts, he fought same-sex unions and embryonic cloning. He’s pro-life, even if he was previously pro-choice. As a businessman, he made a personal fortune and bailed out the Olympics. He’s even got a beautiful, first-ladylike wife, who thus far has not demanded cell-phone reassurances of unfaltering love during her husband’s stump speeches.
The only hitch: He’s a cultist. Or so some Christians think. Even though Romney shares their belief in Jesus Christ as God, other doctrinal differences tied to his Mormon beliefs apparently cause deep conflicts for evangelicals.
The crafters of push polls are no doubt working overtime, especially in South Carolina, where nobody goes broke baiting fear and phobia. If they could convince racist voters in 2000 that McCain’s adopted Indian child was African-American, they won’t have much trouble advancing the idea that Romney is a closet polygamist — despite the fact that he’s the only leading Republican candidate who has had just one wife.
Ultimately, Christian leaders (some of whom make off-the-record, supportive calls to Romney, I’m told) most likely will back the Mormon. But their actions meantime have hurt Romney as he tries to close the deal nationally.
If they were smarter, they’d embrace Romney as the one who can beat Hillary because he, more than anyone else, unites all wings of the party — economic, security and social.