February 5, 2008
Dobson Puts his Foot Down: He will not Vote for McCain
Focus on the Family founder says he may just sit out of this election.
Chairman of Focus on the Family James Dobson said once again Tuesday that he would not vote for Republican candidate John McCain.
Dobson's frustrations with McCain revolve around the following issues: voting against a marriage amendment, supporting embryonic stem-cell research, opposing tax cuts, "little regard" for freedom of speech, preserving filibusters in judicial hearings, and foul language.
Former Bush White House official David Kuo analyzes Dobson's statement on Beliefnet.
By putting himself out there so forcefully, Dr. Dobson risks playing the role of Dr. Kevorkian in ushering in the end of the old-line religious right.
Over at The Atlantic, Ross Douthat says that the statement pretty much assumes a McCain victory, and sounds more wistful than defiant.
Finally, attacking McCain for his tendency to use "foul and obscene language" seems like the purest form of social conservative self-parody. Particularly given the Bush Administration's record on that front.
The Baltimore Sun's James Oliphant:
Today may not be the apocalypse for many on the Religious Right, but to paraphrase Tommy Lee Jones in "No Country For Old Men," it will do until the apocalypse gets here.
Beliefnet's Rod Dreher:
You know, I have my own doubts about whether or not I'll vote this fall in the presidential contest, given how strongly I oppose McCain on the war and on immigration, issues that aren't deal-breakers for Dobson. So I can't really fault Dobson that much, though there is a certain nanny-nanny-boo-boo quality to this statement. ... Speaking as an unapologetic theocon, we need a better quality of theocon leadership in this country. I'm just sayin'.
TIME magazine's recent piece on Dobson examines whether he actually maintains the same kind of political clout he has had in the past.
As Focus on the Family weighs in on the presidential race, however, an examination of the group's records shows that its influence may not be all that it once was, and that its actual base may have become smaller.
Beliefnet's Dan Gilgoff believes his clout is still there.
Let God-o-Meter be the first to say that evangelicals are clearly less beholden to Christian Right leaders like Dobson than in the past. ... But come November, if Dobson's machine declines to swing into action for the Arizona senator, it could be the single biggest reason behind McCain's loss.