The NYTimes is Shocked: Suddenly, Republicans Aren't Religious Nuts
Of the top three or four candidates for the Republican nomination, one is a thrice-married recently converted Catholic; one is drug-legalizing libertarian; and one is a devout Mormon (do I really need to find a link for him?). Only one candidate, Rick Santorum, really fits the model of a traditional Republican social conservative.
Choice is good, in politics as in everything else, like pizza. But the prevailing noise from the left -- remember Theocracy Watch and the whole hysterical nonsense about Dominionsism, whatever that is? -- was terrified about the rise of the Republican theocrat. Those on the right were supposed to be religious nuts who had only one question: WWJVF? Who Would Jesus Vote For?
Again: since autumn, three of the top four candidates for the Republican nomination -- especially in states with strong traditions of Christian, Evangelical, and conservative political activism -- were a libertarian drug-legalizer, a twice-divorced Catholic convert, and a Mormon, which suggests that the Republican voter is pretty sophisticated, and asks himself a lot of questions besides WWJVF.
Dick Harpootlian, chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party, said the embrace of Mr. Romney and the fact that a black Republican, Tim Scott of Charleston, was elected to Congress from South Carolina in 2010 indicates that a new pragmatism may be taking hold.
“It suggests that the minds of South Carolinians are not as shackled by religion and race as they used to be and that we can more fully debate policy,” he said.
Ben Few, 66, an evangelical who owns a pharmacy in Spartanburg, said he supported Mr. Obama in the last election but was now backing Mr. Romney.
They can only bring themselves to talk about South Carolina. But the real news is -- to them -- that the Republican primary voter seems to be a lot more open, a lot less single-issue, and a good deal more politically thoughtful than they were given credit for, by folks like New York Times reporters.
I wonder if that rattles them? Just a little?