Social Cons Continue to Ingratiate Themselves With the Rest of the Party
Some religious conservatives are back to trying to push the rest of the party around. Because that worked out so well the last time they did it.
Back in December, some outspoken social cons decided that Rudy Giuliani is a deal breaker, declaring that they would encourage Christian Republicans not to vote if he became the GOP nominee. They’re at it again, only this time they’re trying to influence who John McCain chooses for vice president, declaring that Mitt Romney is unacceptable. They threaten (PDF):
If Governor Romney is on your ticket, many social conservative voters will consider their values repudiated by the Republican Party and either stay away from the polls this November or only vote down the ticket. For the sake of your election, the health of your party, and the future of America you must not allow the obvious electoral consequences of that to occur.
Allah has more links, including some debunking of the flyer’s claims. But to answer his question: these people would like a social conservative in their mold to be vice president, which is quite understandable. It’s not that they suddenly have a problem with Romney. Rather, they’ve realized that John McCain most definitely isn’t their kind of conservative. Since he started making noise about a VP pick this week, this is their last chance to influence him and Romney serves as a convenient (although inaccurate) proxy for the two things they hate most: abortions and gays.
I suspect that John McCain doesn’t react well to attempts to be pushed around. And I’d be pleased to see him choose Romney. As I said before, this type of thing is a bluff. These folks don’t have the following to direct social conservatives not to vote. And when it comes down to it, I don’t think they have the stones to do it. They put social cons in a horrible position where they can be perceived as having sunk an election because they refused to compromise. More than that, they face irrelevancy if it turns out that McCain wins in spite of their little tantrum.