Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker has really done it this time. Last week, she wrote about how hard-right evangelicals have brought down the Republican Party. Her column has sparked the ire of Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, who wrote his own column smiting Parker and responding exactly the way she described in her column — by getting defensive at the very suggestion that the rigid right has had a hand in eroding the power of the GOP. Dobson even went so far as to claim the conservative columnist is no longer a conservative. Take that, Kathleen Parker!
From the pen of Dobson:
So, Kathleen Parker has determined that getting rid of social conservatives and shelving the values they fight for is the solution to what ails the Republican Party (“Giving Up on God,” Nov. 19). Isn’t that a little like Benedict Arnold handing George Washington a battle plan to win the Revolution?
Whatever she once was, Ms. Parker is certainly not a conservative anymore, having apparently realized it’s a lot easier to be popular among your journalistic peers when your keyboard tilts to the left. She writes that “armband religion” — those of us who “wear our faith on our sleeve,” I suppose, or is it meant to compare socially conservative Christians to Nazis? — is “killing the Republican Party.” Lest readers miss the point, she literally spells it out. The GOP’s big problem? G-O-D.
The piece prattles on, including shin-kicks at Parker for taking “gratuitous swipes” at Sarah Palin and disputing that conservative Christians have ever been relegated to preaching while standing on wooden crates on street corners and how biblical principles still rule. You get the idea.
At the end of the column, posted at Focus on the Family’s Web site, Dobson urges his supporters to take action, specifically by sending a letter, via the Colorado Springs-based ministry’s auto-generated letter sender, to Parker.
And what inspired such defensive posturing, you wonder? Well, maybe it was Parker’s application of the term “oogedy-boogedy” when talking about the evangelical right-wing of the GOP. Or maybe it was her comparison of this year’s Republican National Convention with a Depends sales meeting.
Here are a few of Parker’s own words from her Nov. 19 column:
The evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP is what ails the erstwhile conservative party and will continue to afflict and marginalize its constituents if reckoning doesn’t soon cometh.
Simply put: Armband religion is killing the Republican Party. And, the truth — as long as we’re setting ourselves free — is that if one were to eavesdrop on private conversations among the party intelligentsia, one would hear precisely that. …
Religious conservatives become defensive at any suggestion that they’ve had something to do with the GOP’s erosion. And, though the recent Democratic sweep can be attributed in large part to a referendum on Bush and the failing economy, three long-term trends identified by Emory University’s Alan Abramowitz have been devastating to the Republican Party: increasing racial diversity, declining marriage rates and changes in religious beliefs.
Suffice it to say, the Republican Party is largely comprised of white, married Christians. Anyone watching the two conventions last summer can’t have missed the stark differences: One party was brimming with energy, youth and diversity; the other felt like an annual Depends sales meeting …