2008 Progressive Conservatism?
posted by September 3 at 13:00 PMon
One happy thing about the convention: Surprisingly little God-talk. The speeches last night were pretty much Jesus-free (Fred Thompson isn’t very religious, Lieberman’s Jewish, and Bush was too neutered to do anything except say hello and goodbye).
Palin, of course, is all Jesus-y—she signed a “Christian Heritage Week” into law last year. But McCain has a long and bitter history with the evangelicals—I’d hoped he’d mostly ignore them during his campaign and try to build a new Republican base.
“Yeah, and then he would’ve lost 25 percent of the vote,” Saul Farber, a young candidate for New York state assembly, told me last night in the convention hall. He thinks it’s too soon to jettison the religious right, but agreed that the base is changing. “I think in coming years you’ll see a move towards fiscal conservatism and away from some of the social conservatism,” he said.
He wouldn’t go on the record as being pro-legalization and pro-gay marriage per se, but said that he was for small government across the board, including what people do with their bodies and in their own homes. And he thinks that’s where the party as a whole is headed—call it progressive conservatism.
Tonight should be the high-water mark of the Jeebus-talk, with Romney, Huckabee, and Palin all on the speech list.
How much Bible-thumping the McCain camp allows (or encourages) from Palin will tell us how much stock McCain puts in the evangelical base.
Hopefully, it ain’t much.