November 30, 2017


Conservatives Should Police Their Own (Matt Labash, NOV 30, 2017, Weekly Standard)

[W]hile we're finding jump seats in hell, alongside the facts, my vote goes for assigning one to evangelical folk hero and Focus on the Family founder, Dr. James Dobson, who recently cut a radio ad supporting Moore, saying:

Hello everyone, I'm Dr. James Dobson. You know, last November I believe God gave America another chance with the election of Donald J. Trump. But he now needs the presence and leadership of Judge Roy Moore to make America great again. And that's why I'm asking my friends in Alabama to elect Judge Roy Moore to the United States Senate. Judge Moore is a man of proven character and integrity, and he has served Alabama and this country very, very well. I've known him for over 15 years, but recently I've been dismayed and troubled about the way he and his wife Kayla have been personally attacked by the Washington establishment. Judge Moore has stood for our religious liberty and for the sanctity of marriage, when it seemed like the entire world was against him. I hope you'll vote for Judge Roy Moore for United States Senate.

One, of course, expects creepy politicians to do what politicians do best: to deny and dissemble and generally lie themselves blind in order to protect the only thing most of them truly value, which is political survival. Getting mad over a sleazy politician acting like a sleazy politician is like getting mad at an anteater for eating ants. It's not merely their tendency, but their biological imperative. But when purported men of God do the same--as everyone from Franklin Graham to a slate of Alabama pastors have done on Moore's behalf, all evidence notwithstanding--one doesn't have to physically hear the voice of God to imagine Him saying, "Hey guys, sully yourselves all you want, but do me a solid and leave my good name out of it."

I come after Dobson with a pick-axe not because I'm some "establishment" Christian-basher, but rather, a Christian. I grew up in an evangelical household, and still go to an evangelical church. My mom used to play Dobson's radio show every single morning in the car on the way to school. That and Christian rock were (sadly) the soundtrack of my childhood. And my father, who chose to abdicate his birds'n'bees-talk responsibilities, instead flung a book at me that instructed me on how it all went down. The book was "Preparing for Adolescence" by Dr. James Dobson, in which I pored over the sex chapter (titled "Something Crazy is Happening to My Body") like a Playboy without pictures.

All of which is to say that Dobson and me have some history, even if I started looking suspiciously at his increasing involvement in electoral politics. Who can forget in 2008, when he said of John McCain that he could not vote for him "as a matter of conscience"? This was back when Dobson presumably still had one. An affliction he suffers from no longer.

Nor do many of the people in his party. For rare is the day these days when you don't hear someone on the right--many of them the loudest moralistic cluckers of the '90s (think William Bennett and Sean Hannity)--pop their ligaments from twisting themselves into logic pretzels in order to rationalize behavior they once found inexcusable.

Posted by at November 30, 2017 12:46 PM