A group of powerful Christian conservatives that calls itself the Council for National Policy is disappointed at the current slate of candidates for the Republican presidential nomination. Their trained seal has less than two years remaining in office and they can't find another one with a weak mind and a strong back.
The council is a secretive organization whose members include James C. Dobson, Jerry Falwell and Grover Norquist. They recently had a closed-door meeting at Florida's Amelia Island. At the meeting they decided that McCain, Guilliani and even Romney weren't nearly far enough right for their liking. You have to be swinging from the end of the branch for these folks which is why they seem so very fond of our own Harpo. The New York Times reports these extremists are worried, very worried:
“'There is great anxiety,' said Paul Weyrich, chairman of the Free Congress Foundation. 'There is no outstanding conservative, and they are all looking for that.'
"Mr. Weyrich, a longtime member of the council, declined to discuss the group or its meetings. The council’s bylaws forbid members from publicly disclosing its membership or activities, and participants agreed to discuss the Amelia Island meeting only on the condition of anonymity.
"For eight years and four elections, President Bush forged a singular alliance with Christian conservatives — including dispatching administration officials and even cabinet members to address council meetings — that put them at the center of the Republican party.
"But in the aftermath of the stinging defeats in the midterm elections, and with discontent over the Iraq war weighing heavily on the public, some Christian conservatives worry that they may find themselves on the sidelines of the presidential race."
Gee, I can see their point. This could just lead to separation of state and religious fanaticism. Where would we be then?
Oh yeah, just a reminder. Harpo himself addressed the Council for Religious Extremism when they showed up in Montreal back in 1997. Here are a few things he told his American pals about us and about his movement:
On the Canadian people:
"It may not be true, but it's legendary that ifyou're like all Americans, you know almost nothing
except for your own country. Which makes youprobably knowledgeable about one more country
than most Canadians."
On the NDP:
"The NDP could be described as basically a partyof liberal Democrats, but it's actually worse thanthat, I have to say. And forgive me jesting again (about theological references), but the NDP is kind of proofthat the Devil lives and interferes in the affairs of men."
"Some people point out that there is a small element ofclergy in the NDP. Yes, this is true. But these are clergywho, while very commited to the church, believe that it made a historic error in adopting Christian theology."
And then on to those Evil Papists:
"For historic reasons I won't get into, the Liberal party gets the votes of most Catholics in the country,including many practising Catholics. It does have a significant Catholic, social conservative element which occasionally disagrees with these kinds of policy directions. Although I caution you that even this Catholic social conservative element in the Liberal party
is often quite liberal on economic issues."
And a real big swipe at those pinko, Progressive Conservatives:
"...before the Reform Party really became a force in thelate '80s, early '90s, the leadership of the Conservative party was running the largest deficits in Canadian history. They were in favour of gay rights officially, officially for abortion on demand. Officially - what else can I say about
them? Officially for the entrenchment of our universal, collectivized, health-care system and multicultural policiesin the constitution of the country."
And on his natural home, the Reform Party:
"The Reform party is very much a modern manifestationof the Republican movement in Western Canada, the U.S.Republicans started in the western United States."