Last November amid the Republican evangelical euphoria over the election results, I corresponded with some friends speculating that the next four years would be the last days of the evangelical love affair with the Republican party. Last night's Senate deal on judges may not mean that the divorce has arrived 3.5 years early, but it will certainly be a very large portion of the burden that will eventually allow a straw to break the camel's back.
And it's not because of John McCain, either.
Evangelicals know by now what McCain is all about. He may have fooled Gary Bauer in 2000, but he's not fooling anyone now.
Not anyone, that is, except for the person who I believe will be seen as the true villain by evangelical voters: Lindsey Graham. This is the Lindsey Graham who received an honorary degree from evangelical bastion Bob Jones University in 1999, not long after Graham served as a House prosecutor in President Clinton's Senate impeachment trial.
"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." Evangelicals might deny that statement theologically, but in practice, well, they may not be so orthodox. Defections from McCain, Collins, Snowe, Warner, Chafee, and even DeWine were disappointing but not unexpected. Evangelicals could have used their defections as motivation to work even harder in the 2006 mid-term elections.
But Lindsey was one of us.