Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Et Tu, Lindséy?

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.

3 comments:

Donald C S Johnson said...

"But Lindsey was one of us."

Was he really, though? If memory serves, he was the chairman of McCain's Presidential campaign in SC. He and McCain have been allies for a long time.

Anyway, this points out the dubious wisdom in confering honorary degrees on political figures simply because they took one or two positions you liked. I am not really a fan of honorary degrees of any kind. Surely this example once again points out the folly of such things.

Regards,
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Ben said...

Don,

From a theological perspective, I agree with you. "He went out from us because he is not of us" would be a hermeneutical stretch, but the principle probably holds true. My comments really reflect the perception that he was one of us that creates the incendiary reaction against him. That perception had persisted despite his relationship with McCain, but it may no longer.

By the way, the late Terry Haskins, BJU grad and former SC House Speaker, was a co-chair to McCain's SC campaign committee. He resigned after McCain turned his flame-thrower on evangelicals.

Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPcap/2000-03/05/096r-030500-idx.html

Donald C S Johnson said...

Yes, I remember that about Terry. He graduated the year ahead of me, I think. My APC my freshman year was on an ensemble with him the previous summer. I was surprised when Terry went into politics, and also surprised when he went so far in it. I was glad he got out of the McCain campaign, but he should have seen it coming. McCain has always been a loose cannon. He is for one thing, and one thing only, and that is John McCain.

Regards,
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3