Don't vote

In the wake of DeLay's departure -- the last of the leaders of the '94 republican devolution gone from congress -- a question that vexes liberals and progressives is once again coming to the fore: How can conservative evangelicals consistently vote for the Republican party, when corrupt and nasty politicians like Tom DeLay are their emblems?

The explanation is somewhat simple but the cure is another story.

Digby begins with a Rose Aguilar interview of Mary Fowler, a born-again from Oklahoma. A sample:

Do you always vote?
Yes, I volunteered for the Republican Party and I enjoyed it very much.
Have you always been Republican?
When I first registered, I was a Democrat. Just from studying in school, I thought that's what I wanted to be because I believed in government for the people, by the people and of the people. But after I was saved, I realized the Republican beliefs are me so I switched and I'm glad I did.
What does it mean to be a Republican?
Republicans pick the people who believe like we do.
You mean believe in the Bible?
Yes and godly principles. If we kick god out, we'll be like other countries that have AIDS, sickness and poverty. God created the earth, he created the rules and he knows what's best for everybody.
Digby suggests that "it would not be very difficult to persuade Mary Fowler that the Republican party wasn't fulfilling her vision of what government should do and considering her views, she would probably not vote at all."

To those who find this appalling, akin to disenfranchisement, Digby responds:
I do not wish Mary Fowler would stop voting. I wish she would vote for Democrats. But considering her belief system, I do not think it's possible. It is not evil to want people like Mary Fowler, who do not believe in the US constitution or the principles on which this country is founded, not to be involved in politics. Certainly, it is in my best interest that someone like her not volunteer her time and money to a cause that seeks to destroy everything I believe in.
Evangelicals used to believe that politics was a bad business and existed in a "worldly" sphere that didn't terribly affect them. It took some theological jiujitsu , some savvy political operatives and some huckster preachers to change that around and turn them into a behemoth voting block for the Republican party. They are voting for a lie, having been duped by Tom Delay and other phony Jesus pimps into believing that their religious beliefs are also political beliefs and it's just not so.
What do you think? Evil? Pragmatic? Counterproductive? Will it cause a backlash as conservative evangelicals thrive on the perception of their victimhood? (Hullabaloo)

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