Dobson gives Fred the evangelical kiss of death

posted at 11:10 am on September 20, 2007 by Allahpundit

Ripped from the Hot Air headlines. So much for the rumors in July that Fred was going to be evangelicals’ fair-haired boy. You know, in my many years of using e-mail, I don’t think I’ve ever once sat down, set out my thoughts on a political candidate, and then fired it off to multiple recipients unsolicited with the greeting, “Dear friends.” Just not something private citizens acting in their capacity as individuals and not on behalf of any organization are wont to do.

But I guess some citizens are different.

In a private e-mail obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, Dobson accuses the former Tennessee senator and actor of being weak on the campaign trail and wrong on issues dear to social conservatives.

“Isn’t Thompson the candidate who is opposed to a Constitutional amendment to protect marriage, believes there should be 50 different definitions of marriage in the U.S., favors McCain-Feingold, won’t talk at all about what he believes, and can’t speak his way out of a paper bag on the campaign trail?” Dobson wrote.

“He has no passion, no zeal, and no apparent ‘want to.’ And yet he is apparently the Great Hope that burns in the breasts of many conservative Christians? Well, not for me, my brothers. Not for me!”…

Gary Schneeberger, a Focus on the Family spokesman, confirmed that Dobson wrote the e-mail. Schneeberger declined to comment further, saying it would be inappropriate because Dobson’s comments about presidential candidates are made as an individual and not as a representative of Focus on the Family, a nonprofit organization restricted from partisan politics.

If Dobson wanted the e-mail to be private, why on earth did his spokesman confirm that he wrote it? More quirky private-citizen behavior, I guess. But how about Fred’s bona fides as a good Christian? Did Dobson at least give him the green light on that after the … troubles earlier this year? Not so much, not so much:

In his e-mail addressed “Dear friends,” Dobson includes the text of a recent news story highlighting Thompson’s statement that while he was baptized in the Church of Christ, he does not attend church regularly and won’t speak about his faith on the stump.

U.S. News and World Report quoted Dobson earlier this year as questioning Thompson’s commitment to the Christian faith — comments Dobson contended were not put in proper context. Dobson in this week’s e-mail writes that suppositions “about the former senator’s never having professed to be a Christian are turning out to be accurate in substance.”

I knew that story would be bigger than you guys that it would. Having now ruled out Fred, Rudy, and McCain, Dobson’s left with the only major candidate who, according to a Christian friend of mine, doesn’t qualify as a Christian. Toss ‘em the red meat, Mitt. They’ll come around.

Exit question: Is David Brody right? Is Rudy the big winner of what may be an evangelical free for all?


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2Brave2Bscared on September 20, 2007 at 2:00 PM

I mean staunchest in relative terms. Relative to the other candidates.

csdeven on September 20, 2007 at 3:22 PM

and even if he’s not technically in violation of FEC statute he’s skating pretty close to the line.
Hollowpoint on September 20, 2007 at 3:00 PM

Tell that to the IRS, they might pay you a snitch fee.

Exit question: (for those who are able explain)
How can any public figure, of any organization, exercise their personal opinion without it being misconstrued by someone, other than through a hollow point?

Mcguyver on September 20, 2007 at 3:22 PM

As these races become more confusing, people tend to look towards those they trust for guidance. Dobson obviously has a very large group that he is influential with, regardless of the few people here who don’t care what he says. The people who look for that guidance do not usually educate themselves like we here do.

So, don’t underestimate the sheeple, they are alive and well and are waiting for someone they trust to do their thinking for them.

Fred is done with the people who trust Dobson. I also believe Mitt is a non-starter for him and that is why he didn’t specifically mention him.

csdeven on September 20, 2007 at 3:34 PM

Mcguyver on September 20, 2007 at 3:22 PM

Exit answer: They cannot. Someone will always find a way. The best thing to do is to stay silent on the subject.

csdeven on September 20, 2007 at 3:39 PM

Exit answer: They cannot. Someone will always find a way. The best thing to do is to stay silent on the subject.

csdeven on September 20, 2007 at 3:39 PM

And the choice to not say anything, essentially is censorship by default.

/.”.\

[glancing around in the room]

Where’s everybody?

Mcguyver on September 20, 2007 at 4:08 PM

AP, no one said they wanted the email to remain private. Dobson has a right to speak publicly about candidates–as a citizen, not as a repesentative of a 501c3.

Dobson isn’t necessarily looking for “Christian enough” in a candidate. He wants, & I want, pro-life, pro-family, conservative enough”.

jgapinoy on September 20, 2007 at 4:08 PM

I feel weird saying this, as an athiest, but isn’t Dobson right? Thompson is supposed to be the socially conservative answer for Republicans who care about such nonsense, but his actions, as opposed to his acting, don’t do anything to justify his reputation. Clinton must be on to something with that southern belle act. You can say anthing, as long as it’s in a pleasant southern drawl, and you’re in like Svengali. If she could just work in some goofy vampire metaphors, Clinton could probably win the Republican nomination.

RightOFLeft on September 20, 2007 at 4:53 PM

Dobson isn’t necessarily looking for “Christian enough” in a candidate.
jgapinoy on September 20, 2007 at 4:08 PM

Except in this “private” e-mail to “dear friends” and “brothers”, he did essentially question whether Fred was “Christian enough” because he doesn’t spend much time talking about his faith and admitted that he doesn’t attend church regularly.

Won’t matter much anyways; if he’s against both Rudy and Fred, he’s basically for nobody and therefore irrelevant.

Hollowpoint on September 20, 2007 at 4:56 PM

Thompson is supposed to be the socially conservative answer for Republicans who care about such nonsense, but his actions, as opposed to his acting, don’t do anything to justify his reputation.
RightOFLeft on September 20, 2007 at 4:53 PM

In the Senate he voted pro-life, and he’s pro-gun. He’s really not running on a social con ticket though; it’s just that the record of Rudy and Romney is worse on social issues than Fred’s, so he’s the only one left amongst the front-runners to rally behind.

Hollowpoint on September 20, 2007 at 4:59 PM

I didn’t need Dobson to see right through this guy. Like I’m trying to tell ya, and you’ll see for yourself at the 1st debate he’s in, that Fred only reads the scripts he doesn’t have it in him to write them..

Legions on September 20, 2007 at 4:59 PM

It certainly appears that he’s speaking for his organization, and even if he’s not technically in violation of FEC statute he’s skating pretty close to the line.

Hollowpoint on September 20, 2007 at 3:00 PM

How so, by virtue of the fact that it’s his organization?

Nothing in the portions that were printed point at all to his organization. If anything, he says “not for me” instead of “that isn’t enough for Christians,” which could imply that he was speaking for more than himself.

There’s nothing in there that at all suggests Focus on the Family is behind his email. I’m not even arguing that it was a private email. Personally, I don’t get why that should matter at all.

I send out emails all the time and feel that I have a right to send out mass emails naming my pick if I choose to do so. And if I do so, I believe it is clear (without having to say so) that I’m speaking for myself and not for the company that employs me.

I don’t understand why some believe Dobson should have different rights.

I’m not saying I agree with Dobson or think that he should attempt to sway an election, but I don’t understand why he shouldn’t be allowed to speak on the matter in public.

Esthier on September 20, 2007 at 5:05 PM

I didn’t need Dobson to see right through this guy. Like I’m trying to tell ya, and you’ll see for yourself at the 1st debate he’s in, that Fred only reads the scripts he doesn’t have it in him to write them..

Legions on September 20, 2007 at 4:59 PM

Not to argue with you, but no president or presidential candidate writes speeches. That’s why they hire speech writers.

Supposedly Ronald Reagan had some input on his “tear down this wall” speech, but even that’s not fully his.

Esthier on September 20, 2007 at 5:07 PM

I begin to suspect that non-evangelicals and non-fans of Dobson’s hang on his words much more than Dobson’s supposed followers do. I promise you that whatever Dr. Dobson did or didn’t say*, it’s not the “evangelical kiss of death.”
___
___

* and the jury’s still out on that – since when did we start taking AP at face value?

David on September 20, 2007 at 5:39 PM

In the Senate he voted pro-life, and he’s pro-gun. He’s really not running on a social con ticket though; it’s just that the record of Rudy and Romney is worse on social issues than Fred’s, so he’s the only one left amongst the front-runners to rally behind.

Hollowpoint on September 20, 2007 at 4:59 PM

He was voting pro-life just a few years after lobbying for an abortion rights group, an issue so dear to him that he doesn’t even remember whether he did it or not. I’m not sure how that stacks up record-wise against Romney’s “evolving position.” He’s tepid on gay marriage compared to Romney. For all the garbage Giuliani gets for his personal life, Giuliani only has Thompson by one wife. You know, the more I think about, the more I like Thompson. If Giuliani weren’t more competent, honest, and serious, I’d probably vote for Thompson.

RightOFLeft on September 20, 2007 at 5:51 PM

I’m not saying I agree with Dobson or think that he should attempt to sway an election, but I don’t understand why he shouldn’t be allowed to speak on the matter in public.

Esthier on September 20, 2007 at 5:05 PM

Because he represents a non-profit, tax-exempt organization.

Even if he has the right to speak on the matter, religious figures should refrain from naming specific candidates in my opinion. Issues that have religious impact are fine, but when religious figures start using their position to endorse or criticize specific candidates- on either side of the isle- it reeks of partisanship and overreach.

Bottom line: I’m not sure if he can do this, but even if he can, he should be humble enough not to. Shouldn’t make much if any difference anyways though.

Hollowpoint on September 20, 2007 at 6:01 PM

Even if he has the right to speak on the matter, religious figures should refrain from naming specific candidates in my opinion.

Why just religious figures? Why not all nonpolitical figures?

What’s so unique about religion that it alone should be excluded? Do you believe God doesn’t care about politics?

Bottom line: I’m not sure if he can do this, but even if he can, he should be humble enough not to. Shouldn’t make much if any difference anyways though.

Hollowpoint on September 20, 2007 at 6:01 PM

If it shouldn’t make any difference (and on that I agree), then why should he refrain from public speaking on this matter?

Esthier on September 20, 2007 at 6:16 PM

Esthier on September 20, 2007 at 5:07 PM

I know they don’t..I didn’t mean it literally. Just mean that some can and some can’t and we are about to find out during the debates, and if I’m wrong then I’ll admit it..

Legions on September 20, 2007 at 6:19 PM

I heard Reagans speech writer a few months ago being interviewed by Laura Ingraham, on that Reagan speech, and he said he wrote that entire speech including the line about tearing down the wall…even Laura was a little disappointed being how she is a big time Reagan old employee and fan.

Legions on September 20, 2007 at 6:26 PM

Hollowpoint, Dobson has two organizations, one tax-exempt, the other not. If you did your research or knew what you were talking about, you would know this. He is in absolutely no danger of crossing any lines that would endanger the tax-exempt status of Focus on the Family unless he explicitly uses funds from Focus on the Family for political purposes. His other organization is formed expressly so he has the ability to make political statements in public as a representative of that other organization.

Everyone who is grown-up enough to vote should be able to decide who they will and won’t listen to regarding their thoughts on the candidates. I don’t think Dobson has enough influence in the Evangelical community to make or break any particular candidate, but he will influence some small percentage of the population.

Snidely Whiplash on September 20, 2007 at 6:47 PM

Hollowpoint, Dobson has two organizations, one tax-exempt, the other not. If you did your research or knew what you were talking about, you would know this.
Snidely Whiplash on September 20, 2007 at 6:47 PM

I’m aware of that, mostly because it said so right there in the article. So why not just distribute this under the umbrella of his non-exempt organization instead of leaking what looks like a press release and describing it as a “private e-mail”?

I grew up going to church every Sunday (except special occasions like the deer opener) and largely maintain my Christian views even if I no longer regularly go to church. In the hundreds of services I’ve attended I can’t recall a single instance of the pastor discussing political candidates by name, and I’m glad for that. Yes, politics and religion do at times unavoidably cross paths, buy why go out of the way to mingle the two?

Hollowpoint on September 20, 2007 at 7:23 PM

A little history on the speech at the Brandenburg Gate at the Berlin Wall [my emphasis]:

Tearing Down That Wall by Peter Robinson:

The key phrase came from a woman I met at a dinner party, and the phrase remained in the speech solely because of Ronald Reagan.

Peter Robinson goes on to explain how he was in Berlin doing advance work and discusses some poignant conversation at a dinner party, and states:

Our hostess, Frau Elz, broke in. She was a gracious, pleasant woman, probably in her mid-fifties, but she was angry. She made a fist of one hand and slapped it into the palm of the other. “If this man Gorbachev is serious with his talk of glasnost and perestroika, he can prove it. He can get rid of this Wall.”

Robinson took the phrase and ran with it. Reagan said that’s what he wanted to say, the Wall had to come down. It was fought tooth and nail by State and NSC, but the President wanted to say it and he did.

There is a school of thought that Ronald Reagan managed to look good only because he had clever writers putting words into his mouth. (Perhaps the leading exponent is my former colleague Peggy Noonan, who while a Reagan speechwriter appeared in a magazine article under a caption that said just that: “The woman who puts the words in the president’s mouth.”) There is a basic problem with this view. Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, George Bush, and Bob Dole all had clever writers. Why wasn’t one of them the Great Communicator?

Because we, his speechwriters, were not creating Reagan; we were stealing from him. Reagan’s policies were straightforward–he had been articulating them for two decades. When the State Department and the National Security Council began attempting to block my draft by submitting alternative drafts, they weakened their own case. Their drafts lacked boldness. They conveyed no sense of conviction. They had not stolen, as I had, from Frau Elz–and from Ronald Reagan.

INC on September 20, 2007 at 7:23 PM

More from Power Line.

INC on September 20, 2007 at 7:24 PM

I heard Reagans speech writer a few months ago being interviewed by Laura Ingraham, on that Reagan speech, and he said he wrote that entire speech including the line about tearing down the wall…even Laura was a little disappointed being how she is a big time Reagan old employee and fan.
Legions on September 20, 2007 at 6:26 PM

There is no way to guess what you “heard,” but the speechwriter came up with the “tear down this wall” line, and suggested it to Reagan, who asked him to put it in the speech. After the initial draft went out, that line got edited out, and Reagan kept writing it back in – apparently several times.

But, yes, the claim that Reagan, Thompson, and pretty much every other Republican liberals feel genuinely threatened by, are nothing but empty suits “just reading scripts” is a particularly idiotic lie – even for the moonbats. I guess that’s why I like it so much!

logis on September 20, 2007 at 7:26 PM

Who gives a good GD what Dobson has to say about anything?
He is in a class with those other charlatan religious fanatics such as Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. These smug, holier than thou creatures parade around with the attitude that they are chosen by a higher power and they know something that nobody else does. Meanwhile they all amass millions of dollars by taking money and anything else of value (jewelry, property, etc.) from people who cannot afford to pledge it. If you give them money you can buy your way into heaven. If you pledge and miss some of your payments they will sic the bill collectors on you. They are NOT, repeat NOT, men of God.

OBX Pete on September 20, 2007 at 7:28 PM

Hollowpoint, Dobson is not a pastor of a church or even a para-church organization. He’s a Psychologist (Ph.D.) and his organizations do espouse Christian values, but are not in themselves religious organizations. They are not endorsed or supported by any particular church or denomination. I’m sure you realize all this, but your statement seems to indicate the contrary.

Snidely Whiplash on September 20, 2007 at 7:34 PM

Hollowpoint, Dobson is not a pastor of a church or even a para-church organization.
Snidely Whiplash on September 20, 2007 at 7:34 PM

Whether aligned with a specific church or denomination or not, he could certainly be described as the head of a religious organization.

I’m not a “separation of church and state” purist or hardliner by any means, but I’d rather see religious figures stick to religion and religous values and let their followers use those values as they see fit to decide who to vote for or not vote for. Naming names and supporting specific candidates goes too far in my opinion, legal or not. Others are welcome to hold a different opinion.

Hollowpoint on September 20, 2007 at 8:00 PM

[Dobson] is in a class with those other charlatan religious fanatics such as Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell.

Not in my book. I actually know who Robertson and Falwell are. The only way I know Dobson’s name is in conjunction with these idiotic Political Fatwas he’s been issuing this year.

logis on September 20, 2007 at 8:02 PM

INC on September 20, 2007 at 7:23 PM

logis on September 20, 2007 at 7:26 PM

Thanks for fine tuning what I was trying to say and remember. Your right about the lady Frau Elz. I do now remember him mention her. Thanks.

Legions on September 20, 2007 at 8:39 PM

Look, for HP this isn’t about anything except someone telling the truth about his beloved Fred. He can’t stand hearing the truth about him and constantly attacks the messenger at every turn.

Quit wasting you time and just deal with the facts about Fred. No one should care about his religious activities. Fred should be judged on his record. There is plenty of good and bad to be discussed and Dobson mentioned some of the negatives.

csdeven on September 20, 2007 at 8:46 PM

I am not excited about ANY of the candidates. I keep hoping they will find someone to run who can actually win.

Like MM? Or Rush? ~grins…

PoliticallyIncorrectSandy on September 20, 2007 at 9:11 PM

Fred Thompson Blasts Iran’s President:
““”Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of the world’s premier terrorist state, is speaking before the United Nations next week. He has also asked to visit Ground Zero. If I were President of the United States none of this would have been an issue–I wouldn’t have let him into the country in the first place.”
GO FRED!!!!!!!!!!

Nelsa on September 20, 2007 at 9:34 PM

BTW-Who is Dobson? ;)

Nelsa on September 20, 2007 at 9:56 PM

Fred Thompson Blasts Iran’s President:
““”Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of the world’s premier terrorist state, is speaking before the United Nations next week. He has also asked to visit Ground Zero. If I were President of the United States none of this would have been an issue–I wouldn’t have let him into the country in the first place.”
GO FRED!!!!!!!!!!

Nelsa on September 20, 2007 at 9:34 PM

Why would Fred let him in when it would be more lucrative for him to lobby on Armageddonjad’s behalf? After all, there’s no money to be made if someone doesn’t have a grievance against America.

Just another low-hanging fruit for Fred, the Frederalist – which is Federalism only when its convenient for Fred (not often given his CFR and lobbying ways).

BKennedy on September 20, 2007 at 10:15 PM

Just another low-hanging fruit for Fred, the Frederalist – which is Federalism only when its convenient for Fred (not often given his CFR and lobbying ways).

BKennedy on September 20, 2007 at 10:15 PM

Well when you are a lazy actor with a trophy wife, have cancer, former lobbyist, supported cfr, rented your red pickup, are hated by Dobson, have bad teeth, were a Nixon mole, and waited to long to get in the race, I guess you just have to take your shots when you can and hope for the best! :0

Nelsa on September 20, 2007 at 10:40 PM

I forgot pro abortion lobbyist,Lawyer, staff in shambles.
Yet somehow he is 1rst or 2nd in all the polls..

Nelsa on September 20, 2007 at 10:48 PM

I am an Evangelical who at this moment is supporting Thompson. I don’t think Rudy is the big winner because the fact is Thompson has a better record on the two issues we care about, marriage and abortion. By the way, Fred is right about his Federalism approach. If 3/4ths of the states pass marriage amendments then if the SC decides to impose gay marriage by edict there will be enough states to get an Amendment already on the record. This is right way to do this. I really don’t know why DR. Dobson is so upset. Thompson is taking a stand and saying the states need to take one as well. He merely saying as Laura has in her new book, “Power to the People”

sophiesmom on September 20, 2007 at 11:07 PM

So basically Dobson is just screeching that one sinner after another has failed to meet his ever-so-very lofty standard of righteousness. What does that leave? I suppose we are now supposed to sit around and try to puzzle out who among us Dobson DOESN’T think is a witch….

Well, sorry, but I’m just not in the mood to play that particular game. And frankly it’s kinda hard to see how that’s a good way for a so-called “evangelical” to reach out and show all of us lost sinners the way, the truth and the light.

If the guy has something to say, then he should have the guts to come out and SAY it. Otherwise, he’s not really Testifying very well is he?

logis on September 20, 2007 at 2:02 PM

I think Dobson did have something to say, and he said it clearly. Quite well IMHO.

He is an Evangelist and he is also a watchdog. That is why he founded Focus on the Family and is Chairman of the organization. He is firmly fundamentalist in his understanding of the Bible, which is the current meaning of ‘Evangelical’ in modern America. Fundamentalists believe God created the earth and gave His Son as a sacrifice to save mankind. Literally. They believe Satan exists not just as a metaphor for Dobson. They believe the Bible is the word of God.

So Dobson isn’t screeching by accident. He is trying to find if a candidate will cause offense in the sight of the Lord. His organization has documented many unwholesome threats to the family over the years.

Since he believes abortion is murder it would be a sin for him not to find out who supports it. He is not condeming sinners, he is trying to protect unborn babies. His web site has a lot of information for people who are interested in Jesus.

I am impressed with his debating abilities, and his polite way of arguing with people who despise fundamentalists.

Religion has nothing more to do with Dobson’s politics than comedy has to do with Rosy O’donnell’s latest outburst. That may be how they GOT notoriety in the first place, but now it’s gone to their heads – and that kind of ego trip leaves room for nothing else.

logis on September 20, 2007 at 2:33 PM

I think you should listen to him. He is not on an ego trip, he is on a mission based upon his faith.

The only way I know Dobson’s name is in conjunction with these idiotic Political Fatwas he’s been issuing this year.

logis on September 20, 2007 at 8:02 PM

If they are idiotic they will not hurt you.

entagor on September 21, 2007 at 2:50 AM

If [Political Fatwas] are idiotic they will not hurt you.
entagor on September 21, 2007 at 2:50 AM

Oh good; that’s a load off my mind. So apparently religion, politics (and apparently tax evasion) DO mix after all!

Thanks for the tip. I’ll have to include that in the next “personal” email form letter that I spam out to inform the media that God hates all the Presidential candidates who aren’t me.

‘Cause that’s what all us “non-egotistical” people do, isn’t it?

logis on September 21, 2007 at 5:44 AM

I forgot pro abortion lobbyist,Lawyer, staff in shambles.
Yet somehow he is 1rst or 2nd in all the polls..

Nelsa on September 20, 2007 at 10:48 PM

He’s been in the race for two weeks, two weeks in which he’s acted like an ignoramus on anything important to the states he’s visited. Fredheads were all amout “give it time! Give it time! Wait for the Fred! Fear the Fred!” Once Fred tanks in his first debate by not having anything of substance or relevance to say, his star-powered numbers will drop like a rock.

Give him 60 minutes with the Fox Moderaters and he’ll be in hiding for 60 months.

BKennedy on September 21, 2007 at 9:06 AM

More stupidity from the Fred staff.

Thompson’s campaign said yesterday it was looking forward to the October 14th debate in Manchester. But ABC sent a note today to all the Republicans, reminding them the debate was canceled weeks ago.

In other news, Newt kicks Fred in the balls.

Announcing as a presidential candidate on Jay Leno’s late night TV show — as Republican Fred Thompson did recently — “is just goofy,” Newt Gingrich said Thursday.

And the beat goes on.

csdeven on September 21, 2007 at 9:32 AM

Rudy is the man.

JayHaw Phrenzie on September 20, 2007 at 11:13 AM

Maybe for you, but not for anyone who cares for the Second Amendment:

http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/189453.php

Texas Nick 77 on September 21, 2007 at 9:47 AM

I put my faith in God, keep one hand covering my wallet, and one wary eye on the preacher.

Dobson made up my mind. There is another check in the mail Fred!

Limerick on September 20, 2007 at 11:48 AM

I haven’t sent a check to any politician (it just encourages the b******s) until now, but after reading “Rev.” Dodson’s comments, I will send one to Fred. “Rev.” Dodson’s rant has definitely energized my commitment.

Texas Nick 77 on September 21, 2007 at 10:03 AM

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