Social Conservatives v. Mitt Romney

Politico reported yesterday that a group of mostly religious social conservatives will be meeting this weekend to discuss how to take on Mitt Romney:

A group of movement conservatives has called an emergency meeting in Texas next weekend to find a “consensus” Republican presidential hopeful, POLITICO has learned.

“You and your spouse are cordially invited to a private meeting with national conservative leaders of faith at the ranch of Paul and Nancy Pressler near Brenham, Texas, with the purpose of attempting to unite and to come to a consensus on which Republican presidential candidate or candidates to support, or which not to support,” read an invitation that is making its way into in-boxes Wednesday morning.

The meeting is being hosted by such prominent conservative figures as James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family; Don Wildmon, onetime chairman of the American Family Association; and Gary Bauer, himself a former presidential candidate.

Many of the individuals on the host list attended a previous closed-door session with Rick Perry this summer. But Perry’s candidacy stalled out, though he’s pledged to take his campaign on to South Carolina despite a disappointing fifth-place finish in Iowa.

Movement conservatives are concerned that a vote split between Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum among base voters could enable Mitt Romney to grab the GOP nomination. A source who shared the invitation said the meeting was about how to avoid such a possibility.

But Bauer said the meeting was entirely aimed at finding consensus behind one Republican and not part of any Stop Mitt movement.

“There’s only one person I’m interested in stopping and that’s Barack Obama,” said Bauer.

Of course, Bauer is more politically astute than ideologues like Wildmon and Dobson, and somehow I think they’re more concerned with advancing their agenda than winning in November.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed for too young in July 2021.

Comments

  1. Just nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    I can’t decide which is crazier, Gary Bauer’s assertion that this is not some kind of stop Mitt action (which i, in fact, do think he is sincere about–just mistakenly wishful) or the belief on the part of Dobson, Wildmon, and the gang that they really are in tune with the majority of Americans.

  2. superdestroyer says:

    Who cares? The only thing more irrelevant in politics than the Republican establishment is the social conservative movement. The social conservative have never accomplished anything and now they never refuse to admit that the demographics of the U.S. is moving against them.

  3. Hey Norm says:

    “…an emergency meeting in Texas next weekend…”
    I’ve been to emergency meetings.
    Rarely are they scheduled 1-1/2 weeks out.
    Another example of clueless zealots.

  4. Tsar Nicholas II says:

    Social conservatives and consensus are mutually-exclusive terms.

    Protestants never have consensus and the more conservative they are the more they tend to be at loggerheads. For visual proof of that all you need to do is to drive through any small town or city in the Deep South or in the Mid-West and count how many Protestant churches you see. Then pay careful attention to how many different churches you see within the same denomination. 1st Baptist church. 2nd Baptist church. United Baptist church. So on, so forth. They’re always splitting apart and into small cliques. They approach politics the same way, often without even realizing it. They always split their votes among several candidates. It’s how they roll.

    Santorum made his entire campaign about social issues and picked up in lock-step a large number of Gingrich’s supporters and yet he still couldn’t break 25% in a religious state against a Mormon with a track record of leftism on social issues. Probably the greatest irony there is that Gary Bauer and his ilk would not even be able to grasp the irony.

  5. @superdestroyer:

    The social conservative have never accomplished anything …

    They have us Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The Neocons built on their base, but they’d never have gotten there without the “social conservative” (really Fundi) dedication to Israel and Christian Triumphalism.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tsar Nicholas II:

    For visual proof of that all you need to do is to drive through any small town or city in the Deep South or in the Mid-West and count how many Protestant churches you see.

    Heh. The town of 1200 I used to live in, had at least 12 different churches (there were also a couple of small congregations I knew of that met in someone’s basement) 6 of which were Baptist in one form or another.

  7. superdestroyer says:

    @john personna:

    If you would have asked the social conservatives who voted in the 2000 Republican primary, Iraq or the middle east would have been near the bottom if they could have even been able to locate the place on a map.

    On the social conservative issues: abortion, gay marriage, covenant marriage, prayer in schools, Ten Commandments in schools, etc, the social conservatives have been total lowers.

  8. @superdestroyer:

    Right, but remember that “support Israel” is a core “social conservative” value, and that conflict with … any “Arab” (ironically, including Persians and Afghans) builds off that.

  9. (The Israel lobby was definitely a foundation of neoconservatism.)

  10. An Interested Party says:

    The social conservative have never accomplished anything and now they never refuse to admit that the demographics of the U.S. is moving against them.

    As well as moving against you, superdestroyer! Don’t forget that…