Dear Dr. Dobson

Filed under:Not Cool,Politics,Priorities — posted by Anwyn on October 4, 2007 @ 11:51 am

Unless the vast majority of Focus on the Family’s listeners are smart enough to restrict their application of your words to raising their children and not voting for president, you are going to cause a split. You will split voters every bit as desperate for the end of abortion as you are between two candidates, whoever they are, and give somebody committed to the continuation of abortion as a Constitutional right the presidency.

You are being utterly irresponsible, self-important, and delusional as to the amount of influence you actually have. You may have enough to get the split. You do not have enough to defeat the larger of two evils–the lesser of which, a candidate who will appoint judges who may overturn Roe v. Wade, can hardly be called an evil but an important first victory. You will play a large part in continuing the shame and depravity of abortion at will. You are being reckless.

A Christian

P.S. Do you think the NYT rubbed its hands and cackled over a column from you because of its sterling family values?

Update: More principle-led nobility naivete:

The other approach, which I find problematic, is to choose a candidate according to the likelihood of electoral success or failure. Polls don’t measure right and wrong; voting according to the possibility of winning or losing can lead directly to the compromise of one’s principles. In the present political climate, it could result in the abandonment of cherished beliefs that conservative Christians have promoted and defended for decades. Winning the presidential election is vitally important, but not at the expense of what we hold most dear.

You are being obtuse. (“Obtuse! Is it deliberate?”) Winning the election is not important for the sake of winning; it is important for the very issue you claim to have so much at heart. Losing the election, let me say again, will mean the presidency in the hands of somebody who cherishes abortion as a right, or claims to do so out of pandering to pro-abortion women. It will mean a president who will appoint judges not set to retire or die in the next ten years who will uphold Roe v. Wade when it comes before them. Query, sir: Did you support George W. Bush for president? What has he done for this issue other than appoint good judges who know that Roe v. Wade is bad law?

Quit with the “they’re not Christian enough” rhetoric. Vet their possibilities for the Supreme Court. And then tell us you’re not doing the unborn a grave disservice by continuing in this line of polemics.

Update x2: An outright threat:

If the major political parties decide to abandon conservative principles, the cohesion of pro-family advocates will be all too apparent in 2008.

If by “cohesion” you mean all anti-abortion voters will vote for a no-chance candidate strictly because he mouths platitudes against abortion while actually being relatively powerless to affect the issue one way or another, then you can count me out. Not for me, my brother. Not for me.


  1. Dobson seems to be betting that by tanking the election in 2008 (or, alternatively, taking the credit for tanking an election that was going to the Democrats anyway), he can get the GOP to come back, begging and pleading, and elect him or his clone President in 2012. Two problems with that theory. First, even if he “wins” that bet, the entire country will move so sharply to the left in the interim that the best a “real” conservative can hope to accomplish afterward is move it back to about where a President Guiliani would have kept it all along. Second, it probably won’t work, as special interest groups that align themselves with third parties tend to make themselves irrelevant. We’ll still have two parties, one of which will be called the Democrats and the other the Republicans, and they’ll both get approximately 50% of the portion of the popular vote that matters – it’s just that that portion will no longer include Dobson & Co., who will be as marginalized as the Libertarians are today. And a lot of business-first Republicans will be perfectly happy with that arrangement.

    Comment by Xrlq — October 4, 2007 @ 7:20 pm

  2. What kills me is I know this is aimed at Giuliani–it has to be, because the rest of the field talks and votes pro-life, for the most part. So he’s that much bigger a jerk since even by his own stated standard–commitment to sanctity of life–the other candidates are acceptable. But he’s gone out of his way to demonize Thompson, and I don’t know what he may have said about the other two in the past. And then let’s get down to the second tier–he talks a good line against voting based on electability, but he could just endorse a second-tier candidate and say it’s about pro-life. But he doesn’t. Why? Because second tier is going nowhere in the primary and therefore the only way they become even remotely electable is as a third candidate in the general.

    All-around self-defeating jackassery.

    Comment by Anwyn — October 4, 2007 @ 10:28 pm

  3. Today’s Ten…

    Considering the number of blogs I read daily, I’ve been pretty horrid about linking to them. I’ve decided to fix that bad habit with a new semi-regular feature “Today’s Ten”, a list of links that caught my eye on any given…

    Trackback by I Think Therefore I Blog — October 10, 2007 @ 11:22 am

  4. It’s not about values or abortion. It’s about power. Dobson wants more of it. He thinks he can bully his way into an advisory role with the GOP nominee by threatening to bail.

    He may be on to something: Giuliani may be a front runner, but it is with only about 30% of the vote. Most of the other 70% can’t agree on a candidate, but they can agree on “not Giuliani.” If the field can be narrowed down some before the Iowa caucus and NH primaries are over, then there is a strong chance that one of the “not Giuliani” candidates can coalesce support into a majority and seal the nomination.

    Dobson is hoping he can help someone do just that, and that someone would (in theory) owe Dobson a favor.

    However, if Giuliani pulls off the nomination, it will effectively end Dobson’s influence on politics. He can’t follow through on his threats, because handing the election to Hillary will make him a pariah among conservatives. He is playing chicken for power.

    Comment by Gullyborg — October 12, 2007 @ 10:19 pm

  5. If that weren’t the case, he would’ve just endorsed a “not Giuliani” nominee and left it at that, at least until *after* the primaries. He gives the lie to his own “not based on electability” rhetoric by refusing to do that–this way he can wait and see who pulls the most after Giuliani.

    Except … he’s already outright dismissed the likeliest second-runner, in Thompson. So it can’t be totally cut and dried–I think enough of the man’s integrity to believe he’s fooling himself at least a little.


    Comment by Anwyn — October 12, 2007 @ 10:24 pm

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