Evangelical movement jumps the shark (ii): Joyner’s apt analysis
“Steve Benen has rounded up some stories and come to the conclusion that the religious right is slowly coalescing around Mitt Romney because the more religious candidates are less plausible and the other plausible candidates are less religious,” writes James Joyner in an outsidethebeltway.com post titled Religious Right Backing Romney?
[Joyner offers polling and other evidence to suggest that] … There’s no sign of a pro-Romney groundswell and plenty of signs that the Republican nominating electorate views him with deep suspicion. The fact that he’s more likely to cozy up to the leadership of the Christian conservative movement — which is a movement that eschews leadership and organization — is unlikely to offset any of that.
Joyner has argued far more elegantly the point we try to make here: religious conservatives render themselves completely irrelevant in a single gesture—the Romney question and the “Republican Collapse.” For the Evangelical elites—media figures, mostly—to glom onto a figure like Romney further testifies to the disintegration of the Republican base, and the corruption of the Evangelical leadership itself into the political wing of a now splintered GOP.