Monday, June 6, 2011
Draft Jesus 2012
I have read the comments on a variety of websites expressing dissatisfaction with the current crop of Republican candidates for the nomination of the party. I can certainly sympathize with those viewpoints. Romney, Huntsman, Giuliani and Pawlenty have all taken socially liberal stands in the past on climate change, same sex marriage and health care. Newt and Santorum cannot attract independents in a general election. Bachmann and Palin lack intellectual and policy heft. Herman Cain has a proven ability to get you a pizza, hot and delicious within 30 minutes, but not much else in terms of electability. Given this cast of characters, it is no surprise the religious conservative “Draft Jesus 2012” movement has gained traction. This grass roots effort is misguided, however, and misses some key weaknesses of Christ as a major party candidate in 2012.
Christ has a proven ability to draw a crowd, so raising enough money to run a credible national effort would not be an issue. In addition, His pro-life bona fides are unquestioned, making Him a darling of the social conservatives. I mean, He brought Lazarus back to life, but in a nation tired of the divisive culture war and evenly split on a woman’s right to choice, it is reasonable to ask if that’s enough to bring out the primary voters and caucus attendees He will need to propel Him beyond the early tests in New Hampshire and Nevada. While He may offer some benefits as a candidate, ultimately He cannot win.
The playbook to defeat Jesus in the election could be written by a Republican child. First and foremost, after spending the last 3 years questioning the circumstances surrounding President Obama’s birth, do you really think that Jesus could withstand a Trumpian scrutiny of His birth records? As far as we know, there is no short OR long from birth certificate (on paper, stone tablet, or otherwise) to be found, and all we have is the word of three self-described “wise” men, a moniker dripping with elitism. For 3 years, conservatives have raised doubts about Obama with the standard line that “we don’t know anything about him.” Well, how does Jesus help the party advance that argument when no one can say with any certainty what He was up to before age 30? His story about being raised by a single mother (His father was conspicuously absent most of the time) will insulate Him against some liberal lines of attack, but you have to wonder if there isn’t a family skeleton in His closet.
His association with tax collectors is the stuff of legend, and would make Him radioactive to the Club for Growth crowd headed by political giant killer, Grover Norquist. Let’s accept that it is unlikely that He would sign Norquist’s No New Tax Pledge, since He has refused to swear allegiance to anything or anyone, except His Father, of course. I can see the attack ads now using Christ’s words against Him.
Deep voice over grainy imagery of poor, hard working families on the unemployment line: “When it comes to taxes, what would Jesus do?” Jesus voice: “Give to Caesar what is Caesars.” “Jesus – wrong on taxes, wrong for America.”
Not only is He agnostic on raising taxes, He is the original ‘spread the wealth’ candidate. Remember, it is well documented that He said, “If someone takes your coat, give him your cloak as well.” Watch David Axlerod spin that verse into a full-throated support for a welfare state of endless entitlements. I can hear Obama now – “Jesus and I agree!” Once Hannity and Huckabee started focusing on this kind of socialistic talk, Christ’s days as national front-runner would be over.
Republicans for decades have enjoyed a distinct advantage on the question of which party will keep you safer, astounding since 9/11 happened on the GOP watch. The nomination of Christ for President would destroy that perception advantage in a day. ‘Soft on defense’ would be the rallying cry. His “Turn the Other Cheek” doctrine makes Him a modern day Neville Chamberlain, and instantly labels Him unelectable, particularly at a time of 2 U.S. wars and international instability. The GOP needs a warrior, not a carpenter.
I understand that many Republican base voters think He can walk on water, but once the opposition starts digging into the record, He could take the entire party down with Him and hand Obama the election in a rout of Biblical proportions. His negatives would grow with each passing news cycle as the jackals in the lame stream media start focusing on misinformation. Think about all the potential avenues of attack:
• His famous address about separating the sheep from the goats will be perverted into a discriminatory, anti-immigrant message by the Far Left.
• Did I mention His breaking bread with prostitutes? Hopefully a You Tube video won’t mysteriously surface of one of these ladies washing His feet with their hair. That will not play well in Peoria, I can tell you!
• The staff scandal of Judas taking a bribe will be resurrected on 60 Minutes, no doubt with the image of Judas kissing Jesus being replayed endlessly for the shock value.
• Peter, who many project to be a potential running mate, is on record having denied Him no less than 3 times. These denials would be like a rock, weighing down His campaign.
• If you think John Kennedy had it rough in 1960 having to declare that he would not be taking direction from the Vatican, there is no way to spin a statement like “Thy will be done” into a demonstration that Jesus is His own man on policy issues.
• We will be reminded that Christ’s first act in public was changing water into wine at a wedding. Wait ‘til the Democrats spin that miracle story into a tale of drunken debauchery at an all-night party in the desert.
Christ will portray Himself as the ultimate Washington outsider, but will need to clean up the image to gain the support of middle class voters. Don’t forget, the last President with facial hair was Taft, so the beard will have to go. Sandals might have worked when He whipped up the beatniks on a hillside with his “flower power” speeches, but He’ll need real shoes to project the appropriate presidential gravitas to be taken seriously by the atheists, agnostics and various Protestants groups. I think it goes without saying that the Jewish vote is lost, even though His family was instrumental in the establishment of the Jewish homeland. Americans have notoriously short memories, particularly when it comes to foreign policy.
His debate habit of answering questions with questions will not work in the crucible of a national campaign. David Gregory, Katie Couric, Chris Wallace – do you think they will let him get away with those non-answers like “I am who you say I am.” The Saturday Night Live cast will certainly have fun with that one.
It would be a miracle if Christ won the Republican nomination this year, so I recommend that He wait until 2016. That will give Him time to re-invent himself. Americans love a second act (or Second Coming, as it were). During this election cycle, Obama will be tough to beat. In short, I would say to conservatives that Jesus is not the answer to your prayers in 2012.
Admit it, all you “Draft Jesus 2012” devotees. His positions are closer to Dennis Kucinich than Ronald Reagan. Cheer up, though…maybe Trump will reconsider.