Bourbon Cowboy

The adventures of an urbane bar-hopping transplant to New York.

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Location: New York, New York, United States

I'm a storyteller in the New York area who is a regular on NPR's "This American Life" and at shows around the city. Moved to New York in 2006 and am working on selling a memoir of my years as a greeting card writer, and (as a personal, noncommercial obsession) a nonfiction book called "How to Love God Without Being a Jerk." My agent is Adam Chromy at Artists and Artisans. If you came here after hearing about my book on "This American Life" and Googling my name, the "How to Love God" book itself isn't in print yet, and may not even see print in its current form (I'm focusing on humorous memoir), but here's a sample I've posted in case you're curious anyway: Sample How To Love God Introduction, Pt. 1 of 3. Or just look through the archives for September 18, 2007.) The book you should be expecting is the greeting card book, about which more information is pending. Keep checking back!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Christians and Mitt Romney

Now that McCain has put all his weight behind this baffling "Last Big Push" strategy---what could it possibly accomplish except more lost lives, an uncertain small-territory victory, and a delay to a more realistic engagement?---I think McCain has lost. Even if he wins the nomination somehow (Lord knows he's got the machine) I know a lot of conservatives who HATE him because he's been a symbol of compromise, and because a good number of Democrats are okay with him for the same reason, as the lesser of two evils. But now that McCain has spent the last year or so sucking up to the extremists in his own party, and---get this---trying to out-hawk Bush in pursuit of the least-popular war I hope to ever see, McCain, by getting his name attached to the "surge" idea, shows himself all at once to be a.) more conservative than even moderates are comfortable with, b.) bad at military ideas, and c.) an untrustworthy weasel no matter which side you're on . . . well, I just don't see how he can win a Presidential election against even a nominally competent anti-Bush.

So my money's on Mitt Romney as the Republican candidate. The only major problem he has is that he's a Mormon, and I've seen lots of posts all over the web about Romney's "Mormon problem" and how it's apt to scare away evangelical Christians in the Religious Right.

My two cents: most of the articles seem to be written by people who don't actually know any evangelicals. But I was there (and I was an evangelical) when solidly Religious-Right Arizona elected Evan Meacham, Mormon used-car salesman, for governor back in...was it 1986? If you vaguely remember the news from that time, he turned out to be an utter embarrassment and a PR disaster. Just one example: Once out in public he saw a black child and said, "What a cute little pickaninny!" leading to rueful bumper stickers that said, "Boy, Did We Ever Pick A Ninny!" And this was only one of many highlights, starting with his cancellation of the new Martin Luther King holiday.

But here's the thing: when I went to church at that time, no one actually talked about Meacham's Mormonism; they talked about his politics. And he got traction among evangelicals precisely because evangelicals basically care about two issues: abortion and homosexuality. And as long as Mitt, or any other Mormon, has the same faith-related (i.e., unflagging and unchanging) support for those two issues, Mitt can count on their votes. (At least in a narrow field with no honest evangelicals running.) Do evangelicals think Mormonism is a Satan-inspired cult? You bet. But as long as he votes the right way AND does it for a similar reason (i.e., religion), he's actually a very appealing candidate. Evangelicals will be praying for him to change his religion, and they'll send him a lot of tracts, but they'll love him for his voting record. Expect him to poll better than the professionals expect.

P.S. I only venture into politics about once a week, so let me take this opportunity to thank Eric Berlin. In comments on my last post, about Obama dressing like a terrorist, I challenged him to show me anyone on the right to call out this silliness. Sure enough, a post on the Corner did just that, and I would be remiss if I didn't mention it. So thanks, Eric, for restoring my faith in people all over, and thanks for introducing me to The Corner, which I should have been reading a long time ago. I will add, however, that references to "Barack Hussein Obama" are visible everywhere in the conservative blogosphere except The Corner, and it creeps me out.

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Blogger Aaron S said...

Of interest:

12/18/2006 1:30 PM  

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