What do you think: was CBS showing everyone how wonderful it was that the Republican candidate was such a good father that his son was going to be a ballet dancer? Was the Joffrey Ballet getting a new dancer really important to justify several minutes of news coverage? Or was CBS, in a subtle sort of way, delivering the message to Middle America that Reagan’s son was probably swishy?
Those of you under 40 may have trouble believing this, but in 1980, homosexuality was still regarded with considerable horror in most of America. Even where I lived in Southern California, liberals I knew would make insulting and vulgar jokes about homosexuals. CBS News back then, like today, was a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party, and I am sure that Carter’s people played some behind-the-scenes role in making sure that Reagan’s son twirling across the stage received this disproportionate coverage.
There are limits to how directly Obama’s people will be able to attack the beliefs of any of the evangelical Christians in the race, because evangelical Christians are still a sizeable fraction of the American electorate. They may attack Bachmann or Palin for inconsistency in not being meek little wives, but they can’t directly attack them for being Christians. Count on it: all the long knives will come out from the Democrats to attack Mormonism if that is required to win the election for Obama.
I say this with considerable regret, because while I am not happy with the prospect of another moderate Republican being our nominee, I do recognize that Romney brings a number of strengths to the race that would otherwise make him a very strong candidate. Knowing what the Democrats will do to play the religion card, however, makes me quite sure that Romney is going to be a loser in the general election — and for the wrong reason.