A new book by a former White House official says that President Bush’s top political advisors privately ridiculed evangelical supporters as "nuts" and "goofy" while embracing them in public and using their votes to help win elections. The former official also writes that the White House office of faith-based initiatives, which Bush promoted as a nonpolitical effort to support religious social-service organizations, was told to host pre-election events designed to mobilize religious voters who would most likely favor Republican candidates. The assertions by David Kuo, a top official in the faith-based initiatives program, have rattled Republican strategists already struggling to persuade evangelical voters to turn out this fall for the GOP.
I can’t say that I disagree with them. But if the sophisticated Bushie’s are merely using the religious right to win elections and otherwise ignore them when they govern—as many on the religious right have said—why did they have to give them control over the FDA and other allegedly “neutral” agencies that regulate science in the process?