Playing politics with religion is a hot-button issue here, but a tricky one. To some of those gathered under the Republican big tent, Bush has gone too far into the religious camp, but to others in his key religious base, the president doesn’t go far enough.
At a gathering of religious conservatives to discuss “Remedies to Judicial Tyranny” here late last week, there were strident demands to do something about the “radical secularist relativist judiciary” which “upholds Marxist, Leninist, satanic principles drawn from foreign law.” Attacks on “activist” judges were replaced by rants against “supremacist” judges. Phyllis Schlafly, founder of the Eagle Forum and depicted in The Washington Post as the “doyenne of American conservatism,” said, “The Constitution is not what the Supreme Court says it is.” William Dannemeyer, a former Republican congressman from California, said our “principal problem” isn’t Iraq or the federal budget, but whether “we as a people acknowledge that God exists.” There was talk of the “Politburo” of five people on the Supreme Court and their “revolutionary” agenda. There was a shrill attack on Justice Anthony Kennedy as a “poster boy for impeachment,” and when it came to deciding what to do with him, an approving reference to Joseph Stalin, which if taken literally might be construed as a threat. Stalin had said, “Death solves all problems: no man, no problem.”