romney redux

ROMNEY REDUX….The Note today highlights a “must-read!!” column by Bob Novak that carries the headline: “Religion may hinder Romney in ’08.” Regular Monthly readers will find Novak’s argument familiar, and somewhat similar (point-by-point, actually) to a piece we ran by yours truly last September.

For good reason, I wouldn’t expect an acknowledgement from Novak. On the contrary, I’m actually glad to see that his reporting–he’s obviously much more sourced-up on the Republican side than I am–bears out the same argument I made last year. Most Christian Right leaders wouldn’t be gauche enough to say it publicly, but they have a serious problem with Romney’s Mormonism. I still find it likely that they would oppose him in the primaries but support him if he won the GOP nomination. But Novak says maybe not even then.

For the record, I think that’s pretty appalling. There is no religious test in this country, and we shouldn’t tolerate the de facto application of one. But it has to be said that this is the bed the GOP has made for itself by emphasizing the importance of a candidate’s personal faith and by making the Christian Right such a critical part of its political base. If Romney’s Mormonism makes it impossible for him to win, it will be the GOP’s fault.

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Amy Sullivan

Amy Sullivan is a Chicago-based journalist who has written about religion, politics, and culture as a senior editor for Time, National Journal, and Yahoo. She was an editor at the Washington Monthly from 2004 to 2006.