KUO AND THE EVANGELICALS….David Kuo says that White House operatives regularly disparaged Christian right leaders in private and that George Bush never put any energy into seriously funding his faith-based initiatives. It was all just for show, a way to con the rubes into voting Republican. Beliefnet has some more excerpts from Kuo’s book here.

So will this cause evangelicals to stay home in disgust this November? Rebecca Sinderbrand, who comes from evangelical Christian stock herself, doesn’t think that’s the effect it’s going to have on most of them:

So what sorts of questions does it raise in their minds? How about: Why did this come out three weeks before the election? Who’s plugging this story? And: is there any reason to trust them?

Here’s your answers: This story ? which people they trust dismiss out of hand ? comes by way of a turncoat….Meanwhile: the fact that these charges are emerging in mid-October makes them feel manipulated. And sure, that kind of manipulation makes them angry ? but not at the Republican party.

My evangelical street cred is….zero. But I wonder if this is the correct read? Sure, the hardcore Christian right will probably react this way, but what about the more moderate evangelicals? It seems to me that they’re the real audience for this stuff, and if even a small percentage of them see Kuo on 60 Minutes or read excerpts of his book in the Washington Post, they might well stay home.

But read the post and decide for yourself. If Rebecca is right, Kuo’s confessions might end up being a plus for the Bush/Rove machine, not a minus.

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