In the least surprising summer political news imaginable, Rand Paul has announced he’ll be in–wait for it!–Iowa from August 6-9. The Iowa State Fair begins on August 7. The Iowa Family Leader’s 2014 “Summit” is on August 9.
Paul will get more exposure at the Fair, but the “Family Summit” may be a bigger deal. Here’s part of my description of the group’s 2012 event, which occurred right after Paul Ryan was announced as Mitt Romney’s running-mate.
This “leadership summit” was clearly organized to perform a bit of a victory dance for FAMiLY Leader for its role in the Iowa Caucuses—the group was able to boast key last-minute support for the last two Caucus winners, Huckabee and Santorum (both of whom are speaking here later today), and its successful 2010 purge of three of the Iowa Supreme Court Justices among the seven who handed down the 2009 decision to legalize same-sex marriage in Iowa.
The first mention of Paul Ryan’s name today got a big rousing round of applause with a few whoops—slightly louder than the first mention of Chick-fil-A, slightly softer than the ruckus that greeted “Iowa’s own” Steve King.
It’s an indication of the atmosphere of this event—and of the crisis mentality the Christian Right is capable of reviving as often as the hope of salvation—that Steve King doesn’t stand out at all.
I was a bit startled to hear King encourage ministers to defy the IRS and “preach the word from the pulpit,” clearly meaning the political word. But then I heard it from the next four speakers.
Even poor old Chuck Grassley, who could barely stumble through his pithy remarks (“…the usurption of unconstitutional power by the President of the United States and his cohorts.”), got into the spirit, listing the propositions that a Romney/Ryan administration would promote “without apology:” “life begins at conception;” “gun ownership is an absolute right;” “choice in education is an absolute right;” “voter ID;” “marriage is between a man and a woman;” “American support for Israel,” and so on through the whole secular liturgy of the Christian Right.
The script hasn’t much changed, I’m afraid. Rand Paul will fit right in. And you’ll need to watch and listen closely to discern the differences between those representing various GOP factions.