The Christian Right’s Israel Litmus Test

Sarah Posner draws attention today to a manifesto on the 2016 presidential contest released by three Christian Right warhorses, Penny Nance, Joel Rosenberg, and Ralph Reed. Sarah thinks it significant that unconditional support for Israel (or really, for Benjamin Netanyahu) seems to be climbing up the priority ladder of these people. What caught my attention were the constant references to the need for experienced leaders, especially in foreign policy.

Either way, this ain’t good news for Rand Paul’s chances of getting a decent share of Christian Right support. He’s only got four years in the Senate, and not a moment longer than that in demonstrating any sort of commitment to Israel. Even if aggressive pandering is treated as equivalent to experience, that’s not much of a record.

Sarah’s piece offers one insight on the GOP’s Middle Eastern Policy debate that you sort of wish MSM types were forced to stare at until they show some comprehension:

When the candidates try to outdo each other with boasting of their “pro-Israel” credentials, it will likely trigger the inevitable can-the-Republicans-win-over-the-Jewish-vote debates. But those discussions will miss the real story. It won’t be Jewish voters the candidates are trying to reach.


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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.