Reacting at Trinity

The Hartford Courant's story on the speech used my class's reaction as the frame. Buck did a nice job, though I would have liked to see more of the students, less of me. Romney did come off poorly in comparison to JFK--but since most people will only see, at most, Romney sound bites, I suspect our reaction was more negative than the consensus judgment that will emerge. What's now happening is that The Speech has put religion on the table in a way that reminds me of 1987, when the revelation that Supreme Court nominee Douglas Ginsburg (remember him?) smoked a lot of dope put marijuana on the table, and every would-be president had to start answering the "have you ever smoked" question. Now Huckabee's starting to get peppered with questions about what he believes re: creation, Jews going to heaven, etc. Blowback? Well, if Huck did not put the Mormon Problem on the table, he has, as Krauthammer notes today, not refrained from exploiting it. What K fails to mention--not a surprise--is that it is the GOP establishment that has been oh so happy to encourage evangelicals to make having a "Christian leader" a priority. Now there's blowback for you.

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