Rob Garver's piece in the American Prospect examining George Allen's pre-presidential embrace of Pat Robertson doesn't go far enough, I think. Allen isn't some moderate do-gooder bowing to the realities of the Republican party and forcing himself to slobber on some theocrat's rings, he's been playing this game for a long, long, time. His ascendence to the governor's house in Virginia was wholly and totally a function of his ability to unite the state's CHristian Right around him rather than another candidate. Since then, he's always remembered to dance with them that brought him, and Pat's going to be no different.
If Mark Warner (VA's current governor) steps up to the plate and challenges Allen's seat in 2006, George is going to have a very, very tough race on his hands. Winning that race will require evermore religious mobilization, evermore evangelical volunteers, and evermore pandering to the hard right. So don't blame Allen for bear-hugging Robertson and don't be surprised when he does it now. No matter which office lies his future, he needs Pat, just as he always has, and he'll use him, just as he always has.
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