Politically, James Dobson has surrendered. At least for the time being. Today, the Focus on the Family founder devotes his typically family-focused radio show to what he calls "the utter evil that's coming out of the United States Congress." He's referring to the hate crimes bill that recently passed the House.
That's not so unusual.
What's surprising is that Dobson tells his listeners that they're politically helpless:
I want to tell you up front that we're not going to ask you to do anything, to make a phone call or to write a letter or anything.In an age of evangelical leaders like Rick Warren, Joel Hunter, and Richard Land, who've all expressed openness to working with the Obama administration, Dobson clings firmly to the culture war mentality: You're either with us or against us. He elaborates on why Christians are powerless as long as Democrats are in power:
There is nothing you can do at this time about what is taking place because there is simply no limit to what the left can do at this time. Anything they want, they get and so we can't stop them.
We tried with [Health and Human Services Secretary] Kathleen Sebelius and sent thousands of phone calls and emails to the Senate and they didn't pay any attention to it because they don't have to. And so what you can do is pray, pray for this great nation... As I see it, there is no other answer. There's no other answer, short term.
I've been on the air for 32 years and I've never seen a time quite like this. It just illustrates what happens when we don't have what the Founding Fathers referred to as checks and balances, where the excesses of one party or one branch of government limit the reach of power hungry and self-serving people and keeps them form doing things that are harmful to the country. That's the way the system was designed. We have 2 major political parties in this country, not one. And bipartisanship is a media creation that's designed to promote one point of view instead of the debate that should occur. And that's why media doesn't talk about bipartisanship when conservatives are in power...Dobson made headlines earlier this year when he said that conservative Christians had entered their "most discouraging period" and that "humanly speaking, we can say that we have lost all those battles." He later explained that he meant that conservative Christians had lost many battles, but that the culture war was by no means over.
...[today] the radical left controls the executive branch through the president, and the Congress... and the Judiciary through the courts... now they control it all, including every department of government. As a result, the legislation that should shock the nation, if people were paying attention, is being rushed into law.
What's remarkable about today's broadcast is that Dobson plainly states that the only way for Christians to start winning again politically is for the GOP to regain power. He makes no effort to avoid coming across as a Republican activist. For a long time, Dobson went out of his way to keep up the appearance of being above partisan politics. As he enters what may be the twilight of his broadcasting career, he appears to care less and less about maintaining that image.