The New York Times reported the other day on Republican/evangelical activist Ralph Reed making the transition from disgraced lobbyist to “sought after” GOP insider. The former Christian Coalition leader waited for time to elapse, assuming people would forget his scandals, and it worked like a charm.
Reed intends to use his restored status to “unleash a sophisticated, microtargeted get-out-the-evangelical-vote operation,” backed up by at least $10 million in contributions from Republican donors, much of which will be invested in direct mail to mobilize 17 million like-minded evangelicals.
And what kind of messages should these voters expect to receive from Reed and his organization? Andy Kroll obtained a recent Reed mailing.
A mailer blasted out by the Faith and Freedom Coalition, a nonprofit group spending millions of dollars to mobilize evangelical voters this November to help Mitt Romney’s campaign, compares President Barack Obama’s policies to the threat posed by Nazi Germany and Japan during World War II. It also says that Obama has “Communist beliefs.” A copy of this so-called “Voter Registration Confirmation Survey” was obtained by Mother Jones after it was sent to the home of a registered Republican voter.
While groups like these routinely include over-the-top rhetoric, intended to pry donations from their members, Reed’s mailing is especially histrionic. The mailing is a fake survey, pretending to solicit opinions, but in fact intended to generate political activism.
So, for example, the materials ask Reed’s donors, “How much danger do you think liberty is in right now as a result of President Obama’s policies, actions and agenda for America’s future?” At the top of the list of “options” is this gem: “More serious than the threats we faced in World War II from Nazi Germany and the Japanese because the attack on liberty today is from our own government.”
At a minimum, it’s clear how Reed will put his millions to use in 2012.