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Howie Fineman: clueless on Dobson


Sometimes Newsweek columnist Howard Fineman makes astute political observations, but other times it feels like he’s so out of touch and clueless. Take the influence the Religious Right, for example. In his MSNBC web-only commentary, Daddy Dobson, Fineman flies out to the Focus on the Family headquarters to find what makes Dobson tick.

When I flew to Colorado Springs recently to interview Dr. James Dobson, he had an urgent matter to interview ME about: why, he wondered, did Don Imus think that he (Dobson) was a nut? He was anything but, Dobson said.

James Dobson may be a child psychologist and have a Ph.D. from the USC, but he’s a still a freaking nut and danger to society. His AmTaliban credentials are outstanding, after all:

* Dobson has opined that “Homosexuals are not monogamous. They want to destroy the institution of marriage,” and “It will destroy marriage. It will destroy the Earth.”

* He, along with his fellow wingnuts of the Arlington Group, threatened Bush’s kneecaps on Social Security if Chimpy didn’t bend to their social agenda.

* FOF’s head landed on Time‘s 25 Most Influential Evangelicals list.

* The organization is notorious for its promotion of pathetic “ex-gay” conferences, called Love Won Out.

Also, did Howie not pay attention to a recent little event called Justice Sunday? Guess not; read this…

I asked him what his top priority was in public life, and was astonished to hear him answer: ending the filibuster rule. Any Republicans who stray from the party line on that issue can expect the full weight of Dobson to come down on them.

Beneath the placid demeanor I sensed an urgency and intensity—a man close to the boiling point at what he sees as the iniquities of political leadership. Are members of Congress unruly children needing discipline from the “Dare to Discipline” author? Maybe so, but we don’t know how they will respond to Daddy Dobson. And we don’t know how Dobson himself will react if they defy him. He’s kept his cool so far, but that would be the ultimate test.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding