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reed.jpgThe lead from today’s Wall Street Journal story says it all:

As the general election approaches, a contentious battle for the Democratic nomination continues right up to the convention between the two remaining candidates. The Republican contender is a military hawk, loathed by the religious right. And the country has the possibility of the first African-American president.
Campaign 2008? No, the plot for “Dark Horse,” a political thriller by Ralph Reed.
Mr. Reed, the 46-year-old former head of the Christian Coalition and a onetime darling of the Republican Party who fell from grace, has penned a work of fiction that mirrors the current political landscape. But he put his own twist on the race. The defeated Democratic candidate becomes a born-again Christian and wins the White House as an independent….
In an interview, Mr. Reed calls the book “a fable of sorts.” “If the Republican Party were to try to chart a course without the faith-based constituency that has become critical to its success,” Mr. Reed says, “it will find itself in permanent minority status.”

What’s noteworthy about Reed’s warning to McCain is that Reed is not one of those my-way-or-the-highway Religious Right figures, a la James Dobson. As the Executive Director of Christian Coalition during the 1990s, Reed drew fire from conservative evangelicals who said he was more devoted to the GOP than to the movement. That criticism peaked with Reed’s behind-the-scenes role helping GOP presidential nominee Bob Dole, who many in the Christian Right saw as way too moderate. That Reed is disappointed in McCain’s treatment of evangelicals is really saying something.


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