Jim DeMint, 'Biblical Law' Christians Unite in Fundraising for Angle
In the enneagram of Jim DeMint's ambition, the circle is now complete. Long a Tea Party favorite and darling of the broader Christian right, DeMint has now lent his imprimatur to a Christian Reconstructionist outfit that is raising funds for Sharron Angle, the GOP challenger to Sen. Harry Reid in Nevada. Julie Ingersoll of Religion Dispatches has the goods. Christian Reconstructionists give the willies to more garden-variety members of the religious right for their extreme views on who deserves the death penalty (adulterers, gay people -- even rebellious children, according to Rushdoony) and race (segregation is God's way). As TPM reported yesterday, Angle is a former member of Nevada's Independent American Party, which Ingersoll revealed as the Nevada affiliate of the Constitution Party, the far-right party founded by Howard Phillips. The Constitution Party, according to the preamble to its platform, seeks to "restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations." Phillips is a follower of the late Rousas John Rushdoony, the founder of Christian Reconstructionism, who advocated the institution of Old Testament law as the law of the land, and opposed desegregation. Vision to America, which, Ingersoll reports, sent out a fundraising appeal for Angle signed by DeMint, is the political arm of American Vision, a reconstructionist organization that promotes the ideas of Rushdoony's son-in-law, Gary North, among others. DeMint, the junior senator from South Carolina, appears to be making a play to knock Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell out of his leadership position by endorsing challengers to U.S. Senate candidates backed by McConnell and the Republican Party establishment, as he did by backing the victorious Rand Paul in McConnell's own state of Kentucky, Marco Rubio in Florida (who successfully pushed Charlie Crist from the GOP primary), and Mike Lee in Utah (who won his nomination in a putsch staged by Tea Party supporters at the state-level GOP convention). Interestingly, Angle does not appear to have been DeMint's first choice for Nevada's GOP Senate candidate, though he wisely refrained from endorsing in the primary the man who appeared to have his favor -- Danny Tarkanian. But since Angle's triumph over establishment candidate Sue Lowden, DeMint is all in -- even making common cause with her allies in the Christian Reconstructionist movement. Scariest thought of all: Angle stands a decent chance of beating Reid. A recent poll from Mason-Dixon shows Angle up by three points.