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Can Kossacks Read? Evidently Not

The true significance is that Ponuru [sic] is a bellweather for the Religious Right.  If he’s uncomfortable with Romney because of his religion, than [sic] Romney is toast.  More importantly, given Ponuru’s [sic] insensitivity on this issue, the potential for a anti-Mormon “whisper campaigns” and rhetoric by Romney’s opponents seems high. ~cityduck 

I have previously commented on the Ponnuru post that provoked this rather odd (and totally link-free) Kossack response.  Noting that K-Lo posted the email of an irate Mormon reader, who also seems to have been unable to understand what Ponnuru was saying, Cityduck believes s/he has found evidence of some new fragmentation on the right.  Call it the Mormon crack-up, if you will. 

In spite of what Ponnuru clearly said as a clarification, the Kossack takes Ponnuru’s observation to be an indictment of Romney’s religion when it isn’t and asserts, in what must be a surprise to all, that if Ponnuru is against Romney’s religion it is all over for the governor’s chances to become the nominee.  Well, pretty clearly Ponnuru didn’t say what many people seem to think he said.  Even if he did bang the anti-Mormon drum as loudly as some of us have, that would not mean a thing if the broad mass of Republican primary voters was indifferent to the question of Romney’s religion.  However, as I have been saying for some time, a huge proportion (43%) of all voters will never consider voting for a Mormon.  This has nothing to do with a so-called “Theocratic Right” and everything to do with tens of millions of Americans of all stripes (including roughly half of evangelicals) who are unusually put off by a presidential candidate who confesses a religion they regard, and not without some reason, as non-Christian.  That is why Romney’s candidacy is “toast,” and not because of anything Ramesh Ponnuru does or doesn’t say about Mormonism.  However, it would probably help his supposed anti-Mormon campaign if he actually wrote something that could be reasonably construed as anti-Mormon.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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