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Dobson blames
Republicans for their downfall

Dobson blames
Republicans for their downfall

Conservative Christian leader James Dobson accused the Republican Party of abandoning "values" voters in the midterm election--and paying the price by losing control of Congress. ''What did they do with their power?'' Dobson said in a statement. ''Very little that values voters care about.''

Finger-pointing abounded in the days after Democrats seized control of Congress after 12 years in the minority. Dobson, chairman of the Colorado-based Focus on the Family, issued a statement railing against the Republicans for letting their majorities slip away.

''They consistently ignored the constituency that put them in power until it was late in the game and then frantically tried to catch up at the last minute,'' said Dobson, who argued that religious conservatives ensured GOP wins in 2004.

Dobson also criticized other conservatives, including former House majority leader Dick Armey of Texas--an architect of the 1994 GOP takeover of Congress--for complaining recently that the religious right was ''too involved'' with the party.

''Without the support of that specific constituency, John Kerry would be president and the Republicans would have fallen into a black hole in '04,'' Dobson said. ''In fact, that is where they are headed if they continue to abandon their pro-moral, pro-family, and pro-life base. The big tent will turn into a three-ring circus.''

Dobson said he had predicted in 2004 that Republicans might squander their opportunity and pay the price in future elections. ''Sadly for conservatives, that in large measure explains what happened on Tuesday night,'' he said. ''Many of the values voters of '04 simply stayed at home this year.''

The cybersex scandal involving Republican former congressman Mark Foley of Florida and the fall of Ted Haggard, the evangelical pastor who was fired amid allegations of gay sex and drug use, left some values voters dispirited.

More than four in 10 evangelicals said corruption and scandals were extremely important, and those who felt that way were more likely to vote for Democratic candidates than other evangelicals. About a third who were most concerned about corruption cast their votes for Democrats, according to exit polls conducted for the Associated Press and the networks. About seven in 10 white evangelicals voted for the Republican candidate, slightly fewer than the eight in 10 who voted for Bush in 2004.

The relationship between religious conservatives and the GOP has frayed a bit. Author David Kuo, a former aide in the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, wrote in his book, Tempting Faith, An Inside Story of Political Seduction, that Bush aides privately called conservative Christians ''nuts,'' ''ridiculous,'' and ''goofy.'' (AP)

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