The big Value Voters debate scheduled to be held in Florida tomorrow looks like it is going to be a flop of somewhat biblical proportions as the big 3 1/2 in the GOP running for the White House in 2008 will not be attending. Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney and the 1/2 candidate John McCain (he seems to be a bit forgetful lately) have declined to attend and the right-wing base isn't all too happy (Warning:WorldNetDaily link).
But at least the far righties will still be able to hear from newly minted 3rd times a charm values candidate Alan Keyes along with other top tiered candidates (tongue firmly in cheek) Sam Brownback, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, Ron Paul, Tom Tancredo and John Cox.
The absence of the top candidates begs the question, are national Republicans starting to back away from what some consider to be the extreme Christian right? Or do they realize that their pasts do not measure up to Conservative template and therefore see no gain in attending a debate sponsored by that group? Either way, unlike 2000 and 2004 when the far-right swept George Bush into the White House, 2008 might be showing a crack in the right wing's armor as far as their influence in national races.
Time will tell if that is true but if the GOP ever wants to appeal to those of us that left the party, less pandering to the Religious Right and more discussions on real issues like health care, education, and the economy will need to take place instead of the continued push of the extremist views of the right-wing.