There's been a lot of posting on the intertubes over the last 36 hours or so about James Dobson's statement concerning Barack Obama's religious views. A little outrage, a little mockery, a number of people pointing out that what Obama said was actually accurate and not outrageous at all--about what any sentient being would expect. Obama replied (warning: AP link) today, saying in far nicer terms than Dobson deserves, that Dobson was basically full of it. Dobson needs to take a closer look at Matthew 7:3, seems to me.
But it's possible that what Dobson is really doing is setting the stage for his inevitable backtracking from his earlier failed power-move. Remember way back at the beginning of the primaries? Dobson said that he would never vote for McCain. He said "I am convinced Sen. McCain is not a conservative and, in fact, has gone out of his way to stick his thumb in the eyes of those who are." I thought then that Dobson and his followers would line up behind the nominee, and I still think that. It's easy to talk smack in the heat of battle and then justify selling out for the candidate left standing--I've been doing the latter for a long time with nary a blink. I stopped the smack talking when I figured out it was only making me look foolish.
And that's what is happening here. Dobson's merely laying the necessary groundwork to embrace McCain. He took his swing and missed--the social conservatives, for all their vaunted power, didn't get their guy to the top of the ticket, but they know McCain will take their calls and Obama won't. And since this is all about political power and not at all about theology, that's what makes the most sense.