July 19, 2006 3:07PM

Ralph Reed and the GOP

Christian Coalition co‐​founder Ralph Reed lost the Republican primary for lieutenant governor of Georgia yesterday by more than 12 points. After a career at the top of Republican politics — chairman of the Georgia Republican Party, Southeast Regional chairman of Bush‐​Cheney, one of Time’s 50 future leaders of America — it’s got to be galling to lose a Republican primary for a ceremonial job like lieutenant governor. Reed was tarred by his association with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. He became a poster boy for the downward spiral of the Republican Party — the born‐​again activist with the choirboy face who helped transform the GOP into a religious party and then got caught taking millions of gambling dollars to lobby against rival gambling firms. Makes the K Street Project look positively, well, saintly.

Ralph Reed lost a Republican primary election on the same day the anti‐​marriage amendment failed to pass in the House of Representatives. Maybe one day we’ll look back on July 18 as the day that the Republican party decided not to be a religious party and started to become once again a broad‐​based conservative political party.