Frank Schaeffer is a columnist for the Dallas Morning News. In yesterday’s column he announced he is utterly disgusted with the Republican party and is leaving it.

Best quote: “Wartime demands leaders with character and moral authority. The political party smearing Mr. Webb proves it has neither.”

Here are his “conservative Christian” credentials –

I’m a Christian, a writer, a military parent and a registered Republican … And I’ve been voting Republican for years. My late father – Dr. Francis Schaeffer – was an evangelical theologian, friend to Jerry Falwell and White House guest of Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford and the first President Bush.

Francis Schaeffer (the father) is not in my opinion one of the best Christian philosophers of the century. But I still get a certain rush when I remember discovering his books back in the 70’s. The idea that one could – and should – deliberately argue with mental vigor and intellectual integrity as a Christian teacher and apologist was literally life-changing for me.

I still get a little jolt just remembering the feel and look of that tiny book, “Escape From Reason.” His logic was inadequate, but at least it was there! It really served as a call to me to THINK as a Christian, and to do so with a certain spirit of independence. Obviously I did not follow his political lead, but: Thank you, Francis Schaeffer for encouraging me to turn on my brains!

And more credentials (back to the son, Frank) –

I have nice handwritten letters from various members of the Bush family, including Barbara, thanking me for my books on military service.

The straw that broke it was an email calling Jim Webb (VA Senate candidate) a pedophile. Can you imagine that there are R’s unwise enough to help keep that word in circulation!

Democrat James Webb is a war hero and former Marine, wounded in Vietnam and winner of the Navy Cross. He was writing about class and military issues long before me and has articulated the issue of how the elites have dropped the ball on military service in his classic novel Fields of Fire. By the way, that’s a book Tom Wolfe calls “the greatest of the Vietnam novels.”

And he touches on Republican leadership’s persistent hypocrisy about supporting the troops.

Mr. Webb’s son is a Marine in Iraq. That’s an uncommon fact in this era in which most political leaders’ children act as if it is only right and proper that it’s someone else’s war to fight.

Finally he’s had it. Better late than never! Better to call it like it is when it’s getting popular to do so than never to call it at all.

But enough is enough. I’ve had it with Republican smears.

The Webb e-mail is the embodiment of the cynical Republican strategists

Lucky for God-the-author [of the Bible] that He’s not running against George Allen.

Schaeffer has a son in the Marines, and talks about

… the moral credibility of the drill instructors and selflessness of the recruits. Our political leaders should learn from them.

My wife and I have reached the tipping point.

Wartime demands leaders with character and moral authority. The political party smearing Mr. Webb proves it has neither.

[Thanks to quaoar at dkos for noticing this.]