GOP Apostasy

The GOP finally seems to be feeling the pinch. After riding the Christian fundamentalists to victory in the last two elections, the GOP is being held to its long proffered promise of passing laws banning abortion, homosexuality, atheism, and requiring school prayer.

These things play very well among the base but would drive away most of the middle of the nation, leaving the Republican Party with the choice of alienating the base or scaring the moderates.

Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning News has this to say about the 'problem.'

In the political culture wars, religious conservatives say they've been electing candidates but not getting the results they want. And leaders worry that they might be about to lose Christian conservatives as a potent political force because of unmet expectations on a host of issues and stumbles by a Republican administration they helped elect.

Conservative "values voters" have been crucial to Republican success, with religious leaders driving huge voter turnout in recent elections. If they lack enthusiasm this fall, experts say, the GOP could lose control of Congress.

"The nation isn't focused today in a way it was on such issues as abortion, marriage, the nature of the family," said the Rev. Laurence White of Houston. "For us, it's not the economy, stupid. It's the morality, stupid."

The Rev. Rick Scarborough, an East Texas evangelist whose group Vision America sponsored a two-day conference aimed at getting Christian activists involved in the 2006 elections, says he hopes to mobilize groups representing 20 million people. To motivate them, he offers a list of 10 grievances and a program to register voters and press candidates to pass specific legislation.

"We're tired of talk. We want action," he said. "It occurs to us that no matter who is in the White House or who says what we want to hear, nothing ever changes."
The GOP actually has a great advantage in this situation. The 'base' (the only accurate title in the Republican Lexicon) is driven by religious zeal, something less likely to diminish over long periods of time without evidence of results than just political leanings. That's religion in a nutshell.

But with the country divided by a razor thin margin, a decrease in the 'base' turnout would be disastrous. Of course to keep them happy the GOP would have to enact policies unpopular with the majority of Americans.

Karl Rove has his work cut out for him...

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