Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Left at the Altar

The Carpetbagger Report has a nice piece on the Christian Coalition being used by the GOP.

Jim Backlin, vice president for legislative affairs at the Christian Coalition, told the Washington Times, “Just those three alone — marriage, abortion and religious freedom … that would be really exciting to our grass roots, and it’d probably ensure that the Republicans keep the House and Senate.” I can’t even begin to understand what makes the Christian Coalition believe this.

First, the GOP would only drive independents and moderate Republicans further away in an election year that’s already slated to go the Dems’ way. But even more importantly, what Backlin doesn’t seem to realize is that his big-ticket demands — most notably an anti-gay constitutional amendment — won’t pass. Republicans may enjoy sizable majorities in both chambers, but there still isn’t enough support for the top religious right agenda items.

This wouldn’t motivate the far-right grassroots; it’d demoralize them. They got everything they wanted in 2004, and two years later ended up with a bunch of defeated bills? When Republicans control every branch of the federal government?

Dobson & Co. won’t like it, but 2006 will be just like every other year. The religious right will hear GOP leaders say all the right things, and then do practically nothing. If the far-right base doesn’t like it, they’ll have to teach their party a lesson and stay home in November.

As much as it would warm the cockles of my heart to see the Religious Reich finally wake up to the fact that they’ve been used by the GOP just as much as they have used them, it won’t change the fact that people like James Dobson, Pat Robertson, and Gary Bauer will not give up that easily. Armed with the blare of talk radio and a direct mailing list that is the envy of Publishers Clearing House they will take the battle back to where they know they have a better chance of winning; at the state and local levels. School boards, county commissions, and local party organizations are the retail outlets for their theocratic ideas, and that’s where they can do a lot of damage.