Of course I'm liberal, I believe in liberty.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Republicans Play Christian Right For Fools

Every election year the Republicans talk up moral values, preach the dangers of the godless liberal elite and pander to fears of conservative church-goers in Middle America. And for all this the Christian Right gets what, exactly? Not much, really. From the Washington Post:
On the domestic front, Bush said he would not lobby the Senate to pass a constitutional amendment outlawing same-sex marriage.

While seeking reelection, Bush voiced strong support for such a ban, and many political analysts credit this position for inspiring record turnout among evangelical Christians, who are fighting same-sex marriage at every juncture. Groups such as the Family Research Council have made the marriage amendment their top priority for the next four years.

The president said there is no reason to press for the amendment because so many senators are convinced that the Defense of Marriage Act -- which says states that outlaw same-sex unions do not have to recognize such marriages conducted outside their borders -- is sufficient. "Senators have made it clear that so long as DOMA is deemed constitutional, nothing will happen. I'd take their admonition seriously. . . . Until that changes, nothing will happen in the Senate."

Bush's position is likely to infuriate some of his socially conservative supporters, but congressional officials say it will be impossible to secure the 67 votes needed to pass the amendment in the Senate.

Yesterday morning, the day after the interview, White House spokesman Scott McClellan called to say the president wished to clarify his position, saying Bush was "willing to spend political capital" but believes it will be virtually impossible to overcome Senate resistance until the courts render a verdict on DOMA.
It always works like this, Republicans talk up moral values to get the votes and then follow through on none of their promises. It's a pretty good deal for Bush and his buddies, after all he needs the Christian vote. But what would Christians do without abortion and gays to worry about? Some might start worrying about the poor again, like Jesus did. Or remember that Jesus was the greatest pacifist ever to walk the Earth and start voting against war. Many Christians already vote that way, how many more can the Republicans afford loose? Not many. If Republicans actually tried to follow through with their promises they would either 1) succeed, which would remove any reason for the Christian vote or 2) fail, which would anger their libertarian friends.

Make no mistake, this alliance between the old-money elite and faithful poor has been put in place for the benefit of the elite.

Matthew Yglesais has this to say:
Ed Kilgore remarks on Bush's sudden betrayal of the gay-bashing movement in his Washington Post interview with the observation that Bush "and his party richly deserve whatever backlash they incur from social conservatives on this one." But they won't incur any backlash, just as the GOP never incurs a backlash, despite having never done anything to advance social conservatism in a serious way. This is what social conservatives deserve to get sneered at for. They're the great suckers of American politics, whipped into a frenzy every two or four years and ordered to vote Republican in order to hold back the tide of libertinism, and then the Republicans don't lift a finger to do so. For one thing, their financers don't support the social conservative agenda. For another thing, if social conservatives ever had anything done for them, they might not be so mad all the time. But last and by no means least, social conservatives get screwed every time because their willingness to get screwed and then come crawling back begging for more next time there's an election on is well-established. It's pathetic and eminently sneer-worthy.
Indeed. The Bull Moose chimes in with this observation:
The Republican establishment cynically manipulates the cultural issues because they recognize that a party that is dedicated to redistributing wealth upward has little chance of majority status. Once elected, Republicans reward the religious right with some crumbs while the real goodies are handed out to their wealthy donors and their corporate cronies.

The genuine agenda of the Bushies was magnificently spelled out by Nicholas Confessore in the New York Times Magazine,

"In theoretical terms, Bush's cuts have brought the United States tax code closer to a system under which income from savings and investments aren't taxed at all and revenues would be raised exclusively from taxes on labor. The consequence of those policies is that a greater proportion of tax revenues now come from what the middle class earns and a smaller proportion from what the wealthy earn."

Perhaps some day it will dawn on the rank and file of social conservatives that they are being manipulated to serve another agenda by the hierarchy of the Republican Party.