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Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

So the Religious Right Is Destroying the GOP…

Wow. Just wow. Ex-Christian-fundamentalist (or “Christianist”) Frank Schaeffer explained so well last weekend on D.L. Hughley where we’re at.

Now let me do my best to follow up.

As we saw last week when President Obama reversed the Bush Era restrictions on stem cell research, the religious right has yelled and screamed itself into a corner. While America hasn’t fully recovered yet from “the culture wars”, we as a society are quickly moving in that direction. Americans are more willing to accept science, not reject it. We’re becoming more accepting of LGBT people, not less. We’re becoming more willing to let women make their own health care decisions, not less. Yet somehow, the Republican Party seems stuck in this early 1980s “Moral Majority” mentality. Why?

Basically, they’ve become captive to their drones. They promised the religious right that abortion would be recriminalized, queer people would be thrown in jail, and everyone (not arrested for being “degenerate heathens”) would magically accept Jesus as their true lord and savior. And now, the religious right wants those promises fulfilled. And as much as their President, “Dubya” Bush tried, it wasn’t enough.

However, there’s a problem now. The radical right ideology has failed. Republicans are out of power. And as I mentioned earlier, Americans are getting increasingly sick and tired of the same old “everything will magically get better if we just bash teh gayz & crush teh abortionists & kill off teh feminazis!” song and dance routine.

The Republican Party is defeated. The religious right is irrelevant. So really, why are we still afraid of them?

Why is DOMA still preventing LGBT couples from accessing any basic rights and benefits on the federal level? Why are LGBT solidiers still being expelled from the military under DADT? Why is there still debate over letting women make their own health decisions? And why haven’t we already guaranteed women the same equal rights we give to men? Here’s a news flash: The culture wars are ending, and we are winning.

So as Congress soon considers legislation to end legalized discrimination, expand women’s rights, and overall extend the promise of civil rights for more people, our Democratic leaders need to stop being afraid and start doing the right thing. Same goes for President Obama as he may soon be faced with a decision to actively support these bills. Let the religious right destroy the GOP. They’re a shrinking minority. We somehow managed to win the last two elections for them. And as long as they keep their promises to us, we can do the same for them again in 2010 and 2012.


  1. Obama has been in office for almost 2 months. Why isn’t it raining chocolate? Why hasn’t cancer been cured yet. Why in the hell do we still have to put up with gravity?

  2. Neef

    But you couldn’t tell it from Western PA. Among my colleagues, Obama is pretty roundly loathed. In fact, much of the reason I read blogs is to escape from the unrelenting anti-Obama sentiment.

    The culture war probably looks very different in CA, or WA or (heaven forbid) GA. I don’t think it’s as clear cut as 60% us/40% them – probably more like 90/10 in California, 10/90 in Alabama, etc.

    If I were perfectly honest, there’s apart of me that wishes Obama were a little less bold – but that’s selfishness talking, I simply live around the amplified wingnuttery. He’s still strong in the polls, which is good. I do think it’s probably a good idea for him to be sneakily bold – implement his policies while continuing to at least appear to placate the right.

    I don’t think we’re at the point yet where a head-on confrontation would have a clear winner. The Overton window still has some distance to go.

  3. in the 80s and 90s – before I had cast a GOP vote – I would ask my gay or Mormon Republican friends: “Why do you support these jokers?  They hate you.”  (the Religious Right may hate homosexuals but Mormons are arguably worse, being Christian Heretics).  The answer was always that the Religious Right was only a wing of what the GOP stood for, that small-c conservative issues like personal responsibility and fiscal restraint were more important.

    In the end for my own reasons I agreed with them enough to cast a vote or two to right of center and to argue at length in opposition of mainstream Liberal ideology.  The behavior of the Left from my perspective also contributed to my view at the time, and I was able to overlook the loonies on the far right.

    But now there is nothing left on the Right except the loonies.  I listened to Rush for a bit today for the first time in a while, and as the primary voice of the current GOP (as opposed to a sideshow, which radio hosts should be to political parties) it was clarifying.  The GOP now officially believes that the US President specifically intends to “destroy the top 1-2% of American wage-earners”, according to their top spokesperson.  This is the equivalent of making (the younger version of) CFRB’s Ryan Doyle the spokesperson for the Democratic Party – or perhaps my Communist step-brother.

    While in the 90s, or even earlier this decade, the GOP had room for folks who did not agree with Rush and Pat Robertson, that is no longer the case.  They don’t want me and they don’t even want my neighbor – who supported them for half a century right up to November 2008.  They are Rushing through their own membership throwing people out the door for Lack of Purity in a determined effort to become as small as possible.

    Good luck with that.

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