E.J. Dionne’s latest opinion
published in the WaPo states something that I’ve been saying for months: Republicans really think Christians are dumb.
This month's offensive by President Bush and his allies in Congress against gay marriage and flag burning proves one thing: The Republican Party thinks its base of social conservatives is a nest of dummies who have no memories and respond like bulls whenever red flags are waved in their faces.
The people who should be angry this week are not liberals or gays or lesbians, but the president's most loyal supporters. After using the gay-marriage issue shamelessly in the 2004 campaign, Bush and Republican leaders left opponents of gay marriage out in the cold as they concentrated on the party's real priorities: privatizing Social Security and cutting taxes on rich people.
The reason this is happening to social conservatives is really simple. Their pet issues are not something that the moderates of the country list as high priority, and quite frankly, the Republican base isn’t strong enough to carry the party without the help of moderates. What we get is pandering from Republicans to the social conservative base, and then during the year, they get ignored for things that the majority of Americans care about. When the social conservatives start to feel deprived of attention, Republicans throw them a bone in hopes of shutting them up.
For some social conservatives, this is enough to actually shut them up, while others are finally catching on to the game.
The real losers in all of this are the majority moderates who are being ignored right now, because the Republicans need to take a time out from doing their jobs, to work the social conservatives into a voting frenzy. Republican policy is failing on the important issues in America -- Iraq, immigration, gas prices -- so it is really no surprise that they are taking a time out to pander to their base. What other options do they truly have left?
Tags:Gay Marriage Bush Federal Marriage Amendment Republicans Congress Gay Rights Republican Whores