The “outrage industry” ... distracts the evangelical right from realizing that the GOP doesn’t really give a shit about pursuing its agenda. There are two schools of thought on the relationship of social conservatives to the GOP. The first is the “Danforth view” that Mullah bin Dobson has hijacked our ruling political party. The second is the Chait/Thomas Frank view that the GOP is playing these people for suckas. Nationally, I fall into the Chait/Frank camp, though on the state level, the mullahs have seized control and would impose a form of soft Sharia if they could (forced school prayer; criminalization of gay sex; criminalization of abortion; establishment of state-funded religion; ban on birth control; etc.).
I think Chait summed it up perfectly last Friday (and he seems to borrow from Frank). The Republican powers-that-be have no real interest in passing the laws the evangelical right care most deeply about because the business/corporate/economic agenda is their real priority. For example, Bush has no interest in the FMA (certainly not to the extent of something like Iraq or Social Security reform). Abortion and school prayer bans remain legal despite over a decade of Congressional rule, a GOP White House for 17 of the last 25 years, a Republican-dominated judiciary, and seven Republican-appointed Justices. As if he were ashamed, Bush often addresses evangelical issues using code language (e.g., Dred Scott) and doesn’t come right out and say what the evangelicals want him to say (think about his waffling on Roe during the debates).
Personally, I believe this to be a good starting point for slicing off the wingnut vote of the GOP. Sure these guys say the the things they want to hear, but they have no intention whatsoever of doing anything about it. I say we start calling for the wingnuts to start their own party. Get of the GOP, get real about seizing political power in this country. C'mon, convince me you aren't just the weak-kneed waterheads we all took you for. Represent for your peoples, start your own political party separate from the Republicans, then sound off like you have a pair...
Of course they won't because at the end of the day, the Christian Right is just as feckless, stoopid and spineless as we believe them to be.
In the words of Doc Holliday, "You're no daisy..."