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The Religious Right Exodus Begins?

I’ve been saying for a while now that the Republican party is in a real bind. Shifts in demographics and public opinion are going to force them to moderate their positions on issues like gay rights and immigration, but doing so will inevitably mean that a portion of the religious right leaves for a third party. The Worldnetdaily is promoting a book that may herald the beginning of that exodus:

For over 30 years Christians in politics have been considered synonymous with the “religious right” and the “conservative base of the Republican Party.” But now a pair of authors is challenging the assumption that backing the GOP remains Christians’ best bet for advancing their values.

“This question was actually first raised by Joseph Farah himself four years ago in his book, ‘None of the Above,’” author and nationally syndicated radio host Steve Deace told WND. “In his book, he outlined the insanity of rallying behind John McCain, who had spent decades trying to sabotage everything conservatives care about.

“For some Christians, being Republican is synonymous with being Baptist or Catholic or Methodist,” Deace continued. “The Republican Party has preyed on that. We believe it’s time to advance principles over party. Becoming a subsidiary of the Republican Party has been a colossal failure.” …

The book contains exclusive interviews with some of biggest names in faith and politics to find out – in their own words – whether Christians teaming with Republicans has actually advanced a conservative agenda … or stonewalled it…

“Many patriots are scratching their heads and wondering how it’s possible to be stuck with ‘Obamney’ as a nominee right after so much progress was made electing principled grassroots patriots in 2010. This book answers that question,” Deace continued. “Romney isn’t the issue; he’s just the next well-funded hack to take advantage of a paradigm that sets us up for failure, and we’ve seen this play out many times.

“Ronald Reagan was the aberration,” Deace explained. “Ford, both Bushes, Dole, McCain and Romney are pretty much cut from the same cloth. … All of them were Republicrats, the ying to the ruling class’ Democrat yang. At best, they will better manage the decay, but at other times, actually advance it. We get what the left wants, either at breakneck speed or in a steady jog. If we do not heed the words of this book – most of them from some of the leading conservative activists and thinkers in the country – we will be stuck with another Mitt McCain or George W. Dole again in 2016.”

The interviews in the book include some of the looniest and most dangerous voices on the right, including some who are outright Christian Reconstructionists, like Bob Enyart, Roy Moore and John Lofton. Many of them have already left the Republican Party for the Constitution Party, which is openly dominionist in its views.

Now, I don’t think a huge chunk of the religious right is going to leave the GOP. But if it’s even 10-20%, that’s a lot of votes to have to replace in order to remain politically viable. And I think that’s entirely plausible, especially with a Mormon at the head of the ticket.

Comments

  1. says

    Don’t kid yourself — the loony right have been wailing like this since 1980, but it’s all bluff and attention-hogging noise. At the end of the day, they’ll expend their energy in a neat little temper-tantrum, then meekly do as their leaders tell them — just as they’ve been meekly obeying, for CENTURIES, the authoritarians, sugar-daddies and shameless con-artists they’ve been taught to suck up to all their lives. Whatever resentment they may feel toward their leaders, will easily be redirected toward whatever scapegoats said leaders designate. So let’s quit pretending the Republicans will be easy to beat. Complacency is our enemy.

  2. Jordan Genso says

    It pretty clear what Romney’s strategy is going to be:
    To try to get both the conservatives and the moderates to believe that he is lying when he panders to the other group, but telling the truth when he panders to them.

    We need to make sure that instead, both groups believe he is lying when he is pandering to them, and telling the truth when pandering to the other group.

    This idea of a third party forming and taking a portion of the Tea Party Republicans rests on the idea of those people understanding that Romney is lying to them when he talks to them.

  3. says

    As much as I like to believe the Republican party is facing a crisis that will cripple it for decades to come, yeah, let’s not get complacent.

  4. georow says

    If only this were true. Unfortunately the most likely future has the religious right\social conservatives remaining in their marriage of convenience with the economic conservatives. The Republican party will remain a potent force in American politics. Our two party system is just too entrenched to change, especially with money being more important than ever for political success.

  5. eric says

    Bee, I would tend to agree with you on this…if it weren’t for the tea partiers in 2010.

    At this point, IMO the jury is out on whether the far right will go meekly to the polls and pull the Romney lever (bitching all the way, of course), or actually practice what they preach and not do so. A lot of far right folk didn’t meekly vote for mainstream GOP candidates in 2010. But, then again, that was a midterm election and the candidates in that case were running for congress, not the presidency. 2010 may not be predictive of what they will do in a presidential election. But, it was a new and unusually big revolt. So in my mind, its not clear what they will do in November. Will they act like they did in 2010? Or will they go default to GOP support when the stakes are higher? I don’t know. We live in interesting times.

  6. raven says

    If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t true.

    I doubt enough of the christofascists will leave the GOP to make much difference.

    In the long run, they are probably doomed. That New Dark Age of theirs hasn’t really caught on. And US xianity is dying, killed off by the fundie xian christofascists.

    The Southern Baptists have lost members for 4 years in a row and their own projection have them cut in half in a few decades. The NCC numbers show 1.5 million people leaving US xianity last year.

  7. dingojack says

    If we do not heed the words of this book – most of them from some of the leading conservative activists and thinkers in the country…”

    Well there’s yer problem! [/Adam Savage]

    Reginald Selkirk #1 – And I feel fine!

    :) Dingo

  8. Taz says

    “Ronald Reagan was the aberration,” Deace explained. “Ford, both Bushes, Dole, McCain and Romney are pretty much cut from the same cloth…

    Reagan wasn’t substantially different from the others on far-right Christian conservative issues, but they can’t admit that since he’s become a demi-god to the right wing.

  9. KG says

    I’m amused that the book is titled We Won’t Get Fooled Again. The entire US establishment (and for that matter, the establishment in most countries) stays in power by continually fooling the socio-economic majority into believing it has their interests at heart, but the “Tea Party” is the quintessence of this phenomenon, exemplified by the dolts demanding that “government get its hands off my Medicare”.

    In the current Republican primary campaign, Romney has won by default: the raving right being completely unable to come up with a remotely credible candidate. I had hoped one of the wingnuts would stand as an independent or third-party candidate and split the Republican Party beyond repair, but this looks increasingly unlikely. Santorum, who came closest to threatening him, is now the presumptive candidate for 2016 if Romney loses this time (and I agree with those warning against complacency – if economic fundamentals were all, Obama would already be toast even though these are certainly not his fault), so he won’t risk that status, nor can I see either Gingrich or Paul running.

  10. michaelwilliams says

    “Ronald Reagan was the abberation…” Oh please. RR was an indifferent Christian at best. He was an old-school Buckley patrician-conservative, and he played the Godbots like a fiddle, just like all the other Repubs ever since. The most committed, sincere, born-again, evangelical Christian president we’ve ever had was Jimmy Carter, hands down. Number 2 is probably Obama.

  11. lofgren says

    I am skeptical of the actual voting clout of the religious fundamentalists who would go so far as to advocate dominionism. It seems to me that most of the religious right are of the flavor that believes Ayn Rand was actually Jesus in disguise. Their religious zealotry is just a facade for their deep abiding commitment to the belief that if only there weren’t so many spics getting government handouts they would be rich by now. Not that they are not religious, too. Just that their religious beliefs are more pliable than their racism and economic beliefs.

  12. Doug Little says

    What would the GOP look like without the religious right? Would they start to build a platform around evidence based economic policy again? I wonder… It would be great to see them free to actually acknowledge the science again.

    Michael Heath, I know you used to be a Republican was it the religious right’s influence on the party they eventually got you to quit and would you go back if they were cut out and removed like the cancer they are?

  13. says

    In Canada, we went through the “Right-wing-is-not-conservative/religious-enough” shift way back in the late 80’s and early 90’s. This resulted in the wingnuts forming their own party (Reform Party), then realizing that they were splitting the right wing vote, then realizing they had to at least appear sane in order to win an election, then bringing Conservatives back under the same umbrella- then finally winning an election 15 or so years later. It doesn’t take long for the wingnuts to figure out that they can’t actually win elections by telling the truth.

    The result is a Conservative Party that is better at looking sane and hiding their ideologues.

    The good news is that if this happens in the US, you will get a short repreive from insanity, followed by a Republican Party that is not going to wear intolerance on its sleeve.
    The bad news is that you will have to face a Republican Party that has learned to dress the hateful thugs in popular clothes.

  14. lofgren says

    The good news is that if this happens in the US, you will get a short repreive from insanity, followed by a Republican Party that is not going to wear intolerance on its sleeve.

    It’s already happened multiple times. It’s been happening over and over again for the last century or so.

  15. says

    Shifts in demographics and public opinion are going to force them to moderate their positions on issues like gay rights and immigration, but doing so will inevitably mean that a portion of the religious right leaves for a third party.

    Sorry, but we’ve been hearing this shit for as long as I’ve been alive. And yet, in spite of their threats to bolt, the Religious Right remain the most committed and predictable Republican voters. If anything, their loyalty has only solidified.

    I agree with #2; these threats of theirs are nothing more than self-serving delusions to puff up their importance. And it apparently works, because people who should know better treat them as if they’re the most vital factor in politics. But contrary to popular belief, their turnout has little to do with the outcome of elections. That’s because they always turnout in large percentages and always vote the same way. It’s the less reliable demographics that swing an election.

  16. says

    I think the US election system precludes any chance of the Religious Right bolting to another party. The barriers for entry are just too high for any other nationally organized party to get a significant toe hold in the system.

    In places where proportional representation is the order of the day, you get a proliferation of parties, but the Democrats and Republicans are never going to allow even a sniff of such a system here.

    Therefore, as others have said, the only route to power for the Religious Right is to remain in the Republican Party. The day they leave is the day they give up all hope of having a political role in America.

  17. Doug Little says

    The day they leave is the day they give up all hope of having a political role in America.

    I long for that day.

  18. D. C. Sessions says

    The Southern Baptists have lost members for 4 years in a row and their own projection have them cut in half in a few decades. The NCC numbers show 1.5 million people leaving US xianity last year.

    And that’s why they’re calling a Hail Mary play: they’re pulling out all the stops trying for enough power to use the State to reverse the tide.

    This metaphor salad brought to you by …

  19. says

    “The Worldnetdaily is promoting a book that may herald the beginning of that exodus:”

    But Ed, “Revelation” has been out since JESUS was freshly martyred.

  20. twincats says

    This idea of a third party forming and taking a portion of the Tea Party Republicans rests on the idea of those people understanding that Romney is lying to them when he talks to them.

    FIFY.

    The man is such a blatant liar, it’s as though even though he’s aware that documentation exists to prove that he’s a blatant liar, he doesn’t care.

  21. dcsohl says

    All politicians lie, and the evidence is almost always around at the time to prove they are lying. Things have improved somewhat with the arrival of outfits like FactCheck and PolitiFact, but many politicians still feel they can blatantly lie because nobody (well, nobody important) ever calls them out on it.

    I look forward to the day that an AP lede paragraph runs, more or less, “Mitt Romney gave a speech today in which he stated that eliminating food stamps would lead the nation to a paradise full of unicorns shitting rainbows. He’s lying.” (and then go on to explain that unicorns don’t exist)

    They only lie because they can get away with it.

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