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  •  The Fundementalist marker and the Repub pay off (none)
    Why? Because I suspect that right now that the Wall Street wing, and the small business wing, and the defense industry wing, and the tax reform wings of the party are shuddering at the thought that Americans are being told that Bush got to 51 percent based on "values" voting. Would not the better "take-away" storyline from this election be that Bush won because the nation believes in Republicans' fiscal and defense policies, their steadfastness and leadership abilities? I'm meeting a lot Republicans (both conservatives and moderates) who do not want this election to be framed as the Ralph Reed Rout.

    To understand their fears, flip the script for a moment, and imagine we had won and the emergent storyline right now was, say, how pro-choice single white women carried the day - that they were the newly-mobilized "swing voter" that proved decisive. That image would not merely oversimplify such a victory, but frame it in a way that would permit conservatives to demonize us through their usual tactics of villification and exaggeration. Indeed, have not the Hannitys and Coulters done just that to us, for years? (And we're the liars and haters, huh?) They love to claim, falsely but effectively, that our party is comprised solely of Hollywood elites, gays, the unmarried and childless, college professors, and minority welfare cheats.

    This is what, I believe, will cause the ineviatble friction, even a possible spilt, between the liberal/moderate/neocon/traditional conservative wing of the party and the fundie Christians.

    Traditional Republicans believe in SMALL goverment, lower taxes, and fewer regulation, not more......."faith based initiatives" and the like create bigger government, more taxes, and more regulations, by definition.

    Just like tradtional conservatives are voicing grave reservations over the neocon imperial ambitions and deficit spending, it's only a matter of time before non fundie Republicans express dismay over this development. It cuts against the grain of basic Republican stands on small government and federal interference.

    As a registered Independent who has gone more Republican than Democratic in my time, I can easily put myself in their shoes. Considering that the majority of Republicans are NOT fundementalists Christians and most are socially moderate, having these people "holding a marker" as it were, can and should be viewed as a scary thing for Republicans who DON'T share these values.

    My prediction is that there will be a big ideological war w/in the Republican party. Now everyone is basking in the glow of victory, but eventually the dust will clear and they'll have to evaluate just WHAT was won and who won it. I don't think most will like what they see.

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