Megan McArdle's post about social conservatives in the GOP caught the eye. Here is part of a comment on her site:
And few things get [NY-23 residents] angrier than how the Republican party has been taken over by "the Texans." This is shorthand for the southern-oriented, Protestant-oriented religious right. They hate that crowd more than any Democrat could. Betrayal by your own side always hurts the worst.Hm. I'm confident that if Governor Perry really had the whole GOP hog-tied, we'd be moving towards an Article V cram-down that would have Princess Pelosi's makeup running in the Tammy Faye Bakker fashion.
Megan responds to the comment less figuratively than I to the notion, however:
Social conservatism just isn't the main issue there. Abortion will be legal no matter what happens on the federal level, and a lot of local Republicans are perfectly fine with that. Evolution will be taught in the schools. What animates Republicans in the upstate is a deep economic conservatism. Their social issues are confined to frowning at drug use, excess drinking, and people who won't work to take care of their families. (And in rural Western New York, there's no question about who can't work, and who won't . . . it is not an anonymous sort of place.)To amplify Megan and beat the Federalist drum, the social issues are not what should drive the national GOP. Sure, I'll agree with social conservatives all day long on the usual issues. The reason you Do Not Want legislation about marriage and abortion at the Federal level is that it's as evil as the 16th Amendment. It short circuits the chain of command for the Federal government to concern itself with sexuality, just as it does for the IRS to have eminent domain over your wallet.
As long as social issues dominate the Republican Party, they will continue losing their north--I had a lot of relatives who at least considered voting for Obama. Ironically, I wonder if the tea parties won't help bring the two wings of the Republican party together: guns and lower government spending are the two things all members can agree on. But if the south wants to keep its northern Republicans--and the congressional seats that come with them--it's going to have to back off trying to make the northern party look like a miniature version of itself.
While I'd probably never want to visit, a State should have all of the wherewithal to turn itself into Gomorrah. You may agree that XX already has. Trying to use the GOP as a means to enact legislation to force XX to your line or mine is wrongheaded. The Evangelicals, of all people, ought to know this. See Romans 7:7-12.
Politics is secular, and we have to be pluralistic. While the Sermon on the Mount is a personal favorite, a political treatise it is not. (And it tapers off drastically as a foreign policy platform.) People remain responsible for their own actions. It is not on me if the unborn are murdered. I'm comfortable opposing having tax dollars spent to fund the murder, but not with the Federal government controlling the individual behavior.
Thus, while I'm personally as socially conservative as they come, it's my hope that the socons relax a little bit, and realize that they may be doing Alinsky's dirty work, to a degree. Be socons at the State level, and focus on the fiscal issues for national politics. 'Hang together, or hang separately'. Cooperating is both more in keeping with the spirit of the Constitution, and more likely to succeed in preserving the country in the face of a collectivist takeover.
Because the fruit of their faith is surely the apple whose core is an orgy of worms in a knot of rot.