Opening the Curtain

OPENING THE CURTAIN….The Republican leadership is desperate to make sure the American public stays in the dark about the true nature of its Christian extremist supporters:

In a series of conference calls on Tuesday and over the last several days, Republican Senate aides encouraged conservative groups to avoid emphasizing the searing cultural issues that social conservatives see at the heart of the court fight, subjects like abortion, public support for religion and same-sex marriage, participants said.

….”Every contact we have with these folks is ‘stay on message, stay on purpose,’ ” said [Eric Ueland, chief of staff to Senator Bill Frist]. “The extremism of language, if there is to be any, should be demonstrably on the other side. The hysteria and the foaming at the mouth ought to come from the left.”to the nominees.”

One argument that I hear frequently from moderate conservatives is that although they don’t like the Christian right much, they continue to support the Republican party because they don’t think it has that much influence. Liberals, they say, are just overreacting.

If there’s anything good that might come from the impending Supreme Court fight, it’s the possibility that these folks might realize that times have changed: the Christian right is no longer just a bunch of marginalized yahoos who get nothing but lip service from cynical Republican leaders. That was arguably the case in the 80s, but it’s not anymore. If progressive groups have any brains, they’ll do their best to goad the Dobson/Falwell/Bauer faction into revealing their real natures on a national stage once and for all. The more publicity these guys get, the better it is for the liberal cause.