HE’S SPOKEN ‘REPEATEDLY,’ BUT NOT ‘LATELY’….As part of the White House’s drive to impress the religious right with talk about the Federal Marriage Amendment, Press Secretary Tony Snow sat down with Focus on the Family’s James Dobson for an interview yesterday, which was aired today. Snow insisted that the president is not a Johnny-come-lately to the issue.

During that interview, however, Dobson pointedly asked Snow about tough allegations being raised in some conservative circles that the president had announced his support for MPA only for political reasons.

“This is an issue on which George W. Bush has been very clear over the years — and he’s spoken repeatedly about it,” Snow told Dobson.

That’s about half-true. Searching through White House transcripts, I found that in 2004, Bush mentioned his support for a constitutional amendment “defining and protecting marriage as a union of a man and a woman” in public speeches over 100 times. In 2005? Zero. In 2006, before this past weekend’s radio address? Zero.

In other words, Bush has spoken about the amendment “repeatedly” — but only when he needed to use his base to get a second term.

E. J. Dionne wrote today that the GOP “thinks its base of social conservatives is a nest of dummies who have no memories and respond like bulls whenever red flags are waved in their faces.” Sounds about right.

Note to the religious right: are you going to take this lying down? After all you’ve done for the GOP? It sounds like these guys just take you for granted and only call when they want money or foot soldiers. I say you teach them a lesson — leave the Republicans behind and form your own party that won’t compromise and won’t ignore the issues you really care about, only to hold half-hearted votes before an election. If not, GOP leaders will just assume they can string you along without consequences. You don’t want that do you?

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.