Although you have to take nearly everything you read on crackpot blog World Net Daily with, not just a grain of salt, but an entire mountain of it, every now and then you can find some useful information there. Hardly ever, I grant you, but still there is at least some value in checking in at WND from time to time to get what the crackpot-on-the-street viewpoint is in America (i.e. the kind of stuff Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann would read and think was true).
Sometimes, it’s pretty straightforward what you find there, such as this article indicating that a voter survey by a conservative group, Concerned Women for America, found that only economic issues trumped moral/ethical issues in the minds of many who voted. Considering that it’s mostly older Americans and evangelicals who vote in midterm elections, this is unsurprising, but it also lends absolute credence to the theory that the Democrats really lost because their base couldn’t be bothered to show up. The same can’t be said of the GOP, because they came out in droves last week.
But here’s the thing that’s brewing in the background, which will be coming to the foreground in the months ahead: Encouraged by a large turnout by social conservative voters, pro-life activists are demanding immediate returns from the massive GOP electoral victories in the U.S. House of Representatives.
What in practice this will mean, in the short-term, I can’t predict, but the standard GOP trope of giving lip service to repealing Roe v. Wade during the campaign, getting elected with the conservative Christian vote and then promptly doing nothing about it—a time-honored tradition dating back to the Reagan years—has been played out. These people want action and they want it now. From WND:
A separate poll conducted by the Faith and Freedom Coalition found that evangelical Christians formed “the largest single constituency in the electorate in the 2010 midterm elections.”
Evangelicals represented 29 percent of the vote in the 2010 midterm election, nearly a third of the total, and they broke nearly 4:1 for the Republicans. Another 12 percent of voters were religious Catholics, who voted 3:2 for Republicans.
Even if those numbers do sound rather high, what does this tell us about the civil war that’s about to break out among GOP members of Congress? Clearly, a Republican candidate can no longer get elected without appealing to the wingnut and evangelical wings of the party constituencies. The Tea party has, for all intents and purposes, already taken over the GOP and drives its agenda, but at the moment, some familiar faces are still in office, like Richard Luger, Lindsay Graham, Orrin Hatch, Olympia Snow and other establishment, moderate Republicans. There’s already been noises made from Tea partiers about bumping off Hatch, Snow, Graham and Luger. If they don’t get what they want out of the perceived mandate of the midterm vote, things could get very bloody in the GOP.
One thing seems certain and this is the fact that the Senate and Congressional Republicans of the Bush era we came to know and loathe so well are—sooner rather than later—going to get pushed out. The battle seems to me like it has already been won.
“Pro-lifers now have the majority in the House,” said Jill Stanek, a prominent prolife columnist and blogger. “I’m optimistic the Republican leadership got the message they’re on a two-year probation and they’re going to do as much as they can to help the preborn.”
“I think that’s true,” said Nance. “The Republicans were given the majority again on a wait-and-see basis. They shouldn’t misunderstand that the vote was for their party. It was for specific principles and against the monstrously unpopular Obama initiatives like health care, with its pro-abortion provisions, and the bailouts. If the Republicans want to be successful they have to address the issues that gave Boehner the gavel.
“We will be there to hold them accountable.”
Former Colorado Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, now a director with the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, noted that her organization succeeded in both electing pro-life women to Congress and removing pro-abortion women.
“We helped elect eight new prolife women, and our expectation is they will show a great deal of courage on this issue,” Musgrave told WND.
Do I think that there will be a repeal of Roe v. Wade? Honestly, no. They’ll posture about it, but it’ll go down in committee or just get vetoed, or tied up in court in a worse case scenario. That’s what the pols will do, but will that be enough this time? But what I am fascinated to see is how the Republican establishment is going to be pushed to the margins of their party by the extremists on this issue. And it’s going to happen…
The current iteration of the GOP’s overal identity and platform already bears scant little resemblance to the party of Eisenhower, Nixon or Reagan. When the last GOP member of the Bush-era Congress has been dumped by the Tea partiers, will they even keep the Republican name and trademark? What would even be the point?
Pro-life leaders tell Republicans they’re ‘on probation’ (World Net Daily)