Why the Religious Right Is Annoyed With Condi

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Why the Religious Right Is Annoyed With Condi

In today's Los Angeles Times, staff writer Johanna Neuman reports:

The long-simmering tension in the GOP between gays and the religious right has erupted into open conflict at a sensitive time, just weeks before a midterm election that may cost Republicans control of Congress.

... A recent incident that upset social conservatives involved remarks by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice last week. With First Lady Laura Bush looking on, Rice swore in Mark R. Dybul as U.S. global AIDS coordinator while his partner, Jason Claire, held the Bible. Claire's mother was in the audience, and Rice referred to her as Dybul's "mother-in-law."

... The Dybul incident "was totally a damper to the base that we need to turn out," said the Rev. Louis P. Sheldon, chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition ...

This is ridiculous, and it proves how out of touch Sheldon is with reality. The Dybul incident won't be "a damper" on turnout among religious conservatives because it's the kind of thing that virtually no ordinary voter knows about. The only way it would dampen turnout is if Sheldon and company go to great lengths to publicize it.

So if Sheldon is truly worried about turnout, he will stop talking about Rice and Dybul. If he and other religious conservatives continue to bitch about it publicly (which is certainly their right), then it says they care more about throwing a hissy-fit than they do about re-electing a GOP Congress that, for the most part, has supported their agenda.

No matter how much Bush and other leading Republicans cater to the Religious Right, these evangelical conservatives will never be satisfied until gay people are completely exiled from the party.

Of course, given the GOP platform, one wonders how gay people could feel at home in that party. But, whatever it is that leads Dybul to call himself a Republican, at least I give him some credit for not hiding who he is.

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