Thursday | November 14, 2002
Dealing with a feisty right wing
I'm not sure what to make of this:
President Bush on Wednesday took on the Christian right core of his political base, denouncing anti-Islamic remarks made by religious leaders including evangelist Pat Robertson.So is he pulling a Sister Souljah, trying to bolster his middle-ground credentials by "taking on" the Christian wingnuts? I suspect so. It's not as if he's blasting them for their core beliefs, like abortion or prayer in school. This is a minor reprimand -- "dudes, chill out on the Muslim stuff" -- rather than a full-fledged confrontation. Yet, reporters will write fluff pieces such as this one implying some sort of rift between him and the religious right (which plays really well with moderate voters).
However, do watch for an emboldened right wing to put intense pressure on the Bush Administration to advance its agenda. Many are speaking of an inevitable rift within a GOP unchecked by any viable Democratic opposition, and if it happens, it will be between the party's Jesus brigade and its fiscal conservatives.
As the Democratic Party continues to move to the center on economic issues (deficit reduction), it may yet be able to pick off some of the most liberal Republicans.Posted November 14, 2002 10:38 AM | Comments (83)