The Moose notes more Republican truth-telling.
Of all the social conservatives, the Moose has always had the most respect for Gary Bauer. That is not to say the Moose agrees with Bauer, but he has demonstrated an intellectual integrity that is often missing in the religious right. For instance, in his 2000 Presidential campaign, Bauer recognized the pro-family aspects of the social security system and opposed privatization. When his own campaign ended, he courageously defied the Falwells and Robertsons and endorsed John McCain.
In today's New York Times, Bauer referred to the Achilles Heel of the Republican Party - its pursuit of the class war on behalf of the well-to-do -
"And Gary Bauer, a conservative who ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, said that while he applauded Mr. Bush's ambition in pursuing two major domestic goals - overhauling Social Security and the tax code - those issues, if handled incorrectly, could undercut Mr. Bush's long-term goal for the party.
"They could provide the president's opponents with fodder for some of the old canards, that Republicans don't want a social safety net, that they're the party of the rich, all those things," Mr. Bauer said. "It's going to take a very astute effort and massive amounts of presidential involvement to keep that from happening."
It's unclear from this quote whether Bauer still maintains his opposition to social security privatization, and it is hardly a "canard" that the Republican Party is the "party of the rich". But Bauer touches on the primary obstacle preventing the GOP from truly becoming a majority party - the economic interests of majority of Americans conflict with those of the Republican plutocrats. The last Republican President who could have potentially built a majority coalition until his demons got in the way was Richard Nixon who combined cultural conservatism with middle class economics.
As the Moose previously pointed out, the religious right provides the foot soldiers for the Republican Party while the money men get the goodies. While the President aggressively presses for tax cuts for the rich and social security privatization for the financial services industry, he retreats on a gay marriage constitutional amendment.
Today is the annual anti-abortion march in Washington. Like past Republican Presidents, W. will likely deliver a phone message that will be broadcast to the marchers. It is interesting that "ardently" pro-life Presidents never appear in person at these marches even when they are sometimes just a few blocks away in the White House. After all, W. is not reluctant to appear in person at business groups to tout his tax cut or social security plans.
Some day, perhaps, rank and file social conservatives will realize that they are being used by the Republican bosses. And maybe, Democrats can appeal to them with a politics that is sensitive to the concerns of cultural traditionalists.