A new storm is brewing between the Tea Parties and the Taliban wing of the American Right. This one is between social conservatives who believed that Christine O'Donnell was an absolutely fantastic candidate who should have been elevated to Queen of the Galaxy, and the Middle-of-the-Road Conservatives who feel that winning elections and putting forth workable policies are more important than expressions of Religious faith.
This little catfight began over accusations that Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey, unfairly criticized O'Donnell, and that this may have helped her lose her Senate bid to a "bearded Marxist" in Delaware. The same lament you always hear when a"Real Conservative" loses reprises: we coulda/shoulda/woulda won, if it hadn't had been for those (pick one) RINOs/Rockefeller Republicans/Northeast Liberal Repubs/Country Club Republicans who stood in our way.
You can read about the extremely petty -- and retarded -- origins of this brouhaha here and here. As if Chris Christie wasn't already a target of the Left (what with the Attorney General investigating his five-year-old travel vouchers), now he has a bullseye on his back, courtesy of the Insane Right.
"When you start seeing people like Chris Christie being attacked for not being conservative enough, you know that the right is in danger of going off the rails. Or at least some parts of it."
This invariably begins the quadrennial pissing contest called "The Who's More Conservative than Whom Sweepstakes" which will dominate the lead-up to, and much of, the 2012 Republican primaries.
The sad part is that none of this has anything to do with Conservatism; it's really all about religion. When one of the chest-beaters on the Right says that he or she, or someone they support, is "more conservative than _____", what they really mean is that person is a candidate who loudly, and proudly, proclaims their Christianity. And not just any old Christianity, either; you almost never hear of this "Real Conservative" tag being placed upon a Roman Catholic (O'Donnell somehow managed this feat), or a Lutheran, for example. Born-Again's, Evangelicals of all Stripes, Baptists, those are the "Real" Conservatives, you see.
For these folks, Conservatism is not a political philosophy; it is a tribal affiliation, a way of designating which brand of religious insanity they ascribe to. For people like this, religion is not a personal matter of faith, it's a driving impulse -- perhaps even THE only motivating factor in their lives. Their faith gives them a purpose, while simultaneously blinding them to reality. Then again, that's what faith really is, anyways; the willful suspension of truth or logic.
Anyhow, these folks get involved in politics for the following reasons;
a. They want the government to use the force of law to impose their morality to upon others. This, coincidentally, is what the worst Libtards also want, so the extremes of both parties have more in common than they can ever admit to. One side seeks to reorder the planet according to their tastes, and the others according to the command of God. Both lead to a loss of freedom for the greater mass of us here in the middle, but we don't really matter. In the great battle between a fake-intellectuals personal opinions and the Word of God (which must be true because someone took the trouble to write them all down, you see), we normal folks don't count for shit.
b. They support Israel, since the very existence of the Jewish State is a prime requisite for the Coming of the End of Days. Therefore, the American government must be full of people who either believe in the same prophecy, or at least, support the right of Israel to exist. This is the ultimate goal of every red-blooded Evangelical in America: to help bring the Rapture about, and then to survive it. From what I gather, some say that you get to survive the Rapture (be taken into Heaven) on a system of brownie points, and "helping" God to bring Her prophecy to pass is somehow worth something in that regard.
Of course, mankind thinking it can "help" God, or force Her hand into launching the Day of Judgement before She's ready, is both stupid and arrogant...then again, so is believing in an invisible spirit in the sky that used to talk to people, but who now somehow needs classic Redneck Caricatures who beg for money to be Her spokespeople. I'm sure the Israelis are absolutely thrilled to know that the support of American Conservatives stems largely from a prophecy in which the Jews will ultimately be destroyed for being Apostates. Yeah, that makes perfect sense to me, too.
c. They want the gays dead, and if they can't have that, they'll at least settle for seeing them begging for salvation and forgiveness from the Terrible Retribution of the Lord Our God; you know, the one who loves everyone and has an infinite capacity for mercy and justice? The one who is supposed to be everywhere and all-knowing, but must have been off having a crap when Eve was being tempted by a snake, or making a sandwich when Cain killed Abel, and maybe answering the doorbell when Lot's daughters were raping their Dad, and demanding that Abraham kill his own son...just to test him.
Anyhow, the very existence of homosexuals drives these people batshit insane. Mostly because a good many of them are in the closet themselves, or feel some sort of ambivalence about their own private parts, or even anxieties about sex -- after all, they've been trained to regard their genitalia as the source of all evil in the world. That's when they haven't "Found Jesus" because it was cheaper than psychiatrists, and demanded less effort than a 12-step program. People who go this full-bore religiously are probably insane to begin with (see; Taliban, Jim Jones). Most of the Born-Agains/Evangelicals I know were absolutely terrible people (criminals, drug addicts, basket cases) before someone persuaded them that praying to something that doesn't exist was the cure for all that ails them.
It's hard to take people who take that kind of thinking seriously, seriously.
If the fight over who is the republican nominee in 2012 devolves into this sort of fratricidal infighting over who's "more Conservative" (i.e. who is a bigger church-going douchebag), then we're sunk. The great thing about the Tea Parties in 2010 was that, unlike past generations of Conservative Activism, they weren't dominated by assholes entitled "Reverend". The Tea Parties respected people of faith, but their agenda is firmly rooted in the Here-and-Now instead of the Hereafter. Concern over High Taxes, Government spending, Micro-management of our lives, the abuses of power by the powerful, those were the themes of the Tea Party...not the Ten Commandments, Prayer in School, or Abortion.
And they swept 65 republicans into the House, and seven into the Senate, not to mention taking Statehouses and Governorships all over the country, with a REAL CONSERVATIVE AGENDA, and nary a hint of Evangelical Orthodoxy to be seen or heard.
That's what really at issue here in these battles between different sects of conservatism. The greatest fear of the God, Guns and Gays coalition is that a Conservatism based on Logic, based upon what Is Possible Within the Scope of Government, will marginalize them. They fear being made irrelevant to the process, which right now, they dominate; you can't get elected Dog Catcher on the GOP ticket in some places without a pilgrimage to Bob Jones University, let alone win a national primary. We're about to see if the Great Middle, having successfully pushed back against the Far Left, can now push back against the Far (-out) Right.
This little teapot tempest is just the first shot fired in that battle. Christie just happens to be the first target.