Is the GOP Marriage of Convenience Between Bible Thumpers and the Filthy Rich Falling Apart?

A few weeks ago I put together this handy chart of the various components of the GOP coalition. While we already know that the various factions have their own pet issues and causes, the current GOP civil war is exposing the actual distaste the various groups have for each other.

Jed already hit the Christian Right's whining of Republicans abandoning them on marriage equality. But I want to refocus on Gary Bauer's comments, because they go beyond simple grousing over a wayward coalition partner:

"If we gave our voters an accurate portrayal of our ideas, that we want to cut the rate of growth on Social Security, give tax cuts to billionaires and then the values issues, the values issues would be more popular than the economic agenda of the current Republican Party,” said [social conservative leader Gary] Bauer...

Ignore the fact that there's nothing popular about the GOP's "values." Just note how he portrays his party's economic agenda:

give tax cuts to billionaires

That's how we liberals frame the Mitt Romney wing of the GOP. Economic conservatives might pretend that there's more to them than tax cuts for billionaires, but even their own partners disagree. And Bauer can't even be bothered to pretend otherwise anymore.

That's not a characterization that suggests mutual respect and agreement, but one of barely disguised disgust. Theirs is a marriage of convenience—the Gordon Geckos don't care for the Bible Thumbers, the Bible Thumpers don't care for the Gordon Geckos. And now that their collective suck isn't leading to White House victories, the knives are out.

Funny thing is, both those sides are equally to blame for the GOP's woes. Mitt Romney conservatism (aka "tax cuts for billionaires") is as unpopular as Rick Santorum conservatism (aka "hate the gays"). They need each other to amount to something, but that's no longer a nationally viable party.


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