"The Republican Party has changed, and it has changed monumentally.
You almost cannot be a victorious traditional Republican candidate with mainstream values in Johnson County or in Kansas anymore, because these candidates never get on the ballot in the general election. They lose in low turnout primaries, where the far right shows up to vote in disproportionate numbers.
To win a Republican primary, the candidate must move to the right.
What does to-the-right mean?
It means anti-public education, though claiming to support it.
It means weak support of our universities, while praising them.
It means anti-stem cell research.
It means ridiculing global warming.
It means gay bashing. Not so much gay marriage, but just bashing gays.
It means immigrant bashing. I'm talking about the viciousness.
It means putting religion in public schools. Not just prayer.
It means mocking evolution and claiming it is not science.
It means denigrating even abstinence-based sex education.
Note, I did not say it means 'anti-abortion,' because I do not find that position repugnant, at all. I respect that position.
But everything else adds up to priorities that have nothing to do with the Republican Party I once knew.
That's why, in the absence of so-called traditional Republican candidates, the choice comes down to right-wing Republicans or conservative Democrats.
And now you know why we have been forced to move left."
I could certainly add to that list, but this is a start. The Republican party (as it is today) has pulled off the most amazing feat I have ever seen. It has pursued the most immoral policies (both politics and policy) and gotten the religious conservative leaders to endorse them. Amazing.
And, as I noted in the comments, evangelicals need to figure this stuff out. If they can't speak on torture, then what? If they can't discern the duplicity of Bush and Rove, then I am going to listen to them on innerrancy or any complicated Biblical theology? If they have no problem with interning American citizens without habeous review, I will listen to them on abortion or homosexuality?
Nope. In September of 04, I wrote that Bush was terrible for evangelicals. Rereading that blog, I think I nailed it, and if anything, was too easy on Bush. But that was 4 years in, rather than 6. Who would have thought that Bush would use signing statements to elude his own laws? Or undo habeous? But the charge for conservative evangelicals remains. Your credibility remains in shambles.