For the last several weeks, Religious Right leaders had been warning Republicans that social issues had better be included in the agenda GOP leaders were going to lay out for the party moving forward.
[T]he “Pledge” turned out to have little of substance for the value voters movement.
“We pledge to advance policies that promote greater liberty, wider opportunity, a robust defense, and national economic prosperity. We pledge to honor families, traditional marriage, life, and the private and faith-based organizations that form the core of our American values,” it said in the introduction.
The only specifics that followed in the subsequent 21 pages, however, were a promise to “permanently end taxpayer funding of abortion and codify the Hyde Amendment,” and to pass conscience clauses into law for physicians and medical workers.
So you’d think that the Religious Right would be livid that the GOP so blatantly simply threw them a few superficial bones in order to keep them quite … but you’d be wrong, because they are overjoyed with the few scraps they received:
“We are pleased that the Republican leadership saw the wisdom of honoring our demand for a clear statement of commitment to life, marriage, and the free and full participation of religious believers and faith-based institutions in our public life.
The American Principles Project, Susan B. Anthony List, American Values and Let Freedom Ring submitted more than 20,000 petitions. Supporters and signers of the Manhattan Declaration made thousands of phone calls. The GOP leadership clearly got the message.
Once again, social conservatives have proven that they are the conscience of the party. They have stood up for the sanctity of human life in all stages and conditions; the dignity of marriage as the union of husband and wife; and religious freedom and the rights of conscience.”
And of course Ralph Reed is declaring victory as well:
House Republicans rightly rejected the idea that Tea Party issues like cutting spending and delimiting government are somehow at odds with the pro-family agenda of honoring marriage and unborn life. Nothing could be further from the truth. Pro-family candidates are the most likely to be fiscal conservatives, and Tea Party candidates are the most likely to be pro-life. The agenda embraces time-honored values like traditional marriage and ending taxpayer-funded abortion as well as lower taxes and reduced spending. The message was unmistakable: we will not be divided by a false choice between fiscal responsibility and strong families. We will fight for both, and indeed we must do both if we are to restore America’s promise.
This is absolutely laughable – there is one throwaway mention of marriage and one passing mention of religious liberty in 21-pages of text and yet the Religious Right is acting like it pulled off a major coup.