If It Makes You Feel Better

It looks as if Republicans are holding a series of controversial votes not only to appease the Right ahead of the November election but also to make themselves feel better – at least according to Tony Perkins

With votes this week on gay marriage, stem cell research and the Pledge of Allegiance, the Republican-controlled Congress is systematically working through an agenda of conservative causes, eager to mobilize hard-core voters in the months before the midterm elections.

The votes are part of an “American Values Agenda” designed by House Republican leaders to distinguish GOP lawmakers on social issues that are heartfelt by a small but active segment of the Republican electorate. Those voters will be crucial this year when turnout is expected to be low and when Republicans are facing a headwind of public antipathy.

“The clock is always a great motivator and the clock is ticking before the next election,” said Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, a conservative advocacy group. But Perkins welcomed the timing, saying that in times of world instability the American public seeks solace by turning to issues of personal values.

In the face of fighting in the Middle East, the war in Iraq, and rising gas prices, Republicans have apparently chosen to calm their nerves by stifling scientific progress, hindering the judiciary, and reminding themselves that they don’t like gays.