GOP civil war! Poll shows Tea Party disdains religious right – Salon.com

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A new poll adds more heat to the GOP civil war — the Tea Party's lack of interest in the religious right's agenda

Remember when Evangelicals were the staple of the Republican coalition? Turn them out and you could win any national election. Well, they are fast becoming the fringe of the GOP, based on recently released research from focus groups conducted by Stan Greenberg, James Carville and Erica Seifert for Democracy Corps.

The GOP is now roughly split into three factions: one-third Evangelical, one-quarter Tea Party and one-quarter moderates. These focus groups, which were purposely assembled homogeneously to encourage participation, were chosen because they comprise the base of the Republican Party.

True, the Tea Party has its own goals and it’s wreaking havoc on the Republican Party and the nation. But what’s striking about the insights gleaned from the groups is that both moderate and Tea Party Republicans view the Evangelical agenda as a total distraction.

Evangelicals are apparently beside themselves over losing the culture wars. According to the memo, they “believe their towns, communities and schools are suffering from a deep ‘culture rot’ that has invaded from the outside.” Their main focus is homosexuality, but they’re also concerned about the decline of small homogenous towns.

But the Tea Party folks couldn’t care less about social issues.

Gay marriage. Abortion. “Who cares?” said one Tea Partier from Roanoke.

Another Roanoke Tea Partier agreed: “I think it’s not important.”

A Tea Party man from Raleigh who said he didn’t support same-sex marriage also said it wasn’t the job of the government to intervene.

“I personally don’t agree with gay marriage, but I don’t think the government should say who can get married and who can’t. It’s not their business,” he said.

Similar to the Tea Party faction, Republican moderates also showed apprehension about the Evangelical agenda.

Written By: Jonny Scaramanga
continue to source article at salon.com

37 COMMENTS

  1. ” The GOP is now roughly split into three factions: one-third Evangelical, one-quarter Tea Party and one-quarter moderates. “

    That equals 5/6. Are the other 1/6 liberal Republicans?

    Tea party. Staunchly fiscal conservative. Until their ox is gored.

    • In reply to #1 by Neodarwinian:

      ” The GOP is now roughly split into three factions: one-third Evangelical, one-quarter Tea Party and one-quarter moderates. “

      That equals 5/6. Are the other 1/6 liberal Republicans?

      Tea party. Staunchly fiscal conservative. Until their ox is gored.

      I doubt everyone falls into one of these three groups

  2. This makes no sense. In addition to Neo’s addition skills adding up the fractions to 5/6, these have so so so much overlap, that I am wondering what this article is REALLY trying to say.

    • In reply to #4 by crookedshoes:

      And Ted Cruz look like he just banged a sheep?

      I was wondering how one might describe that facial expression… until now. Forever, until I die, that expression will be expounded to all I meet as the ‘just banged a sheep’ look.

      Thank you for enlightening me in my quest for searing descriptive facial commentary ;)

      • J
    • In reply to #4 by crookedshoes:

      And Ted Cruz look like he just banged a sheep?
      So is this what passes for informed and enlightening discourse among the Pwogs of the world? What you are telling us is that you have intimate and experienced knowledge of what people look like when they are defecating or having sex with sheep. How did you come upon such knowledge? Do you make it a habit to watch humans in both activities? What relevance do your “observations” serve, unless it is to have the readers all guffaw and take note of what a “clever” Pwog mind you have…(“Oh, that Crookedshoes…he is sooooo funny…like saying “I had one grunch but the eggplant over there!”… Makes all kinds of sense to me, otherwise I would never understand what the article is all about!)

      • In reply to #8 by beest666:

        In reply to #4 by crookedshoes:

        And Ted Cruz look like he just banged a sheep?
        So is this what passes for informed and enlightening discourse among the Pwogs of the world? What you are telling us is that you have intimate and experienced knowledge of what people look like when they are defecating…

        As we say in Canada, ‘Fuck’s sake, he’s joking, eh!’ I’m an atheist Conservative (Canadian), absurdist humour, or hilarious ad-hom statements, are okay once in a while even against ‘my side’. I won’t judge him if he does have intimate knowledge of either facial expression ;)

        • J

        PS – I have a sincere interest in what ‘pwog’ means? Is it an acronym? We don’t use it in Canada.

  3. This site, along with Salon, is chock-a-block full of flaming Liberals, aka “pwogs” happily conducting themselves in their usual boring and generally unenlightened manner. Still, it is fun, in a curious sort of way, to watch how they continue to act like…well…pwogs! First there is the incessant name-calling. Like everyone is a Daily Kos Writer wannabee. Then there is the chronic and paranoid division, re-division and sub-division of every group into endless categories, almost always accompanied by some made-up mantra that sets that sub-division apart from all the rest of the groups being pilloried, obviously being conducted by people who have not the foggiest notion of what they are talking about (a hallmark identifier of a “Pwog”)

    I am an Atheist. I am also one of the original “Tea Party” adherents. I know lots of Tea Party adherents but have never met any of the ones so lustily described by all the knowledgeable “pwogs” attempting to make corrections to the erroneous and fanciful conclusions herein made about Tea Party adherents that I have known since the term was invented and virtually none of which are true!

    For the record, the Tea Party has one, and only one, interest. That is the re-establishment of our government on the limited basis that was originally designed into the Constitution and the re-emphasis of the fact that the government was designed and agreed-upon by the GOVERNED. Pwogs are hell-bent on making the government the be-all and end-all of the operation of America to the point that we are to serve IT, and not the other way round, as was originally designed.

    That’s it! We all care about one or a number of things mentioned in the article, but they all pale in comparison to our desire to limit the power and scope of the government that is now trying to take us completely over and thereafter run every jot and tittle of our lives from cradle to grave.

    All previous attempts by governments to do this have ended in abject failure, whereas our government and Constitution took 13 disparate and often warring colonies to band together and become the richest, most powerful and MOST FREE
    country on the planet…in a mere 235 years!!

    All you Daily Kos Wannabees out there should at least learn a bit about our magnificent founding document…the first known successful attempt for rational humans who take personal responsibility for their own actions to govern themselves.!

    • In reply to #7 by beest666:

      This site, along with Salon, is chock-a-block full of flaming Liberals…

      Some of us are just atheists from countries far and wide, concerned by things like say climate science, and what the Tea Party plans to do to address that.

      You say you’re
      >

      the richest, most powerful and MOST FREE country on the planet.

      and yet you feel oppressed by

      the government that is now trying to take us completely over and thereafter run every jot and tittle of our lives from cradle to grave.

      And I thought the citizens of Tuvalu in the Pacific had it tough. They need a GOP too, with Tea Party policies.

    • So, calling me an insulting name (Whatever the hell pwog means) is better than me making a joke. And, Liberal? How do you know? And, you crap on name calling and in the same paragraph repeatedly name call? The most insulting thing one person can do is call another person an epithet that that other person would not choose for themselves.

      I choose not to be labeled by you. I have no need or desire to humiliate you. But, you seem to want to come at me. I was kidding. And, many many people will tell you that making others laugh is a very high form of intelligence. I took a shot at making people laugh. You obviously didn’t. I am not heartbroken over that. Many jokes fail, so be it.

      In reply to #7 by beest666:

      This site, along with Salon, is chock-a-block full of flaming Liberals, aka “pwogs” happily conducting themselves in their usual boring and generally unenlightened manner. Still, it is fun, in a curious sort of way, to watch how they continue to act like…well…pwogs! First there is the incessan…

    • In reply to #7 by beest666:

      All previous attempts by governments to do this have ended in abject failure, whereas our government and Constitution took 13 disparate and often warring colonies to band together and become the richest, most powerful and MOST FREE country on the planet…in a mere 235 years!!

      Most free my ass.

      You have people born into abject poverty with little or no social mobility. The following are prerequisites for a truly free nation: proper healthcare for all; proper education for all; a minimum wage set so that a full-time employee can cover basic necessities.

      There are probably more, but the US fails on just those three fundamental issues. As a bonus the current system disproportionately affects POC, which makes it de facto racist.

      (and don’t even get me started on the drug “war”)

    • beest666,

      “All you Daily Kos Wannabees out there should at least learn a bit about our magnificent founding document…the first known successful attempt for rational humans who take personal responsibility for their own actions to govern themselves.!”

      Sorry, but I’ll have to stop you there.

      Read the Act of Abjuration (1581). The (successful) Dutch Declaration of Independence:

      This is the document (written 200 years earlier) where your founding fathers (and the French revolutionaries) took a great deal
      of their inspiration from.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Act_of_Abjuration

      “The Act was remarkable for its extensive Preamble, which took the form of an ideological justification, phrased as an indictment (a detailed list of grievances) of King Philip. This form, which is strikingly similar to that of the American Declaration of Independence, has given rise to speculations that Thomas Jefferson, when he was writing the latter, was at least partly inspired by the Act of Abjuration.”

      Oh, and read Russell Shorto on how the Dutch, to a large extent, shaped your wonderful country.

  4. The evangelicals should just leave the GOP altogether and form their own Christian Party, I’m sure everyone concerned would be a lot happier if they did. As it is they have turned the Republican Party into a quasi-theocratic party that has moved so far to the right that they would be considered a right wing extremist party here in the UK. On many issues they are even more right wing than the BNP (British National Party) and that’s saying something.

    In fact, come to think of it, we do have the equivalent of the Republican Party here in the UK. It’s called the Monster Raving Looney Party.

    • In reply to #9 by I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing:

      In fact, come to think of it, we do have the equivalent of the Republican Party here in the UK. It’s called the Monster Raving Looney Party.

      How very dare you sir!!!

      The MRLP have, time and again, proven themselves to be far more intelligent and progressive than the mainstream. I would venture to suggest that their greatest contribution to political reform is the rule that, if elected, a candidate for the party is expelled from the party.

      • In reply to #19 by SomersetJohn:

        In reply to #9 by I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing:

        In fact, come to think of it, we do have the equivalent of the Republican Party here in the UK. It’s called the Monster Raving Looney Party.

        How very dare you sir!!!

        The MRLP have, time and again, proven themselves to be far more intelligent…

        I have been told that another of their policies is to issue 99 pence coins, to help with all those annoying £2.99 purchases.

  5. “I personally don’t agree with gay marriage, but I don’t think the government should say who can get married and who can’t. It’s not their business,”

    I think it is the federal government’s business because so much of tax law and property law is different depending on marriage status. It is not the church’s business because of the first amendment. Marriage is primarily a legal contract. Banning gay marriage is a denial of equality based on religious superstition. It should be invalid. If you make it the state’s business as it is now, you get weird things like a same sex couple married in state A moving to state B where they cannot get divorced because a state A marriage is not recognized in state B.

  6. I worry this study is part of a disinformation campaign. In my opinion, there is big overlap of the Religious Right and the Tea Partiers. Most of the Tea Party darlings like Bachman are also spouting religious mumbo-jumbo. The recent shutdown/default gambit by the Tea Partiers seemed to get a lot of support from the religious “End-timers.” I think they are the same people. I don’t know how this study could get it so wrong. Even Ron Paul is anti-abortion.

    • In reply to #15 by Peter Grant:

      Bunch of ideologues the lot of them. The libertarians are almost as bad as the evangelicals, I blame Ayn Rand.

      Good point. Atlas Shrugged has become the Tea Party handbook where I live.

  7. I thought all the data pointed to the supporters of the Tea Party and the supporters of the Xtian right to mostly be the same voters. Was that never correct, or has it changed, or is the article referring only to the politicians?

  8. From the Tea Party official website:

    ======

    15 Non-negotiable Core Beliefs

    1. Illegal aliens are here illegally.
    2. Pro-domestic employment is indispensable.
    3. A strong military is essential.
    4. Special interests must be eliminated.
    5. Gun ownership is sacred.
    6. Government must be downsized.
    7. The national budget must be balanced.
    8. Deficit spending must end.
    9. Bailout and stimulus plans are illegal.
    10. Reducing personal income taxes is a must.
    11. Reducing business income taxes is mandatory.
    12. Political offices must be available to average citizens.
    13. Intrusive government must be stopped.
    14. English as our core language is required.
    15. Traditional family values are encouraged.

    =====

    This would seem to indicate that there are major rifts within the Tea Party. I know many Tea Party members; some agree with point #15, some think it’s a major distraction. In my opinion, I don’t see how “encouraging family values” is compatible with limiting government intrusion. Until they resolve this, there are going to be major disagreements in the party.

    • In reply to #17 by karen.sieradski:

      I don’t see how “encouraging family values” is compatible with limiting government intrusion.

      That’s one of the things I really don’t get about right-wing politics. They are pro-liberty only in the very limited and select areas where I don’t see it as very important or essential, i. e. the economy and the right to carry deadly weapons. The emphasis is always on taxation and limiting the social security apparatus.

      In the fundamental areas of life, the right to privacy in your home, your phone conversations or your online activities, the right to put into your body whatever poison you like, the right to do in your bedroom as you see fit, the right to love and share your life with whomever pleases you, the right to fair trial and being presumed innocent until proven guilty – Guantanamo and the black-prison-system come to mind here – the political right in Europe as well as in the US is and always has been the party of big government, the party of limiting freedom at every corner.

    • In reply to #23 by RomeStu:

      Can someone please explain what a pwog is……. it was obviously meant as an insult, but it makes me wonder whether I am one or not, and if so whether I may also be proud to be one.

      A derisive term for a political progressive. First appeared in the 1960s as a term for old guard leftists of Jewish background. Derived from the tendency of Jews of Eastern European heritage to pronounce ‘R’ as ‘W’, in keeping with Yiddish pronunciation. Now can be used as a term for all progressives, regardless of ethnicity.

      Source: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=pwog&defid=3212391

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  10. BTW,
    I don’t care what anyone says, those faces are funny!!!

    And, back on topic,
    I am not sure that the “out group” distinguishes between the religious right and the Tea Party, even if they do distinguish between themselves “internally”….

    If Tea Party folks truly do not care about social issues as the article purports, then, they are more in line with the moderates and liberals than they are with the religious right. And if this is true (again, I do not know — partly because I am not confident in the article and partly because I am not informed enough to know), I am wondering why they — the religious right and the tea party folks– are so “in bed” with each other?

    • In reply to #27 by crookedshoes:

      If Tea Party folks truly do not care about social issues as the article purports,

      In all these conversations you have to keep in mind that there are two very distinct groups represented in Republican politics and that goes for the Tea Party as well. You have the “values voters” and the plutocrats. The plutocrats are represented by people like Dick Cheney and Karl Rove. The values voters by people like Rick Santorum. The values voters are at best upper middle class or below the plutocrats are the top 1-5% of the population.

      The plutocrats have been using the values voters at least since Reagan created an alliance with the evangelicals in the 80′s. They promise progress on things like abortion, limiting gay rights, etc. but when push comes to shove they really don’t care about anything except making the world more profitable for large corporations.

      So for the Tea Party you have what are called “astro turf” groups — groups paid for by plutocrats such as the Kock brothers to fight even modest progress like minor reforms to the US healthcare system. They are called astro turf because they are phony grass roots organizations. But the actual core members of the tea party are the values voters who care a lot more about abortion and gays then about maintaining high profits for HMOs. So while the Koch brothers pay the bills for the signs and the busses the people on the busses are almost overwhelmingly the values voters.

      To answer your point, I think any article that claims the Tea Party doesn’t care about abortion is BS. There have been endless videos of people who go to Tea Party rallies and talk to them and it’s clear these are essentialy the same people who show up to protest at abortion clinics. The funding behind the Tea Party and hence a lot of the messaging on their various press releases etc. come from the plutocrats but the rank and file are social conservatives.

  11. I would guess there are a number of Tea Party members who don’t particularly want to restrict gay rights or reproductive rights, etc. However, I don’t think these people are pro-gay rights or pro-reproductive rights enough to challenge their fellow party members on those topics. Politicians won’t lose their votes by taking on those issues, because they mostly don’t care either way. It’s not exactly a win-win for anti-rights people, but it is probably a win-tie situation.

    • In reply to #29 by karen.sieradski:

      I would guess there are a number of Tea Party members who don’t particularly want to restrict gay rights or reproductive rights, etc.

      That is an empirical claim and you don’t have to guess:

      A new analysis by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life finds that Tea Party supporters tend to have conservative opinions not just about economic matters, but also about social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. In addition, they are much more likely than registered voters as a whole to say that their religion is the most important factor in determining their opinions on these social issues.2 And they draw disproportionate support from the ranks of white evangelical Protestants.

      Pew Research: The Tea Party and Religion

      • In reply to #30 by Red Dog:

        That is an empirical claim and you don’t have to guess:

        Thanks for that link, Red. I’ll have to share it with my Tea Party friends next time they try to tell me it’s all about fiscal conservatism.

        As a side note, numbers about gun ownership and immigration are downright scary.

  12. In response to beeest666: It would be interesting to create a questionnaire for the folks on this website to see what political category, (if any), each of us would most likely fit into. My initial guess would be, (although I only have a smattering of evidence to support it), is that atheists truly do make up all walks of life. I suppose that is why many of us appear to have little interest in banning together to fight religions. It is probably about the only political point we would agree on. I for one, like us this way. It makes life a bit less boring.

    P.S. I happen to agree with most of the Core Issues in post 17, however I would never want to stoop so low as to comply with number 15. Over the centuries this vague term was responsible for such things as slavery, child labor after the Civil War and a wide variety of amoral crap. Traditional Family Values???? If it comes from the bible then …not so much. How about if we all learn to get along with each other instead?

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