Matt Towery at Townhall.com discusses the recent rejection of hard-core social conservatives by Republican primary voters. His focus in on the Florida gubernatorial primary, where a candidate pandering to the hard-liners was beaten by 30 points. A very similar rejection occurred in Utah (where Chris Cannon successfully fended off a challenger backed by the Tancredobots), and it is also reflected in the rise of sites like GOPProgress.com and WildTurkeys.net (full disclosure: I post at both of those sites).
In 2004, there was a backlash against the imposition of gay marriage in Massachusetts. This was reflected very closely in the wide margins that eleven constitutional amendments were passed by in that election. The problem is that the social conservatives misread the widespread objection to the imposition of gay marriage as support for other aspects of their agenda. They thought they could get away with mischaracterizing the President's immigration proposals. They thought they could chase Howard Stern to satellite radio, and nobody would be that upset.
They were wrong. Now, the South Park Republicans, who want government out of their lives, are probably feeling like they have nowhere to go, and certainly don't want to stick their necks out for social conservatives. I, personally, feel that the 2006 elections look more like a choice between two sets of control freaks. One wants to get into my wallet and gun safe, the other wants to tell me what I can and can't watch, while also throwing a fit because I want to put $50 on a Bears game.
It seems that the only real reason to get out an vote these days is the war on terror. At least the Republicans will fight. And so, I guess my vote is decided. All I can do at this point is to make clear that my vote comes in spite of the House GOP's obstinancy and disingenuous maneuvering on immigration, despite the poor treatment of the UAE (a valuable ally in the war on terror), and despite the fact that the House Republicans have done little to be proud of.