Who Can Bridge the GOP’s God Gap?

A reader, Mark G, responds to God-o-Meter’s New York Daily News piece about the growing God Gap between religious conservatives and the more secular establishment of the Republican Party:

This post does not provide any solid reason to think the gap between Wall Street Republicans and evangelical/social conservative Republicans is growing. The gap has always been there; Noonan and Will have been criticizing the religious right folks for as long as I can remember.
When the team is winning, both camps are happy and keep their differences more under wraps. When it looks like losing, both camps want to pin the blame on the other.


Good point. The GOP’s God Gap has existed at least since the rise of the Religious Right in the late 1970s. But the party is having a very hard time finding national figures who bridge that gap rather than exacerbate it.
George W. Bush was such a natural at bridging the gap that he made it look easy. But when Mitt Romney tried to do it earlier this year, he wound up earning distrust from both sides of the GOP, from religious conservatives and the secular establishment.
And most of the parties other national figures fall clearly on one side of the gap or the other, unable to unify the party.
McCain falls on the establishment side. Sarah Palin on the religious side.
Rudy Giuliani falls on the establishment side. Mike Huckabee on the religious side.
Who can the Republicans run four years from now who will be able to bridge the divide?


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Mark G

posted October 28, 2008 at 8:52 am

Dead on.
So far, the current President Bush is the only R. candidate with firm credentials as both a “mainline” Rebublican and a religious conservative. Reagan was a movement conservative willing to pay toll to Jerry Falwell. Bush I was an old establishment R., a bit less willing to do so. So, the usual formula is some brand of mainstream R. who is willing to pay lip service to the religious right. McCain has in the past been less willing to pay that lip service, and folks like Dobson got the message loud and clear.
I see Palin as an interesting inversion of the formula — primarily a religious/social conservative who is trying to make herself palatable to the more secular mainstream. Thus, in Alaska, her top priority was not a crusade against abortion, but the gas pipeline.
Who will the R’s run four years from now? I can’t think of one person I would be enthusiastic about. Then again, who will the D’s run in the unlikely even Obama loses? Edwards is toast. Biden?? Hilary again?

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posted November 2, 2008 at 12:19 am

Bush is not a mainline republican at all. His spending is way way liberal. A real republican would cut government spending. W increased it to record levels.

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