Both the NYT opinion pieces for tomorrow deal with religion and Republican attitudes towards science. I’ll tell you now, get it over, that I actually agree with Chunky Bobo here:
Finally, journalists should remember that Republican politicians have usually been far more adept at mobilizing their religious constituents than those constituents have been at claiming any sort of political “dominion.” George W. Bush rallied evangelical voters in 2004 with his support for the Federal Marriage Amendment, and then dropped the gay marriage issue almost completely in his second term. Perry knows how to stroke the egos of Texas preachers, but he was listening to pharmaceutical lobbyists, not religious conservatives, when he signed an executive order mandating S.T.D. vaccinations for Texas teenagers.
Teh Jeebus is a shell game politically, at least at the national level. The biggest issue is reproductive rights and they’ll never overturn Roe v. Wade. If they did, that would be the end of the Republican party as it currently exists, because Republicans would have to fish or cut bait, outlaw abortion everywhere (and lose upper-middle-class pro-choice women) or punt (and lose their stranglehold on anti-choice voters).
On the other hand, reproductive rights is still a winning issue for Republicans in general elections, because a lot of pro-choice voters think reproductive rights are safe, whereas the anti-choicers think that if they get one more Supreme Court justice…
Teh gay is not a winning issues in a general national election anymore. I suspect (I’d have to think/read more to know for sure) being anti-science is mostly a losing proposition in a general national election now. But if Perry wins the Republican nomination partly by being more anti-science than Romney — and I suspect that he will — then one way or another Paul Krugman is probably right:
[T]he odds are that one of these years the world’s greatest nation will find itself ruled by a party that is aggressively anti-science, indeed anti-knowledge.
The anti-science stuff may be half-hearted but when you say things for long enough, you start to believe them. I see the Republican base getting more and more Medieval on all of our asses and I see the media going along with all of it in the interest of fairness and balance.