Conservatives to GOP: You ain’t getting the job done

Religious conservatives voiced frustration on Friday with Republican Party leaders and their failure to push key social initiatives through the U.S. Congress and said it could hurt voter turnout in November’s elections.

At a "Values Voters Summit" sponsored by leading religious conservative groups, some activists said President George W. Bush and Republican leaders showed too much pragmatism and too little concern for issues like abortion, immigration and banning gay marriage.

"There is no question people are frustrated with the Republican Party. The message it sends is: ‘We don’t care where you stand, we just want you to be a Republican,’" said Phil Burress, president of the Ohio-based Citizens for Community Values.

Burress was a leader in the state’s 2004 fight for a ballot initiative banning gay marriage, credited with helping turn out conservative support for Bush. He said he was not sure religious conservatives would turn out with the same vigor in 2006.

"There is a big number who may not show up to vote," he said.

Social and religious conservatives are a crucial Republican voting bloc as the party battles to keep control of Congress in November’s elections. Bolstering their turnout has been a top concern for the White House.

"In the next weeks before the election they are going to realize that if they want to mobilize the conservative social values base they are going to have to keep our issues on the agenda and not just pay lip service," said Chris Slattery, an anti-abortion activist from New York.

"There is some sense the people’s priorities haven’t necessarily been Washington’s priorities. There is frustration," said Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, one of a handful of potential 2008 Republican White House candidates who addressed the gathering.

Also speaking at the conference were Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Virginia Sen. George Allen.

Speaking on Saturday will be Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Allen and Santorum face tough re-election fights in November.

"People who are tired of K Street corruption and Wall Street greed are ready for some old-fashioned Main Street values," Huckabee said in a reference to the corridors of political and financial power in Washington and New York.

Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council, said Republican congressional leaders had rallied spirits with a summer agenda that featured issues like immigration, stem cell research and parental notification laws on abortion.

"It’s brought back some trust and confidence in the leadership," Perkins said, although he acknowledged, "I don’t think the enthusiasm is at the level it was in 2004."

Mentions of Bush and his leadership drew cheers from the crowd, but several attendees said the president could have done more for their movement.

"It would have been nice to see that bully pulpit used more … on same-sex marriage and issues of life," said Thomas McClusky, vice president for government affairs at the Family Research Council.

© Reuters 2006


  1. keith

    It now appears that even the far right “Theocrats” are beginning to realize just how totally corrupt the “Republicrats” have become. But, simply throwing the Republicans out of office in favor of the Democrats come November won’t really make any difference because it will simply exchange one form of corruption (and power-hungry slate of political hacks) for another.

    Sadly, the “Rebublicrats” have brainwashed most of us into thinking we have no other choice at election time but to vote for one or the other of their ever-more out-of-touch political candidates. But what’s even more upsetting is that the two mainstream political parties have also now corrupted the money raising and “getting on the ballot” game in most States so that no other candidates from any other political stripe need apply.

    Fortunately, there’s a growing number of citizens like me who are increasingly fed up with BOTH mainstream political parties because far too many of their candidates are hopelessly corrupt, morally bankrupt and more than worthy of jail time. And, all the while we continue to vote for the “lesser of two evils” come election time, we’re just going to keep on exchanging one form of political corruption for another.

    Fortunately, the Republicrat’s “stack the ballot” game only works so long as we, the people, continue to buy into it. Thankfully, we still have choices at the ballot box come general election time in the only “poll” that really matters. It’s called a “write in” And, it’s going to take an absolutely massive write-in campaign to completely remove the corrupt influence of the “Republicrats” from office once and for all.

    The longest journey begins with the first step. Do your homework, people! There ARE worthy alternatives to the corrupt clowns now running our country into the ground! In the upcoming general election, make your vote REALLY count by sending a strong message to BOTH mainstream political parties that you are absolutely fed up with their closed electoral practices, obvious collusion and blatant corruption!

  2. Sandy Price

    You are not alone Keith! My votes will be against the Social Conservatives who want only a Theocracy in D.C. and toss out the Constitution. Once we can rid the government of these awful men we might be able to come up with a strong candidate for freedom or even a third party. I’m taking it one step at a time.

    The Social Conservative Congressmen and women have gotten us into a terribly illegal war where our own service men’s deaths now equal the number of Americans lost on 911.

    But they can always cheer the fact that hundreds of thousands of Muslims have been killed. Let’s hear it for the Christian God!!!

    If we maintain these fools in power in November then we deserve to lose the whole war on terror. It will become the Crusade of the millennium and America will be the bad guys in the hearts and minds of all others on this planet.

    But first, of course we must prohibit same sex marriages and stop this silly healing by stem cells. We must never allow an American citizen to want to end their own lives when they can no longer tolerate the pain.

    These Social Conservatives will show the rest of us how we must live under their particular God.

  3. Linda

    Those Social Conservatives who got us into this “terribly illegal war” couldn’t have done it without the Democrats. When it comes to imperialism and servility to Israel, the two parties are one.