The Republican Party is hanging by a thread.
As a long overdue, all-out civil war erupts, and the grassroots mounts an unprecedented effort to unseat many party establishment figures in the primaries, nobody in the GOP seems satisfied with the status quo. The ruling class is having a typical ruling class reaction to the insurgency—sneering condescension. Meanwhile, the grassroots wants the ruling class to go at all costs. Both sides are like a dysfunctional marriage that claims they’re nobly staying together for the kids, which usually means they’re only sticking around until a better deal comes along.
The establishment showed in last year’s Virginia governor’s race they’ll side with Democrats if they don’t get their way in the primary. At the same, as the grassroots watches GOP leadership betray them almost every day that ends in “y,” fewer and fewer of them are lamenting Mitt Romney’s loss in the 2012 election. Instead, they’re starting to think he would’ve just treated them the same shoddy way John Boehner and Ditch McConnell do, with scorn and contempt.
But while the party seems besieged on every side, there is one issue in particular that threatens to undo it once and for all. Because this issue is an existential threat to the base of the Republican Party its leadership seems to loathe every bit as much as the Left does.
That issue is the intersection of the sexual revolution and religious liberty.
Much of the Republican Party base remains God-fearing, salt-of-the-earth patriots who likely attend some form of an orthodox Judeo-Christian worship service on a regular basis. They represent the demographic that made the Reagan Revolution possible. Prior to the formation of what became known as the “Religious Right,” the GOP was largely a northeastern WASP minority party of country club Republicans. After Eisenhower left office the party wandered in the desert until Nixon upset Humphrey in 1968, but Nixon’s later fall from grace left the party circling the drain. It couldn’t even beat a peanut farmer for president.