Battle lines are being drawn with social issues like gay marriage, domestic partnerships, abortion, sex education, embryonic stem cell research and funding for such programs in legislatures across this country.
While social issues were minimal in importance compared to the economy with voters in the 2010 midterm elections, the political climate is now ripe for the extremist theocratic wing of the Republican party to try to inflict their prudish, superstitious, sexist, homophobic agenda and try to reverse policies and programs now in place with states.
No same-sex marriage statewide ballot appeared in the 2010 midterm elections, which was usually a Republican trick to get their Religious Right base to get out the vote.
It was generally about the economy and sordid negative ads funded by the Koch Brothers, questionable funds linked with the Chamber of Commerce and millions of dollars into states from outside forces that didn’t have to release where the money has come from. The strategy worked since much of the Democratic base stayed home on Election Day.
Now, many Republicans who mostly ran on economic issues and won now are showing their true colors as extremist theocrats. The battle to stop them from having states going backwards into the 19th Century will be up to those who are willing to do the grassroots work to repel their agenda.
Scott Walker is making national news not only his uncouth unscholarliness toward the Rail Project, but also as one of the governors who appear to be wanting to lockstep with the Religious Right:
In Wisconsin, Governor-elect Scott Walker (R) has said he opposes the state’s expansion earlier this year of a program that provides free birth control to low-income people and youth as young as 15. His agenda will be helped along by the legislature, which will now be controlled by Republicans.
Abortion foes say they expect several states where Republicans made significant gains to consider barring, under the new federal health-care overhaul, some private insurance companies from covering abortions as part of their routine plans. So far, Arizona, Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee and Louisiana have passed such legislation.
“Ninety percent of pro-life legislation happens at the state level, so the landscape change that we have now is huge,” said Daniel McConchie, vice president of governmental affairs at Americans United for Life, an antiabortion group.
Much time will be wasted in legislatures across the country appealing to the extremist Republican base while meaningful, responsible economic legislation is given a back seat. It’s this kind of overstepping that will make for a possible reversal of fortune for the theocrats in 2012.