WASHINGTON, May 13 — Some of President Bush's most influential conservative Christian allies are becoming openly critical of the White House and Republicans in Congress, warning that they will withhold their support in the midterm elections unless Congress does more to oppose same-sex marriage, obscenity and abortion.
"There is a growing feeling among conservatives that the only way to cure the problem is for Republicans to lose the Congressional elections this fall," said Richard Viguerie, a conservative direct-mail pioneer.
Mr. Viguerie also cited dissatisfaction with government spending, the war in Iraq and the immigration-policy debate, which Mr. Bush is scheduled to address in a televised speech on Monday night.
"I can't tell you how much anger there is at the Republican leadership," Mr. Viguerie said. "I have never seen anything like it."
In the last several weeks, Dr. James C. Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family and one of the most influential Christian conservatives, has publicly accused Republican leaders of betraying the social conservatives who helped elect them in 2004. He has also warned in private meetings with about a dozen of the top Republicans in Washington that he may turn critic this fall unless the party delivers on conservative goals.
First of all, let's be clear: there is no way these radical Christianists are going to leave the Republican party- they are one and the same by and large, especially where these groups hold political dominance.
Rather, this is a call to "rally the base," and to do it by a very odd kind of bribery/extortion: clowns like Dobson are basically telling their sheep to watch for politicians pandering to them, after which point inevitably a) Republicans will indeed pander to them, and b) the Dobsons will bless Republican voting - as they have for years now.
In fact this same scenario has gone on for years now. People should be used to it by now. Even the Times took note of it:
Christian conservative leaders have often threatened in the months before an election to withhold their support for Republicans in an effort to press for their legislative goals. In the 1990's, Dr. Dobson in particular became known for his jeremiads against the Republican party, most notably in the months before the 1998 midterm elections.