I said yesterday (on Twitter) that I was done with politics. I don’t think that’s possible because it’s still interesting, but I don’t want to be continually irritated by it the way I am after five seconds of hearing Sarah Palin talk. But my book, after all, is about the Christian right coming to power and doing everything the true lunatics want to do, and this type of Christian conservative is now coming to power. I just still have faith that Americans are smart enough to never make a Palin/Bachmann/O’Donnell president.
But if we’re going to take the sci-fi long view: the Republican base owns the Republican party so if the Tea Party movement keeps going, it’s going to “purify” rational conservatives out of the party. At some point, this type of right wing derangement will seem almost normal, as it will be so common, and one of these candidates will be voted into a position of high power. Then – BOOM – the Book of Revelation comes to life. Still a sci-fi story at this point, so I’ll still cling to my faith that this country can be rational.
Meanwhile: Christine O’Donnell’s Jesus Squad
A beneficiary of both tea party anger and religious right fervor, O’Donnell represents the potential overlap between Christian conservatives and anti-government activists. She’s building this coalition just as the religious right’s old power players are trying to ride the coattails of the tea party back into the spotlight. At his Faith and Freedom conference in Washington last week, former Christian Coalition director Ralph Reed attempted to cast small-government conservatism as an extension of God’s will. As my colleague Stephanie Mencimer reported, national tea party leaders like Mark Meckler are harping on the “removal of God from the public square,” suggesting a possible marriage between the two movements. Sarah Palin, beloved by tea partiers and Christian conservatives alike, has laid the groundwork for this union to happen—as has Glenn Beck at his overtly religious rally at the Lincoln Memorial last month.