You’re only a Republican if…

Right-wing groups bent on keeping the Republican party all to themselves are applauding the GOP platform committee’s passage of a plank that would endorse not only the Federal Marriage Amendment, but also oppose any government recognition of same-sex couples.

The party that billed itself a “big tent” party during the 2000 election has taken on a decidedly divisive edge as the election comes closer. Traditional Values Coalition matron Andrea Lafferty dismissed anyone who opposed the plank as “RINOs” – Republicans in Name Only, according to the Associated Press. Lafferty went on to admonish her faithful not to be “distracted by Schwarzenegger or Giuliani or even the vice president,” for it’s only what Bush says that matters, and ostensibly what Bush says will be in line with the TVC’s values.

Both the right-wing and party moderates believe that the President can’t win without them. There’s an opportunity cost to be considered here, however. If the Bush campaign panders too much to the right, he could lose moderates to Kerry; the right-wing, on the other hand, doesn’t have many other options but to vote for the President – even if Bush gives a nod (gasp!) to party moderates.

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