Split on Social Issues, GOP Focuses on Fiscal Platform

“One of the most striking characteristics about the political climate in the months since Mr. Obama’s re-election is that on issue after issue, it is no longer entirely clear what it means to be a Republican. The party is more divided than ever on domestic policy, and a debate is breaking out over how best to invigorate the conservative movement.” -NYT

G.O.P. Clings to One Thing It Agrees On: Spending Cuts

By Richard W. Stevenson, New York Times (03/03/2013)— Conservative governors are signing on to provisions of what they once derisively dismissed as Obamacare. Prominent Senate Republicans are taking positions on immigration that would have gotten the party’s presidential candidates hooted off the debate stage during last year’s primaries.

Same-sex marriage has gone from being a reliable motivator for the conservative base to gaining broad acceptance.

Republican lawmakers are so fearful of social issues, in fact, that House leaders ignored intense objections from conservatives last week and allowed the passage of Democratic legislation on domestic and sexual violence against women.

All of which helps explain why Speaker John A. Boehner and Congressional Republicans have been so intent on facing down President Obama in their budget dispute. Aware that conservatives could never accept a second round of tax increases this year — and that compromising with Mr. Obama on his terms would lead to party divisions far deeper than those that have emerged so far — Republicans judged that the better course was to take on the economic and political risks associated with the automatic spending cuts that took effect on Friday. [MORE]