http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews/ynews_ts1244Is the Tea Party insurgency fueling discontent on the evangelical right? The small-government grass-roots movement, determined to halt tax cuts and health care reform, is increasingly at odds with the family-values flank of the GOP, which stresses hot-button cultural issues such as abortion and gay marriage. As Politico's Ben Smith reported Friday, evangelical leaders on the right are dismayed by what they see as neglect of the social conservative agenda among the libertarian-leaning Tea Partiers. And prominent politicians who've historically been friendly to social conservative causes, like South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, are now moving to align themselves with the Tea Party, much to the chagrin of some within the GOP.
Certainly Tea Party strategists aren't doing much to calm the worries of the culture warriors. As Smith notes, a grass-roots group called the Tea Party Patriots is pushing for a revised version of the Contract With America, which helped Republicans to take control of Congress in 1994. The group has set up a website where visitors can select 10 issues they'd like to see included in the new "Contract From America." The ballot includes 21 issues—with abortion, gay marriage and other hot-button culture-war issues nowhere to be found. "They're free to do it, but they can't say [the new contract] represents America," Family Research Council President Tony Perkins told Politico. "If they do it they're lying."
Interesting article. The Tea Party movement is still pretty amorphous, but there's no doubt that a good chunk of it is libertarian-leaning. I think in the end, they'll unite with religious conservatives against the Democrat's ill-conceived big government agenda in the short term. What happens to the movement in the long term is more of a mystery.