Indeed, the Los Angeles Times offers something of a correction tonight, "Social Conservatives Put Religious Twist on 'Tea Party' Message":
For most of a year, the small-government advocates of the "tea party" movement have stolen the spotlight from the Republican Party's veteran performers: the Christian conservatives who have long driven voters to the polls for the GOP.LAT has its own source credibility problems (i.e., Grover Norquist, cited therein, is not to be trusted), but the overall thrust of the article is accurate, and -- amazingly enough -- even some hardline secularist airheads aren't quite fooled by the faux tea party/conservative splinter meme.
Now the veterans are stealing the tea partyers lines.
In news releases, mission statements and interviews, prominent social conservatives increasingly are using the small-government rhetoric popular with the tea party activists and long used by economic conservatives -- but with a religious bent.
Their websites explore the morality of debt and the risks to religious freedom posed by growing government. Like the tea party activists, they reverently invoke the Founding Fathers, but emphasize the role the founders' faith played in their writings.
The rhetorical shift is evidence of the potency of government growth as the galvanizing issue on the right. While economic and social conservatives have a history of tensions, many conservatives see the unified opposition to President Obama's healthcare plan and stimulus spending as an opportunity to strengthen the bridge between the two camps before the November elections.
Moral clarity deeply encompasses economic liberty, but also so much more. With that in mind, the sooner this dirtbag moral train wreck of an administration is dumped down the gutter, the better.