Andrew Sullivan, the conservative heretic, sizes up the candidacies of the two GOP front-runners:
One launched his campaign in a revival meeting calling for God to solve our economic problems (having previously led mass prayers for the end of the Texas drought); the other emerges entirely out of Dominionist theology and built her entire career in the Christianist world of home-schooling, and anti-gay demonization. One reason Mitt Romney is not a shoo-in? Sectarianism, and his own previous deviations from binding orthodoxy. And it is this fundamentalist mindset - in which nothing doctrinal can be questioned, and the real world must be bent to the shape of a rigid theo-ideology - that defines these two candidates.
This is what the GOP has become, adds Sullivan:
a religious movement clothed in anti-government radicalism. It has nothing to do with the conservative temperament, conservative political thought or conservative ideas. It is hostile to most existing institutions, especially government, contemptuous of the courts, and seized of an ideology as rigid as any far-left liberalism, as utopian as any wide-eyed socialist, as fanatical as anything the left spawned in the 1960s. And it has hijacked an entire political party; and recently held to ransom an entire country. I knew it would get worse before it gets better. But this bad?
There is an upside for Obama and Democrats, of course. If either Bachmann or Perry goes on to become the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, Independents will run in terror from them.