This is a passage from a piece Ed Kilgore did today at TPMCafe ...
This appointment represents the giant balloon payment at the end of the mortgage the GOP signed with the Cultural Right at least 25 years ago. Social conservatives have agreed over and over again to missed payments, refinancings, and in their view, generous terms, but the balance is finally due, and if Bush doesn't pay up, they'll foreclose their entire alliance with the Republican Party.
Sure, they care about other issues, from gay marriage to taxes to Iraq, but abortion is the issue that makes most Cultural Right activists get up in the morning and stuff envelopes and staff phone banks for the GOP. And for decades now, Republicans have told them they can't do anything much about it until they can change the Supreme Court. With a pro-choice Justice stepping down, the subject can no longer be avoided. And thanks to the Souter precedent (and indeed, the O'Connor and Kennedy precedents), there's no way Bush can finesse an appointment that's anything less than a guaranteed vote to overturn Roe.
This is no great day for Dems. <$NoAd$>And I'm not sure Bush really cares. But this is a tricky day for the institutional Republican party too. Not the wingruts -- happy days are here again for them, or whatever the culturally-appropriate metaphor might be. But for the folks who run for election in big expanses of the country, not a good day.
Like Ed says, the bill's come due.