The Family Research Council ratchets up its threats against President Bush’s new 2004 campaign chief, Marc Racicot.

In today’s Washington Update, FRC president Ken Connor asks, “Is Bush Campaign Chief Fit for the Job?”

Marc Racicot is so out-of-touch with George W. Bush’s most loyal and committed voters that his qualifications to serve as chairman of the president’s re-lection [sic] campaign must be seriously questioned.

This act of brazen disloyalty to the GOP presidential campaign is the latest in a series of incidents in which the religious right adopted a public “do-as-we-say-or-else” approach to the Republican Party.

A recent Gallup poll offers the religious right no comfort in its growing isolation and financial distress.

The same poll may offer the GOP leadership some cover as it seeks to accommodate, in small and mostly symbolic ways, gays and moderate middle Americans who are turned off by the religious right’s culture war. This perception of middle America seems to be shared by Washington journalist Morton Kondracke in a column copied and distributed by FRC in its update. (Roll Call subscribers can read the column here.)

FRC’s Connor continues:

Asked to explain why religious conservatives inveigh against the gay and lesbian agenda,
Mr. Racicot said, “They probably don’t know gay people. People fear to educate them. [They have] their own fear and lots of misinformation and disinformation, which some do for political expediency.”

Racicot’s remarks are outrageous.

Mr. Racicot alleges that “religious conservatives” oppose the homosexual political agenda solely out of fear, ignorance or, worse, political expediency.

FRC makes no effort to analyze the decision to move Racicot from the top job at the Republican National Committee to the head of the Bush campaign.

Instead, FRC discredits itself by calling the North American Man-Boy Love Association a “major, well-known political advocacy” organization and by associating it with gay Republicans.

Perhaps the Family Research Council should just rename itself the Self-Immolation Council.

As the Racicot and Santorum controversies demonstrate, a battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party on the issues of marriage and family is underway.

According to Gallup, that battle may be between a somewhat tolerant middle America that includes some conservative Christians, and politically and financially motivated fundamentalists.

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