The Christian Science Monitor

Tea party groups push GOP to quit culture wars, focus on deficit
The Christian Science Monitor

Representatives of the loosely organized tea party movement urged GOP leaders in a letter released Monday to abandon their fronts in the culture wars – issues such as gay marriage, school prayer, and abortion – and instead focus their new electoral power on individual liberties and « economic freedoms. »

The letter, signed by 16 tea party groups and a conservative gay organization, points to an emerging rift between the tea party movement and the GOP, which still counts social conservatives seeking « moral government » as a key constituency.

The signatories, ranging from conservative commentator Tammy Bruce to local tea party group leaders, say the key lesson the GOP should draw from the election is that Americans are concerned chiefly about taxes and the size of government, not their neighbors’ lifestyle choices or personal decisions.

The letter, sent to presumptive House Speaker John Boehner and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, tackles the rift between small-government conservatives and those who might see the Republicans’ Election Day victory as a mandate to legislate morality on issues such as gay marriage and abortion.