There's been a few of these around, but conservative columnist Kathleen Parker's WaPo column on why the GOP should turn its back on the religious right is good reading:
As Republicans sort out the reasons for their defeat, they likely will overlook or dismiss the gorilla in the pulpit.
Three little letters, great big problem: G-O-D.
I'm bathing in holy water as I type.
To be more specific, the evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP is what ails the erstwhile conservative party and will continue to afflict and marginalize its constituents if reckoning doesn't soon cometh.
Simply put: Armband religion is killing the Republican Party. And, the truth — as long as we're setting ourselves free — is that if one were to eavesdrop on private conversations among the party intelligentsia, one would hear precisely that.
The choir has become absurdly off-key, and many Republicans know it….
…[T]he GOP has surrendered its high ground to its lowest brows. In the process, the party has alienated its non-base constituents, including other people of faith (those who prefer a more private approach to worship), as well as secularists and conservative-leaning Democrats who otherwise might be tempted to cross the aisle.
Here's the deal, 'pubbies: Howard Dean was right.
It isn't that culture doesn't matter. It does. But preaching to the choir produces no converts. And shifting demographics suggest that the Republican Party — and conservatism with it — eventually will die out unless religion is returned to the privacy of one's heart where it belongs…
Suffice it to say, the Republican Party is largely comprised of white, married Christians. Anyone watching the two conventions last summer can't have missed the stark differences: One party was brimming with energy, youth and diversity; the other felt like an annual Depends sales meeting.
Ouch. That's gonna leave a mark.
She has some choice words for Palin too, praying to God that Palin, for the sake of the GOP future, falls off the political map.
As a Democrat, I hope Parker's prayers go unanswered. Nothing would please me more than the Republican Party, headed by Palin, continuing to embrace the far (religious) right for the next several election cycles.
Naturally, the so-called "base" isn't happy with Kathleen Parker's editorial. Over at Townhall, they starkly state "she's wrong", adding that:
John McCain and the Republicans didn't lose because of the religiosity of some of the party's base. They lost because Barack Obama managed to lure millions of religious voters away from the GOP — in no small part by emphasizing his personal faith in God.
Curiously, the link they provide tends to support Parker's thesis.
Over at NRO's The Corner, increasingly becoming irrelevant in political discourse because of its embrace of the religious right, editor Katherine Lopez offers her retort, amounting to nothing more than "I love Kathleen, but she's stupid and possibly influence by her new boyfriend".
I suspect Kathleen Parker's email box will be flooded with religious right wing attacks, ironically proving her point.