"The signs are numerous, but it's still easy to miss the big picture: that the GOP now is best understood as the American Faith Party (AFP) and its members as conservative Judeo-Christian-Mormon Republicans. The basement of St. Peter's is just one clubhouse.
" 'There has never been anything like it in our history,' said Princeton historian Sean Wilentz. 'God's Own Party' now really is just that'.
. . .
"The American Faith Party is a doctrinally schizophrenic coalition bound by faith in the power of biblical values to create a better country; by fear of federal power, especially that of the federal courts and President Barack Obama and his administration; and by fear of rising Islamic political power around the world.
"The AFP unites Catholic traditionalists who especially revere the papal hierarchy; evangelical, fundamentalist and charismatic Protestants; some strands of Judaism, including those ultra-orthodox on social issues and Jews for whom an Israel with biblical borders and a capital in Jerusalem is a spiritual imperative, not just a matter of diplomatic balance in the Middle East; and Mormons, who ironically aren't regarded as Christians by most other members of the coalition. Romney, a devout Mormon, is their man.
"The four still-standing Republican presidential candidates are all AFP members in good standing on most of the party's key agenda items. The GOP platform is sure to feature all of them, including opposition to [legal] abortion and gay marriage; measures to counter what Republicans regard as attacks on religious liberty [sic]; expressions of fear about the extent of federal power, especially from the courts, on social and medical issues; libertarian economic policies that limit regulation and taxes (for religious conservatives and economic libertarians share a common enemy: government); denunciations of Islamic political power; and support for Israel. (Ron Paul is a dissenter on the last two points.)
"All the candidates, including Paul, adhere to the AFP's central operational tenet: that professing your own faith -- once verboten in American politics -- is a necessary precondition to being taken seriously.
"In the American Faith Party, in other words, every day begins with a prayer breakfast, a public ritual that used to occur only once a year."
In this book, I refer to the next stage of development of the Republican Party, going into the (projected) election of "2004," as the "Republican-Christian Alliance" (see chapter six). According to Mr. Fineman, it now exists in reality.