Well, they’ll never completely go away (sadly) but Frank Rich’s Sunday column does a good job of going through the culture war b.s. that’s supposed to whip people into a frenzy but doesn’t anymore.
In our own hard times, the former moral “majority” has been downsized to more of a minority than ever. Polling shows that nearly 60 percent of Americans agree with ending Bush restrictions on stem-cell research (a Washington Post/ABC News survey in January); that 55 percent endorse either gay civil unions or same-sex marriage (Newsweek, December 2008); and that 75 percent believe openly gay Americans should serve in the military (Post/ABC, July 2008). Even the old indecency wars have subsided. When a federal court last year struck down the F.C.C. fine against CBS for Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” at the 2004 Super Bowl, few Americans either noticed or cared about the latest twist in what had once been a national cause célèbre.
Without people being driven to outrage over that kind of swill, the Republican party has very little tools in its arsenal to get people out to vote.