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Graciously conceding the point, Gilgoff usefully notes that what’s sauce for the conservative goose is sauce for the liberal gander; namely, that Democratic allies like MoveOn also play the game of threatening to abandon their own when they really have no place else to go. In both cases, the rest of us do well not to mistake a political gambit for real disaffection. But it’s also important to resist the standard journalistic temptation to demonstrate fairness by always portraying such issues in symmetrical terms.

From the outset (see: National Affairs Briefing, 1980), the national religious right has been hooked into Republican Party mobilization strategy; for all its ups and downs, it has always been geared towards gaining and holding white evangelicals (and sometimes other religious conservatives) for the GOP. And yet it has capitalized on the illusion that it is an independent social movement–not least through the attention paid to its occasional emissions of Republican criticism. By contrast, the progressive religious organizations mentioned by Dan (Faith in Public Life, Catholics United) are so much younger and less consequential that it’s hard to know what they add up to yet. So, sure, it will be interesting to see how they react when disappointed by Obama and the congressional D’s. Let’s just be wary of portraying them as the left-wing counterparts of Focus, Traditional Values, etc. etc.