Because moderates are afraid of theocracy. Republicans don’t want to go on record talking about how the Constitution actually does not prevent Delaware from becoming officially Catholic. It doesn’t. The 1A establishment clause is in there to allow Delaware to be officially Catholic. Politicians should know this. But they know that voters don’t want to worry about Christine O’Donnell turning Delaware into an officially Catholic state. Something about extreme or something. Also something about “getting off message”. Stopping Obama from doing more terrible things. Taxes. Jobs. These are the things that the Republican candidates want to be talking about because these are the things they think are going to get them votes.
Republicans don’t really want to run under the banner of “we can institute a theocracy state by state if we overturn the Everson line of cases, but we won’t”.
Almost no one on either side of this debate seems to have any clue at all. I’m 100% for Christine for the win - donated to her again yesterday - and she did get it right in the debate - but her answers to nat’l review about free exercise after the debate were wrong. That’s ok, she didn’t go to Yale Law, but the idea that schools can teach creationism because of the free exercise clause is wrong.
Amid all the argument over semantics and what is and is not an appropriate short hand for the rights guaranteed under the 1st Amendment (both Madison and Jefferson seemed to think that the 1st was necessary as a “wall” (Jefferson) or as “perfect separation” (Madison) between Church and State) - is lost that VERY salient point.
It can't be too much to expect the GOP to at least try to stop them by correcting their misinterpretations.