Former Sen. Rick Santorum at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington this past weekend (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
After this weekend's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), it's clear that social conservatism is still in the driver's seat of the Republican Party.
Given the recent rash of draconian anti-abortion legislation and state-based attempts to roll back gay rights, you can be forgiven if you don't see this as news. But last year, it was common -- among pundits, at least -- to assert that this was a new kind of conservative movement. The Tea Party was most vocal about fiscal issues, and the Republican Party was consumed with demonizing the president's economic agenda: Stimulus, bailouts and health care were the enemies; gay rights and abortion were an afterthought. Values were out, and concern for government spending was in.