"Some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn." Alfred Pennyworth - The Dark Knight
That pretty much sums up dealing with religious fundamentalists and hardline political ideologists. Whether it is the Tea Party, Christian Dominionists/Reconstructionists, Al-Qaeda or the Taliban; you are not dealing with rational, sane people who can be negotiated with. These are people who make demand, after demand, after demand and then still execute the hostage once it is over. They are not motivated by money, they are motivated by the looney idea that they are on a mission from God and only the complete destruction of the enemy is an acceptable conclusion to the crusade. Like a Viking berserker, folks like Rick Santorum set off political rampages that have the end goal of installing theocracy, dismantling the parts of the Constitution they don't like and replacing it with their strict (and surprisingly inconsistent) interpretation of the Bible. The only real difference between them and the Taliban is one wears sweater vests, the others wear suicide vests.
These are the people responsible for grabbing the wheel of the GOP bus every election year for the past 3 decades and steering it as hard to the right as they possibly can. The mistake the GOP and Wall Street made in 2010 is letting them drive, thinking they could be controlled and making concessions to them. They played to the hard right like never before last cycle because they knew they had to in order to get their votes. Evangelicals and fundamentalists had been repeatedly given just token pieces of anti-abortion legislation and if they weren't given what they wanted this time around, they were going to walk and take their Tea Party with them.
I remember standing on the floor of the Virginia state GOP convention in 1993 and listening to the likes of Ralph Reed and Michael Farris thunder on about how we were a "Christian nation", while watching the homeschool lobby act like we were at a Pentecostal service. Even "middle of the road" candidates (by evangelical standards) like George Allen or Oliver North knew they had to at least pay lip service to the attendees who showed up in their 15 passenger family vans and raised their hands towards the sky like God was going to handpick the nominee right there and then. This isn't a group that can be usually bought off with earmarks, special considerations, or anything like that. They want the end of government as we know it. They want a "Christian" version of Afghanistan under Taliban rule. They would have their own version of the "morality police" to ensure that only married heterosexual couples were having sex and probably only for the purposes of procreation.
I know it sounds nutty to some people but if you've been behind the lines, which I was up until around the age of 17, you know exactly what I'm talking about. I know the inner workings, I know the unwavering faith that these useful idiots have that they are doing what God wants. And if they don't get what they want, they'll be happy to watch the world burn.