This weekend in Washington, organizers of the fifth-annual Values Voter Summit gave attendees from the Christian Right a primer on their new conservative counterparts, the Tea Partiers. The goal? To assuage any concerns that the Tea Parties, with their razor-sharp focus on fiscal issues, are at odds with traditional social conservatism. Among the three-day summit’s events was a presentation entitled “Who are the Tea Party and Christian Voters and What Do They Believe?”; another called “We the People: The Tea Party’s Place in American Politics”; and a get-out-the-vote seminar, led by an operative for the Tea Party Patriots. One by one, big-name Republican politicians—Mike Huckabee, Mike Pence, and Michele Bachmann, to name a few—assured the more than 2,000 people gathered for the summit that Tea Party values are not in conflict with the agenda of the Christian Right. Tea Party kingmaker Jim DeMint declared, “You cannot be a true fiscal conservative if you don’t have a culture based on values.” And Christine O’Donnell, the quintessential values-veteran-cum-Tea-Party-enthusiast, said of the rise of the new conservative grassroots, “Those who had toiled for years in the values movement suddenly found ourselves surrounded by Americans who had found the most important value of all: liberty.”

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