Cutting government doesn't mean the economy will fail, being that it's partly the government that is responsible for the economic woes in the first place. The government needs to rein in borrowing and spending, reducing the size of it and removing various departments will reduce spending & costs. The coalition government here has closed various departments or merged those that they felt they didn't really need anymore and were costing money with little in return. It's more likely the Republicans have just lost the plot and genuinely want to turn away from enlightenment because those are the only voters they can get. Any "intellectual" voter they think will vote Democrat so they target the other side of the voting public by playing the ignorant religous nutcase card in the hope it will get them votes. After all, being a moron worked for GWB.