Georgia is one of the best, most politically astute writers over at Kos but I think she misses a big part of the Mullah Dobson grandstanding described on the front page of the New York Times. When she writes
Now, the base will feel that intimidation. Rove will demonize the alternative (that alternative being a Democratic Congress) and will try to scare the radical right into voting Republican--or else.
What is clear from watching this love-hate relationship between the Republican leadership and the radical right is that Dobson and the rest of his cabal are finally realizing they were punk'd. They were used, they were manipulated, and now they can either fall for the same prank again or stay home.
She is making the assumption that the radical religious right isn't politically savvy enough to understand they're being played. I guess that's possible. They certainly haven't played great politics since last year's Schiavo disaster. Up to that point they'd shown a little more discretion in letting their radicalism become the story realizing their religious views are pretty scary stuff to most Americans.
But it seems to me that Dobson has also demonstrated a good understanding of political strategy in the past and it's just as likely that he's strategically positioning himself for a loss. Dobson can read the polls and the over/under and sees the likely loss of the House to the Democrats this Fall. He's not threatening Republicans to push for his positions if they want to win. He's setting himself up to say "I told you so" once Republicans take some losses.
He's setting Republicans up to ask themselves if they lost because they weren't radical enough. Scary, huh?