updated 10/19/2005 10:46:19 AM ET 2005-10-19T14:46:19

If you haven't read John Fund's editorial from yesterday's Wall Street Journal, I highly recommend it.  He examines the role James Dobson of Focus on the Family and other key members of the pro-life right are playing in the Harriet Miers confirmation process.

Fund describes details of a now controversial conference call that took place on October 3.  Essentially, friends and colleagues of Miers gathered by phone to assuage fears among conservative leaders that the President's pick was an undercover moderate or--gasp--liberal.

The most intriguing part of the recounting is a moment when Dobson hears from a source that Miers will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.  Satisfied, he apparently hung up and scurried away, notes in hand.  He had heard all he needed to hear, or at least that's the impression Fund gives.

And therein lies the heart of the "fracturing" or "civil war" that we are hearing about in the GOP.  Just how important is a candidate's stance on Roe v. Wade when compared to other legislative issues?  For some, it is the only issue.  Others beg to differ.

I think Captain Ed over at the blog "Captain's Quarters" has some astute comments on this fissure in the party.  Conservatives are not all cut from the same cloth.  As Ed explains, there are fiscal conservatives, social conservatives, religious Evangelicals--it's a cornucopia.  The only issue that has truly managed to unite this mélange of viewpoints has been the war on terror.

Some bloggers are asserting that it was the war and the threat of attack that unified the vote, and that most Republicans are under no delusions that Bush is a far right conservative.  That said, he certainly played to that side of the stage during his re-election campaign.  Remember the Federal Marriage Act?  That seems dead in the water.

Part of what we are seeing in this moment is the chickens coming home to roost.  The Evangelicals made up around 23% of voters in 2004, but 78% of that vote went to Bush.  In this new era of razor thin margins where every election night is a nail biter, you need all you can get and they gave him a ton.  What will they get in return?

On the show: The clock is ticking for the grand jury working on the CIA leak investigation.  We will take a look at what Ftizgerald may be hiding up his sleeve, as well as Judy Miller's memory lapses.  Is the Vice President's office the focus of this inquiry?  We'll also discuss the trial of Saddam Hussein, set to begin tomorrow in Iraq.  Finally, what you need to know about avian flu. 

Join us. 

Email me: Maciulis@msnbc.com

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