Indeed. The Republicans like to tout themselves as the good, common-sense conservative party, which is very much opposed to abortion, and also to gay marriage. However, they let the liberals (the "democrats,") get away with most everything. This does two similar things for the Republicans. It A) Drives people away from their competitor, the Democratic party, because average Joe is opposed to gay marriage, thinks of himself as nominally Christian, and probably isn't a HUGE fan of abortion either. Also, these issues are preserved as focal "rallying points," to which the Republicans can scream, and have instant support from said average Joes. If they would actually do something drastic, like end abortion, or stamp out the supposed "rights" of sodomites, then there would no longer be any direct party support for them, because this is where they derive their support. Most republicans don't care particularly for Bush's war, or his economic policy, they are just moral individuals who have a problem with abortion and sodomy.
The Democrats, though, by allying themselves with the liberalist fringe, are shooting themselves in the foot now, but I don't think things will stay that way. Sadly, most of the conservatives are older, and, like it or not, the youth are predominantly liberal. Thus, they will die out in America, and the democratic party will start, I think, to seem more mainstream. Sodomite, Planned Parenthood, environmentalist, and general liberal propaganda are astoundingly successful, and it is all that is heard. Thus, I think that more and more of the average, conservative-leaning citizenry will be enticed by the liberals, and come to see the democratic party and their liberal allies as a good thing.
Just my $0.02
I might also add that I think that while liberalism is slowing a bit in Europe, it's just really picking up steam here, because America has been a "conservative" bastion for years, compared with post-WWII Europe. America will drag Europe along with it in it's liberalism.