Fear politics and the abortion scarefest
How about Obama's address to Planned Parenthood as an example of your point, Ace? What was that except a concentrated blast of fearmongering about knuckle-dragging reactionaries looking to haul women into time machines, for transportation back to the racist, back-alley-abortion days of the Fifties?
It's Obama and his ilk that fill the ranks of the New Reactionaries, convinced that good and decent history began in the days of their birth and marched "progressively" forward, while everything before they graced the Earth with their presence was formless and void.
And there's a heady dose of the cult behavior you mentioned, with little bursts of orgasmic hate dotting Obama's speech and the crowd reaction. The old tribal taboo was questioning the morality of abortion on demand; the new taboo is refusing to fund it. Throw in all the little verbal evasions and ritual expressions - the President didn't even use the word "abortion" once during his speech to the world's mightiest abortion mill - and you've got a fine Ritual Consecration of the Free Hate.