E.J. Dionne, Jr. has a great article on the economic realities behind the recent flap over Ann Romney's status as a stay-at-home-mom. Mr. Dionne is especially good when he calls out conservatives for appealing to the ideal of the 1950s family model while supporting policies that help to undermine stable family life among working Americans. Remember, labor unionization peaked in the mid-1950s, the decade that forms the image of the ideal America for most contemporary social conservatives.
Unfortunately for most people who vote Republican because of social issues, the GOP is in reality much more concerned with implementing the neoliberal economic policies most favored by the wealthy and the business community generally. Republican candidates will stump endlessly on "family values," but at the end of the day, the GOP's top priorities are economic, and neoliberal economics is profoundly anti-family.
As Richard Aleman points out in an excellent piece for The Distributist Review, individualism and free-market fundamentalism erode the institution of marriage, which is ultimately a social institution, as is the family generally. The philosophy of the American Right, with its emphasis on rugged individualism, is completely contrary to the traditionalist's proper understanding of the family as a social institution that must be safeguarded by public authority, even if it means passing legislation that upsets the Chamber of Commerce.