Friday, October 24, 2008

"Miss America Conservatism"

Mark Schmitt:

This is the apotheosis of what I once called (long before the former Miss Wasilla joined the ticket), "Miss America Conservatism" in which conservatives express disdain for all of government except for their single “platform” issue on which they lavish money and attention (as Palin says, “it’s not all about money”) to show their human side. Yes, governor, it is all about money, and when your priorities are tax cuts, war and freezing spending, special needs children are not going to be a priority.

Simple Answers to Simple Questions

Oliver Willis:

If Sen. Obama wins, and Democrats increase their majorities in the House and Senate, will conservatives/Republicans still incessantly try to lecture those of us on the left about what “real” and “patriotic” Americans believe? I honestly thought they would tamp it down a little bit after the “thumpin’” of 2006, but they still lecture us about everything under the sun. Would losses across the board really shut their pieholes?


This has been another edition of Simple Answers to Simple Questions.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

UnRighteous Anger

Glad to see the angry, divisive and hate-filled beliefs and rantings of the rabid right wing are finally getting some exposure. Of a similar right-wing hate fest at the 1992 GOP convention, conservative George Will remarked that indecent exposure can be of the mind as well as the body. And so it is.

Then, as now, much of this anger and hate is fundamentally religious in nature, or at least, religious profession is a strong correlate of it. Among religious fundamentalists, Roman Catholic as well as Protestant, hate, resentment and divisiveness are key features of doctrinal thought. Sure, religious leaders have tried at times to dress itself up in more palatable sounding garb, emphasizing God's Grace, or Love, or how God sets them Free. But at its core, religious fundamentalism is inherently exclusionary, divisive and eliminationist. As for the latter, consider the doctrine of Hell or any theory of the End Times. And as for God's Grace and Love, well, most of the time what fundamentalists really mean when they mention those words are God's Love and Grace towards themselves, not to those outside "the faith".

So the religio-political rantings and ramblings of some of Christianism's unfinest is pretty par for the course, and the kind of stuff many of them are used to reading in their church-sponsored texts or hearing from the pulpit. It's only natural that this kind of stuff will begin to form the basis of the congregant's political and social expressions.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Deep Thought

Watching President Logan the other day on an old episode of 24 made me wonder how much like the erratic, overly emotional and borderline out of control, Gregory Itzin character, a president John McCain would turn out to be.

Reality Check

I was listening to Democracy Now this morning, with host Amy Goodman interviewing progressive writer John Nichols on the state of the U.S. Senate races. Nichols described two Democratic opponents of Republican incumbents, Jeff Merkle in Oregon and Al Franken in Minnesota, as waging particularly progressive insurgencies, being against the war in Iraq, the FISA compromise, the Wall Street bailout, etc. Except that in the campaign ads being run by Merkle and Franken that Democracy Now selected for our edification, and which Nichols responded to, didn't mention any of those progressive issues. Instead, Merkle and Franken both played up the issue of--wait for it--middle class tax cuts. I know Obama has made this a staple of his message, too, so in this sense it's not surprising. But it's a little disconcerting to have supposedly progressive campaigns and candidates, when the environment for progressive change has probably never been greater, largely playing on the GOP's "tax cut" field.