Sunday, March 14, 2010

Can right-wingers really be surprised if the crazinesses that now make up the conservative movement are incompatible?


“The tea party movement needs to insist that candidates believe in the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage.”
-- AFA loon Bryan Fischer, quoted by Politico's

by Ken

I suppose it's possible that Bryan Fischer, the American Family Association's "director of issue analysis for government and public policy," didn't mean the above quote to come out sounding the way it does. Maybe what he meant to say something like, "If they want to get Christmas cards from us Christian Right loons, they need to insist . . ." Or then again, maybe he meant just what he said.

Let's say that you or I were faced with betrayal by a group we considered allies. I'm thinking we might say, "What we really wish they would say is . . ." I don't think we would ever dream of saying, "What they have to say is . . ." Have these extremist crackpots gone so far over the cliff of sanity that they've forgotten they can't give orders to people who aren't part of their organization? I'm no fan of the Teabaggers, but really, surely they aren't so dim as to dream that they take their marching orders from some two-bit Crap Christian snake-venom hustler?

But I'm getting ahead of myself. As noted, Gauleiter Fischer was quoted by Politico's Ben Smith in an extensive piece Friday called "Tea parties stir evangelicals' fears."
The rise of a new conservative grass roots fueled by a secular revulsion at government spending is stirring fears among leaders of the old conservative grass roots, the evangelical Christian right. 

A reeling economy and the massive bank bailout and stimulus plan were the triggers for a resurgence in support for the Republican Party and the rise of the tea party movement. But they’ve also banished the social issues that are the focus of many evangelical Christians to the background. 

And while health care legislation has brought social and economic conservatives together to fight government funding of abortion, some social conservative leaders have begun to express concern that tea party leaders don’t care about their issues, while others object to the personal vitriol against President Barack Obama, whose personal conduct many conservative Christians applaud.

One of the things that makes Smith's perspective noteworthy is Politico's standing as the insiders' organ of the Village Elite, meaning that its first priority in enforcing poltiical, economic, and social orthodoxy is always, "Think Right." I realize that some of the Village elitists may object that they are not rightists, they're "centrists," or "center-right." But of course, as we point out so often here at DWT, because the "centrists" seem to have forgotten or never known it, is that what they mean by "center" is so far right that the late Barry Goldwater, who knew what it was to be widely reviled as a right-wing extremist, would have regarded them as way-off-the-chart nutjobs.

Somehow the Religious Right kooks and opportunists seem to have gotten the idea that they get to define the conservative agenda, even though it should be obvious to anyone with pays attention that the Right is now a hopelessly splintered XXXXXX of competing insanities, which may overlap but are also in important ways are mutually incompatible, all being watched XXXXXXXly by a cadre of patricians and predators and crooks who cynically manipulate and exploit them. And now they're apparently astonished, even offended, to find that the Teabaggers don't share their particular brand of crackpottery.

Here's Ben Smith:
while health care legislation has brought social and economic conservatives together to fight government funding of abortion, some social conservative leaders have begun to express concern that tea party leaders don’t care about their issues, while others object to the personal vitriol against President Barack Obama, whose personal conduct many conservative Christians applaud. . . .

“As far as I can tell [the tea party movement] has a politics that’s irreligious. I can’t see how some of my fellow conservatives identify with it,” said Richard Cizik, who broke with a major evangelical group over his support for government action on climate change, but who remains largely in line with the Christian right on social issues. “The younger Evangelicals who I interact with are largely turned off by the tea party movement -- by the incivility, the name-calling, the pathos of politics.”

Of particular concern to the "social conservatives" is the Contract From America hatched by that sleazy right-wing lobbying front outfit, Dick Armey's FreedomWorks, and widely pushed by their Teabagger stooges.
The contract, sponsored by the grass-roots Tea Party Patriots as well as Washington groups such as FreedomWorks and Americans for Tax Reform, asks supporters to choose the 10 most important issues from a menu of 21 choices that makes no mention of socially conservative priorities such as gay marriage and abortion.

“They’re free to do it, but they can’t say [the contract] represents America,” said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, a veteran of the Christian right. “If they do it they’re lying.”

Groups such as FreedomWorks, said Perkins, bring a libertarian bias that doesn’t represent the “true tea parties.” Brendan Steinhauser, the director of federal and state campaigns at FreedomWorks, responded that the contract represents activists’ priorities.

Again, you have to wonder what dimension our Tony is living in. Tony, you'll recall, is basically the dogshit that can't be scraped off the soles of former Focus on the Family czar James Dobson. And he dreams that he knows who and what represents America"?
[A]n in-depth study of 49 tea party leaders by the free-market oriented Sam Adams Alliance suggested that the leadership consciously avoids social issues and plans to continue doing so.

“None of them chose social issues as the sole direction for the movement,” said the group’s marketing director, Anne Sorock, who oversaw the study.

She said that while many of the leaders held conservative views on social issues, “they were completely adamant that [the issues] were not a part of their agenda for the long term.”

“Across the board everyone had the same answer: It’s so important that they achieve their goals that social issues cannot distract them, because they need to cast the widest net of consensus with the widest group possible,” she said.

Smith reports fractures all over the conservative movement.
“The folks who are upset about it are big government conservatives for whom the marriage with the GOP was never a good fit to begin with,” said Chris Barron, the chairman of the board of the gay conservative group GOProud.

It’s also good news to a generation of evangelical leaders who are either outside, or openly hostile to, the traditional Christian right.

“I don’t think younger Christians are all that interested in the tea party movement. We aren’t as solidly committed to the Republican Party, or any party for that matter,” said Jonathan Merritt, a younger evangelical not aligned with the GOP who described his generation in an e-mail as “increasingly dissatisfied by a myopic Republican party that seems unwilling to tackle important social justice issues,” but also unable to join a Democratic Party that “seems unwilling to promote a culture of life."

Now it's perfeclty possible that the loon sects may be able to find common ground in their horror of "socialism," which they all seem to see closing in on them from all directions. In other words, it's not as if any of the factions show any sign of having acquired a grain of sense, just that each has areas of extreme craziness that aren't shared by the others. That it may yet be possible to find a way to keep those crazinesses meshing is left to be expressed by one of the wilier of the crackpots, the unspeakable Grover Norquist, who gets Smith's final word:
The veteran conservative activist Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said he found himself soothing social conservative fears about the Tea Parties at a recent gathering of the socially conservative Council for National Policy.

“They shouldn’t be nervous,” he said. “When the Republican Party and the modern conservative movement grows, that’s good for everybody.”

Once again, you don't know whether to laugh or cry.

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At 5:59 AM, Anonymous Mark Scarbrough said...

Let me just say, Ken, that you gotta feel a little sorry for the Christian right. A little. A very little. But they were duped. They were in the wilderness, divided between their prophets, the stern diagram-your-Greek-verb, Ryrie-Study-Bible types out of Dallas Seminary; and the ragtag majority of their membership, held together by swillish, pop-culture concerts passing off as liturgy. Lost in this parched canyon with only Dobson and Christian rock for succor, they came across the Roving Bush, which (who?) told them they were the very engine of political destiny. The Roving Bush even used that tried-and-true city-on-a-hill bullshit to sell it. (Those Christian righties are suckers for that bit, although they wouldn't know John Winthrop if he pissed on them). Ah, the good news--that they, these dour prophets and blow-dried air-heads, bound together by the use of yellow highlighters in their Bibles, were together the chosen to bring the rest of us into the glorious redemption of repressive social laws.

And now? Political destiny isn't a froo-froo goddess who presides over church potlucks and cheesecake. It's a bastard warlord who stands behind the troops, using them as a human Maginot.

"But you told me I was important," the troops whine. But they're not. They never were. They were only cannon fodder to enrich the bastard warlord and his minions.

There's nobody innocent like an evangelical. It's why they turn so mean so fast.

At 1:47 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

Mark, that is one heckuva case you make for feeling sorry for those folks. I'm glad somebody's managing, so I don't have to feel bad about not being up to the task myself.

Of course on a human level I feel deeply sorry for people who've allowed themselves to be played for such fools. But I keep coming back to that "allowed themselves" part.

Thanks for the excellent thoughts!


At 2:20 PM, Anonymous mikbee42 said...

at work yesterday in rural oregon, a senior couple on their way to church, tried to tell me about a local politican who will run for the STATE SENATE. they stated he was a current mayor and the he is a nice guy that attended last weeks chile feed.
now she tries to hand me a red, white, and blue flyer and says to me

"mayor mike wendel wants only christians to hold political office
not believing my ears i said WHAT?
she repeated
"mayor mike wendel wants only christians to hold political office

i strongly disagree with this offensive idea and questioned her as to why we should place only christians into political service.

now she replies " so gays and homosexuals whon't get elected"!!

it sounded like she thought that when the gays get together with the homesexuals it makes for a greater political threat to christians.


its not good to even think about slapping a 70 year old women homophobe.
i just stated over and over why not even jesus would agree with her and the "HONORABLE" mayor wendel" .
i was truly disgusted by his attempt to use this lady to foster his anti-gay and non-christian fearmongering.

after trying to hand me the flyer again, i refused again.
never hearing a word i said, she cowardly went on her way to the local church to do more of gods work for scum politicians .

i tell this story to show that this bigotry starts at the bottom levels ,through the networks of these small, racist,homophobic, christian organizations, the stupid leading the stupider based on lies. this is reflected directly to their political representative choices, scum like MAYOR MIKE WENDEL from Prinville Oregon, who obviously embraces this ugly form of campaigning in small neighborhoods and churches for sucker votes. what a shameless, bigoted clown!
my blood is still boiling.

At 3:29 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

Thanks for sharing that story, M.

Messages are flying up and down the right-wing food chain there. Way back when, it took many years of XXXXXX indoctrination to make that poor old woman what she is today, and it serves the interests of a lot of people at various levels farther up to use her bigotry in just the way Mayor Mike Wendel, the pride of Prineville, is doing.

Plus you've got to give Mayor Mike credit. A lot of people are fighting the gays, and a lot of people are fighting the homosexuals, but how many people are fighting the Lord's good fight against both?



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