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Hullabaloo


Sunday, April 24, 2005

 
Huckster Sunday

James Dobson is quoting Thomas Jefferson right now, a man who would never stop PUKING if he knew what these religions extremists were trying to do.

The delusion is so extreme that he just said that the ultra conservative Rehnquist Court is out of control --- because they aren't conservative enough.

And the Supreme Court caused the civil war.

Bill Frist said some Republicans are opposed to ending thefilibusters, because they may someday want to use the same tactics against the Democrats. He said, "that may be true. But if what Democrats are doing is wrong today, it won't be right for Republicans to do the same thing tomorrow." He could have added, "besides, right or wrong for Republicans is irrelevant because we did it yesterday and got away with it and we can get away with it tomorrow; nothing we say or do is based upon any principle whatsoever."

It is important for people to understand how the Republican Party sold its soul to these radicals and blame those who made it happen. An article from some years back in TNR called "The Right's Robespierre" which predicted a conservative crack-up back in 1997, laid it all out. The crack-up didn't happen then and it may not happen now. But if it does, there are some very particular individuals to blame --- Paul Weyrich and Morton Blackwell notably at the top of the list:

Finally, on the verge of realizing his right-wing utopia, Weyrich harvested what his friend Morton Blackwell termed "the greatest track of virgin timber on the political landscape": evangelicals. "Out there is what one might call a moral majority," he told Jerry Falwell in Lynchburg, Pennsylvania [sic], in 1979. "That's it," Falwell exclaimed. "That's the name of the organization." Weyrich, who had converted from Roman Catholicism to the Eastern Orthodox church after Vatican II, did more than coin the name; with a handful of activists, he engineered the alliance between the Republican Party and the growing number of evangelicals angry over abortion rights and federal intrusion in parochial schools. Less than a year later, Ronald Reagan walked into the White House.


It seems that people like me have been predicting that the Republican party would splinter because of these extremists in their midst for a long time now. The coalition has never made much sense. Weyrich and Blackwell and their proteges like Grover Norquist don't give a damn about religion, of course -- or at least any religion other than "conservatism." Evangelicals are just a special interest voting block to these people. And I suspect that being the hucksters they are, most of the preachers who are agitating for political power today don't really give a damn either. Most of them are simple hypocrites at best and violent immoral power mongers at worst.

Regardless, I think it's clear that they believe their time has come. They are flexing their muscles. Maybe Weyrich and Blackwell think it's just fine and maybe they will win in the end. But, when they invited religious zealots to sit at the table with them and run their movement they gambled that a majority of the American people would go along if it came down to it. It looks like we're about to see if it paid off.

And it's interesting to note that on Tim Russert's Sunday Mass, it wasn't even mentioned.


Update: Here's a sincere and righteous liberal vow on Justice Sunday from Shakespeare's Sister.
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