Sweeping Over The Edge

By: W.D. Noble

Never in a million years (if I may use that overused line) would I have believed what I’m seeing in American politics today.From nowhere, Rick Santorum has come within an ace of the #1 spot in the Republican primary race-to-the-bottom.  As impossible as it might sound, Santorum’s brand of ultraRight swagger and Fundie bullshit has garnered him several caucus and primary wins.   Next week, there’s a ‘do or die’ primary in Mitt Romney’s home-state of Michigan; while Romney was leading in double-digits as recently as ten days ago, the race is now literally too close to call.I have no analysis for this.  Examining this process is like viewing a new strain of Ebola under the microscope; something which is at once deadly and untreatable, and for which none of the old rules apply.

These events are only understandable if we look at the history of the thing.

In his landmark book, “Republican Gomorrah – Inside The Movement Which Shattered the Party”, Max Blumenthal analyzes the repressed nature of Fundamentalism – from people like Ted Haggard, who preached homophobia and hate, and was later caught with a male prostitute, to people like Sarah Palin, James Dobson, and many others who’ve led a hate and resentment-loaded revolution of sorts in America, feeding on the fear of the uneducated.  The fact of the matter is that the Republican party didn’t magically go around-the-bend; in fact, that ship sailed long ago – the Republicans have been the political arm of the Fundamentalist movement in America for at least twenty years.

It’s education which really matters here, and if Santorum is to be believed when he says that “…public schools are the tools of Satan….”, he is, in truth, pointing out the seminal fear of most Fundamentalists:  An educated populace.

The ability to engage in critical, objective thought is the main enemy of Fundamentalism , whether here in America or elsewhere in the world.  It’s not by happenstance that ‘Teabonics’ (the new language created from the collective abysmal grammar and spelling on countless placards, signs and banners at Tea Party rallies) had its start not with liberal protests, but conservative rallies.  It’s not by chance that the majority of these people live in rural America, and are economically marginalized.  It’s not a coincidence that the Republican hierarchy plays to this, feeding the religiously-driven fears of militant Islam (Santorum recently stated that  ‘bombing Iran was a good idea’), homophobia and anti-abortion rhetoric.

Santorum’s dismissive theology (“…Obama is not a ‘true Christian’….”); his adherence to Dominionist tenets (his recent speech at CPAC outlined his belief that America is a ‘Christian nation’, and that our rights are not guaranteed by our Constitution, but are ‘derived from God’) is a narrow worldview in which he is the true arbiter of religion in America – one that he’d cheerfully impose on the rest of us.

The big wildcard in Santorum’s acceptance are those voters who consider themselves ‘independent’.  It’s becoming clearer as this campaign season wears on that these ‘independent’ voters – many of whom voted for Obama in the last election – have shifted significantly to the far Right.  These Republicans-by-default have the power to swing the election, and increasingly they’re voting not for a candidate, but for an ideology.

Santorum considers the Enlightenment to be evil.  He views Jefferson with disdain, and has no problem telling the world of this.  Instead, he’d implement the teachings of the Catholic church (at least where women are concerned); he’d also do away with the notion of learning anything from science, either (he called the concept of global climate-change ‘a form of theology.’)

He’d not only relegate science to the back burner – he’d actually promote ignorance.  Home-schooling is America’s future – because it allows parents to teach their children that the earth is 6,000 years old, and that dinosaurs lived at the same time as humans.

Santorum’s Mein Kampf-like blueprint for a future America mirrors his values.  In this, he mirrors the Republican party – a dangerous organization which was co-opted long ago by extremist elements.

America will survive a Santorum candidacy.  The Republican Party, however, cannot.

A Santorum presidency?   I imagine the Empire will survive that, too, in some fashion.  That sound you hear?  It’s the deep rush of water; thrumming through the hull of the Ship of State, as we sweep close to the edge.   Reality is a bitch; the hit-woman of the cosmos, and our very own date with her is coming up damn soon.  We can no longer call ‘bullshit’ on our own lies; we no longer hold ourselves accountable. We’d sooner (at least, most of us) blame it all on a disembodied creature called ‘Satan’, when things go wrong.  Small wonder a sanctimonious asshole like Santorum can hold the attention of so many of America’s illiterati.  It appears, at least today, that they outnumber The Rest of Us.

When the whole thing goes over the falls, it’ll be a hell of a show.

But I don’t want to be around to watch.

 

About astranavigo

Astra is one of the clever monkeys occupying space on the Third Planet From The Sun. While it was an early wish of Astra's to be one of the first to go to Proxima Centauri, he knows this is not to be; instead, you can find him here (some of the time) using simple tools to create communication. Holding up a mirror and saying 'Looky! Mistofer Emperor! Y'ain't wearin' no clothes!" is but one of the services he provides here. Others are subverting prevailing wisdom, peeing in people's Cheerios, trashing on their Imaginary Friends (he does this a lot,) and shifting paradigms without benefit of a clutch. He lives in Portland, Oregon, where he hopes he'll never have to learn the true meaning of some of his dystopian fiction.

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34 Comments on “Sweeping Over The Edge”

  1. I’m not sure that the United States could survive a Santorum Presidency, at least as we know it. As the article says, Santorum is both anti-science and anti-pluralism. Unfortunately over the past few years Congress has enacted laws that give the President wide discretion in arresting for undisclosed reasons and holding them without trial. If Santorum and his appointees really believe what he says about liberals, rationalists, and secularists being evil — certainly evil — then he must protect the country from them as surely as he must protect it from terrorists.

    Once it starts, it will become easier and easier to continue. There will be fewer and fewer people left free who even know about subjects that contravene religious doctrine — such things as evolution, astrophysics, or quantum theory to name just a few.

    Be afraid. Be very afraid.

  2. Actually, Santorum doesn’t represent the position of the Catholic church in any way, shape or form. He has created his own brand of thinking, which you’ve admirably outlined in this article…that of the Teabonics mentality, where education is loathed. This is promoted to those who have removed humanism for vulture culture capitalism; mostly because they can’t see how vulture cultures create human behaviors as we learned about during the Holocaust, and during periods of industrial revolution, where people like the Luddites fought against the imperialistic mindset and were imprisoned, forced into slave labor, and/or deported to unknown lands. And today, we repeat these behaviors under the guise of Reborn Christianity, which is more or less a declaration by most that they have overcome: drug addictions, selling their flesh, criminal behavior or any other number of human problems. These are the people who have resolved their lives to immortalize Christ because they couldn’t immortalize decency or success; so the Santorums can appeal to them easily.

    But Catholicism has always had a different agenda than what Santorum celebrates:

    It’s a political delusion to think Rick Santorum is a standard-bearer of authentic Catholic values in politics. In fact, on several issues central to Catholic social teaching – torture, war, immigration, climate change, the widening gap between rich and poor and workers’ rights – Santorum is radically out of step with his faith’s teachings as articulated by Catholic bishops and several popes over the centuries.

    Catholic bishops, priests and women religious have been at the forefront of the fight for comprehensive immigration reform. Catholic leaders have called for an earned path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and consistently oppose draconian policies that break up families.

    Pope Benedict XVI has decried the “scandal of glaring inequalities” between rich and poor, and Catholic social teaching supports a more just distribution of wealth. Santorum, in contrast, told the Des Moines Register: “I’m for income inequality. I think some people should make more than other people because some people work harder and have better ideas and take more risks, and they should be rewarded for it. I have no problem with income inequality.” As a Senator, Santorum voted for massive tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, which greatly exacerbated the gap between the top 1% and the rest of us.

    The Catholic Church has defended the vital role of unions since 1891, when Pope Leo XIII released Rerum Novarum, an encyclical that puts the dignity of work and labor rights at the center of Catholic social teaching.

    Pope Benedict XVI, who has been dubbed the “Green Pope” for his attention to environmental justice and climate change, recently urged world leaders meeting for climate talks in Durban, South Africa, to “reach agreement on a responsible, credible response” to the “disturbing” effects of climate change.

    Many Catholic conservatives ignore the Church’s teaching about “a consistent ethic of life” and excuse a candidate’s position or record on the economy, immigration and the environment by downplaying their moral importance compared to the issue of abortion. Catholics can disagree in good faith on some issues, they assert, but not over “intrinsic evils.” Unfortunately, even under this standard, Santorum fails. When it comes to torture, which the Church calls an “intrinsic evil,” Santorum is a proud proponent.

    (Source: The Catholic Case Against Rick Santorum)

    The hypocrisy of the conservative movement when they claim they represent the American people is profound. They don’t represent me. They don’t represent Catholics. They don’t even represent women. Who do they represent? That’s my question!

  3. Rick Santorum represents himself. What I find interesting is that everyone believes his Christian “act”, just like everyone believes Ann Coulter speaks her mind. These stupid people play on the paranoia of righties and lefties, despite the fact that money is what will decide this election, not Christian morality.

    These people are method actors going after niche markets, desperately grabbing the limelight.

  4. “Unfortunately over the past few years Congress has enacted laws that give the President wide discretion in arresting for undisclosed reasons and holding them without trial. If Santorum and his appointees really believe what he says about liberals, rationalists, and secularists being evil — certainly evil — then he must protect the country from them as surely as he must protect it from terrorists.”</blockquote

    Peter, you've just described in action two very dangerous human tendencies – that of cognitive dissonance, and eliminationism. Taken together, they’re the traits which allow humans to suspend reality in order to believe either the unbelievable or that which is contrary to logic, order, reason, common sense and morality – and the ability to classify entire groups of their fellow-humans in order to dismiss them entirely.

    Santorum is, indeed, dangerous – because he represents a large and growing bloc of American voters, largely economically marginalized and semiliterate, who’ve been engaging in these two acts for decades now, thanks to their religious ‘upbringing’.

    (The Fundies have done it. They said they would, back in the ’60’s; anyone who’s read the works of R. J. Rushdoony and Gary North know this. The only thing which remains is for a polarized America to deliver the White House to Santorum via a hung Electoral College and a Republican Senate, much like Nehemiah Scudder in Heinlein’s Revolt in 2100.)

    “The hypocrisy of the conservative movement when they claim they represent the American people is profound. They don’t represent me. They don’t represent Catholics. They don’t even represent women. Who do they represent? That’s my question!”

    Well, Jen, you came out swinging – and all because I made an oblique reference to the Catholic church as touches Santorum’s approach to women’s health issues.

    This might come as a shock – but I really don’t care that Santorum is a Catholic. You might not want to claim him – but millions do. That’s the problem – the only problem.

    I don’t give a twopenny damn or sweet-fuck-all what these people believe – what bothers me (terrifies me, really) is that the American public (at least 50% of them) are perfectly willing to support the man, and perhaps even vote for him, on the strength of his ‘family values’ and ‘Christian character’ – and he, in turn, makes no bones about holding an eliminationist, dismissive position against large numbers of ‘other’ Americans (mainstream Protestants, practitioners of religions other than ‘Christianity’, atheists, agnostics, Liberals – the list goes on. Putting the man in office would bring us dangerously close to a theocracy-in-practice.

    He claims to be a Catholic. That may give some legitimacy to his position, but in truth he’s a Dominionist and a Fundie.

    Again, you may not want to claim him – but he’s real, nonetheless.

    “Rick Santorum represents himself….These people are method actors going after niche markets, desperately grabbing the limelight.”

    Mitch, you dismiss this man at your peril. He represents far more than himself – there are several caucuses and primaries in the ‘win’ column, paying mute testimony to that fact.

  5. Actually, I don’t think Santorum is going to be the next GOP candidate. I predict it will be Romney. (Equally as distasteful, IMO).

    I think this surge in popularity expresses the fickle nature of polling and the public in primaries. Santorum is an aftertaste from the debates, nothing more. And like an aftertaste, I believe he will disappear with time.

    Like Mitchell said, money is what will purchase the GOP candidate. Santorum doesn’t have it like Romney. He is using the rhetorical approach of shock factor Christian moray with the stupids of America. He represents very few.

    One look at the major cities of America will tell you he’s not going too much further. Nothing to fear, but another clown parading under Christian hypocrisy and bucking himself up over nothing. Women are not going to vote for a man who claims they should buck up and take the rape child as their destiny. People who believe in the division of church and state aren’t going there either…not as Republicans, even. The U.S.A. is not entirely made up of ill read dullards.

    But I enjoyed your article for calling it what it was. Great writing!

  6. As someone from Pennsylvania, who threw him out of office years ago .. his rise in the polls is a complete mystery .. he is arrogant and will not consider compromise … compromise is for the weak and the children of Satan I suppose (when one knows the “truth” no compromise is possible) …. he is what he claims to be fear … a radical extremist .. a soldier for a God he doesn’t understand and fears … fear is what he understands … and little else …

    nice writing ….

  7. Jen; Rich:

    I, too, have actually hoped for the ascent of Romney, because he’s the least-insane of the goat-roadeo which is the Republican pack this year.

    However, dismissing Santorum is dangerous, and wrong. Especially dangerous.

    I think he understands his ‘god’ really well – it’s the collective fear and paranoia of his constituency, the greater ultraRight and its perverse religion. If you want to understand what brought Santorum to the fore, you have to first understand that.

    This did not happen overnight.

    It began, as I mentioned earlier, as far back as the Depression, with the nascent Assemblies of God and the Azuza Street Mission in California and the Church of the Foursquare Gospel and Aimee Semple MacPherson. It was codified by the late R.J. Rushdoony in the 1960’s, who first began advocating what is now known as Dominionism and the home-school movement.

    It’s found its stride in the collective writings and speeches of people like James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Gary North, and others.

    Many before me have sounded the alarm. So far, dismissive response has been the norm. Meanwhile, these people are focused, and continue to grow stronger.

    They are patient. Their greatest asset is our apathy and ignorance.

    Some reading:

    The Institutes of Biblical Law; R.J. Rushdoony – (P&R Publishing; 1980)

    God and Government – A Biblical Perspective (Volume I and II); Gary DeMar – (American Vision Publishing; 1990)

    The Myth of Separation – What Is The Correct Relationship Between Church And State?; David Barton – (Wallbuilders Press; 1992)

    Original Intent – The Courts, The Constitution, and Religion (Fifth Edition); David Barton – (Wallbuilders Press; 2008)

    The Family – The Secret Fundamentalism At The Heart of American Power; Jeff Sharlet – (Harper Perennial Publishing; 2009)

    Republican Gomorrah – Inside the Movement Which Shattered the Party; Max Blumenthal – (Nation Books; 2009)

    Kingdom Coming – The Rise of Christian Nationalism; Michelle Goldberg – (W. W. Norton Press; 2007)

    American Fascists – The Christian Right and the War on America; Chris Hedges – (Free Press; 2007)

    The Eliminationists – How Hate-Talk Radicalized the American Right; David Neiwert (Paradigm Publishers; 2009)

  8. I wish I had bookmarked the article now .. the one where one of our most insightful (accurate forecasting) economists had told Karl Rove “the party holding the White House in 2013 will be out of power for the following forty years.” The seeming mystery of the rise of Santorum might be as simple as that, a Rove engineered throwing the election from behind the scene, if you will. Of course that cannot take away from the insanity of the people who actually believe they are nominating Santorum in the primaries.

    Insofar as the insanity aspect, I get hives even thinking of some way to encompass the full dimensions .. and the I set my pen to the ensuing maniacal laughter ..

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/60647226/How-Jesus-gets-Kicked-Out-of-Heaven

    ..

  9. The one thing i’ve been noticing in this fluffy of candidates is that the Republications are now faced with a dilemma the Democrats have had to contend with for quite a few years. The disgruntled party is fracturing. They can’t find a candidate that will adequately unite its registered members. Romney seems to be the most logical choice, but logic was thrown out the door a long time ago by both parties.

    I don’t think anyone is going to drastically change the course we’re already headed; not Romney, not Santorum, not Ginrich, not Obama. The course has already been laid out by the corporates. They are only waiting to see which candidate has a more receptive public behind him. They want it to appear the candidate was sworn in through popular vote, even though we all know that’s not the true case. Appearances are so important in setting up a new regime, and quick to be relinquished once appearances are no longer necessary. If we are to fear anyone, it should be the machinery that allowed a man like Santorum to become an apparently viable candidate, and not the man himself. He is just as much of a puppet as all our representatives have been and answers to the same master; the corporate manifest.

  10. Does it really matter at all who plays the role of president? Don’t you think maybe the script and the lines are already written?

    I don’t think it makes any difference who pretends to be king of usa; the real king is comfortably seated on his throne.

  11. “I don’t think it makes any difference who pretends to be king of usa; the real king is comfortably seated on his throne.”

    Actually, I don’t, either. The reality of the thing is that the ‘Emperor’ of the American Empire is a faceless mob of corporatists – perhaps Mussolini said it best so many decades ago, “…Fascism should properly be called Corporatism….”

    The nation was bought and paid for a long time ago – that fact has just now become glaringly obvious, what with the Citizens United ruling. They really could care less whether Santorum finishes the Fundies’ co-option of the Republican Party, or whether he manages to stand up a theocracy – how the masses are ruled really doesn’t matter, as long as they leave Wall Street and its henchmen alone.

    “W.D., here is a brand new title you can add to your list”

    I’d considered it – I actually interviewed Mikey for Subversify back a couple of years ago – makes interesting reading. He’s a great man, IMHO, but certainly has made a lot of enemies within the Fundie movement (just how they justify making death-threats against him and square all that with their ‘religion’ is beyond me, but that’s the thing about religion – it’s all based on cognitive-dissonance anyway, so justifying behavior isn’t a problem, really.)

  12. I find myself hoping that Romney gets elected President over Obama for mainly one reason.

    4 more years of Obama means the fundies have that much more time to hone their special brand of crazy. If Romney were to be elected, perhaps they would rest a bit. Also perhaps the Democratic party would spend that time doing some serious introspection. Democrats are not likely to think about too much as long as Obama is in office.

  13. I refuse to give up on the idea of ever having a sound president in office. I back a man who I hope can weave his way into the American Democratic party, the same way Romney wove himself into his Republican role after serving as an idependent, of sorts; when he changed his affiliation from Independent to Republican in October 1993. (Well…maybe that’s not the best example, since Romney tends to be the chameleon who adopts any party that will have him as an opportunist. But then, what do you expect from a man who claims his father was from Mexico for Latino votes, when he knows his father had been born in a Mormon colony in Chihuahua, Mexico to AMERICAN PARENTS; and when Romney is of primarily English, Scottish and German ancestry).

    Or maybe I hope Stewart Alexander will run as the presidential candidate for the American Socialist Party, the same way that Ron Paul has gone from Libertarian to Republican and back to Libertarian. Nope…that’s not it either!

    I guess what I’m REAL

  14. I’m gone for a few days and return to find that there are still people here that take this dog-and-pony show that is the “elections” (as if anyone in office is truly “elected” by anything other than who has the biggest war chest and best PR machine…) seriously – the simple truth of the matter here is that there is no significant difference between the parties (as Chomsky put it, “there’s only one party – the corporate party.”) nor the politicians themselves: in other words, it doesn’t matter who wins – regardless of who gets the office, the common man is going to get fucked…

  15. I know the religious nuttery of this country has grown. I’ve seen it in my own family. Freaky relatives who were once good people, who’ve gone to the God side. I feel like Darth Vader among them…as if I’m repeating, “Come to the dark side” every time we communicate. At least, that’s how they make me feel, with all that religion they claim.

    The religious right HAD to grow. It was a predetermined effort, planned to take back all of us sinners. After all, most centers to help drug addiction or alcoholism are faith based.

    So are homeless shelters and prison reform programs. It’s a no-brainer! If you catch a person at their worst time in life, you can shove your creepy doctrine down their throat, easily. And that’s what they did.

    They rammed it down with hot irons until the common man choked, went into convulsions and had a seizure. When he came back to consciousness, they convinced him he’d met Jesus…and suddenly, he was born again.

    They do this all of the time. Especially, if they demand the sinner remains in a healing program by attending their loathsome meetings, peppered with religious propaganda. They convince these poor souls that THIS will heal them.

    They have eating disorders. They want to quit drinking, popping pills, smoking pot. They have abused their wives. They lost their homes, jobs, cars, children. You name it, there is a faith-based healing center ready to scoop them up and put some good old fashioned faith back into them. Teach them their ill ways. Caution them against liberalism and the ills of leftist teachings.

    Marx becomes the anti-Christ. Lennin is nothing short of Lucifer. They are taught that conservatism is the only path to Heaven; and those bad leftists and knee-jerk liberals are the very kernel of grain that led them to their ill-reputed ways.

    It’s indoctrination and brain washing in its finest. It’s the Kool-aid that Jim Jones gave his followers. It’s everything insideous and everything fake; and that’s why so many have grown to hate the pseudo-religious types that have invaded Washington.

    They are reborn, in the name of JESUS:

    All of those who robbed us
    All who sold our daughter’s flesh
    Those who drank themselves into oblivion
    Those who joined gangs and murdered our children
    Those who did long prison stints for rape and embezzlement
    The kind that hated everyone back then, and healed, only to hate the liberals now
    Those who aborted many fetuses, now demanding women birth babies (even rape babies)
    All the homeless
    All the abused
    All of the beaten
    All of the savage

    …all of them have been saved. And they now have an opinion.

    That’s who Santorum appeals to. So yes, his constituency has grown. Except for a few things people never consider about folks like this.

    Many of them can’t vote because they have a felony on their record.
    Many of them won’t vote because they are still hustling.
    Many of them simply love to parrot what they hear.

    This is why I don’t think he’s a threat.

  16. “…the simple truth of the matter here is that there is no significant difference between the parties (as Chomsky put it, “there’s only one party – the corporate party.”) nor the politicians themselves….”

    That’s precisely my point.

    There isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties – we have a Center-Right, and an ultraRight; the occupant of the Empire’s ‘throne’ makes very little difference, as the country is ungovernable (at least in any sense us oldsters might recognize).

    It’s ungovernable because Congress now is beholden completely to Wall Street – and Citizens United was just the last nail in that coffin.

    The country will, in some manner, survive a Santorum presidency – but the Republican Party cannot. By nominating Santorum, the Republicans will be offering mute testimony to the fact that they are now the political arm of the Christian Fundamentalist movement in America. What we as a nation do about that is probably going to be a ‘who cares?’ moment.

    Successive shocks lose their value. At this point, one or the other candidates could say “Zombies run Belgium!” sometime in October, and few would really listen.

    Meantime, NDAA is law; the police nationwide are ordering drones for surveillance and ‘crowd control’, and what’s left of the Constitution is up for discussion by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and David Barton.

    “Many of them can’t vote because they have a felony on their record. Many of them won’t vote because they are still hustling.
    Many of them simply love to parrot what they hear.

    This is why I don’t think he’s a threat.”

    Jen, you’ve never really studied the Christian Fundamentalist movement (specifically the Dominionist/Seven Mountains theology of people like Rushdoony, Barton – and Santorum) – if you had, you wouldn’t be making such a statement.

    The movement is diverse, well-heeled, and far from the province of hustlers and convicts.

    You dismiss them at your peril.

  17. Damn, Jennifer. That was good. Really, freakin’, powerfully, unfailingly good! Even though i’ve seen the missionary ten step road to recovery used on criminal offenders and know the ones who clutch the Bible instead of the law books while in prison have an easier time sailing through, i never thought of it in terms of political/social persuasion. My sister and i, who are naturalists with somewhat agnostic beliefs, are constantly bombarded by the faith convictions of friends who have gone to jail for drug convictions. Our private observation has been that they have addictive personalities and religion has become their new addiction, but we just never thought of it as something that has been crammed down their throats until they cracked. I hope the next step isn’t deciding that felonies who have found Jesus are forgiven and their right to vote should be reinstated. I don’t have a problem with reinstating felonies per se, just that i wouldn’t want a selective decision based on religion.

  18. There is a curious fact about people in groups; when trekking in the wilderness the pace is always set by the children and old people. This essentially means that as a community we are only as smart as the dumbest individual.

    I don’t think it’s rational that idiots should get a vote on anything. Why should a moron get a say on something that is going to affect everyone?

    Why should a thousand morons get a say on anything at all? Their stupidity makes their votes easy to sway.

    Behind our democracy there is a hidden king manipulating the votes of a retarded populace. The king is upheld by a flock composed of the most ignorant individuals alive.

    It seems to me as a society, our decisions are made by the most ignorant individuals in existence.

    Is it really any wonder that things are so fucked up?

  19. [Quote=W.D. Noble]The country will, in some manner, survive a Santorum presidency – but the Republican Party cannot. By nominating Santorum, the Republicans will be offering mute testimony to the fact that they are now the political arm of the Christian Fundamentalist movement in America. What we as a nation do about that is probably going to be a ‘who cares?’ moment.[/quote]

    1. There is no “republican” party nor is there a “democratic” party – there’s just one party with two wings that exist for the sole purpose of convincing the public there’s a real debate going on in Washington: the “republican” party (and the “democratic” party as well) isn’t threatened at all by anyone because it does not exist (as what’s not real can’t be threatened in any meaningful way).

    2. You ask “what are we as a nation going to do?” Who says we’re a nation? The political class – that’s who! The nation is only as real as the amount of cash and guns there happen to be backing up the assertions of the politicals: destroy the state’s power to project force and this mythical nation disappears in a puff of smoke…

  20. W.D.Noble, I’ve been studying the religious right for years; because I oppose most of their philosophy. From the days they tried to impose their stupidity on us through the John Birch Society doctrine, where I was indoctrinated with this b.s. as a child to now. I know they go along with the elite financiers of the country. I knew the day they qualified their membership through pushing their agenda in every healing center in this country that they would rise quickly. And they did.

    You give them way too much credit. Like the 1% elite among most Americans, they have their wealthy elite and the dollars from tithing that are used to pay lobbies…that is for sure. They have a dedicated group of followers who would love nothing more than to alter the world to meet their very perverted ideals of what moray is. We probably agree on this.

    But the majority of their followers in nearly every inner city throughout the country are average folks who are in recovery. They may be providers of recovery, now…but they are recovering from something damning for them. They watch television evangelists like Joel Osteem and throw their hands in the air with an AMEN, for everyone to see.

    I’ve seen them in every shelter I’ve lived in. They are mostly ex felons. And even the providers of these healing centers are still dealing, drinking, sexing, puking food, or what ever addiction they are trying to heal from.

    Santorum is not appealing to all of the Catholics. He may appeal to the backwoods an urban Fundies. But that’s a very limited marketing share. You see what happened in Michigan and Arizona, right? That should tell you how limited his power is. Romney took back his lead tonight. That was predicatable.

  21. Karlsie, BELIEVE ME! As much as this sounds unfair, you do NOT WANT the convicted felons of this country to vote. Because, they are some of the most hypocritical Christians ever!

    I know so many gang bangers who shovel that Christian fundamentalist crap my way. Like you, I know others too…like a number of ex-addicts who have found God and the 12 Step Program, and now tell everyone else how to live.

    They shortchange the bus driver, scam the guy giving them change; but the Lord knows no more fury than a SAVED felon, addict or hooker, if you use the Lord’s name in vain. They carry their bibles and always want to “give you some knowledge.” They disgust me with their hypocrisy! Not because I hate religion. I don’t! Because I think religion and porn are the two things people should not force on others.

    I live in downtown L.A., and if you ever want to see a more God-saven group of people smoking crack and pulling box cutters; then go down to Skid Row early in the morning when the Union Mission Rescue Shelter tells them to get out and hoses the piss-filled streets down. The guests gather around the area. There’s a park down there where you can hear them sing hymns and spiritual songs in the most sublime crack-filled haze of happiness. They will tell you how “blessed” they are and what a “blessed life” they have, while wearing their free bright-orange tee-shirts with black script that the Sheriffs and others use to monitor the path of the homeless. It’s the saddest thing you will ever witness. But do I want these people to vote? HELL no!

  22. There is a curious fact about people in groups: when trekking in the wilderness the pace is always set by the children and the old people. I think what this essentially means is that as a community we are only as smart as the dumbest individual.

    I don’t think it’s rational that idiots should get a vote. Why should a moron get a say on something that is going to affect everyone? Why should a thousand morons get a say on anything at all? Their stupidity makes their vote easy to sway.

    I think our democracy has a hidden king, manipulating the votes of a retarded populace. The king is upheld by a flock composed of the most ignorant individuals alive.

    What good is a democracy when the majority of voters are a bunch of ignorant retards who get their ‘knowledge’ from fox news?

  23. “You give them way too much credit. Like the 1% elite among most Americans, they have their wealthy elite and the dollars from tithing that are used to pay lobbies…that is for sure. They have a dedicated group of followers who would love nothing more than to alter the world to meet their very perverted ideals of what moray is. We probably agree on this.

    But the majority of their followers in nearly every inner city throughout the country are average folks who are in recovery.”

    Jen, I don’t know what you’ve been ‘studying’ – because you’re ill-informed and just plain wrong to think that “…the majority of their followers…are average folks who are in recovery.”

    The followers of the ultra religious Right are people from all walks of life – in fact, many of them middle-class, suburban types. They have a surprising amount of money – and they’re not afraid to share it; in fact, they’re used to sending money to religious organizations, and do so in disproportionate numbers.

    By example, about 80% of the core-cadre of America’s military officers are Fundies. These guys (I say that, because they’re predominantly male) aren’t slouches in ‘recovery’ – they’re graduates of America’s military academies. They’re dedicated to ‘serving God first’; then their country (a little modest reading of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s website will go a long way toward commencing your enlightenment in this area).

    Your dismissive approach to Fundamentalism is shared, however, with many of your ‘Progressive’ brothers and sisters – and it’s a collective danger.

    I’ll say it again – these people are dangerous, and we dismiss them at our peril.

  24. The fundies are dangerous, Will. The question is, are we blaming the pit bull or the owner who takes the pit bull to the mall? The corporations that own America and own the government keep the fundies on a leash. I think an equal effort to dismantle both the corporations and the religious right is appropriate.

  25. “The fundies are dangerous, Will. The question is, are we blaming the pit bull or the owner who takes the pit bull to the mall?”

    Mitch the corporate leaders who courted Hitler thought they had him on a leash, too (again, a little modest reading is probably in order here) – and they learned differently, once he wound up in power.

    Blame? We need only look as far as a mirror – we had the ability to prevent all of this, and right now, from where I sit, I don’t see that happening any more – not when Santorum can force someone of Romney’s influence to scramble for votes in his home-state.

    Santorum’s people said it best – “…regardless of the outcome, we’ve already won in Michigan….” That both have to split the delegates down the middle is mute-testimony to this.

    While I hope for Romney’s ascendancy – I’m not as certain as I was even two months ago.

  26. @ Mitchell,

    “The question is, are we blaming the pit bull or the owner who takes the pit bull to the mall?”

    I happen to love pitbulls – powerful, aggressive towards the enemy but loyal to those who know how to treat them properly. To compare a religious nutter to a pitbull strikes me as offensive to say the least (as their only true loyalty lies with they believe is the word of an intangible deity in the sky).

    @ W.D. Noble,

    I said it before and I’ll say it again – destroy the monopoly on force (i.e. the state) and the relgious nutters will be toothless: it wouldn’t matter how crazy they are because they will never be able to get a hold on the kind of power needed to make their delusions a reality. But seeing as to how you’re deathly afraid of Anarchy I doubt you will ever see the forest for the trees here…

  27. Az, you’ve just described pit bulls and Fundies perfectly.

    Fundies believe in their intangible deity in the sky, pit bulls believe in their tangible deity high above their wagging heads. I’d have to think dogs have a form of saying grace; all they know is where their food comes from.

    Fundies and pit bulls ARE irrational, aggressive and yet loyal to a fault. Perhaps it’s ironic that God and Dog are the same word, reversed.

    The question is, should we exterminate pit bulls because of their aggressiveness? Should we destroy religious fundamentalism because of their aggressiveness? Should Germany have annihilated Hitler before he rose to power to prevent a grave injustice?

    None of these are easy questions to answer.

    I’m still betting on Romney for the nomination, and Obama for the win. We’ll see.

  28. Mitchell, I’m betting on about the same outcome…Romney and then Obama for President.

    W.D.Noble, if your analysis of the fundamentalist movement were correct; then, Obama would have never made it into office by an OVERWHELMINGLY high percent, back in 2008.

    You say,

    *****The followers of the ultra religious Right are people from all walks of life – in fact, many of them middle-class, suburban types.********

    True, but you really give them too much credit! Not all of these people are extremist fundies! A lot of them are traditional religious families who attend church and don’t get into politics at all, out of sheer boredom with it. Some don’t even believe the ENTIRE fundamentalist doctrine. They are as varied as any other group. And you are meshing religions together under this label who fundamentally disagree on many things; such as the literal interpretation of the Bible. Fundies agree on theological doctrines and a unified set of propositional beliefs, like abortion or gay marriage; but they vary on many other issues. For instance, the evangelicals are aggressively irritating in shoving their doctrine down a victim’s throat and will not mix with people who do not buy their doctrine, while the Baptists are generally not so vile in “getting the word out” and are more open to others. The Catholics are one of the more liberal groups in fundamentalism, sometimes pissing the main believers off with their willingness to help immigrants, back unions, and some of their other views. And in the Catholic religion, there are many liberals who value reproductive choice and gay rights…so to many, Catholics aren’t fundamentalist at all, yet they join with the fundies on many issues.

    The Fundamentalist movement has been growing since about the 1960’s based on the idea of putting their views behind treatment centers. THAT is where the majority of their converts came from in a time when people were falling away from religion for many reasons. They came back to religion under the guise of being “saved.”

    You are tying ultra right winged conservatism to fundamentalist Christianity in a way that is like saying, most Latinos are brown, and those brown people believe A…B…C; therefore all brown folks feel…. The fact is, conservatives and fundamentalists don’t agree on everything. Some believe the left is a collectivist one-world mentality of communist infiltrators. Some are convinced women’s reproductive rights are driving the world straight to hell. Some are convinced that the US is controlled by a huge conspiratorial cabal of internationalists, greedy bankers, and corrupt politicians. Some are ultraconservative corporate types who have no religion at all. What you are doing is tying them altogether under the label of fundamentalism and that is not accurate.

    If the fundies were as successful as you imply, then the Tea Party candidates would have had overwhelming success. To this day, they have been disappointed by who is left running for the GOP. As you see…

  29. @ Mitchell,

    The comparisson you draw still isn’t very apt, but rather seems based on the image of pitbulls that has been sold to the general public rather that what they really are.

    1. Yes, they are naturally more aggressive than most other breeds of dog but that aggression is the result of their biology (being fighting dogs and all) and thus can be effectively channeled into other, more productive activities – but the aggression of the religious nutter is psychologically conditioned (as they have been taught to hate the world for not conforming to their ideals) and that aggression cannont be channeled into anything productive beyond “saving souls” or “punishing the wicked” due to its anti-life nature.

    2. The pitbull is a lot smarter than most people give them credit for – the limitations of their intelligence isn’t that different from most other dogs, but many don’t realize their full potential because they are simply thrown into pits to fight to the death (a fate unbecoming of these animals if you ask me). The religious nutter, on the other hand, is only as bright as his belief system *allows* him to be: the pitbull’s intelligence is often limited by circumstance, while the intellectual limits of the religious nutters are self-imposed.

    3. You know the limits of a dog’s loyalty (abused that animal and he will destroy you at the first opportunity – and I have no pity on those who abuse their animals), but the religious nutter often *expects* abuse – often under the guise that he’s being punished for some “sin” (a concept that has no meaning to me). The pitbull will not tolerate being something else’s punching bag, but the religious nutter will.

    As I said before, I find the comparrison between a noble animl like the pitbull and the religious nutter to be offensive…

  30. On bullies or pitbulls — they were once family dogs. Remember Spanky and our Gang? Their reputation has been driven to this through errant breeding and ignorant owners. Today’s bullies have had some of the mean qualities reverse bred out of them, because of the reputation they’ve gained. These dogs are loveable when trained properly. Wish I had a I heart bullies sticker.

  31. I guess that’s because I can take a compassionate view of BOTH pit bulls and Religious Nuts.

    I suppose you could hide behind the genetics/conditioning argument and I’d have to agree with you. Still, I think just like people irrationally hate pit bulls and want to see them exterminated (which I don’t agree with) many people want to see the symbolic destruction of Christianity, as if religion is the problem. Again, don’t agree.

    If anything, the Religious Fundies are an evolutionary consequence of poorly managed government. These religious nuts are still capable of love, of being good fathers and mothers and of making valid points. However, because of their aggressiveness they should be controlled and not let out in public. Badly managed government is the reason they have been unleashed.

    And personally, my theory is that Corporate America is using the Fundies as a scare tactic just to get greedy Obama elected for another term.

  32. For the record Mitchell, I’m not calling for the destruction of all religious nutters – as long as there is religion (and I think it will be with us in some form for a long time down the road – although a man can hope this institution fades from social relevance…) there will be persons among them who take their religious beliefs to be the absolute, immutable truth and seek to wage war against all who oppose (or even simply disagree with) their pet belief system. Destroying religion is just too large a feat to be accomplished in one lifetime (or even several), so that’s not a realistic option.

    What I want is for monopolies on power to be destroyed – for it is these institutions that religious nutters (and, to be frank, anyone with an agenda to dominate large masses of people for their own benefit – religious or not…) seek to control in order to make their vision for the world a reality: break up the powers of corporate and state and all one is left with the locality – if all politics are localized, no single faction (including religious nutters) will ever be able to enforce its will on a large scale.

    In other words, deprive the power-hungry of a means to attain power and the beasts will starve to death before they pose a significant threat…

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