Monday, December 13, 2004

Who's in your coalition?
There's been a lot of hand-wringing in Democratic circles lately about Michael Moore and various other leftists that certain thinkers in the party find unsavory because of past comments they've made that may have been tinged with varying degrees of anti-Americanism. For the most part, I think Moore himself is a straw man, because he has no official position in the party, controls no serious fund-raising organization connected with the party, and has no working relationship with any current prominent figures in the party. People seem upset that Moore was allowed to sit in the same box as Jimmy Carter at the Democratic National Convention in July. But he's become such a boogeyman that he was one of the object's of Peter Beinart's call for a Stalinist purge in the Democratic party, and also became the object of much heated discussion at a recent DLC roundtable dedicated to figuring out why we lost the election (and blaming it on the party's left wing).

But the Republicans have their own skeletons in the closet -- and out of the closet too. The photograph above depicts chief Republican strategist and close Bush political advisor Karl Rove at the May 8, 2004 graduation ceremonies at far-right Liberty University. The bloated little man in the right hand corner is Jerry Falwell, a fundamentalist Christian leader with a huge following, oodles of cash, and a whole rolodex full of connections with prominent Republicans. He also attended the 2004 Republican convention in New York City, though the organizers managed (it seems) not to have him photographed in Gerald Ford's box or anything.

For those with short-term memories, immediately after 9/11, Falwell and Pat Robertson had a conversation about the terrorist attacks on their popular television program The 700 Club. Here is what the good Reverend had to say with his pal Pat Robertson:

Falwell: What we saw on Tuesday, as terrible as it is, could be miniscule if, in fact, God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserveā€¦.The ACLU has got to take a lot of blame for this. And I know I'll hear from them for this, but throwing God...successfully with the help of the federal court system...throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools, the abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked and when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad...I really believe that the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who try to secularize America...I point the thing in their face and say you helped this happen.
Robertson: I totally concur, and the problem is we've adopted that agenda at the highest levels of our government, and so we're responsible as a free society for what the top people do, and the top people, of course, is the court system.
Falwell: Pat, did you notice yesterday that the ACLU and all the Christ-haters, the People for the American Way, NOW, etc., were totally disregarded by the Democrats and the Republicans in both houses of Congress, as they went out on the steps and and called out to God in prayer and sang 'God bless America' and said, let the ACLU be hanged. In other words, when the nation is on its knees, the only normal and natural and spiritual thing to do is what we ought to be doing all the time, calling on God.
Talk about hating America! According to one of the key figures in the Republican coalition, we got "probably what deserve" on 9/11. I doubt even Noam Chomsky would be willing to go that far. But because a fringe figure like Michael Moore made some endlessly-recycled disparaging comment about Americans a few years ago, the Democrats need to have a full-scale intra-party civil war. Meanwhile, prominent conservative religious figures who helped engineer both Bush's 2000 primary triumph and his 2004 re-election can continuously make the most outrageous statements you can possibly imagine, and the Republicans can escape any responsibility for controlling these elements of their party. There's no Republican Peter Beinart sniveling about how the Republicans need to expel the "America-haters" in their party -- mostly because "America hating" is generally defined as "criticizing your country's foreign policy" as opposed to you know, actually hating other Americans, including gays, feminists "pagans," the ACLU, and other people that need to be "hanged." It's perfectly acceptable to share stages with such people.

But I guess winning really does mean never having to say you're sorry, while losing means you have to flagellate yourselves over one pudgy Hollywood filmmaker who criticizes American policy.


At 12:08 AM, Blogger jdeadzone said...

It's so hard for people to have a balanced perspective on things isn't it? No one gets nuts about the republican party's fanatics who are integrated into the power structure. Jesus Christ how did the dems let the repubs do all this?

At 10:19 AM, Blogger jflo said...

Yo, it's Justin.

1) This is really the crowning acomplishment of the Mighty Wurlitzer. Having the Dems second guessing, and really, living in fear of the mighty Republicans.

2) Peter Beinart is a fucking coward.

3) Said it when I thought Kerry was gonna win and I'm saying it now. Dean for DNC.

At 1:16 AM, Blogger David Faris said...

I'm down with Dean at the DNC. I mean, we really can't do much worse than the Terry McAuliffe era, can we?


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