Hanoi Huckabee And Hanoi Hannity

In 1972, actress Jane Fonda, at the height of her youthful popularity, went to North Vietnam, against whom we were still warring, and toured the country for two weeks. While there, she denounced U.S. military policy and did something she later said “was the most horrible thing I could possibly have done.” That something was posing for pictures on an anti-aircraft gun outside of Hanoi. “I will go to my grave regretting that,” she said in 2005, adding,

The image of Jane Fonda, Barbarella, Henry Fonda’s daughter—just a woman—sitting on a enemy aircraft gun, was a betrayal. It was like I was thumbing my nose at the military. And at the country that gave me privilege. It was the largest lapse of judgment that I can even imagine. I don’t thumb my nose at this country. I care deeply about American soldiers.

Fonda did not apologize, though, for being photographed with seven American POWs and for making broadcasts for Radio Hanoi:

Our government was lying to us, and men were dying because of it. And I felt that I had to do anything that I could to expose the lies, and help end the war. That was my goal.

Obviously her trip to Hanoi earned her the lasting ire of many veterans, who would refer to her as “Hanoi Jane” forevermore. Many still consider her a traitor and many lies have grown up and multiplied around that trip in 1972, including a vicious lie, still circulating on the dark side of the Internet, that some POWs passed to her notes to take back home that she allegedly turned over to the North Vietnamese, who then supposedly beat to death some of those POWs.

Fonda’s trip to North Vietnam also made her a legend in the conservative movement, if only as a poster child for all that was wrong with liberals and leftists, all that was wrong with radicals who did not necessarily embrace the idea that if America was doing it, it must be right. Many conservatives over the years have used Fonda as an example of someone who portrays their own country as the “enemy,” and who is either unpatriotic or treasonous for doing so.

Now we come to Mike Huckabee. By now you have heard him say the following, uttered this past weekend at a gathering of Obama-hating right-wing extremists called the New Hampshire Freedom Summit:

Freedom of speech in this country, that for which the men grabbed their muskets off the mantel, did never mean that we’re to have fewer voices, but more voices…My gosh, I’m beginning to think that there’s more freedom in North Korea sometimes than there is in the United States…

Especially in context, those remarks should offend and outrage any American, whether you like Barack Obama or not. I don’t think that Jane Fonda ever said anything as offensive or outrageous as comparing the United States unfavorably with a despotic shit hole like North Korea.

But before he said those offensive and outrageous things, Huckabee said something that I find even more outrageous. Read the following demagogic commentary the law-and-order-loving Huckabee gave on the dangerous drama going on in Nevada—where a delusional rancher has been illegally grazing his cattle on federal government land for twenty years and who says he doesn’t “recognize [the] United States Government as even existing” and who is essentially leading a group of crazed people with guns who are willing to kill federal authorities trying to enforce the law:

There is something incredibly wrong when a government believes that some blades of grass that a cow is eating is so an egregious affront to the government to the United States that we would literally put a gun in a citizen’s face and threaten to shoot him over it. [Interrupted by applause.] Here’s what I’d have to ask: Is this government more interested in some cows eating grass in Nevada than they are as to why Brian Terry was murdered with guns that our government provided drug dealers in Mexico? [More applause.] Somebody help me understand that? Is this government more concerned about a few hundred head of cattle grazing on some land than they are as to why four Americans were murdered in Benghazi? And nobody answered the phone at three o’clock in the morning! [More thunderous applause.] The threats and affronts to our liberty today are so incredibly frightening…

Let’s take a moment to reflect on what Mike Huckabee is saying here. Besides his attempt to appeal to the worst elements of the Republican base—those who think Barack Obama and Eric Holder and Hillary Clinton are essentially murderers or complicit in murder—he is essentially saying that the government should ignore a freeloading lawbreaker in Nevada, a freeloading lawbreaker who has become a folk hero on the right, because that lawbreaking rancher’s crimes aren’t worth enforcing the law. When Huckabee made those remarks he knew that right-wing groups, including Americans for Prosperity, had been championing rancher Cliven Bundy’s cause to the point that reactionary militia members from all over the country were on the scene in Nevada with their guns in order to provide an “armed response” to what the Bureau of Land Management was trying to do. Huckabee knew that. And yet he ignored all that and focused on Fast and Furious and Benghazi. I remind you that besides being a former governor, the man is a bleeping Baptist minister, for God’s sake.

Now enter Sean Hannity. After the Bureau of Land Management decided to wisely back down and not get into a shootout with hysterical reactionaries at this time, Hannity offered the Bundy family yet another opportunity to make their case against the federal government’s authority over the land in Nevada, the land that the Bundys had been profiting from by grazing their cattle on it for free (some dare call that welfare). I will provide you with part of the transcript of that disgusting Fox “News” segment, a transcript that appeared on Fox Nation under the headline:

Cliven Bundy on Harry Reid: ‘I Don’t Think There’s Any Hope for Him, He Needs to Be Kicked Out of Office’

HANNITY: This is a “FOX News Alert.” The federal government has caved to public pressure in the battle against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy over cattle grazing rights. Now, in just a moment, Cliven, his two sons will join us for their first exclusive interview since the siege ended.

But first, the government surrendered this weekend after tensions escalated in the week-long standoff between Bundy family, supporters, and of course, federal agents. Now, the Bureau of Land Management released the 400 cattle that it seized from Bundy and removed its heavily-armed agents from the ranch.

Get that? The federal government “caved” and “surrendered.” Hannity was siding with the armed resistance. He was siding with the lawbreakers who believe the federal government is their enemy. And it was as if Hannity and Friends were cheering for a different outcome, one with, say, blood and death. Hannity even went so far as to claim that Democrats were involved:

HANNITY: …From my perspective, as somebody that follows politics very, very closely, I think that they — I think the politicians were watching this, Democrats in particular, and that they knew if something bad happened here, and they were the ones ratcheting this up – - I mean, we have rapist and murderers and bank robbers and pedophiles out there, and they’ve 200 agents, you know, surrounding your ranch because your cows are eating grass on land that they don’t even want or need and that you’re arguing isn’t even theirs.

So they realized, I think, at some point, politically, that this was going to backfire on them. So I think this was done for political reasons.

As outrageous as Hannity’s promotion of these right-wing extremists was, as outrageous as his claim that Democrats, presumably in Washington, surrendered to gun-toting lawbreakers in Nevada to avoid bad publicity, there was another outrageous thing that happened on his show. Cliven Bundy, the man at the center of this right-wing sanctioned freeloading and lawbreaking, had the following exchange with the Fox host:

HANNITY: Well, let me ask you, because Harry Reid just spoke earlier tonight and he said that, well, it’s not over. He said, quote, “We can’t have American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it. So it’s not over.”

What is your response to Harry Reid?

CLIVEN BUNDY: I don’t have a response for Harry Reid, but I have a response for every sheriff across the United States, every county sheriff across the United States. Disarm the federal bureaucrats. Take the federal United States bureaucrats’ guns away. That’s my message today.

What? “Disarm the federal bureaucrats?” Take their guns away? Sheriffs are suppose to walk up to federal agents and take away their weapons? Huh?bundy ranch sniper

Now, one would expect that Sean Hannity, who thinks people here without citizenship are lawbreakers who should pay fines and not get federal subsidies and should be forced to learn English and suffer other penalties for not being legal Americans like him, one would expect him to tell Cliven Bundy that he was out of his mind for thinking that sheriffs could and should disarm federal officials. One would expect Hannity, who refers to President Obama as lawless, to tell the disturbed rancher that this is a nation of laws and that no law gives a sheriff the right to take a gun away from a federal official who is authorized to possess it, and certainly no law gives people the right to get into a gun battle with government agents carrying out their official duties. But no. Our law-loving conservative host responded with this:

HANNITY: You said that to the sheriff, Cliven. You said to disarm the Park Service, meaning the Bureau of Land Management. I mean, there were, what, 200 people surrounding your ranch and there were snipers and — I mean, it was really a precarious situation there all weekend up until this got resolved, right?

CLIVEN BUNDY: Yes. And if the county sheriff had have taken away the weapons from the BLM, those pickets (ph) would not have to march before these guns. And that was — that’s a terrible thing to put American people in that situation, and — but they did.

And we didn’t have a county sheriff. We didn’t have a state government. And we the people marched, and the BLM backed down. Now, they backed down — let me tell you how they backed down. They backed down. They run. They got on the freeway and went to Mesquite and grabbed their stuff and moved out of the state. Now, the state — towards the state of Utah. Utah County sheriff’s finished this job that Gillespie didn’t do, take the guns away from these federal bureaucrats.

HANNITY: Is your contention that this is state land and that they have no authority or business being there?

CLIVEN BUNDY: They have no authority.

HANNITY: All right, let me ask you about…

“All right.” That’s it. No lecture to Mr. Bundy about the need to obey the laws. No admonition that he and his family were putting government officials in danger. No scolding him for picking and choosing which laws he would like to obey. No moral sermon about how awful it is for the Bundy family to be part of Mitt Romney’s 47% who are mooching off the federal government. No, none of that. In fact, Bundy later spoke again of disarming the enemy, the federal officials trying to enforce the law:

CLIVEN BUNDY: …They might have took over our Clark County sheriff, but they never took over we the people, the sovereign people of this nation. We’re standing and we’re going to stand until we take the guns away from those bureaucracies, and then we’ll start making America great one more time.

To that, I swear to God, our Constitution-loving, Obama-is-a-lawbreaking-radical-who-pals-around-with-terrorists Fox celebrity said:

HANNITY: Did you lose many cows? I understand that some of your cows died.

It’s all about the cows.

Conservatives, those who tacitly defend or openly promote what the Bundy family and their gun-packing fellow travelers are doing in Nevada, at the very least owe Jane Fonda an apology.

In the mean time, if you want a look at real stupidity and lawlessness and mob mentality, I suggest you watch the following video in its entirety (beware: the reactionaries call federal officials some vile and profane names), a video recorded by someone who is proud of what happened in Nevada:

bundy headlines

We Need The Exorcist

Mike Huckabee, Fox host, former governor of Arkansas, former Republican presidential candidate, Baptist preacher, and either a demon-possessed Republican or a Republican-possessed demon (my analysis is incomplete at this time; there may be a distinction here without a difference), has exposed himself as completely out of his mind.

He and a lot of other Benghazi-obsessed Republicans think Big O has been involved in a cover-up of biblical proportions, but Huck has ditched his medication and the resulting stream-of-consciousness insanity is particularly brutal:

I believe that before it’s all over, this president will not fill out his full term. I know that puts me on a limb. But this is not minor. It wasn’t minor when Richard Nixon lied to the American people and worked with those in his administration to cover-up what really happened in Watergate. But, I remind you — as bad as Watergate was, because it broke the trust between the president and the people, no one died. This is more serious because four Americans did in fact die…

When a president lies to the American people and is part of a cover-up, he cannot continue to govern. And as the facts come out, I think we’re going to see something startling. And before it’s over, I don’t think this president will finish his term unless somehow they can delay it in Congress past the next three and a half years.

Just why Barack Obama would want to even remain in office and try to govern a country full of Mike Huckabees is beyond me. I wouldn’t blame O if he and Michelle decided to grab the kids, turn out the lights, and hand the keys to the White’s House over to Huckabee, Limbaugh, Hannity, and Wayne LaPierre, and just be done with it.

exorcist gopThen, by God, we could start two or three more wars in the Middle East, maybe drop a nuke or two on North Korea, kill ObamaCare, boot poor folks off Medicaid and other socialist welfare programs, make gun ownership mandatory, and, oh yeah, start probing the privvies of pregnant women all over the country who don’t have sense enough, by God, to make their own decisions about motherhood.

Either that, or we will have to find a good exorcist—an energetic Democratic electorate who will register and then show up to vote even in off years—to cast the devil out of the Republican Party.

“What A Ridiculous Argument”

I rarely use the word “stupid” to characterize people. The word should be used sparingly, where appropriate and mostly to express for effect how absurd or obviously foolish someone is being. It’s a word usually directed at someone’s idea or argument, when that idea or argument is completely ridiculous.

Like saying the world is flat or that the Earth is merely a few thousand years old. At this point in our history, after all we have learned, we don’t need to waste time taking people seriously who hold such ideas.  As I have said often, these ideas and the people who argue for them need to be ridiculed, not treated as if they are legitimate.

In that context, I saw something on CNN last night that made me better appreciate one of its hosts, Piers Morgan. I’m not a fan, to say the least, but he did something last night that tells me that the gun lobby in this country can be overcome, partly by ridiculing its ridiculous calls for more guns in the culture.

Since the mass slaughter of women and children at Sandy Hook, many of the reactionary laissez-faire gun advocates have been in hiding. But some have had the nerve to show up and defend the indefensible, that we need more guns in our lives. One of those was Larry Pratt, the head of Gun Owners of America.

On Piers Morgan’s show Tuesday night, Pratt offered us that peculiar we-need-more-guns argument, one that seems to be a mainstream argument among gun zealots. It goes like this: if only people in that elementary school were armed, things would have turned out much  better. I am going to give Pratt the benefit of the doubt that he’s not talking about arming the children, even though yesterday a sixth grader in Utah brought a gun and ammo to school to, he said, protect himself.

And since most of us, at least right now, believe kids shouldn’t be hauling guns in their backpacks, Pratt was talking about the adults at Sandy Hook. Okay. The adults at Sandy Hook are mostly teachers. Are we now going to require teachers, in addition to their other responsibilities, to strap on pistols in the morning, as they prepare for a day at school? At least a couple of Republican governors, so far, have suggested that might be okay with them.

Now, most people fully embracing the 21st century know that idea is preposterous and should be the object of much derision. And last night, during Morgan’s interview with Larry Pratt, it was:

PRATT: …America is not the Wild West that you are depicting. We only have the problems in our cities, and unhappily, in our schools where people like you have been able to get laws put on the books that keep people from being able to defend themselves.

I honestly don’t understand why you would rather have people be victims of a crime than be able to defend themselves. It’s incomprehensible.

MORGAN: You’re an unbelievably stupid man, aren’t you?

PRATT: It seems to me that you’re morally obtuse. You seem to prefer being a victim to being able to prevail over the criminal element. And I don’t know why you want to be the criminal’s friend.

MORGAN: What a ridiculous argument. You have absolutely no coherent argument whatsoever. You don’t — you don’t actually give –

PRATT: You have no –

MORGAN: You don’t give a damn, do you, about the gun murder rate in America? You don’t actually care…

I submit to you that it is time that gun zealots like Larry Pratt be subjected to such ridicule, just like those who believe the Earth is only a few thousand years old because an ancient book tells them it is.

And speaking of such people, by now we have all heard former governor and current Fox man Mike Huckabee say this:

We’ve systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools have become a place for carnage because we’ve made it a place where we don’t want to talk about eternity, life, responsibility, accountability?

In a better world, Huckabee, who is suggesting here that secularization is responsible for the slaughter at Sandy Hook, would be laughed off the public stage. He would be the butt of a thousand jokes. Any appearance on television would invoke a Piers Morgan response:

You’re an unbelievably stupid man, aren’t you?  What a ridiculous argument. You have absolutely no coherent argument whatsoever.

Instead, Huckabee enjoys much respect for his Iron Age religious views, as do most of the extremists who argue and lobby for fewer restrictions on guns, all in accordance with an 18th-century frontier philosophy of self-defense, a philosophy born in a time when there were no weapons that could slaughter women and children in a few insanely violent minutes.

And perhaps that tells us more than anything else what is wrong with our country. And perhaps, just perhaps, Piers Morgan’s handling of Larry Pratt on Tuesday night might be a signal that we will no longer treat with undue respect such nonsense.

Did Mike Huckabee Really Say That You Will Go To Hell If You Vote For Obama?

Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, ordained Southern Baptist minister, enthusiastic Romney supporter, and current Inquisitor of the Republican Party, said this in a political ad:

Christians across the nation will have an opportunity to shape the future for our generation and generations to come. Many issues are at stake, but some issues are not negotiable: The right to life from conception to natural death. Marriage should be reinforced, not redefined. It is an egregious violation of our cherished principle of religious liberty for the government to force the church to buy the kind of insurance that leads to the taking of innocent human life.

Your vote will affect the future and be recorded in eternity. Will you vote the values that will stand the test of fire? This is Mike Huckabee asking you to join me November the 6th and vote based on values that will stand the test of fire.

Not only does the Huckster say that God is sneaking a peek at the secret ballot of Christians (God is a nosy deity, I guess), he also says that the vote of Christians can trump God’s will, in that their vote “will affect the future.” And, more important, Pastor Huck suggests a non-Romney vote will subject the actions of Christians—those folks purchased by the blood of Jesus—to a “test of fire.”

Most liberal commentators, because they don’t much understand the language of evangelicals, are interpreting Huck’s comments as meaning that Christians are hell-bound if they vote for The Scary Negro Who Hates God. Here’s an example from Slate:

Huckabee Says Christians Will Go to Hell If They Vote Obama

Not so though. It sounds like that, it sounds like the Huckster is sending Christian Obama voters to hell, but that’s not what he means. If you read 1 Corinthians 3, you’ll see the Apostle Paul tells us:

By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.

See? “The fire will test the quality of each person’s work,” that is, each Christian’s work. Huck is saying that a “yes” vote for Obama will compel God to make a huge withdrawal from the Christian’s heavenly reward bank account, but won’t necessarily send that Christian to hell. He or she will escape “through the flames.” Slick, eh?

Thus, discerning Christians, and those with rather large heavenly bank accounts, can afford to vote for Obama without fear that God will immediately assign them to an eternity in hell. God will merely slap a big penalty on them, call it a Kenyan Socialist Obama Tax, for disobeying Mike Huckabee, but they will still get to heaven.

They just may have to sit in the cheap seats.

So, all you Christians out there with grace to spare, Barack is your man! Feel free to vote your conscience!

Sanity?

“I’m not a quitter. By the grace of God, we’ll win this race.”

—Todd Akin to Mike Huckabee

et’s review what it was that Todd Akin said about rape:

If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.

It is hard for folks not acquainted with evangelicalism—I used to be one, remember—to understand how a man living in the 21st century could not only say such a thing in public but actually think it in private.

Akin last year declared that,

at the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for God and a belief that government should replace God.

Akin’s ability to say such ridiculous and offensive things is really the product of his evangelical mind, a mind taught to analyze everything in the context of the evangelical conception of an all-knowing, all-powerful God.

Thus, it’s not really that hard to understand that deep within his evangelical psyche lurks an idea that somehow there is a mysterious, God-created mechanism in a woman’s body that would “shut that whole thing down“—if the woman were really raped, as opposed to her somehow secretly desiring or “asking for” or, dare I say it, “enjoying” the experience.

Before you object to that and call it a stretch, think about it. That has to be the subtext behind Akin’s comment or it doesn’t make any sense at all to utter it: “If it’s a legitimate rape…” Just what does it imply if a woman claims she was raped but her “female body” doesn’t “shut that whole thing down” and she gets pregnant? Huh?

A version of this idea existed in medieval times, as pointed out by The Guardian:

The idea that rape victims cannot get pregnant has long roots. The legal position that pregnancy disproved a claim of rape appears to have been instituted in the UK sometime in the 13th century. One of the earliest British legal texts, Fleta, has a clause in the first book of the second volume stating that:

“If, however, the woman should have conceived at the time alleged in the appeal, it abates, for without a woman’s consent she could not conceive.”

This was a long-lived legal argument. Samuel Farr’s Elements of Medical Jurisprudence contained the same idea as late as 1814:

“For without an excitation of lust, or the enjoyment of pleasure in the venereal act, no conception can probably take place. So that if an absolute rape were to be perpetrated, it is not likely she would become pregnant.”

This thinking horrifies most of us today, even if it may not sufficiently horrify those with Akin-like minds, those who see God as exercising a detailed control over nature and thus in control of who gets pregnant and when.

So it can be that an evangelical candidate for the U.S. Senate actually suggests that nature-God makes a woman’s body such that it would reject the sperm of a rapist if it were “legitimate rape”—presumably defined by whether the woman had “an excitation of lust or the enjoyment of pleasure in the venereal act.

Now, Todd Akin didn’t quite say all that, but think about what he did say and what he could possibly have meant by it and you can see he must have been thinking something very close to it.

Evangelicals of the sort Akin is believe in all kinds of strange ideas about human nature, including that homosexuality is an abomination, a sin, a curse, or that women are glorified servants of men. And these ideas come from a misplaced, often fanatical insistence that the Bible, read and understood and affirmed as the Word of God, is an authoritative guide to understanding the nature of man and the nature and meaning of existence.

But the Bible is an ancient book full of ancient ideas, many of which have been fully discredited by the only practical tool of genuine understanding we have: science.

And science has something to say on the matter of rape. A 1996 study found:

RESULTS:

The national rape-related pregnancy rate is 5.0% per rape among victims of reproductive age (aged 12 to 45); among adult women an estimated 32,101 pregnancies result from rape each year. Among 34 cases of rape-related pregnancy, the majority occurred among adolescents and resulted from assault by a known, often related perpetrator. Only 11.7% of these victims received immediate medical attention after the assault, and 47.1% received no medical attention related to the rape. A total 32.4% of these victims did not discover they were pregnant until they had already entered the second trimester; 32.2% opted to keep the infant whereas 50% underwent abortion and 5.9% placed the infant for adoption; an additional 11.8% had spontaneous abortion.

CONCLUSIONS:

Rape-related pregnancy occurs with significant frequency. It is a cause of many unwanted pregnancies and is closely linked with family and domestic violence. As we address the epidemic of unintended pregnancies in the United States, greater attention and effort should be aimed at preventing and identifying unwanted pregnancies that result from sexual victimization.

Up against that, we have the evangelical Todd Akin:

If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.

National figures in the Republican Party are beginning to sound the death knell for Mr. Akin. He naturally is clinging to God and to the possibility of victory. He says Missourians need him to put “some sanity back” in Congress. I for one wish he would stay in the race because I think he does represent a large swath of the Republican Party today.

And we need to find out just how many of our fellow Missourians are willing to embrace such ignorance and superstition and call it “sanity.”

Beyond A Doubt?

I want to connect two issues, recently in the news, that may not seem related. 

In a piece in Tuesday’s USA Today, “When will USA get over breastfeeding hang-ups?,” Katherine Chretien hopes that one day, “breastfeeding in public will be seen as nothing out of the ordinary”: 

Let’s face it, we live in a society that has sexualized breasts so much that any display (even in its primary, all-business function) is seen as indecent, allowing the hardy vestiges of American Puritanism to place shame-hexes on nursing moms.

Now, I have never understood the hang-up about breastfeeding, in public or private, but I do understand “the hardy vestiges of American Puritanism,” the unrelenting bigotry of which is able to survive in our otherwise permissive culture.

There is another form of puritanical bigotry increasing in this country, almost unnoticed by the mainstream press, that also has to do with women: the harsh, inflexible anti-choice movement. Here is a story from CNN that illustrates the point:

(CNN) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry revealed a hardening in his stance on abortion Tuesday, telling a crowd in Iowa that he opposed abortions in all cases, including when a woman had been raped or the victim of incest.

Previously, Perry had not opposed the procedure in cases of rape or incest, or when the mother’s life was threatened.

Perry claims that his just-in-time-for-the-Iowa-caucuses “transformation” happened after watching a propaganda film produced by Southern Baptist preacher and Fox “News” host Mike Huckabee, who was the former governor of Arkansas and a former presidential candidate who won the Iowa caucuses in 2008.

From the CNN story:

“…I really started giving some thought about the issue of rape and incest. And some powerful, some powerful stories in that DVD.”

Perry said a woman who appeared in the movie who said she was a product of rape moved him to change his mind about abortion.

“She said, ‘My life has worth.’ It was a powerful moment for me,” Perry said.

I find it interesting that men like Rick Perry and Mike Huckabee and many leaders in the anti-choice movement, a movement that has been very effective in limiting the choices women can make, will never be victims of rape or incest, but feel comfortable forcing women to have children under such circumstances. More than interesting, I find it appalling.

But Rick Perry—who earlier this year signed a bill in Texas forcing women seeking abortions to undergo sonograms and forcing doctors to tell those women the size of their fetuses’ body parts—isn’t the only GOP candidate/extremist against abortion rights. Oddly, the man most people identify as a libertarian, Ron Paul, is staunchly anti-choice. He said in 2005:

I believe beyond a doubt that a fetus is a human life deserving of legal protection, and that the right to life is the foundation of any moral society.

“Beyond a doubt?” That man is expected to finish first or second in Iowa next week. He also said that,

Abortion on demand is the ultimate State tyranny; the State simply declares that certain classes of human beings are not persons, and therefore not entitled to the protection of the law…the new regime has enlisted the assistance of millions of people to act as its agents in carrying out a program of mass murder.

Again, that is a so-called libertarian running for the GOP nomination speaking.

Mitt Romney, whom the mainstream media treat as a “moderate” and whose evolving-devolving position on abortion is legendary, has essentially confessed—to none other than Mike Huckabee himself—that he is an extremist on the “life begins at conception” issue. The two former governors were discussing Romney’s now-controversial health care plan in Massachusetts, which Romney claimed the courts determined must provide the right to an abortion:

Mike Huckabee: “Was there any way that you could have blocked [Romney's health care plan paying for abortion] administratively or through forcing the legislature to have created enabling legislation before it went into effect?”

Romney: “This was something which existed exactly even before our bill was passed. They said people who are receiving care in that was in any way subsidized by government had the right to get abortions as part of that care. And they said that was constitutionally required. So the only way to we could have changed that would be to carry out a constitutional amendment to block the Supreme Court’s decision.”

Mike Huckabee: “Would you have supported the constitutional amendment that would have established the definition of life at conception?”

Mitt Romney: “Absolutely.”

It is true that the Romney campaign disputes the claim that he is in favor of so-called “personhood amendments,” which would grant political rights to minutes-old fertilized eggs, but even in the context of Massachusetts politics, how can a man say he would be in favor of a constitutional amendment that would establish “life at conception,” if that didn’t also mean granting that “life” political rights, most notably the right to be born? If it doesn’t mean that, then just what does it mean?

And remember, Romney made his statement about the constitutional amendment establishing life at conception in the context of restricting “the right to get abortions.” Clearly, he is willing to support measures that would prohibit women from controlling their reproductive decisions.

When Romney vetoed a bill in Massachusetts in 2005 that would have expanded access to emergency contraception, known as the “morning after” pill, he explained his veto by saying this:

The bill does not involve only the prevention of conception: The drug it authorizes would also terminate life after conception…I have spoken with medical professionals to determine whether the drug contemplated under the bill would simply prevent conception or whether it would also terminate a living embryo after conception. Once it became clear that the latter was the case, my decision was straightforward.

Romney tried to hide his extremist position by saying that his decision was based on the “promise” he made to “the citizens of Massachusetts” that he would “not change our abortion laws either to restrict abortion or to facilitate it.” Similarly, he tries to hide his extremism by claiming that such things should be left in state hands. His spokeswoman, Gail Gitcho said,

Mitt Romney is pro-life, and as he has said previously, he is supportive of efforts to ensure recognition that life begins at conception. He believes these matters should be left up to states to decide.

That, in perfect Romney style, is trying to have it both ways. He wants to send the message to the anti-choice community that he is committed to their extremist views, while sending the message to the rest of America that he will not change, as a federal official, the status quo. He wants to send Rick Perry’s and Ron Paul’s message without actually sounding like Rick Perry and Ron Paul.

But who can believe a man who has been a true-believing bishop in the ultra-conservative Mormon church and who once was thrown out of the house of a man who lived in a Boston suburb for insisting that the man not allow his daughter to have an abortion. According to a  report, the man was “appalled at the arrogance of Romney.

Bigotry is a form of arrogance, of course. And whether it is the comparatively trivial impulse to stop women from breastfeeding in public or whether it is the profoundly important matter of trying to restrict a woman’s right to choose to become a mother, the bigotry that goes with the  “hardy vestiges of American Puritanism” is evident, particularly in the politics surrounding abortion in the Republican Party.

Even if the mainstream media largely ignore it.

Trumpula

The Donald Trump orgy continues on “liberal” NBC and MSNBC. 

Only in America can a man as ignorant as Donald Trump go on a major television network—whose news division shamelessly promotes the embarrassingly shameless self-promoter—and pretend he is running for President of the United States by talking nonsense about the world, including stupidly questioning the birthplace of the current president.

I watched Morning Joe in agony this morning as every libidinous panelist—including today’s host, Willie Geist, the so-called liberal Donald Deutsch, and the former Democratic—Democratic!—governor of Pennsylvania, Ed Rendell, service Mr. Trump like fluffers on the set of a Ron Jeremy porn-flick.

At least Ron Jeremy is the real deal.  In terms of political brilliance, Donald Trump talks like John Holmes, but the truth is he carries a small stick.

Fortunately, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski—committed Trumpeteers—were absent today, or a Caligula-like love fest would truly have ensued.

In the mean time, even while NBC and MSNBC have given Trump plenty of room to spout birther conspiracies as a way of attracting attention to his NBC television show, his attractiveness to Tea Party Republicans, who fail to understand Trump’s candidacy deceit, is increasing.

The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows Trump trailing leader Mitt Romney by only 4 points, 21-17.  Among teapartiers, though, Trump leads Romney by 3 points, 20-17.

In the mean time, Celebrity Apprentice sits in 19th place in the top 25 broadcast TV ratings, between Biggest Loser and Mike and Molly.

NBC and MSNBC have more work to do.

Huckabee, Hickabee

The field of potential Republican candidates for president is, to be kind, a pitiful lot, but some of them are just plain dumb.

Let’s look at Mike Huckabee, who led all comers in a new Winthrop University poll of Southern voters with almost 22%.

Huckabee, whose appeal is primarily among white evangelical voters, is set to undertake a book tour of the South next week, where his recent stupid statements on Barack Obama’s childhood will, no doubt, serve him well.

A few days ago, on a right-wing  whack job’s radio show,  Huckabee got caught up in the whack job’s invective about Obama’s birth certificate and managed to move the conversation down from there. For those who haven’t read the exchange between Huck and Steve Malzberg, here it is in all its colossal idiocy:

MALZBERG: Don’t you think it’s fair also to ask him, I know your stance on this. How come we don’t have a health record, we don’t have a college record, we don’t have a birth cer – why Mr. Obama did you spend millions of dollars in courts all over this country to defend against having to present a birth certificate. It’s one thing to say, I’ve — you’ve seen it, goodbye. But why go to court and send lawyers to defend against having to show it? Don’t you think we deserve to know more about this man?

HUCKABEE: I would love to know more. What I know is troubling enough. And one thing that I do know is his having grown up in Kenya, his view of the Brits, for example, very different than the average American. When he gave the bust back to the Brits –

MALZBERG: Of Winston Churchill.

HUCKABEE: The bust of Winston Churchill, a great insult to the British. But then if you think about it, his perspective as growing up in Kenya with a Kenyan father and grandfather, their view of the Mau Mau Revolution in Kenya is very different than ours because he probably grew up hearing that the British were a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather.

Now, obviously Huckabee’s basic facts are all wrong: Obama didn’t grow up in Kenya.  And he therefore didn’t grow up with his father and grandfather there. In fact, he didn’t grow up with them at all, anywhere. He only met his father one time, and he spent most of his childhood in Hawaii, as everyone outside the South and the Republican Party knows.

And Huckabee’s attempt to subsequently explain his idiocy is even worse than the original statements, because he had ample time to think about the explanation.  A spokesman first said Huckabee simply “misspoke,” claiming Huckabee meant to say Obama grew up in Indonesia.  Now, you can go back to that conversation and substitute Indonesia and you will find this:

But then if you think about it, his perspective as growing up in Indonesia with an Indonesian father and grandfather, their view of the Mau Mau Revolution in Indonesia is very different than ours because he probably grew up hearing that the British were a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather.

You can see how dumb it was to say he misspoke and meant Indonesia. That turns Obama’s father and grandfather into Indonesians and moves the Mau Mau Revolution out of Kenya, which is kind of strange since that’s where it happened and since the Mau Mau anti-colonialists were most definitely Kenyans, unless they all forged their birth certificates, which is just as likely as Obama forging his.

But then to make it worse, Huckabee published a statement on his blog, not only reaffirming that he meant to say Indonesia instead of Kenya, but claiming that he always knew there was no issue with Obama’s birth certificate and then blaming the New York Times for sensationalizing the story!  He then compared Obama’s “57 states” gaffe to his Kenyan gaffe, as if they were somehow qualitatively the same.

Dumb, dumb, dumb.  But that’s what you get when you play in the sandbox with idiot birthers. 

Besides the obvious, my problem with all this, in terms of Huckabee’s qualifications to lead the country, is that even if he in fact believes there is no issue with Obama’s birthplace, why didn’t he tell Malzberg that?  Why did he allow himself to get caught up in the spirit of that wacky moment?  Why didn’t he have the guts to set him and his listeners straight? What kind of bleeping leader is that?

The truth is that Huckabee, like so many Republicans and so many Southerners, wants to keep alive the notion that Obama is “the other,” not one of “us,” not a real American.

It’s shameless, and it should disqualify Huckabee from doing anything outside his Fox “News” gig.  Unfortunately, though, for so many Republicans, it makes him more attractive.

[photo: Timothy Devine]

Remarks and Asides

Yet another federal judge rejected arguments that our new health care law’s insurance mandate is unconstitutional.  This time it was in Virginia, via a lawsuit brought by Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, which is where Baptist brains go to die.

The “university” sued claiming not only that the Commerce Clause cannot be used to justify the mandate, but that the law violates the university’s religious rights (universities have religious rights?) because it forces the anti-choice zealots to subsidize abortion in some strange way that nobody can understand, including those who actually wrote the law. 

Oh, well.  It’s on to the Court of Appeals and then the Supreme Court, where the zealots believe they have a fighting chance with their fellow zealots who happen to control the court.  God is good, you know.

________________________

Republican presidential hopefuls are demonstrating orgasmic enthusiasm for doing something about the WikiLeaks fiasco.  Something violent.

Mike Huckabee, whom God made governor of Arkansas as part of his Plan to make the Huckster president (it worked once before), not only wants to execute the source of the leaks, he also wants to execute the New York Times for publishing some of the leaks.  How do you electrocute a newspaper?  

Sarah Palin wants the President to hunt down WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is from the Land Down Under, like a terrorist marsupial:

Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders?

Oh my God!  First Afghanistan, then Iraq, now Australia! 

________________________

Speaking of Sarah Palin, Joe Scarborough, a conservative with his own show on “liberal” MSNBC, has officially taken her on.  Well, actually he has taken on the Republican establishment for not taking her on:

If Republicans want to embrace Palin as a cultural icon whose anti-intellectualism fulfills a base political need, then have at it. I suppose it’s cheaper than therapy.

But if the party of Ronald Reagan, Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio wants to return to the White House anytime soon, it’s time that Republican leaders started standing up and speaking the truth to Palin.

Why speak the truth to her?  Why piss her off?  She’s not going to run for president, and anyone who wants to be the nominee of the Republican Party will need her loyal legions, whom she commands through Facebook and Twitter.  And it would be dumb, and unpresidential, to attack her for her anti-intellectualism, since that is what makes her so attractive to her anti-intellectual followers.

What was Scarborough thinking?

__________________________

Speaking of anti-intellectuals, in case you missed it, Steve King, Republican congressman from Iowa, has his hood and robe all in a tangle over the fact that black farmers might get their due, after the USDA admitted it had discriminated against them between 1983 and 1997 by not loaning them money to purchase farms or to save the farms they had. 

King, a follower of Jesus Christ, said,

We’ve got to stand up at some point and say, ‘We are not gonna pay slavery reparations in the United States Congress.’ That war’s been fought. That was over a century ago. That debt was paid for in blood and it was paid for in the blood of a lot of Yankees, especially. And there’s no reparations for the blood that paid for the sin of slavery. No one’s filing that claim.

But besides all that, did you know Obama supported the black farmers?  And did you know Obama was (whisper) b-l-a-c-k?  Well, actually King said Barack Obama was “very, very urban.” Apparently, that’s how folks in Sioux City and Council Bluffs refer to “negroes.”

Another fun fact about Steve King: Last year, the House voted to place a plaque in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center that would acknowledge the role of slavery in the construction of the Capitol.  The measure passed 399 to 1.  Yep. You guessed it. Here was part of King’s explanation:

This is just the latest example of a several year effort by liberals in Congress to scrub references to America’s Christian heritage from our nation’s Capitol. Liberals want to amend our country’s history to eradicate the role of Christianity in America and chisel references to God or faith from our historical buildings.

Our Judeo-Christian heritage is an essential foundation stone of our great nation and should not be held hostage to yet another effort to place guilt on future Americans for the sins of some of their ancestors.

This man sits on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil LibertiesWho knows, next January he may be the chairman. God willing.

Jesus Loves The Children—Except The Sick Ones

Beginning tomorrow, among other things health insurance companies won’t be able to tell the parents of sick children that they can’t get insurance for their ailing kids.

So, naturally, the response of profit-motivated insurance companies is to simply end insurance coverage for all children not covered under their parent’s policies.  Anthem, Aetna, Cigna, Humana, WellPoint, CoventryOne are the first to do so, but surely others will follow.  There apparently isn’t a profit to be made in insuring children without discriminating against the sick ones, and as we all know, profits come before children.

Now, if we are going to have an insurance system that, despite the health care reform law passed by Democrats this year, is still a for-profit system, then I suppose we have to expect profit-hungry companies to put profits ahead of people.  That’s just the way it works.  Someday, that behavior will lead to an elimination of the for-profit system, but as long as Tea Party folks can scare the devil out of politicians, that day is a long way off.

In the mean time, there’s Mike Huckabee.  The former governor of Arkansas, who currently hosts his own show on the Republican “News” Channel, is an ordained Southern Baptist minister.

Get that?  The man is an ordained minister in one of the most conservative Christian church groups in America.  The Southern Baptists.  You know, the ones from the South who split with other Baptists because they thought black folks made good slaves.  You know, the ones who produced Bible verses that proved slavery was okay with God.  You know, the ones who fought civil rights for black folks all the way to the end.  You know, the ones who didn’t beg for forgiveness from those black folks until 1995.

Those guys.  The Southern Baptists.  Huckabee is one of those guys.

Last Friday, at the Values Voters Summit, where Southern Baptist-like people got together and demonstrated the love of Christ for all to see, Huckabee decided to unveil his Christ-like defense of the for-profit insurance industry as it relates to people with pre-existing conditions:

It sounds so good, and it’s such a warm message to say we’re not gonna deny anyone from a pre-existing condition. Look, I think that sounds terrific, but I want to ask you something from a common sense perspective. Suppose we applied that principle [to] our property insurance. And you can call your insurance agent and say, ‘I’d like to buy some insurance for my house.’ He’d say, ‘Tell me about your house.’ ‘Well sir, it burned down yesterday, but I’d like to insure it today.’ And he’ll say ‘I’m sorry, but we can’t insure it after it’s already burned.’ Well, no pre-existing conditions.

I have studied the New Testament pretty thoroughly over the years.  And I can’t seem to recall the verse or verses in which Jesus compared sick children to houses that have burned down or to cars that have been totaled (another Huckabee analogy).   Maybe those verses were next to the ones that condoned slavery and I just missed them.

But with apologists like Huckabee giving them cover, is it any wonder that the insurance industry has little fear of using sick kids as an excuse for not selling insurance policies that cover individual children?

Thanks, Mike.  You are a true Southern Baptist.

A “Crap-Wrapped And Crap-Riddled Piece Of Loathsome And Offensive And Truth-Despising Tea Party Propaganda”

Pardon me, but I want to share with you something that I believe is a new low point not only for the Fox “News” Channel—and there have been plenty of low points—but also for the Tea Party ‘movement,” whose fiery members no doubt consider themselves to be a part of the “loyal” opposition to the Obama administration, but many of whom are in reality disloyal to the principles of democracy, especially our republican form.

Last week on Fox “News” Channel’s, “Huckabee,” while Introducing Jon Voight’s “special message for the people of America,” the host, Mike Huckabee, who pretends to be just an “ah shucks,” country-preacher from Arkansas, said this to Mr. Voight about Mr. Voight:  

I believe you have been gifted with extraordinary wisdom and insight into this nation’s particular predicament right now.* 

With that, off we went into the most outrageous, disgusting, bigoted, racially-tinged attack on Obama I have ever heard on Fox “News” or anywhere else on “mainstream media” for that matter, considering this piece of garbage was not spoken extemporaneously by some publicity-seeking Obama-hater on a fringe right-wing radio station. 

This was spoken by a famous actor on a popular Fox “News” show, reading from a prepared text, in the presence of a Man of God and former governor of one of our United States—without a peep of protest.  

All I can say is that Huckabee and Fox “News” should, but won’t, be ashamed of themselves. 

Although I have included the video of this shameful moment in American broadcasting history, you should first read the words, which I transcribed as follows:    

In one year the American people are witnessing the greatest lie, that is cleverly orchestrated by President Obama and his whole administration. The lie is a potent aggression that feeds the needs of people, who either have not educated themselves enough to understand the assault upon us all, or the very poor needy, who live to be taken care of.   

President Obama feeds these people poison, giving them the idea that they are entitled to take from the wealthier, who have lived and worked in a democracy that understands that capitalism is the only truth that keeps the nation healthy and fed.   

Now, the lie goes very deep, and President Obama has been cleverly trained in the Alinsky method.  And it would be very important that every American knows what that method is: it is a socialistic, Marxist teaching, and with it, little by little, he rapes this nation, taking down our defenses, making new language for the Islamic extremists.    

The world, who looked up to us a symbol for hope and prosperity, now wonders what will become of the entire world, if America is losing its power. 

The American people who understand exactly what is taking place, have come together in the thousands, vowing to try to stay together as a unit of love and freedom for all men and women, from all walks of life, shivering to think that this once-great nation will be a third world company—country.   

This will be the first president to ever weaken the United States of America. President Obama uses his aggression and arrogance for his own agenda against the will of the American people, when he should be using his will and aggression against our enemies.   

Every loving American for peace and truth and the security of our nation, must come out and join the Tea Parties in their states. The opposition will continue their tactics, their lies, and plant their own bullies amongst us. Everyone must pay close attention to who stands next to them.  We can weed out the liars and agitators. 

Let us all stay in God’s light. Let no man put asunder. We can and we will prevail.  God bless us all.   

If you still have the stomach to watch the actual delivery of this crap-wrapped and crap-riddled piece of loathsome and offensive and truth-despising Tea Party propaganda, here it is:   

*In September of last year, Voight appeared on Huckabee’s show and also made outrageous and disreputable comments, so Huckabee’s judgment about Voight here ipso facto includes those comments, which Rod Dreher—a conservative from the Dallas Morning News—reported this way:

Last weekend, I tuned into a Fox program hosted by the avuncular former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, of whom I am a fan. There sat actor Jon Voight, staring gravely at the host, who praised the thespian’s “courage.”

“We’re witnessing a slow and steady takeover of our true freedoms,” Voight scowled. “We’re becoming a socialist nation, and Obama is causing civil unrest in this country. … I say that they’re taking away God’s first gift to man: our free will.”

Voight then accused the president of trying to depose God and deify himself — as, according to the Book of Revelation, the Antichrist will do. It may sound ridiculous — after all, who looks to celebrities for political wisdom? — but it’s deadly serious to millions of Americans.

To his great discredit, Huckabee, a pastor, let this crazy talk pass unchallenged.

Born-Again Christians Shouldn’t Drive

Globebloggers Johnny Kaje and Anson Burlingame have had a dispute over the issue of “faith is crap,” culminating in Anson blogging about it and Kaje writing a humorous piece about her trip to Springfield to the Skepticon II event.

All of which has made me think about one of the most bizarre beliefs in the fundamentalist world.  There are some weird and disturbing interpretations of the Bible, and then there is the doctrine of the Rapture.

For those of you out of tune with modern fundamentalism and evangelicalism, here is the Rapture in one sentence:  At some point in the future—usually in “our lifetime“—Jesus is going to return to the Earth to “gather” his born-again followers, who will be “taken up” into the air to be with him, leaving everyone else to fend for themselves in the dark days ahead, which Christians call the Tribulation.

Now, as bizarre as this seems, apparently more than 40% of all Americans believe in some version of it.  I don’t mean they believe in Jesus’ return in general (most Christians so believe), but in the specific idea of the Rapture, the one in which a car on I-44, full of people, could have its driver raptured into heavenly bliss while its other, less saintly passengers, would end up smashed against an oncoming big rig, the driver of which was also the recipient of a ticket to ride. 

So, what does this have to do with politics?  Well, I have suggested that some Republican candidates, like Mike Huckabee for instance, sometimes appear to be unable to make a distinction between American foreign policy and Israeli foreign policy, as when the Huckster visited Israel recently and criticized Obama’s position on Jewish settlements in occupied territory.

Since Huckabee is a born-again Christian who believes in the Bible as the Word of God, his biblical views obviously have some impact on his political views and thus on his political decisions, particularly involving the Middle East.  And so do the biblical views of millions upon millions of other Americans.

As Sam Harris put it:

It really is not an exaggeration to say that some significant percentage of the American electorate, which if they turned on their television today and saw that a mushroom cloud had replaced Jerusalem, they would see a silver lining in that cloud.  In so far as people like that elect our presidents and congressmen and in so far as they get elected as presidents and congressmen, that’s a terribly dangerous state of affairs.

Dangerous, indeed. 

Just to remind you of how dangerous, here is a clip of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson—just two days after 9/11—discussing their religious view of America—again, one with which many Americans concur:

Now, that is why these bizarre beliefs must be challenged and ridiculed. 

Faith in a “higher being” is one thing, but specific beliefs that lead to the kind of reasoning employed by wildly popular evangelists like the late Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson is another.

UPDATE: 

Fox 31 TV in Denver posted a story on yet another right-wing Christian, this time a car dealer just outside of Denver, in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, who posted this billboard:  

A reporter for Fox 31 interviewed the car dealer:

“Since Fort Hood, I’ve had it,” owner Phil West* told FOX 31 News Friday. “You can’t suggest things. You can’t profile. You gotta call a spade a spade.”

“Everything I have read about Mr. Obama points right to the fact that he is a Muslim. And that is the agenda of what Muslim is all about. It’s about anti-American, it’s about anti-Christianity,” West said.

As I said, there are political implications of bizarre religious beliefs.  In fact, I’m surprised John Putnam, local birther, born-again Christian, and Captain of the Jasper County Morality Police, hasn’t erected such a sign on I-44.

*I believe the gentleman’s name is Phil Wolf.

Mike The Magic Negro

While too many sweeping inferences have been drawn from the still-unresolved N.Y. 20 special Congressional election, one thing is for sure. Michael Steele, chairman of the RNC, has put his butt on the line for his candidate, James Tedisco.

Campaigning personally in the district, Steele has also steered bags of money and resources into the race, no doubt to prove himself worthy of playing Rochester to Rush Limbaugh.

Though both men are the preeminent African-Americans in their respective parties, Steele always seems to be working in the shadows of Barack Obama. At the Republican National Convention in 2004, he was enlisted to give the Republican counter to Obama’s propulsive keynote speech given earlier at the Democrat’s convention.

And as chairman of the RNC, his job is to undo the damage Barack Obama’s election victory has done to the GOP. Playing a large role in winning N.Y. 20 will at least temporarily stop the bleeding of both the party and Steele’s own career.

Whether he is ultimately successful in undoing what Obama has done remains to be seen, but Steele did get off to a strange start.

As the chairman of the RNC, he is supposed to provide effective leadership, coordinate fundraising, and develop a winning election strategy. He is not supposed to say things like this:

Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. Rush Limbaugh’s whole thing is entertainment. Yes, it is incendiary. Yes, it is ugly.

After he dissed Limbaugh, and Limbaugh dissed him back, Steele scrambled to make amends:

I have enormous respect for Rush Limbaugh. I was maybe a little bit inarticulate. There was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership. I went back at that tape and I realized words that I said weren’t what I was thinking. It was one of those things where I thinking I was saying one thing, and it came out differently. What I was trying to say was a lot of people want to make Rush the scapegoat, the bogeyman, and he’s not.

Steele, a former Fox News contributor, has also threatened to support primary challengers against the few remaining moderate Republicans in the entire world, Specter, Snowe and Collins. (“Oh, yes, I’m always open to everything, baby, absolutely.”)

And in a GQ interview, he waxed squishy on abortion, appearing to support a woman’s right to make an individual decision. He received the predictable response from the Leviticus wing of the party. Mike Huckabee, the happy face of Levitical Republicanism, wrote:

For Chairman Steele to even infer that taking a life is totally left up to the individual is not only a reversal of Republican policy and principle, but it’s a violation of the most basic of human rights–the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

And former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, who ran against Steele for the RNC chairmanship, said:

Chairman Steele, as the leader of America’s Pro-Life conservative party, needs to re-read the Bible, the U.S. Constitution, and the 2008 GOP Platform. He then needs to get to work — or get out of the way.

But once again, Mr. Steele backtracked. Mike Huckabee later assured us :

I have spoken this afternoon to Chairman Michael Steele and have received clarification from him as to his comments regarding the sanctity of life issue
….Michael affirms his pro-life commitment, including support for the party platform of a Constitutional amendment to protect life and his conviction that life begins at conception.

While it is impossible to determine why someone in Mr. Steele’s position would grovel in such a way, maybe Malcolm X can shed some light :

Back during slavery, when Black people like me talked to the slaves, they didn’t kill ‘em, they sent some old house Negro along behind him to undo what he said. You have to read the history of slavery to understand this.

There were two kinds of Negroes. There was that old house Negro and the field Negro. And the house Negro always looked out for his master. When the field Negro got too much out of line, he held them back in check. He put ‘em back on the plantation.

Sometimes Mr. Steele sounds like a man who could nobly lead the Republican Party away from its current state of dominance by right-wing extremists.

Other times he sounds like a man who would miss the comforts of the house.
__________________________________________________________

COMMENTS:

Anson Burlingame writes:

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 03:42 PM

Duane, I love it. The Leviticus Wing of the party. Next up, no more lobsters or crabmeat!!

Anson

__________________________________________________________

 kaje writes:

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 11:11 PM
You might want to provide some context regarding the title of your post. For readers who don’t know about Rush’s “Barack the Magic Negro” song, the post title is jarring to say the least!
___________________________________________________________

 Duane writes:

Friday, April 3, 2009, 12:57 AM

You just did. Thank you.

RDG

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 586 other followers

%d bloggers like this: