Mack Evans And The End Of The World

Preaching and believing apocalyptic doom is not limited to crazy people in surplus uniforms playing God’s Army in the woods of Michigan, like the Hutaree were until the FBI put the kibosh on their alleged plans to kill government agents, better known as the police.

Hal Lindsey, Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, and countless other Christians have made a decent (some would say, indecent) living warning of our impending destruction, the end of the world.  We even have such folks here in Joplin.

Ironically, on the Sunday the FBI moved in and foiled the alleged plot of the Hutarees, Central Christian Center’s weekly television broadcast featured a guest appearance by former and much-beloved pastor, Mack Evans, whose sermon focused on “the last days.” 

For those who don’t know, Central Christian Center is one of the area’s largest churches and occupies the former Fox Theater in downtown Joplin.  Our current mayor, Gary Shaw, serves as Executive Administrator, Elder, and Trustee of the church.

Anyway, Pastor Mack’s sermon, which was actually recorded the previous Sunday, included themes similar in nature to those one might find on sites like Hutareewithout the accompanying affection for violence, however.  Repeat: Mack Evans’ sermon did not advocate or even suggest that Christians take up arms against the government.

The main theme I am referring to is the “end times” meme that permeates much of evangelical and fundamentalist Christianity in America, which then is amplified by people like those in Michigan, who put on uniforms and strap on guns and practice fighting the government in preparation for some kind of apocalyptic convulsion.

On the Hutaree site, you will find this statement:

…the people with enough faith to last as long as it might take are the wise ones. They know and believe in the testimony of Christ, even through the darkest and most doubtful of times. This day is soon.

Now, Pastor Mack’s sermon also touched on a similar theme of “the darkest and most doubtful of times.”  He said,

…you do not have to be a Christian to know that things are accelerating out of control…on a gut level, you talk to anybody—you talk to anybody—and on a gut level they know that things are not right…You know that the spiritual pressure is increasing and the end time events are moving faster and faster.  The spiritual war in the heavenlies is intensifying and the closer we get to the last days, there will be a rapid acceleration of events—signs in the heavens and on the earth and men’s hearts failing them for fear…

The pastor was just getting started:

…there’s also going to be social, political, economical, and spiritual unrest and destruction.  Now, right now, Church, economically and politically, governments are beginning to reach crisis stage.  You have Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Spain, France, and the United States—right now—that is on the verge of bankruptcy—all of them.

If you are sufficiently scared by now, but still yearn for more details, he continued:

Now, the United States, whether you know it or not, is in critical mass right now.  We’re gonna pass, apparently, the health care bill—I think everybody deserves health care—but I think this may be one of the final blows to bring down the finances and the political—politics—of this country. [A boisterous “Amen” shouted at this point.]

While I have heard many similar pessimistic sermons in my time as an evangelical Christian, I don’t think I ever heard one that involved relating the passage of a universally acknowledged bill of good intentions (whatever one thinks of its economic assumptions) to our demise as a country.  In my experience, our doom was connected to such horrid things as sexual permissiveness or abortion or homosexuality—or simply because our “time” was up.

In any case, the point of citing Pastor Mack’s ominous message to the faithful at Central Christian Center, is that this kind of Bible-based cynicism about our future—that pollutes the minds of millions of our fellow citizens, including children—is a dangerous and possibly ultimately self-destructive feature of American culture.*

Not only does this end-times theology put fear in the hearts of our youth and promote unhealthy cynicism about our government and our civilization, it makes the world a little safer for folks like the “Christian Warriors” of Michigan, who take seriously the implications of such radically morbid theology.

It’s much like the way fundamentalist and evangelical rhetoric and teaching about the “sin” of homosexuality makes the world a little safer for the hateful members of Westboro Baptist Church—whose URL includes,, and who claim they have conducted nearly 43,000 “peaceful demonstrations opposing the fag lifestyle of soul-damning, nation-destroying filth.”

It’s much like the way the extreme anti-abortion and anti-choice rhetoric—”babykillers” and “murderers“—makes the world a little safer for domestic terrorists like Scott Roeder, who murdered Dr. George Tiller and remains unrepentant and defiant to this day.

Admittedly, it’s a long way from Pastor Mack’s sermon on the end times to strapping on semi-automatic weapons and picking a fight with the government, but the message of both Mack Evans and the Hutaree begins with an apocalyptic vision written a long time ago in an age of considerable ignorance and superstition.

And it really has no place in the modern world.

I’ll end with a final quote from Pastor Mack’s sermon, which may sound strange to secular ears, but is fairly typical of fundamentalist and conservative evangelical biblical exegesis:

…He [Jesus] said the day’s gonna come when there’s gonna be some overcomers—times are gonna be so tough and so hard they’re gonna have to have a new authority. And when that comes, just relax: “I’ll give you a new name. I’ll give you a new authority.  And with that name and that authority, no enemy will be able to stand.”

Reverend Wright anyone?


*Sam Harris and others have pointed out that some of the so-called end time “prophecies” may be fulfilled by religious zealots seeking their fulfillment and thus may have dangerous political implications.

“Political Violence” Has A Right-Wing Father

Eugene Robinson, Op-Ed columnist for the Washington Post, wrote this today about the Christian militia arrests yesterday: 

The episode highlights the obvious: For decades now, the most serious threat of domestic terrorism has come from the growing ranks of paranoid, anti-government hate groups that draw their inspiration, vocabulary and anger from the far right.   

He is exactly right.  And Robinson points out the myth of moral equivalence that seems to qualify much of the coverage of the Hutaree case:  

It is disingenuous for mainstream purveyors of incendiary far-right rhetoric to dismiss groups such as the Hutaree by saying that there are “crazies on both sides.” This simply is not true. 

Admitting that a generation ago the “political violence” came from the far left, Robinson says these days, “it is hard to identify any kind of leftist threat.” 

 He continues: 

By contrast, there has been explosive growth among far-right, militia-type groups that identify themselves as white supremacists, “constitutionalists,” tax protesters and religious soldiers determined to kill people to uphold “Christian” values. 

If you have listened to any conservative pundits on television or radio the past two days, you have heard a steady diet of “both sides do it.” To which Robinson says,

It is dishonest for right-wing commentators to insist on an equivalence that does not exist. The danger of political violence in this country comes overwhelmingly from one direction — the right, not the left. The vitriolic, anti-government hate speech that is spewed on talk radio every day — and, quite regularly, at Tea Party rallies — is calibrated not to inform but to incite.

Demagogues scream at people that their government is illegitimate, that their country has been “taken away,” that their elected officials are “traitors” and that their freedom is at risk. They have a right to free speech, which I will always defend. But they shouldn’t be surprised if some listeners take them literally. 

As for the issue of Obama’s “legitimacy,” the president himself had the following to say about it and the Tea Party phenomenon, and notice how this dangerous radical who wants to destroy America has a hard time containing his utter hatred for teapartiers:  

Vodpod videos no longer available. 

Christian Warriors: Keeping “The Testimony Of Jesus Alive”

A man who organized a rally of gun-toting “Christians” outside the state capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky, in support of Second Amendment rights, had this to say on Saturday, according to Fox “News“:

Rex Bartley, state coordinator for the march, said bearing arms is a “God-given right,” and said gun rights supporters are a “silent majority” who need to speak out.

Now, the Erstwhile Conservative’s best researchers scoured the Bible for gun-references in both the Old and New Testaments, but so far no verse has surfaced that could reasonably be interpreted to include God-given rights to own any kind of Glock, Colt Combat Commander, or even a Mossberg, but we’ll keep looking. 

God’s taste in weapons seems to run toward stones, knives, and swords for small-scale killing, and fire and brimstone for those times when the killing must be done wholesale.

In any case, there is no conceivable way one can claim that gun-toting, gun rights supporters are a “silent majority.”

In the news today are reports that an anti-government Christian militia group is currently under siege by their—our—government, and despite stockpiling weapons under an offensively expansive interpretation of the Second Amendment, the militiamen and women either submitted peacefully or fled in fear.

At the heart of the latest FBI assault on piece-loving Christian gangsters, is a group called Hutaree, whose website homepage is decorated in some killer camouflage.  The raison d’être of the group is, naturally, biblically based:

“Preparing for the end time battles to keep the testimony of Jesus Christ alive”

On the “Christian warrior” website the following video is posted, which presumably shows Hutaree warriors practicing their considerable gun-toting skills in an assault against the government.*  I couldn’t find the video on their site that shows them running scared from the FBI, so this one will have to do:

The point of all this is that, frequently, I hear gun rights fanatics argue that the purpose of the Second Amendment was and is to allow citizens to arm themselves so the government couldn’t and can’t ride roughshod over their individual rights.

Oh, yeah?

A line from “About Us” on the Hutaree site says,

The Hutaree will one day see its enemy and meet him on the battlefield if so God wills it.

Looks like that “battlefield” will be a courtroom, and I’m pretty sure the Christian warriors can’t carry their guns in there—at least, not yet. 

Don’t underestimate the power of teabaggers, as they sweep across the country with their Bibles, their Constitutions, and their guns.


*It could also be auditions for the newest Rambo installment, “God’s Army: Defending The Almighty Using An Old Car, Smokebombs and Creepy Music.”

The Pope: “A Prima Facie Suspect”

On the issue of pedophilia and the Pope, what he knew and when he knew it, the waters are a little murky at the moment. But Christopher Hitchens has written an article for Slate that summarizes nicely my general problem with the Catholic Church:

Almost every week, I go and debate with spokesmen of religious faith. Invariably and without exception, they inform me that without a belief in supernatural authority I would have no basis for my morality. Yet here is an ancient Christian church that deals in awful certainties when it comes to outright condemnation of sins like divorce, abortion, contraception, and homosexuality between consenting adults. For these offenses there is no forgiveness, and moral absolutism is invoked. Yet let the subject be the rape and torture of defenseless children, and at once every kind of wiggle room and excuse-making is invoked. What can one say of a church that finds so much latitude for a crime so ghastly that no morally normal person can even think of it without shuddering?

Hitchens also has a comment about the Pope:

The supreme leader of the Roman Catholic Church is now a prima facie suspect in a criminal enterprise of the most appalling sort—and in the attempt to obstruct justice that has been part and parcel of that enterprise.

If it turns out that the Pope–also a head of state–is guilty of a quasi-criminal offense, Hitchens asks what should happen if the Pope travels away from the Vatican: “Does he have immunity? Does he claim it? Should he have it?

[AP photo]

Conservative Pundit Loses Job For Telling Truth

In a sign that right-wing fanatics will continue to dominate the brain trust of American conservatism, David Frum has lost his job—and his health insurance to boot.

The American Enterprise Institute, a conservative groupthink tank, has apparently given Mr. Frum, George Bush’s former speechwriter, the left foot of fellowship, and he “resigned” from his job as a “resident fellow.”  Whether the resignation was related to donor complaints, as Frum alleges, or whether it was his lack of interest in taking the “resident” part of his job seriously, as Charles Murray claims, is in dispute.

But judging from the reaction on the right, Frum’s initial sin was in correctly labeling as a failure (“our Waterloo”) the Republican strategy to disengage from the legislative process on the health care reform issue:

…we went for all the marbles, we ended with none.

Apparently, though, the kicker happened a couple of days ago when Terry Moran of ABC interviewed Frum, which included this:

Moran: “It sounds like you’re saying that the Glenn Becks, the Rush Limbaughs, hijacked the Republican party and drove it to a defeat?”

Frum: “Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us and now we’re discovering we work for Fox. And the balance here has been completely reversed. The thing that sustains a strong Fox network is the thing that undermines a strong Republican party.”

That “thing” is the anger of the mob of malcontents who watch Fox “News” and make people like Beck, Hannity, and Limbaugh rich men for keeping their listeners—including Republican politicians—pissed off and hysterical.  Frum told Moran:

The anger trapped the leadership. The leadership stoked the anger and then discovered they had no maneuvering room as a result of the anger.

As he had said earlier,

How do you negotiate with somebody…whom your voters have been persuaded to believe wants to murder their grandmother?

Whatever the reason for Frum’s departure from the American Enterprise Institute, one thing is certain.  The Institute, which provided the foundation for much of W. Bush’s public policy, will continue to regale us with future intellectual contributions from such luminaries as John Bolton, Lynne Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and the brilliant Newt Gingrich.

Maybe that’s why Frum resigned.

To Glenn Beck: “You Can’t Just Pull The Bodies Out Of The River”

Liberal evangelical Jim Wallis and conservative Mormon Glenn Beck are in a feud.  Actually, it’s not much of a feud.  Even though Beck has the Fox “News” Empire behind him and is willing to bear false witness against Wallis, Beck is no match for a man who has spent nearly forty years working on behalf of real social justice, not the kind caricatured by the king of kindergarten theology on his daily television show.

Wallis wrote yesterday (emphasis mine):

…while social justice begins with our own lives, choices, and sacrifices, it doesn’t end there. Those of us who have actually done this work for years all understand that you can’t just pull the bodies out of the river, and not send somebody upstream to see what or who is throwing them in. Serving the poor is a fundamental spiritual requirement of faith, but challenging the conditions that create poverty in the first place is also part of biblical social justice.

As for Beck’s emphasis on “voluntary” charity—he managed to tell his audience that he gives plenty of money to his church and the poor—Wallis explained to him what really shouldn’t have to be explained:

…voluntary church action can’t provide health care for millions who don’t have it, or fix broken urban school systems, or provide jobs at fair wages, or protect our kids from toxic air, water, and toys, or fix a broken immigration system that is grinding up our vulnerable families, or keep banks from cheating our people. All that requires commitments to holding governments accountable to social justice, and advocating for better public policies.

At the end of his piece, Wallis urged his own “supporters” not to attack Glenn Beck.  

No way, Jim.  In the spirit of the pissed-off Jesus, who made a whip and drove out first-century Wall Street bankers from the Jerusalem temple two thousand years ago, calling them “thieves” because they were exploiting the poor, I will continue to attack Beck and his exploitation of frustrated, pale-faced folks who turn to him in hopes the cultural changes swirling about them can be thwarted.

NOklahoma Senator Conspires To Protect Sex Offenders’ Rights To Viagra

In a spasm of low-classed, cynical, crass politics, Sen. Tom Coburn, Republican from NOklahoma,  introduced yesterday an amendment to the health care reform LAW that would ban sex offenders from getting Viagra and other “Erectile Dysfunction Drugs.”

In a perfect world, which means one that doesn’t include Oklahoma, Coburn’s too-cute-by-half stratagem to embarrass Democrats would backfire on him, since if the limp Senator were worried about the distribution of Viagra to sex criminals and other mental misfits, he would have inserted his flaccid amendment when it would have done some good.

Of course, “good” is exactly not what the drooping doctor and dangling deacon from Muskogee is up to.  Using my best Beckerhead analysis, in my conspiracist-minded opinion, because Bleeping Tom failed to offer his amendment at a point in the process when it certainly would have become law, he is a friend and abettor of sex offenders everywhere.

In other words, because he held back his amendment for strategic political reasons, he favors giving Viagra to those who commit sex crimes.

In fact, now that I have my Reynolds Wrap, Beckerhead cap on, I will say that Coburn’s actions constitute, “irresponsible sexual behavior.”*


*Sen. Coburn once accused NBC of “irresponsible sexual behavior” for daring to air Schindler’s List on television because of the “full-frontal nudity, violence, and profanity.”

Toyota, Highway Safety, And “How Conservatives Ruined Government”

Back in February, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the Obama administration had to “push” Toyota “to take measures to protect consumers.”  Presumably, if there had been no push, there would have been no massive recall and Toyota’s customers would still be at risk driving their cars.

But they may still be at risk despite the recall “fix.”

CNN reports that Toyota released a Technical Service Bulletin way back in 2002 that suggested  the problem with unintended acceleration was possibly an electronic problem and not faulty floormats or sticking gas pedals.

In the CNN report, Clarence Ditlow, of the Center for Automobile Safety, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was given a copy of the Service Bulletin in 2002 and kept it from the public.

As an attorney suing Toyota pointed out, the reason for hiding such information comes down to the billions it would have cost the company to recall the millions of vehicles involved, something it ended up doing anyway.

A Congressional committee investigating the mess concluded that NHTSA “conducted only one cursory investigation in 2004 into the possibility that defects in electronic controls could be responsible for these incidents.” 

And the Detroit News obtained a document that shows although Toyota hadn’t yet figured out the acceleration problem, it nevertheless “negotiated” a deal with NHTSA:

Toyota safety officials bragged that they had saved more than $100 million by conducting a limited recall in 2007 of just 55,000 floormats — rather than a costly mechanical fix.

So, let’s look back at 2002, when the Service Bulletin was released, and ask, “Who was in charge?”

The head of NHTSA was Dr. Jeffrey W. Runge, appointed to the post by George W. Bush in August of 2001. We know Dr. Runge has already admitted his agency was influenced by politics in 2003, when it did not release research indicating the growing danger of cell-phone use and driving. According to the New York Times:

The former head of the highway safety agency said he was urged to withhold the research to avoid antagonizing members of Congress who had warned the agency to stick to its mission of gathering safety data but not to lobby states…At the time, Congress had warned the agency not to use its research to lobby states. Dr. Runge said transit officials told him he could jeopardize billions of dollars of its financing if Congress perceived the agency had crossed the line into lobbying.

That Congress—the one that didn’t believe it was the job of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to lobby states on behalf of public safety—was controlled by conservative Republicans.  There is a consequence and a price to pay for electing people to public office whose philosophy of government is hatred of government.

As Thomas Frank pointed out, in The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Ruined Government, Enriched Themselves, and Beggared the Nation, the right-wing does not want a useful and competent government:

Conservatism…seems actively to want an inferior product. Believing effective government to be somewhere between impossible and undesirable, conservatism takes steps to ensure its impotence. The result is predictable enough: another sour truckload of the mother’s milk of conservatism, cynicism toward government.

Believing that effective government oversight of businesses—like Toyota—reduces profits, conservatives don’t dare object to such oversight on that basis.

Instead, conservatives claim that government bureaucracy reduces individual freedom, thus they frame all debates about government in terms of “liberty versus tyranny.”  Naturally, with such thinking comes the necessary corollary of staffing government agencies with people hostile to their missions or with otherwise ineffective administrators, whether that ineffectiveness is the result of incompetence or top-down pressure.   

The point is that when conservatives are in charge, certain things follow from their government-is-evil philosophy. 

But, as Charles Merriam pointed out many years ago*, effective government doesn’t have to be a “menace to liberty“:

…some of those who declare that our liberties are lost seem to be thinking of liberty as if it were a shield for private rather than public welfare…Our democratic system is based upon the principle that the gains of civilization are essentially mass gains and should be diffused throughout the people as promptly and equitably as possible.

The problems for Toyota are unfortunate.  What is more unfortunate is that there are doubtless some folks who would be alive today, if NHTSA had done its job nine years ago.  That job, defined on its website as a “mission” to “save lives, prevent injuries, reduce vehicle-related crashes,” was seriously compromised not just in 2002, but beginning in 1981, when Ronald Reagan took office. 

The Reagan Revolution’s hostility to government has been well documented, since it wasn’t a secret.  Reagan’s—and subsequent Republican administrations’—first loyalty was to business and its consequent mission was to undermine the public’s confidence in government, often casting government regulators—whose job it is to protect the public interest—as enemies of liberty.

The effects of years of anti-government philosophy, as it relates to Toyota and the NHTSA, was best illustrated by Clarence Ditlow’s testimony before Congress:

In 1980, there were 146 million vehicles on the road. Today there are 256 million. In 1980, there 119 people in enforcement, today there are only 57. In 1980, NHTSA had 2 cents per vehicle for enforcement, today it has less than a penny. The agency doesn’t have its own test facility and must rent space from Honda in East Liberty OH. Anyway one looks at it, the agency is underfunded. In terms of safety, the best way to look at it is motor vehicles are responsible for 95% of the nation’s transportation deaths but only 1% of the Transportation budget.

Conservatives and their libertarian cousins may rejoice over the fact that NHTSA is grossly underfunded, unable to effectively do the job it was designed to do. They may rejoice that under the Bush administration the agency’s lax regulatory enforcement benefited Toyota and other companies.

But make no mistake, in the case of Toyota and who knows how many other cases, if NHTSA had fulfilled its mission—”save lives, prevent injuries“—a number of Americans would be alive today to enjoy their individual liberty.

Here is the CNN report:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 *The American Political Science Review, Vol. 29, No. 2 (Apr., 1935), pp. 197-211

Obama: Alien Socialist Muslim Who May Be The Antichrist As He Acts Like Adolph Hitler

The Erstwhile Conservative is always looking for a new ways to measure Republican intelligence, and fortunately, a Harris poll provided the latest, via The Daily Beast’s John Avlon:

67% of Republicans believe Obama is a socialist.

57% of Republicans believe Obama is a Muslim.

45% of Republicans are birthers.

38% of Republicans say Obama is “doing many of the things Hitler did.”

24% say Obama “may be the Antichrist.” 

So, somewhere between 24% and 67% of Republicans are idiots.

This stuff used to make me laugh.  Now, it’s getting scary.


This picture was taken with a special Republican lens. —>  

“Conservative Entertainment Industry” To Blame For Republican Waterloo

David Frum used to put the words on paper that George W. Bush subsequently mangled, before they dribbled from his lips.

Today, the conservative Frum is a columnist and blogger, who doesn’t always subscribe to the know-nothing philosophy that passes for conservatism these days.  For instance, last year he said Rush Limbaugh was a “a walking stereotype of self-indulgence,” after considering “his private plane and his cigars, his history of drug dependency and his personal bulk, not to mention his tangled marital history.”

You have to like a guy who would dare attack Attila the Hun like that.

About the health care reform bill last night, Frum’s blog began,

Conservatives and Republicans today suffered their most crushing legislative defeat since the 1960s.

It’s hard to exaggerate the magnitude of the disaster.

Even as presidential hopefuls like Mitt Romney are going all-in on a “campaign” to “repeal” the newly-passed reform bill,  some thoughtful folks like David Frum have a different view. Blaming “conservatives and Republicans” for the “disaster,” he writes:

At the beginning of this process we made a strategic decision: unlike, say, Democrats in 2001 when President Bush proposed his first tax cut, we would make no deal with the administration. No negotiations, no compromise, nothing. We were going for all the marbles. This would be Obama’s Waterloo – just as healthcare was Clinton’s in 1994…This time, when we went for all the marbles, we ended with none.

As for repealing the new law, Frum has some advice for Romney and other Republicans who are talking big now:

No illusions please: This bill will not be repealed. Even if Republicans scored a 1994 style landslide in November, how many votes could we muster to re-open the “doughnut hole” and charge seniors more for prescription drugs? How many votes to re-allow insurers to rescind policies when they discover a pre-existing condition? How many votes to banish 25 year olds from their parents’ insurance coverage? And even if the votes were there – would President Obama sign such a repeal?

We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat.

Those radical voices, Frum says, included “conservative talkers on Fox and talk radio” who “trapped” Republican leaders into a position from which they could not deal with the Democrats.  Echoing President Obama when he schooled Republicans in Baltimore, Frum asked,

How do you negotiate with somebody who wants to murder your grandmother? Or – more exactly – with somebody whom your voters have been persuaded to believe wants to murder their grandmother?

Obama had said earlier in the year at a Republican retreat:

…we’ve got to close the gap a little bit between the rhetoric and the reality. I’m not suggesting that we’re going to agree on everything, whether it’s on health care or energy or what have you, but if the way these issues are being presented by the Republicans is that this is some wild-eyed plot to impose huge government in every aspect of our lives, what happens is you guys then don’t have a lot of room to negotiate with me.

I mean, the fact of the matter is, is that many of you, if you voted with the administration on something, are politically vulnerable in your own base, in your own party. You’ve given yourselves very little room to work in a bipartisan fashion because what you’ve been telling your constituents is, this guy is doing all kinds of crazy stuff that’s going to destroy America.

Frum ended his piece with a trenchant observation about the dynamics of the right-wing media:

…today’s defeat for free-market economics and Republican values is a huge win for the conservative entertainment industry. Their listeners and viewers will now be even more enraged, even more frustrated, even more disappointed in everybody except the responsibility-free talkers on television and radio. For them, it’s mission accomplished. For the cause they purport to represent, it’s Waterloo all right: ours.

My guess is that Republicans will eventually have to retreat from their repeal strategy, if Democrats successfully communicate the attributes of their bill, including the popular insurance reforms.  Republicans will likely opt for something a little more nuanced than simply trying to “kill the bill.”

The trouble is that their teabagging supporters, targets of the “conservative entertainment industry,” aren’t that in to “nuance.”

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