“As Christianity Fades, The Birth Rate Falls And Third World Immigration Surges”

The White establishment is now the minorityThe demographics are changing. It’s not a traditional America anymore.”

—Bill O’Reilly, November 6, 2012

y now we’ve all noticed that some of the adults in the Republican Party are talking about the party doing some soul-searching, making it more appealing to women, Latinos, young people, and, yes, even African-Americans.

These Republican grownups, folks like political gurus Steve Schmidt and Mike Murphy, realize the electorate is changing before their eyes and know that Republicans have to change too.

Ain’t gonna happen.

Not only are the extremists in control of the Republican Party not going to change—can anyone imagine Rush Limbaugh embracing immigration reform, for God’s sake?—it makes no sense for them to change, given what it is that really animates most of them.

There are two major forces that serve to energize the base of the Republican Party today. One is fundamentalist or quasi-fundamentalist religion, which is waging war against Constitution-blessed secularism. The other is an increasingly acute cultural anxiety over the browning of America.

Those two forces meet and merge in the mind of Pat Buchanan, who wrote three years ago:

In what sense are we one nation and one people anymore? For what is a nation if not a people of a common ancestry, faith, culture and language, who worship the same God, revere the same heroes, cherish the same history, celebrate the same holidays, and share the same music, poetry, art and literature?

…The European-Christian core of the country that once defined us is shrinking, as Christianity fades, the birth rate falls and Third World immigration surges.

You see, to people like Pat Buchanan—I give him credit for honesty—a diverse nation is not a nation at all. True Americans must all have European blood and belief. All others represent an existential threat to the country.

About one-half of all American children under five have Buchanan skin, a fact that makes Buchanan’s thin cultural skin crawl. And there is evidence that Americans are slowly embracing the secular nation that our Constitution establishes.

Thus it is that those in the Republican Party who care deeply and disturbingly about the threat to the “European-Christian core of the country” —those misguided but earnest folks who nominated Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, for instance—are not going to tolerate any talk of moderating the party’s positions on the social issues.

The Republican Party platform in 2016 will look much like it did this year, a document that reeks of uncompromising extremism, such as the party’s stance on reproductive rights and the status of homosexuals. The party primary process will continue to produce extremist true-believers who honor that extremist document.

Because people who are moved by faith and fear, folks who are on a mission from God or who are defending their waning cultural dominance, will not be deterred by an unfavorable election outcome. They will not be coaxed or coerced into compromise by people in their party who don’t share their enthusiasm for lost-cause crusades.

So it is that we will continue to see Tea Party-types dominate the Republican Party until such time that there is nothing much left to dominate, at least on the national scene. Republicans will always have a voice at the local and state level, even a voice in the Congress, but with uncompromising crusading conservatives in charge of its national prospects, it will one day become irrelevant as a governing national party.

When that happens, when the browning of America forces Republicans into waging only regional and state and local battles, then perhaps the adults can take the party back.

And America would be all the better for it.

Intrusive, Vagina-Probing, Have-The-Rapist’s-Baby-Or-Else Big Government

From HuffPo:

Notice the “at least” in the subheader. There could be more. And remember, too, that Romney and Ryan are just as extreme, when it comes to their preferences, even though Romney, but not Ryan, has tried to have it three or four or more ways on abortion.

Again, for the record, Romney’s real position, as ABC News reported in 2007 after a Republican debate:

“I would welcome a circumstance where there was such a consensus in this country that we said, we don’t want to have abortion in this country at all, period,” Romney said at the time. “That would be wonderful. I’d be delighted.”

Pressed CNN host Anderson Cooper, “The question is: Would you sign that bill?”

“Let me say it. I’d be delighted to sign that bill. But that’s not where we are,” Romney replied. “That’s not where America is today. Where America is ready to overturn Roe v. Wade and return to the states that authority. But if the Congress got there, we had that kind of consensus in that country, terrific.”

As for Paul Ryan, he said in an interview with WJHL in Roanoake, Virginia:

REPORTER JOSH SMITH: Our viewers would love know…specifically where you stand when it comes to rape, and when it comes to the issue of should it be legal for a woman to be able to get an abortion if she’s raped?

PAUL RYAN: I’m very proud of my pro-life record, and I’ve always adopted the idea that, the position that, the method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life.

These are radicals. These are reactionaries. These are, in fact, radical reactionaries. Democrats have to keep pounding this into Americans’ heads, not just American women’s heads. These folks mean it when they say they want to use government—intrusive, vagina-probing, have-the-rapist’s-baby-or-else big government—to eliminate all abortions. All of us have to tell our friends, our family, our co-workers, our neighbors, about what is happening. Then we have to keep reminding them.

Even 76% of non-candidate Republicans believe abortion should be legal in the case of rape, for God’s sake, which is why Romney has tried to hide his extremism by copping a relatively less radical, but still radical nonetheless, position summarized as “only legal in the case of rape, incest, and the life of the mother.”  In the context of what he have heard from the mouths of Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, that sounds like a pro-choice liberal speaking. But it isn’t. It’s still a reactionary speaking, still a radical position to hold. And besides that. Romney is still—still!—supporting Mourdock.

Whether it is this year’s crop of Republican senate hopefuls, or whether it is Mitt Romney’s expressed delight in signing a potential law that would eliminate all abortions, or whether it is Paul Ryan’s strange claim that rape is, in terms of the abortion issue, just another “method of conception“—God, that’s offensive—the message that these extremists would radically change the cultural landscape for women in this country has to be broadcast far and wide and often.

These zealots aren’t kidding, and Americans need to be told that again and again and again.

The Logic Of Republican Theology

On televisions across the state of Indiana you can see a new ad that features Mitt Romney endorsing Richard Mourdock for U.S. Senate.  Mittens says:

As senator, Richard will be the 51st vote to repeal and replace government-run health care. Richard will help stop the Reid-Pelosi agenda. There’s so much at stake, I hope you’ll join me in supporting Richard Mourdock for U.S. Senate.

You may remember that Mourdock, a teapartier’s teapartier, finished off Senator Richard Lugar in the Republican primary earlier this year. And now Republicans in Indiana have to live with this extremist, an extremist that an equally extreme Romney endorsed.

On Tuesday night,  Mourdock said this during a debate with his Democratic opponent:

I believe that life begins at conception. The only exception I have for, to have an abortion, is in that case of the life of the mother. I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape. That it is something that God intended to happen.

Now, first of all, I want to address the “I struggled with it myself for a long time” comment. Richard Mourdock, from all accounts, is not a woman. He can’t “struggle” with anything related to the issue of rape and pregnancy. He can pretend to struggle with it, he can pretend to wring his hands over how difficult an issue it is, but he doesn’t have the slightest idea of what it would mean to be raped and then be forced—by the biggest of big government—to bear the rapist’s child.

It is a perverted mind that believes any man can genuinely speak to this issue, let alone “struggle” with it.

Then we have the issue of a rape-produced pregnancy being “something that God intended to happen.” I applaud Mourdock for following the logic of his fundamentalist views to their proper ends. At least he didn’t dodge what his Iron Age thinking compels him to conclude. If one thinks like Mourdock, the only consistent position he can take is, yes, the government should force women to bear all children conceived, even if they were conceived through violence, through a violation of their bodies.

Except that after the debate, in answering questions about his remarks above, Mourdock eventually betrayed the logic of his theology:

MOURDOCK: What I said was, in answering the question on my position of faith, I said that I believe that God creates life. I believe that as wholly and as fully as I can believe it, that God creates life.

QUESTIONER: And so even if that happens in a rape situation, you still firmly believe that to be true?

MOURDOCK: That God creates life? Absolutely. I mean, God is the only one that can create life.

QUESTIONER: You said, quote, I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that is something that God intended to happen…

MOURDOCK: …that life would be created…

QUESTIONER: …that life specifically?

MOURDOCK: Yes. I think God creates every life.

QUESTIONER: That life was created because of rape. How can you…

MOURDOCK: …no, no, no…

QUESTIONER: …How can you support that?

MOURDOCK: No, no, no. God creates life. God creates life. We don’t make life, uh, you know, in machines. God creates life. It’s a simple fact. I mean, God creates life. Does God want people raped? Of course not.

QUESTIONER: But you believe that abortion should be outlawed even in cases of rape?

MOURDOCK: Yes, that’s correct.

QUESTIONER: Incest, too?

MOURDOCK: Yes. I’ve said that consistently…

At one point, Mourdock added:

Are you trying to suggest somehow that God preordained rape? No, I don’t think that. Anyone who would suggest that is just sick and twisted. No, that’s not even close to what I said. What I said is that God creates life.

Sick and twisted? Yes. It would be sick and twisted for someone to suggest that God preordained rape. But such a sick and twisted suggestion logically follows from a belief that God creates and thus necessarily “preordains” life. Even God can’t create something he hasn’t preordained, which is defined as “deciding or determining an outcome or course of action beforehand.”

Therefore, Mourdock’s theology, his firm belief that God creates and thus determines beforehand all life, has to logically lead him to believe that God also preordained the method through which he created that life. There simply isn’t any way around that, even if Mourdock, for political reasons, eventually backed away from that conclusion.

All of which demonstrates just what is wrong with the anti-choice position of zealots like Mourdock. If he were true to this theological beliefs, if he remained steadfast in defending them, he would say, yes, I don’t understand why, but since God creates life, and since a life is sometimes created through the agency of rape, then God necessarily preordains rape.

It is that simple.

And for all you women out there, and for all you men who have sisters, wives, or daughters, if you believe that women’s bodies are nothing more than vehicles for God to act out his indiscriminate life-giving aims, if you believe women’s bodies are a fit subject for neanderthalic men like Richard Mourdock to wage theological and philosophical “struggles” over, then go right ahead and vote for Mourdock and his dreadful but logical conclusions.

And then hope that God won’t choose you or a woman in your life to “create life” in some horrific way.

And while you are at it, you can also vote for Mourdock’s endorser, Mitt Romney, who said in a debate in 2007 that he would “be delighted to sign” a bill “banning all abortions.” Here’s the context of that remark, as provided by ABC News:

“I would welcome a circumstance where there was such a consensus in this country that we said, we don’t want to have abortion in this country at all, period,” Romney said at the time. “That would be wonderful. I’d be delighted.”

Pressed CNN host Anderson Cooper, “The question is: Would you sign that bill?”

“Let me say it. I’d be delighted to sign that bill. But that’s not where we are,” Romney replied. “That’s not where America is today. Where America is ready to overturn Roe v. Wade and return to the states that authority. But if the Congress got there, we had that kind of consensus in that country, terrific.”

Yeah, just terrific.

The national press has done a good job of ignoring the extremism of the Republican Party on the issue of abortion. I am convinced that not enough women, or men for that matter, understand what is at stake in this election, in terms of the reproductive and health care rights of women.

Finally, I want to end with something written about Mourdock and his remarks by Ross Kaminsky, a conservative who writes for the extremist, right-wing rag The American Spectator:

I think he’s just proven himself to be another person whose pro-life gut reactions trump what any intelligent person knows he should be saying in an election campaign — by which I do not mean to imply that he should say anything he doesn’t believe. He simply doesn’t need to say everything he does believe, especially when those things have essentially nothing to do with what the election — or the job he wants — is really about.

You see? Mourdock “doesn’t need to say everything he does believe.” He doesn’t need to reveal how extreme he is. Why? Kaminsky continues:

While his explanations make sense in the context of a religious belief, his comment was political suicide. He might still win his election, and I have to hope he does, but he’s just the latest example of why so many call the GOP the “stupid party.”

Sadly and disturbingly, Kaminsky doesn’t believe the GOP is the “stupid party” for believing such nonsense as Mourdock and Romney believe. No. He believes it is the stupid party for telling voters that they believe it.

And with the aid of a compliant, don’t-offend-the-conservatives press, a press that often glosses over such extremism, that stupid party may soon be running the entire country.

Goodbye, Dick

I have followed the career of Indiana Senator Richard Lugar for years and, God rest his political soul,  he will soon be gone from the United States Senate.

And good riddance.

The mostly phony Republican moderate or “centrist,” who was the longest-serving senator in Indiana history, has voted for domestic obstructionism time and again throughout Obama’s presidency (including Tuesday’s vote to preserve low interest rates for millions of college students’ loans), and it is bullshit to claim (as many have) that he was one of the last of reasonable, responsible Republicans. There wasn’t that much reasonableness about him, except for his relatively pragmatic internationalism.

But international issues are only a small part of the job senators are called on to do. Domestically, Lugar’s past behavior will compare favorably to the behavior of the Tea Party nut job, another Dick, Richard Mourdock, who beat Lugar in the GOP primary on Tuesday, should Mourdock beat the Democrat in November.

Lugar didn’t even reside in Indiana, for God’s sake. When he came “home,” he lodged in a hotel in Indianapolis—initially at taxpayer’s expense.  Is that the behavior of a moderate centrist?

To prove my point that Lugar’s reasonableness is only party-deep, I present his concession remarks. Keep in mind that this man was allegedly a “statesman” in the Republican Party and that he had a “collegial relationship“—even friendship—with Barack Obama:

Hoosier Republican primary voters have chosen their candidate for the U.S. Senate. I congratulate my opponent on his victory in a hard fought race. I want to see a Republican in the White House, and I want to see my friend Mitch McConnell have a Republican majority in the Senate. I hope my opponent prevails in November to contribute to that Republican majority.

Blah, blah, blah. Contrast those partisan remarks with the remarks of President Obama, who said:

While Dick and I didn’t always agree on everything, I found during my time in the Senate that he was often willing to reach across the aisle and get things done. My administration’s efforts to secure the world’s most dangerous weapons has been based on the work that Sen. Lugar began, as well as the bipartisan cooperation we forged during my first overseas trip as senator to Russia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan.

Sen. Lugar comes from a tradition of strong, bipartisan leadership on national security that helped us prevail in the Cold War and sustain American leadership ever since. He has served his constituents and his country well, and I wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

Now, that is class. And Lugar’s boilerplate partisan comments are, well, typical of a contemporary Republican who—even in defeat—still bends his knee to Tea Party extremists. God knows what good Lugar could have done by calling out the extremists in his party, but we will never know.

There just aren’t too many Republicans that have that kind of fight in them these days.

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