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The Evangelical- Conservative- Military- Industrial Complex

tom's picture

You really should go read this post by Scott Horton over at Harper's.

I'll wait.

You know I find it fascinating to read all of these libertarian Republican types (Andrew Sullivan) who are suddenly astonished by the rise of the evangelical whackos and their power. "Where'd these folks come from?" they seem to be asking.

You know who empowered these people? You and your kind, Andy, that's who. It's like these folks haven't been paying attention the last twenty years. You guys enabled these people, in the 1980s and 1990s you avidly courted them. Did you not pay attention to the political history of the last twenty years?

Do you not remember that it was these same religious whackos (Buchanan's "religious war" ring any bells Andy?) who cost the Republicans the presidency in 1992? And contributed to Bob Dole's defeat in 1996 by putting together a platform that not even Dole could support?

You seem to forget, dear Andy, that these folks so frightened Americans that W and Unka Karl made them shut up in 2000 and acted like they had nothing to do with those religious nutjobs. And then, after they won, W and the boys governed as if Americans had voted for the evangelical vision of the world. I think that is one of the things that really irritates liberals is that George W. Bush lied to the American people in 2000 and was well on his way to becoming an undistinguished one-termer (just like his dad) and then 9/11 bailed him out.

In 2004, with the strong support of evangelicals -- and, more importantly, of the elections officials in Ohio -- W held on to the presidency in 2004. W and Unka Karl were also helped out by what has to have been one of the worst campaign jobs in the last 100 years by the Democratic nominee.

It is just these evangelical whackos who have enabled the rise to power of George W. Bush's burgeoning "national surveillance state." Because they believe that Bush has a divine right to govern they looked the other way as he fashioned his authoritarian state that now is listening in on everyone's phone conversations.

BTW, and I know it's a minor point really in the grand scheme of things, but do you think the NSA phone intercepts from the Kerry campaign were read daily by Unka Karl in 2004 or did he just read a weekly digest?

Anyway, I really think the best election pitch the Democratic Party's candidate can have is that they are for the return of Constitutional government. That's really what this is all about in 2008. It's a very important election.

And, of course, if a Democrat wins in 2008, ironically they'll have to pay for W's malfeasance. Suddenly and transparently the Republicans will rediscover their love of limited executive power and really stick it to the next Democratic president whenever possible. They'll raise a stink about everything and may even use it to regain one of the houses of Congress in 2010.

I'm reminded of Atrios's perceptive comment the other day:

We need a Democratic president so that the Republicans and their Blue Dog allies in Congress are finally inspired to take back the executive power grabs that they temporarily thought were necessary for the survival of the nation.

What this will mean in practice is that Democratic president will face a firestorm of "scandal" which will make Monica Madness pale in comparison. The powers that Bush claimed will be turned against a Democratic president and will likely be their undoing.

And this scenario is much better than the alternative.


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Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

And, of course, if a Democrat wins in 2008, ironically they’ll have to pay for W’s malfeasance.

True, the Democrats and the rest of the American people will have to pay, but I think it's important that the Republicans--and especially the overpriviliged, malicious, immature, greedy, lying fascists who have dominated this administration--pay, too.

Before they tiptoe off to Dubai, Uruguay, or their walled communities within the bankrupt United States, they should empty their pockets and spend some exemplary time in jail. We have a Constitution and laws on the books that, if enforced, would land these soulless war profiteers in a world of trouble, and I'm not averse to seeing some due process and clarifying legislation to make sure this disaster never happens again.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

Within the Republican Party is sort of the domestic political parallel to the US arming and supporting Islamic "freedom fighters" like UBL and company in Afghanistan against the Soviets. To the cynical leadership, they represented a ready corps of committed warriors for the Cause. But then they started getting ideas of their own, and the leadership found out that they and their convenient Holy Warriors had very different ideas about what the Cause actually was. I find it simply hilarious that the country club Republicans and Neocons cannot for the life of them understand why the party rank and file would fall for a bullshitting, bible-thumping, Southern Baptist preacher. The Republican elite really should have read that bible they have been pounding on podiums across America for these last few decades, because it is all in there-- sow the wind, reap the whirlwind. Choke on it, assholes.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

not that there's anything wrong with what you're saying, but it's not going to happen. they are going to/are getting away with it, moving to dubai and paraguay and taking our wealth with them. at best we'll be left beset with depression grade problems, over the longer term. worse case, i won't even go there.

so as much as i want trials and sentencing of the harshest kinds for the criminals who have done this, i'm not holding my breath. nor am i devoting my energies to accomplishing some kind of truth and reconciliation cmte for a post-bush america. 90% of the current crop of pols utterly lacks the conviction to make that happen, and a majority of americans lack motivation to pressure them, and civic discipline to see such a thing thru.

instead, i'm focusing on how we will face the coming challenges and what solutions are already known and need to be applied here. and advocating and supporting such civic efforts as primary challenges. and preparing, planning for a different social and economic reality. revenge isn't going to seem so important when various pressures make other concerns a priority.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

Ms. CD has it right. It's anonymous and cowardly of me to prepare for imminent social, ecological, and financial disaster with hope rather than a plan, and her plan sounds good.

I just had to vent today, and I promise to start thinking sometime soon. It would be foolish and suicidal to sidetrack struggle and pragmatic remedies in order to chase after malefactors who have included impunity in their own plans.

Let me just say a little bit in defense of my faint and probably vain hope, though: If Bush, Cheney, Rice, Powell, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, Rove, Wolfowitz, Feith, and the rest of these criminals remain unpunished, this country and the world will remain more dangerous for us and for the generations who follow. They have reopened doors that should have been closed, and they have shredded the laws and customs that mitigated somewhat our tendency to resort to violence. The nonviolent hope of the people resides in moral and legal suasion, and I continue to prefer nonviolence. If accounts must be settled, I would prefer that they be settled with the perpetrators rather than the clean-up crew.

I hope to find effective ways to help clean up the mess, and I will continue to hope that the world sees some justice.

tom's picture
Submitted by tom on

Jeff in Texas --

I like the point about the evangelicals being like the UBL and Mujahadeen in Afghanistan. I may have to use that at some future point in class.

I also like the point about the elite classes being shocked these rubes would fall for a Baptist preacher! Nice stuff. I grew up in Arkansas with sensible Democratic governors like Bill Clinton, Dale Bumpers, and David Pryor. There was that awful Frank White guy (Republican) who signed the Creation Science law but we don't talk much about him.

Having said that, there have been worse governors in the history of the republic than Huck-a-Buck but if you dig very deeply you find all sorts of suspicious financial things. The Arkansas Times has been finding these things for years.

The upshot of this is that Huck-a-Buck may have the passion, faith and slickness of a good Baptist minister but he sure as heck never wanted to live the humble lifestyle of a minister -- and he used all sorts of nefarious ways to try to make sure he didn't.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

After Nixon broke the laws, he was pardoned so that the nation could move on. Reagan and G.H.W. Bush brought back personnel from the Nixon White House that enabled/supported the lawbreaking, so we got deals to hold hostages, illegal support of terrorist squads in Nicaragua, and the whole Iran-contra scandal. It's referred to as scandal, but remember, a lot of people died as a result. However, it was decided that it was better for nation to move on, so the criminals were pardoned or never pursued. G.W. Bush brought them all back to the White House for his orgy of lawbreaking, with its death toll in the hundreds of thousands and its squandering of our economic future, on which such things as education, healthcare, and quality of life depend. I think it's very important to put these people permanently out of government.

And for a nation of laws -- either a general amnesty that applies to everybody in prison along with the elites, or a prosecution of laws equally for everybody. Otherwise, you perpetuate the notion that holding the big boys accountable hurts the whole country. Trust me, it doesn't.