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January 16, 2005 - Comments On Smarmy Religiosity, Sexual Priggishness, Vengeance And Racism

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Okay.  Back down memory lane.  Remember this from the Associated Press - Sunday, May 9, 2004 (last year, of course)?


LYNCHBURG, Va., May 8 -- President Bush's chief political adviser told graduates of Jerry Falwell's Liberty University on Saturday to judge leaders on the basis of character.


America needs people who have "the moral clarity and courage to do what's right, regardless of consequence, fashion or fad," Karl Rove said.


"You either have values ingrained in your heart and soul that will not change with the wind, or you don't," he said. …


Yeah, yeah.  Whatever the reality NEVER change your mind.


John Maynard Keynes -  When the facts change, I change my mind – what do you do, sir?”


You know the answer.


And Digby offers advice to Democrats - 


He's right. This is their message and it's on the money. Of course they are faking it in every possible way with their vacuous brand name in a suit prancing around on aircraft carriers and such. But that's because they only pretend to have "values" when what they really have are political instincts. They are not the same thing.

If either party could give them the real thing instead of an ersatz, superficial rendering of smarmy religiosity, they would gain the support of a large majority of this country. You have to give Rove credit. He has done a lot with what he has to work with. Sexual priggishness, vengeance and racism are very difficult to build a values argument upon, but they've managed to create the illusion that they have "moral clarity" by garbing their narrow vision in religious and patriotic terms - and because we have failed to stand up for our universal values of liberty, justice and equality. They win by default.


Amen.  But you must factor in the media.


John Emerson at See the Forest has this


Two things are happening here. First, there is no middle any more. This is mostly because the hard right is trying to take over the country by any means necessary, and destroying moderates (including Republican moderates) is part of their game. They have many plants in the media itself -- especially at the relatively-anonymous high levels, including ownership – and rightwing activists outside the media have learned that if they complain all the time about everything, often they’ll get their way. (This accounts for a supposed paradox: why do both liberals and conservatives hate the media? It’s because the conservatives are faking it. They know as well as liberals do that Dan Rather wasn’t really a liberal, but they can win by lying and smearing, so they do it.)


Eric Alterman in The Nation


William Kristol, without a doubt the most influential Republican/neoconservative publicist in America today, has come clean on this issue. "I admit it," he told a reporter. "The liberal media were never that powerful, and the whole thing was often used as an excuse by conservatives for conservative failures.


So?  No point in discussing moral clarity.  For one side it is just a political tool, one lever to move things in their direction.  It has nothing to do with liberty, justice and equality – only with stopping gay mincing queens from living together, and with protecting us from a bare breast on television between the halves of a football game.  Better to be jobless and without health care and have you sons die in a pointless war than let gays marry or something racy appear on anyone’s television.  For the other side?  They’re frightened to death to bring it up, as the born-again folks will vote the other way.


And the press feeds the beast.  Immoral are liberals out to corrupt us all and they sky is falling – due to a vast media conspiracy led by secular Jewish monsters in New York.  But we have a leader who never bends.  Great story.


What’s the point in even talking about it?



Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
The inclusion of any text from others is quotation
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