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October 27, 2008

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Can I just point out that trying to create the Kingdom here on earth is part of mainstream Catholic teaching? And you don't have to be a messiah to participate.

The Editors forgot one: he's also a mutant.

Also: Jeremiah!

I apologize for any responsibility I may bear in this latest absurdity

"Despite the unhinged railing about Obama being a radical Marxist redistributionist/terrorist enabler, Obama's record (on foreign policy, economics, the environment, etc.) is primarily that of a center-leftist."

Center-liberal. If he were a center-leftist, he'd be talking about shutting down foreign military bases, pulling out of other countries besides Iraq, actually nationalizing the oil companies and all other energy producers, giving workers control of the businesses they work in, full-scale economic planning, and so on.

Hardly anyone in the U.S. has much idea what actual socialism looks like at this point, we're so distant and inexperienced with it. And that's without even getting anywhere near Chinese or Soviet "socialism."

If we really want to get technical, Jones was too cheap to splurge on Kool Aid and instead bought grape Flavor Aid, the Shasta of sugary fruit drinks.

"The Editors forgot one: he's also a mutant."

As I pointed out a while ago, Obama is obviously the Mule.

Actual Obama, when he takes his mask off:

"True, Jones brewed the original Kool-Aid, "

Didn't Ken Kesey brew the original Kool Aid? Obviously, his Kool Aid had a different effect than Jones', but it was decade earlier. I had always thought Kesey was the origin of the phrase.

I know the McCain/Palin campaign has been trying to co-opt Obama's "change" message, but really, this is a bit much...

One of the more common GOP memes this election season (from the days of "Obama's a celebrity" on)has been how Democrats view Obama as the Messiah.

projection.

you want a personality cult? look no further than the 6 years where the GOP couldn't praise Bush enough (everyone recite the classic PowerLine quote to themselves, silently). or, how about the latest worship of Palin (and the bloodbath that's about to happen in her name)? "I am Joe The Plumber" ? look at the Reagan hagiography.

projection.


Senator Intertubes guilty guilty guilty guilty guilty guilty guilty.

Senator Intertubes guilty guilty guilty guilty guilty guilty guilty.

justice has a liberal bias

But Reagan was a saint, Obama is a false prophet. That's the difference!!!
And Reagan never spoke to large crowds in Berlin! Eh...Where was I?

I apologize for any responsibility I may bear in this latest absurdity

Damn you Warren! This is all your fault! If it weren't for comments like yours, they'd only be comparing Obama to Hitler, not that paragon of evil Jim Jones! ^.^

Obama is a Marxist Muslim Arab Jesus Black White Terrorist Technocrat Racist Do-Gooder Liberal FDR Stalin Hilter [me: Chamberlain!] Commie Fascist Gay Womanizing Naive Cynical Insider Noob Boring Radical Unaccomplished Elite Slick Gaffe-Prone Pedophile Pedophile-Seducing Liberation Theology Atheist Etc. & Anti-Etc.

You know, I realized that nearly all of the attacks on Obama are completely unfounded (and the rest have the slightest hint of plausability), but to see them all listed like that... Wow. I'm expecting McCain to call Obama a 'big ugly doo-doo head' any minute now.

Basically, we dems been down so long looks like up to us. Even a mere centrist democrat looks damned good to us actual progressives.

aimai

This is because the only change they understand is top down change, authoritarian style. They just don't get the concept of grass roots driven change, or that Obama's rise may be in part a symptom rather than just a cause of what is happening in this country.

They don't understand that his success is not just a function of his personal characteristics and political talent, but also of having the good luck to be the right person at the right time to lead a movement which in all likelihood was going to happen (in some fashion or another) anyway. If it hadn't been Obama then somebody else would have stepped up to the plate. Not in the same manner – the details and the style would have been different - the particular flavor of this year has been influenced very much by Obama personality and community organizer background, but something big politically was likely to happen this year.

Which means that what Obama brings to the table is not some sort of occult mind bending powers or the capacity to mesmerize people, but rather an acute sense of the historically unique and highly contingent aspect of today’s political climate and the capacity to adapt his talents and gifts to fit that climate.

When you see a surfer riding a massive wave off the north coast of Oahu, and doing so with grace and style, you don’t think “OMG that dude can control the ocean” (which is the mistake the Right is making in judging Obama), rather you think “wow, what an incredible sense of timing and ability to read the incoming swells to see things that were not visible to others”.

he is also the AntiChrist, and the second coming of the God-king Xerxes.

he's BOSHAMO-X, baby. KNEEL!

Basically, we dems been down so long looks like up to us. Even a mere centrist democrat looks damned good to us actual progressives.

Right. And said centrist dem sends the right right off the deep end, tumbling down the whole way.

When you see a surfer riding a massive wave off the north coast of Oahu, and doing so with grace and style, you don’t think “OMG that dude can control the ocean” (which is the mistake the Right is making in judging Obama), rather you think “wow, what an incredible sense of timing and ability to read the incoming swells to see things that were not visible to others”.

Very, very well said.

Can I just point out that trying to create the Kingdom here on earth is part of mainstream Catholic teaching?

Fundamentalists also think the Pope is the Anti-Christ.

Good news. Ted Stevens was found guilty and convicted of seven corruption charges.

Think he'll still get elected?

Cleek- I hated the Modern Conservative post. Freakin' hated it. (WTH?! Does this guy not realize that Sparta was about the furthest thing from a democracy in Greece? I guess those sissy Athenians don't count.)

Your response, OTOH, made me smile. I for one welcome our new god-king BOSHAMO-X and look foward to the forced mating that will inevitably occur.

Um, guys, let's remember that something called "reality" exists, and reality does in fact determine the ultimate success or failure of political prescriptions.

In reality, bankers who got greedy for money steered the world financial system into a tailspin, while politicians who got greedy for power took the United States and a "coalition of the willing" into a ruinous war. And a population that has had to pay the taxes and send their children overseas to war, while watching their incomes stagnate and their houses lose virtually all their value has finally noticed that the conservative consensus of the past three-odd decades has not, actually, done them much good.

Conservatives now have two choices, much like the choice faced by the "left" when conservative politicians kept getting elected, and conventional central planning prescriptions kept failing. One, we could adapt, take the core of our beliefs, such as peace, opposition to oppressions, as well as basic economic and political fair dealing, and find ways to make them work without the power of the government. On the other hand, we could do as the Marxist-Leninists did: idolize Russia until Kruschev, the idolize China as the new great good place until Deng, then idolize Enver Hoxha's Albania until the fall of the Albanian communist party in 1990.

The left survived, largely because, starting in the 1940s, left-leaning writers and others cut off the Stalinists. I think American conservatism will similarly survive; indeed, the process has already visibly started, with large numbers of conservative thinkers casting about for forms of conservatism that will work now that the greed is good, private profit makes for the only acceptable motivation (other than military victory, of course) brand of conservatism has come up so visibly short.

he's BOSHAMO-X, baby. KNEEL!

If I knew how to do it, I'd set up a cafepress store with BOSHAMO-X T-shirts.

In related news, Alonzo Hamby has entered the competition for Most Ridiculous Election-Related Piece by a Serious Historian (in the admittedly less competitive Non-Victor Davis Hanson Division) by stirring the Ayers-Obama and Ayers-Wright connection pots over on History News Network.

Ooops...that's Ayers-Obama and Wright-Obama conection pots, but why worry about the details?

Think he'll still get elected?

I'd say his chances have gone down the tubes.

I have nothing constructive to add, I just Dig! the title of your post.

One, we could adapt, take the core of our beliefs, such as peace, opposition to oppressions, as well as basic economic and political fair dealing,

BWAAHAHAHAHAHAH--erkchokegasp

Excuse me while I find a defibrillator. You really shouldn't make jokes that funny.

and find ways to make them work without the power of the government.

If this means conservatives will stop voting, I'm all for it.

I'd say his chances have gone down the tubes. /rimshot

LeftTurn ladies and gentleman! Remember, the 5 o'clock show's different from the 8 o'clock show!

Prediction: Bush goes on the air sometime on Sat/Sun/Mon and announces that bin Laden and/or Zawahiri has been captured/killed and somehow tries to give credit to John McCain.

ThatLeftTurn wins the thread with the surfer analogy, meeting and exceeding the high points of the excerpt from The Editors:

It’s a jumble sale of fears and scary associations from 50 years of wingnut witch hunts and smear campaigns, a flea market of pre-owned and antique resentments...

@MeDrewNotYou

Thanks for the props, although my little quip wasn't half as funny as one I just read over on Balloon-Juice where the commentor pointed out that (assuming he doesn't get a pardon) Sen. Stevens will find out that the penitentiary is a series of bars.

Ugh, Along those lines, there's been chatter recently of a potential deal between the Bush admin and the Taliban: the Taliban turn over Zawahiri in exchange for inclusion in the political process.

the penitentiary is a series of bars.

Hehehe. That made me giggle like a school girl.

the Taliban turn over Zawahiri in exchange for inclusion in the political process.

OK, so is Bin Laden going to replace Mike Duncan at the RNC?

Do they need to get an imam to rule on whether McCain's ad buys are Islamic or not?

Sheesh, and conservatives complained about Clinton taking money from that Chinese guy....

Thanks -

So, we've been talking with the enemy? Doesn't that suggest that Obama was right?

If it hadn't been Obama then somebody else would have stepped up to the plate.

For evidence, look at Hillary Clinton. Not to knock her, but I certainly have trouble seeing her as a celebrity, much less the target of a personality cult. She still managed to get enough dedicated followers that many Republicans (and a few Democrats) thought that the PUMA vote was going to tip the election.

Which means that what Obama brings to the table is not some sort of occult mind bending powers or the capacity to mesmerize people, but rather an acute sense of the historically unique and highly contingent aspect of today’s political climate and the capacity to adapt his talents and gifts to fit that climate.

Which, of course, the wingnuts are never going to understand. For them to accept that Obama is winning because he's riding a wave of change, they would also have to accept that their platform is the root cause of their problem. That just isn't going to happen. If wingnuts were capable of that kind of self criticism, they wouldn't be wingnuts.

If those that lean steeper to the left are hoping for Obama to be a progressive transformationalist in the mold of FDR, they should prepare for disappointment.

People *should* prepare for disappointment. That doesn't mean they should *expect* particular disappointments, though. No one knows what will happen. FDR ran as a center-right guy, after all. And btw, there were plenty of disappointments with him, too.

One, we could adapt, take the core of our beliefs, such as peace, opposition to oppressions, as well as basic economic and political fair dealing, and find ways to make them work without the power of the government. On the other hand, we could do as the Marxist-Leninists did:

I feel for sane conservatives, and wish there were a lot more of them. But this is not a very thoughtful dichotomy. It's the mistake so many of you guys make again and again, and it's a simple mistake. Your dichotomy is a (sorry) preposerous false choice, but I have to believe that you honestly don't see it. My theory is that so many conservatives have routinely made key errors of extrapolation. You could also call this particular comment a kind of rhetorical guilt-by-association.

As Mr Spragg suggests in his review of recent history, the US is a remoreslessly *practical* country, and I would add, it's that rather than leftwing or rightwing. Facing the fact that progressive taxation is not Marxist-Leninist (unless TR and Eisenhower were marxists), or that there are some things only government *can* do, does not make you a leftist, radical or otherwise. There are in-between areas. Of course, conservatives, not liberal Democrats, are the true ideologues here. And ideology trumping reality has been tried and tried, and has failed just about as spectacularly as it could do.

obama is a totally new phenomenom to the republican right wing, a democrat (and a liberal to boot) who doesn't turn to jelly the first time they toss one of their slime balls from the bottomless bucket of sewage that passes for republican orthodoxy. this is one man who doesn't blink (kudos to the refugee from the anchorage bowling alley), and they are having trouble dealing with it. they reveled in the idea that reagan was teflon coated. maybe, but i think it was closer to the truth that there was no there there. obama is the real thing.

No, it's really -- according to James Pinkerton at Fox Forums -- SATAN!

To quote the begining of one of the more inadvertently absurd pieces in the campaign:

"Could Lucifer play a role in this presidential election? It may sound crazy, but one of the candidates in this race has publicly praised, even emulated, a writer-activist who himself paid tribute to Lucifer. That’s right, Lucifer, also known as the Devil, Satan, Beelzebub—you get the idea.

"Do you think that admiring a Lucifer-admirer would make a difference to some voters?

"If you’ve never heard of this true fact—and most Americans obviously haven’t—well, that might help to explain why John McCain is behind in the polls."

The whole piece is, in fact, an attack on Saul Alinsky, and is worth reading -- at points it almost sounds satirical, but doesn't seem to be. It's at

http://foxforum.blogs.foxnews.com/2008/10/23/jpinkerton_1023/

(One of these days I'll learn how to imbed cites, really I will.)


I feel for sane conservatives, and wish there were a lot more of them.

I think there are a lot of sane conservatives. I know a number of them. Most of them have basically been astounded, and not in a good way, by the last eight years, and are sort of at a loss as to where they fit in the current-day American political landscape.

One is now serving in Iraq in the Army National Guard, working with Iraqis to help them in basic business development. He was active duty in the Navy for quite a number of years, and he plans to continue in Iraq with the guard until he has enough years in to retire on a military pension. Then he plans to settle in Germany. All I can say is I hope he freaking makes it, he's a great guy and he's paid his dues. His wife is German, and she and their kids are already there. The US has just gotten too freaking weird for his taste. It's our loss, he's the kind of guy that makes a difference wherever he goes.

Another is independently wealthy due to the sale of a business he started. He spends his days sailing around the world with his wife. He's basically waiting for the insanity to end before he comes back. He might not, the man can go anywhere he likes.

Another works a 60+ hour week on average keeping his marketing consulting business up and running. He used to employ a few folks down in NOLA, but between Katrina and the general downturn of the economy, he's scaled back to a one-man operation. The man works his @ss off, he doesn't have time for political opinions or involvement. He's got a daughter headed for college and another one that's two years old. His work is cut out for him.

The problem is not small-c conservatives. The problem is dogmatic, ideological, capital-C Conservatism and the institutional Republican party.

They have no respect for government, they have no clue how to run a junior high school dance let alone a country on the scale of the US, and they're in thrall to a grossly overinflated understanding of their own importance in the world. They've read a bunch of books, think they've read some others, and they've mistaken both for reality.

In short, they're clueless idiots. Think Keystone Kops with a great big budget.

I'm a lefty, so it's all the same to me, but if I were a small-c conservative these days, I would be putting my energy somewhere other than the Republican party. That ship is sinking, and 100% due to its own stupidity, greed, and incompetence.

Get out while the getting is good. Like, today if not yesterday. Those people are freaking nuts.

On your way out, check out Obama. He's not the lefty folks paint him as being. He's a guy you can deal with.

My two cents.

Thanks -

russell, I don't think I have said this in the past, in which case this is way overdue. You are one of the most reasonable and expressive people I read on the blogs. Just to read your comments makes the trip here worthwhile.

And to go just a step further, the last 8 years have shown why the terms conservative and liberal have no real meaning, at leats no consistent meaning any more.

My brother-in-law is like many of the people you describe. Wealthy (enough so that he funded his own campaign for Congress a few years back but lost in the Republican primaries). Emminently reasonable and disgusted with what has happened to the party he still belongs to.

The Republican Party, as currently constituted, is an anomally, a throwback to some crazy theo-cratic period of time. The only reason it exists at all is that enough Republicans of the old fashioned variety still believe it represents the traditional Republican values.

Until people like my B-I-L and those you describe create a rebellion in the ramks and create reform in the Republican Party from the bottom up, it will dwindle away.

And that, to be honest, would be a pity. I would like to see the Republican Party be something OCSteve can be proud of.

You are one of the most reasonable and expressive people I read on the blogs.

Thanks for the very kind words, I hope to live up to them. I appreciate the feedback, most of the time I figure "expressive" is a good fit, "reasonable" perhaps less so.

The Republican party used to be the home of the folks who wore sensible shoes and wanted to know how we were going to pay for all of this stuff we lefties thought was such a great idea.

Not a really sexy role to play, but kind of invaluable. Pragmatic, and a good balance to us head-in-the-clouds liberal types.

I'm not sure what to make of the Republican party these days. They're ruthless enough, but on too petty a scale to really make it as fascists (for which, thank God). Conservative, but about really stupid things (think "the War On Christmas").

I really just have no idea what it is they want, or what they think is good, or why they want to be in charge. Other than that arugula should be banned, gays should go back in the closet where they belong, and they shouldn't be expected to pay for Masterpiece Theater.

And, of course, their taxes should never, ever go up.

It seems like pretty small potatoes as an agenda.

IMO they are the modern-day version of the Know-Nothings. Anti everything that makes them uncomfortable, but not really for anything. They are reactionaries, which is, inherently, a brittle and limited position.

There's no future in it.

People who are simply conservative in their political outlook would do well, IMVHO, to begin building some other home for themselves. But that's just my opinion, and it's not my hash to settle either way.

Thanks -

"The Republican party used to be the home of the folks who wore sensible shoes and wanted to know how we were going to pay for all of this stuff we lefties thought was such a great idea."

This is a very nice idea, but isn't really particularly true. Name a decade, and the Republican Party had both a somewhat sensible side, and a lunatic side, as well as many cynical exploiters of the latter.

Sure, we can look back at liberal Republicans like Nelson Rockefellar, or Mark Hatfield, or Wendell Wilkie, with a nice rosy glow, but none of these types were ever in charge of their Party (not even Wilkie, whose day was short); the closest one comes to vaguely sensible people being vaguely in charge of the Republican Party are Dwight Eisenhower and Herbert Hoover, and one has to immediately point out that the heydey of Eisenhower was the heyday of Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, HUAC, John Foster Dulles, and all the madness of their ilk.

Meanwhile, during the Seventies, the nutty Reaganites -- and I don't mean their honest supporters, but the Movement conservatives and wingnuts who made up the activists in the party, including the Lafferites, the Christian fundamentalists, the former racists of the Democratic Party who were now Reagan Democrats/Republicans, the Anita Bryants and Phyllis Schalflys, and their ilk, were taking over with the eager support the those who would become Pat Buchananites; in the Sixties, there were the John Birchers, those mad about fluride in the water, the stone racists, and the classic kill-the-hippie types that made up so much of Richard Nixon's Silent Majority. In the Forties and Thirties, the majority were isolationists, Catholic-haters, Jew-haters, and still despisers of the big cities, and all those icky ethnics and dark-skinned folk -- people who flocked to support Father Coughlin and Charles Lindbergh, and thought that Hitler and Mussolini had some good things to teach us all.

And so on and so forth, going backwards.

And, yes, the Democrats had plenty of Southern racists, most of the Southern wing was racist, prior to the mid-Sixties, sure, and plenty of retrograde yahoos, too, I point out before anyone decides tu quoque really is a logical way to argue.

My point is simply that to look back at the more liberal or sensible Republicans of any era, and sigh that, gosh, most of the party used to be that way, is just a nice fantasy; it simply was never so. Never.

It's just easy to put the ugly reality out of mind if one isn't a history fanatic.

I'm a fan of yours, too, though, btw, Russell. :-)

"The Republican party used to be the home of the folks who wore sensible shoes and wanted to know how we were going to pay for all of this stuff we lefties thought was such a great idea."

This is a very nice idea, but isn't really particularly true.

Or to be a bit kinder, the above is true, it's just that those folks have always been a minority, never making up more than, at most, a quarter or third or so of the Party, at best.

The more ideological types at the National Review since its founding tended to have lots of racists in the woodpile, and the big business types who mostly just wanted low taxes and unions broken may not have gone for some of the vices prevalent in some of the wings of the modern Republican Party, such as religious fundamentalism, or gay bashing, but this is praising with faint damns.

The few who were at all reasonably vaguely admirable, such as the aforementioned Hatfield and Rockefellar and the like -- George Romney, say -- were really rather few and far between.

Even someone like Gerald Ford was rather ugly if you bothered to look at him up close. (Pay attention to how he handled race and urban affairs in the Sixties, for instance.)

Oh, well, so much for my trying to be slightly nicer.

To be clear, there were and are quite a number of noticeably admirable, non-racist, fair-minded, smart, ethical, fine folks, who have been conservative Republicans. A tendency to be rather blind to the lives of those not like them is the worst one can say of quite a lot of them. Millions of folks, even.

They've just, to repeat myself, never been the majority. Would that it had been otherwise.

Oh, well, so much for my trying to be slightly nicer.

You're rocking my dreamboat, dude.

It's just easy to put the ugly reality out of mind if one isn't a history fanatic.

To be honest, sometimes I look at this country and wonder how we ever got as far as we have.

I'm a fan of yours, too, though, btw, Russell

Likewise.

Thanks -

OMG! WTF! Let's manufacture some outrage and some fear...baby...FEAR!! Who's with me on this one? What evil villain does Obama represent to you? It's easy to play the game - I'll go first...

Ok - to me......Obama is like the evil and unstoppable Mechagodzilla, who uses his G-Crusher weapon (elite eloquence) along with his right-eye laser cannon (Biden) to dominate the lib-rul media and obliterate all historical election fundraising records.

McCain is the honorable and much-beloved 'normal' Godzilla, who has valiantly struggled back against the odds, and must now use his newly acquired Red Spiral Atomic Breath (FEAR) to protect Baby Godzilla (Palin) from the odious Mechagodzilla and his ravaging, rampaging and rapacious hordes of Democratic operatives!

whew-that wore me out! Though in truth it was hard work, manufacturing fear isn't as effortless as it seems. I invite you to weigh in with your FEAR comparison! No spurious correlation will be rejected! (exclamation marks encouraged!!)

The Poor Man wins the Internet.

The Republican party used to be the home of the folks who wore sensible shoes and wanted to know how we were going to pay...

It doesn't matter if they were a majority or always controlled their party or not; they were a major influence, much as Russell described. They're not an influence now, to the detriment of both the Party and the country. I'm reminded of Reagan's saying that he didn't leave the Dem party, that the party left him. Like so many supposedly penetrating aphoristic things Reagan said, this doesn't make all that much sense when you actually examine it; but the present GOP certainly did leave the conservatives Russell describes.

As others have mentioned, the idea of bringing the "kingdom" to earth is familiar to both mainstream and evangelical Christianity.

I meet with a "Vineyard" church (somewhat a mix of evangelicalism and Pentecostalism). The focus is both spiritual and practical. The church cares for the poor, offers spiritual and psychological counseling, runs a homeless shelter and battered woman's shelter, etc. In this way we consider ourselves to be bringing Christ's kingdom to earth, along with the spiritual aspect of salvation, reconciliation with God, etc. Of course, those latter things are the church's business and not the government's business. But to make society more equitable and compassionate can certainly be seen as bringing the kingdom to earth.

I don't see how Obama can talk this way and simultaneously be a Muslim, or a Communist.

Its striking how all this right wing ranting is at odd with reality. Obama doesn't seem to have a radical bone in his body. As far as "cultism" goes,look at the way Palin, who has no qualifications to be Veep, is being viewed by many on the right as a "savior". Talk about extremists!

A contemporary conservative Republican I can admire is Chuck Hagel.

Of course, he's retiring.

Of course.

My inclination is to disagree with Gary about the eternal minority status of the "sensible shoes" Republicans, mostly because my maternal grandfather (1888-1975) was a classic of the breed and a stalwart of the Wisconsin Republican Party. He was what we would now call a liberal on civil rights for women and minorities, but a strict, who's-going-to-pay-for-this-mess conservative on spending. He despised Joe McCarthy, but what really broke his Republican spirit was Goldwater.

"They want to get rid of the income tax!" was his shocked reaction to meeting the Goldwater people at the 1960 Wisconsin Republican Convention. "That's not fair!" -- and this from a small businessman who loathed unions and who by then was living off his investments. But he couldn't bring himself to vote for Nixon in '72, because Nixon paid less income tax than he did, and to my upright Lutheran Grandfather that was cheating.

I think it's hard for us to look back to before Nixonland, but that was my grandfather's Republican Party: progressive, internationalist, expressing their conservatism as prudence more than fear. In the upper Midwest, at least, it was *not* a small minority, it was the home team.

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