Tuesday, August 21, 2007

(Borrowing the Fox News Cheap Trick) George W. Bush Killed Conservativism & the GOP?

For the record, the Fox trick is to put a question mark at the end of a otherwise declarative sentence and hope the reader misses the 'qualifier' and takes the 'question' for a declaration of fact. (I really hate those guys and that is only ONE reason why. Anyway . . .)

I really do not have that intent. Far as I am concerned, despite the obvious presidential election successes of Ronnie Reagan, and that long national nightmare known as the 1980's, I think it was really he who (nearly, if not all but) killed conservatism as an actually factually conservative-rooted philosophy of political identity, by making nice with the Amen Corner of the RW christian Evangelicals and Fundys.

For years, since those nightmarish Reagan years, specifically, I have compared the modern GOP to a shotgun marriage. That is because the two main factions, the corporatists and the RW christians really despise each other. The only thing they really have in common is they despise democrats/liberals just a little bit more. Here is another way of explaining it. Imagine a mixed pair of natural wildlife enemies, like a cobra and mongoose. Now introduce some third species that both other species may not like, such as tiger. Under those circumstances, the cobra and mongoose very well may forget their natural animosity, in order to tag team the other 'foreign' hunter.

But I digress . . .

Anyway, let us consult the last real conservative, Barry Goldwater, for the skinny on the RW christians' . . . . lack of true conservative sentiment:

However, on religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in "A," "B," "C," and "D." Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of "conservatism."

From the Congressional Record, September 16, 1981.

Ya. Now there was a man who knew right from wrong, and as well, right from right wing radical.

I will stop here for now, even if when I started writing this, I was thinking more about the large decline in both identity as and membership in the GOP. There really has been a drop, and the Bush W. Years seems to have a large part in that. However, I have already stated the core of my thesis. Reagan's deal with the RW christians was either the beginning of the if-not end, or the start of the inevitable decline into decrepitude. I imagine I will pick up this theme again, later.

Nota Bene. Since I did let the cat out of the box, I may as well be clear, and state (if not restate) my personal First Amendment Religious Freedom Policy:

As an American who has sworn an oath to protect and defend the Constitution (but not the government or the POTUS, yea for that distinction), I am willing to fight for the right of any and all Americans to believe in what ever dumbassed, close-minded, magic-dependent, reality-denying, delusional, deviant, and or just plain loopy stoopid-assed shit they want.

However the minute they start trying to FORCE ME to RESPECT what ever dumbassed, close-minded, magic-dependent, reality-denying, delusional, deviant, and or just plain loopy stoopid-assed shit they want, is the minute they become my enemy, and I shall (if possible and only metaphrically speaking, as long and until the coming of the actual revolution) as did St. Atilla . . .

"raise the Holy Hand grenade up on high, saying, "O Lord, bless this Thy hand grenade that with it Thou mayest blow Thine enemies to tiny bits, in Thy mercy." And the Lord did grin and the people did feast upon the lambs and sloths and carp and anchovies and orangutans and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats and large chu..."

Ok, so sue me. I was making a very serious point there, and made an uprovoked twist into a routine from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." In my (perhaps weak) defense, I say as follows. One of the most effective weapons against humorless, sociopathic, authoritarian religious bigots is to Not Take Them Seriously.

Oh, and since I plugged Python there, I might as well plug the Musical Spamalot.

I have seen it, and it was very NI!

And yes. You will get to see Brother Maynard recite from The Book of Armaments (Chapter 2, verses 9-21), dealing with St. Atilla and The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch.


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