Friday, June 17, 2005

Holy Marching Orders

"We think in generalities, but we live in detail." --Alfred North Whitehead

There’s always something dangerous about the marriage of God, Mammon and Politics. But there’s always something amusing about the union as well. In addition to religious wars abroad, trampled civil rights at home and punishing legislation designed to instruct the unworthy poor in the error of their sinful ways while rewarding the holy rich with their just desserts, there is also the comic spectacle of the Moral Values Crowd trying to figure out just how to keep a deniable distance from Morally Distasteful House Majority leader Tom DeLay, yet stay close enough so that their stretchy Plastic Man arms can still snake into his pockets to get at all that nice campaign money.

Meantime, we have the delightful vision of Senator Bill Frist, the Republican majority leader, planning on appearing on an April 24th telecast/rally sponsored by the Family Research Council, a “Christian” conservative lobbying group. He’ll be part of a nation-wide telecast to churches, Christian broadcast networks and internet websites called “Justice Sunday,” which is being promoted as the battle for the soul of our courts that are now overrun with dangerous, Godless Judicial Activists!

In short, the telecast is designed to rouse the conservative Christian base to encourage lawmakers to do away with the filibuster, which the FRC claims is now “being used against people of faith.”

Which means that the Republican majority leader of our Senate is joining up with a group that claims that any fellow Senator or Congressperson who disagrees with them and wishes to keep the filibuster in place as part of a traditional, double-edged legislative check and balance against a run-amok Congress can now be smeared as someone who is “against people of faith.”

Oddly unmentioned in this current battle is the fact that the majority of federal judges now on the bench are GOP appointees considered by any fair analysis to be “conservative.” And with a Republican majority in both houses of Congress, any new appointees will also be conservative. But apparently to Mr. Frist and his fellow conservatives, they’re not conservative enough because too many of them keep ruling to uphold those damned constitutional rights that protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority.

Which is another thing genuinely amusing about the Passion Play now going on in Washington. Since when did Christians become an endangered minority in this country? To believe the Moral Values Crowd, Christians are now entitled to play the victim card because they are a helpless few, a voiceless and vulnerable band of holy souls under assault by a godless majority of latte-sipping, Volvo-driving, Hollywood Jewish atheists determined to drive all the faithful into the Super Bowl where the lions will be unleashed.

Poor Dears! A Christian President, both houses of Congress controlled by the conservative “Christian” Moral Values Crowd, a conservative judiciary, a solid K Street/corporate lock on legislative tax and regulation relief for the Mammon-worshiping oligarchy, and still no help in sight to protect these few brave souls from all those awful gay people who are demanding equal civil rights, those awful abortion-bent women who murder their unborn babies and still want equal pay for equal work, those awful Commie unionized workers who want a living wage, those awful tree-huggers who object to their children ingesting mercury from poorly regulated power plants, those awful treasonous Democrats who hate America, and those awful ungrateful judges who still keep ruling in favor of that damned, Godless Bill of Rights. Oh, what’s a person to do!

Well, Time magazine certainly got the zeitgeist right. It put Ann Coulter on its cover. With her media savvy, her ramped-up-for-ratings rhetoric, her too-often intellectual and factual dishonesty, and what appears to be a genuine set of short-sighted, mean-spirited core values, she’s the perfect poster-child for all that’s wrong with what passes for political discourse these days: Lazy hypocrisy, low standards, pointless poisonous partisanship, ugly heat, no light.

Unfortunately, when the bill for all this Comic Boffo distraction arrives in the mailbox of the average working Joe and Jill, the laughter will stop. But it will be too late. A select few in this country will have gotten their extremely expensive comic theatre for free, paid for by the rest of us. But then, that was our choice, wasn’t it? We The People elected and re-elected these clowns, so, Enjoy! Oh, and did I mention, the popcorn is extra? --Ann Calhoun, Los Osos, 4/27/05

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