“American Taliban”


From time to time I find something I think is worth recommending that other people check out; I found such a thing last week.

This is about politics; this is about the people I’ve accused of hijacking the Republican Party and turning it into a secular curtain that they hide behind in their fight to impose their religious beliefs on all Americans through civil law, despite what the First Amendment says about that in this country (“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”); this is about us all getting a clear look at what’s going on back there behind that curtain.

Political parties are not mentioned in the United States Constitution; they don’t exist as a part of government to promote the common good, they exist as private organizations to promote themselves and those who support them.  In the last generation, the Republican Party of Lincoln and Reagan has been take over by people who played the political game according to the rules, who participated and organized and worked their asses off, until they were in a position to control the outcomes of party primaries.  Today, anyone who wants to be the Republican candidate for anything has to please a small group of religious extremists, even when doing so means abandoning their own political heritage.

Some Republican candidates these days are true believers; others sell a bit of their soul in hopes of winning an election so they can do some good, and maybe someday move beyond the control of the extremists.  But make no mistake, the radicals are in charge of the GOP.  And they are now passing “voter ID” laws in most of the country to prevent voting fraud, laws that, arguably, have the real world effect of limiting voter participation by people in groups that have historically been reliable voters for Democratic Party candidates.  Pretty smart, and sneaky: no one can be in favor of voter fraud…but what they don’t like you to realize is that the incidence of actual voter fraud is on the order of 4/100,000ths of one-percent, or just 86 cases out of 196,000,000 votes cast over a five-year period of the early 2000s.  Thirty-three states have passed voter ID laws; in 32 of those states, the laws were proposed by Republican lawmakers and passed by Republican-controlled legislatures and signed by Republican governors.  If there’s no significant voter fraud to stop, then what are they after?

The people who control today’s Republican Party have been as successful as they have because (1) some Americans agree with their goals, (2) most Americans aren’t paying attention, and (3) the news media is too occupied with what David Shaw in the Los Angeles Times called “the four horsemen of the journalistic apocalypse: superficiality, sensationalism, preoccupation with celebrity, and obsession with the bottom line.”  So, we have to rely on fictional journalists to do the heavy lifting:

“American Taliban.”  Yep; that’s perfect.  Spread the word.  And thanks to Upworthy.com for the tip.

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2 Responses to “American Taliban”

  1. Bob in the Heights says:

    No blowback yet? The conservative right wing being hijacked by a bunch of Karl Rove and Grover Norquist acolytes, comparable to the Taliban? This is some pretty inflammatory stuff. OK, I’ll bite.

    Spot on and well said! Although there is something really sad about the fact that a fictional cable television show is as close as we’ll ever get to hearing brave and honest commentary like this on major network television – it’s almost like political masturbation, frustrating but pleasurable.

    This crowd gets more powerful with every election, and it’s time America recognized it as what it is – the biggest threat to democracy today. Ironically, some sort of magic blinders keep these uber-conservatives from seeing just how close their ideology is to civil law as practiced in much of the Middle East, where edicts come down from bearded holy men who adhere only to strict interpretation of their (fill in the blank with your favorite Holy Book). Let’s be honest, they would be perfectly happy if a Bible sat in front of each Supreme Court judge for quick reference.

    “Oh, I’m sorry Mr. Davenport, but as you can see it’s clearly stated in Leviticus 13:12 that…”

    The other side of the disconnect is they don’t realize just how far the policies they support differ from the real teachings, for example, of Jesus. When Paul Ryan, who has a long standing punitive agenda (see his economic plan) toward the poor and disadvantaged, boldly proclaimed “The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves” during last week’s GOP convention, well, that set a new high bar on the gall jumping event.

    Did anyone else notice Dubya’s odd absence from the Tea Baggers In Paradise festivities? I mean the guy was our president for eight years, right? Two-time party champ and esteemed member of the Bush Dynasty, his brother still being quietly talked about like the third coming…

    The truth is, aside from the fact that he was a bumbler and eight-year embarrassment, he, like just about all past GOP office holders, are sooo yesterday; a bunch of back-stabbing RINOS to be shunned as outcasts and soft compromisers. My guess is George politely turned down the token invitation to speak outside at the beer tents Tuesday morning because he knew he would get little mercy from this rabid mob of pledge-signing extremists. Remember the unanimous ridicule and scorn Perry was shown during his short-lived campaign for appearing soft on immigration when during a town hall meeting he came out for the Dream Act? Foolishly trying to appeal to people’s “hearts” and better nature in this pack of political meateaters, who also roundly booed a gay veteran telecommunicating live from Iraq. Don’t worry though, Perry’s reprieve came when he was wildly applauded for standing behind his personal record of 234 kills at the Huntsville death chamber. What Would Jesus Do, indeed?

    Finally, what better illustrates this party’s wild swing to the right than their still-affectionate embrace of Ronald Reagan as the one true “Gipper” of their party! Here’s a short list of the 10 Things Conservatives Don’t Want You To Know About Ronald Reagan – http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/02/05/142288/reagan-centennial/

    Going on this record, he would have been bumped out of the race before Michele Bachmann was making the first turn.

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