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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Don’t Let The Door Hit You In The Ass, Mike Huckabee

Mike Huckabee isn’t homophobic.

Mike loves all of God’s creatures, even the gay ones.

Sure he does.

That’s why he’s threatening to take his ball and go home if the Republican Party stops treating gay people like pariahs.

Given that recent polls show a majority of Americans now back same-sex marriages – or at least no longer actively object to the idea – Newsmax asked the former conservative governor if he saw the GOP dropping its objection to marriage equality.

Sounding like a Pharaoh who just realized he might have to build his next temple complex without Hebrew slaves,  Huckabee glumly admitted that the republican party might just pivot on the subject.

Then Huckabee dropped his ultimatum:

And if they do, they’re going to lose a large part of their base because evangelicals will take a walk

Evangelicals will leave the Republican Party?

Oh no!

What would the GOP be without evangelicals?

What would the GOP be without it’s shrill angry science-denying, gun-wavin’, money-loving, snake-handling, drill-baby-drillin’, gay-hatin’, uterus-obsessing, bible-thumping core demographic?

Why, they might even eventually become a reasonable party of rational people who could actually attract moderates from both sides of the political spectrum and who could reach a useful accommodation with the rational members of the Democratic Party and return the federal government, and hence the entire country, to some semblance of functionality and stability.

Good Gravy! That’s just crazy talk right there!

“And it’s not because there’s an anti-homosexual mood, and nobody’s homophobic that I know of, but many of us, and I consider myself included, base our standards not on the latest Washington Post poll, but on an objective standard, not a subjective standard.”

Well, I suppose it’s good that he’s not in an anti-homosexual mood (question: does that mean Huckabee is in the mood for a little homosexual? What, I’m just asking. He is a conservative evangelical minister after all. But I digress).

It’s patently obvious that Huckabee doesn’t know what the word “homophobic” actually means.

He certainly doesn’t know the definition of “objective.” 

He’s one of those people who vehemently deny that they’re bigots because they pretty their hatred up and disguise it behind a thin veneer of Jesus.

People like Mike Huckabee preach ad nauseum about the supposed failings of others and yet somehow always end up offended and outraged when they’re called out on their own bullshit.  As I recall there is a paragraph or two regarding a mote, an eye, and a beam in Mike Huckabee’s holy book, but then again that’s for other people, us I guess, not evangelicals.

There’s a word for these people, that word is hypocrite. 

And hypocrites were condemned over and over and over in the Bible. I think gay people were mentioned roughly six times. Seems to me that if God was so het up over gayness, he a) wouldn’t have made so many of them, and b) he’d have been a bit more specific about it in his Big Book Of Rules.

Huckabee says that evangelicals don’t base their standards on the latest poll (given the results of the last election, I suspect he might want to rethink that) but, instead prefer to base their worldview on whatever arbitrary nonsense issues forth from the pulpit.

This, to Mike Huckabee, is a “standard.”

All of which is a good example, a damned good example, of why a degree in religion from a religious “college,” like the one Huckabee attended, shouldn’t be considered an actual education by any objective standard.

And it’s an even better example of why religion has no business whatsoever in the government of a free people. Period.

“I have great sympathy and extraordinary admiration for Sen. Portman. I consider him a friend and I value his work in the Senate and think he’s a great person. The mistake is that we sometimes base our public policy decisions on how we feel, how we think, maybe even some personal experiences, and we don’t regard a lot of these issues from the standpoint of an objective standard.”

I have great sympathy for Senator Portman, i.e. I’m sorry that your kid turned out all faggy and shit, you poor bastard. Tough break.

I think he’s a great guy, I have great admiration for him, except for that part where I’m about to tell you why I think he’s going to hell because instead of condemning and disowning his gay kid, Portman acted like an actual parent. Portman actually did unto others as he would have them do unto his own children. God hates that, you know. Hates it. That’s why he didn’t mention such things in the Bible. Right?

The mistake is that we sometimes base our public policy decisions on how we feel, how we think, maybe even some personal experiences … like when you put down the religion and actually get to know some gay people you find out that, well, geez, they’re actually people just like other people.

Portman’s switcheroo is an abject example of somebody who suddenly realizes they’re being an asshole for the sake of being an asshole. If his kid didn’t come out as gay, he’d still be toeing the party line instead of behaving like a decent human being. The only thing Portman should get credit for is changing his position while still in office, instead of waiting until he was out of power – like Dick Cheney.

The primary difference between liberals and conservatives is this: circumstance.

It’s easy to be against universal healthcare, until you need it.  It’s easy to be against social safety nets, until you’re poor, or old, or unemployed. It’s easy to be for torture, until it’s your kid they’re strapping down on the table. 

It’s easy be against civil rights, until it’s your loved ones that are being discriminated against.

“Let me explain what I mean by that. If we have subjective standards, that means that we’re willing to move our standards based on the prevailing whims of culture.”

As opposed to what? The prevailing whims of your Bronze Age religion? As opposed to the prevailing whims of some random holy man who thinks that he has a right to impose his ideas on the rest of us? You mean like that?

You mean how Republicans changed their standards when they invited evangelicals into the party?

“Politicians have an obligation to be thermostats, not just thermometers. They’re not simply to reflect the temperature of the room, or the culture, as it were. They’re to set the standards for law, for what’s right, for what’s wrong, understanding that not everybody’s going to agree with it.”

How’s that again? Politicians set the standards for law?

Politicians determine what’s right, what’s wrong.

Politicians.

 

It’s just me, right?

No, really, it’s just me.

 

Five years of listening to this endless We The People horseshit from Conservatives, and now it’s politicians who get to determine right and wrong. Is that correct?

Honestly, can you people hear the words that are coming out of your mouths?

Mike Huckabee’s definition of “standards” seems to be more than a little arbitrary.

Again, this is damned good example of why religious extremist shouldn’t be in charge of anything. Period. 

In the United States of America, the standard for law is based on the Constitution. Period. Not the hatred and bigotry of some evangelical tent preacher, not some politician, and not the fickle whim of the mob.

“On this issue, I recognize the culture is moving away from the traditional standard, but it’s almost like saying, well, we have a basketball team and nobody on the team can hit the goal that’s 10 feet off the floor so we’re going to lower the goal down to six feet and that way everybody can slam dunk the ball.”

If we’re going to use a sports metaphor, lets us a real one: It’s like saying, well, we have a baseball team and we only allow white people to play. Black people have their own Negro League, see, and even though they supposedly have equal rights they must remain separate and even though they pay taxes that in part support the white leagues they can’t use our facilities or call themselves professional baseball players or enjoy the same pay and benefits as the white players. Because they’re black and for no other reason. And they should be happy with this arrangement because, hey, it’s our culture. Plus, Jesus hates black people, children of Hamm and all that, you know.

But, see, then the culture changed.

Of course, pious evangelical Christians just like Mike Huckabee strenuously objected to integration of baseball, and integration in general, too.

“So the question is, have you have improved your basketball game? Or have you actually just changed the standard so it looks like you’re doing better? And that’s my concern.”

You know, maybe I’m not being fair.  Let’s go ahead and use Mike Huckabee’s analogy, shall we? The one where only tall people should be allowed to play sports …

I’ve written extensively about same-sex marriage. From the humorous in Love and War (Uncle Sam needs you! Liberals declare war on traditional marriage. Bombing begins at dawn and its going to be fabulous) to the deadly serious Uncivil Righteousness of Michele Bachmann. 

I have repeatedly asked the same question:

If gay people are given the right to get married, and the right to call it marriage, and thus receive all the benefits of married couples under the law, how does that affect anybody else’s right to engage in the traditional marriage of one man and one woman? How in any way whatsoever are you denied any rights that you, as heterosexuals, currently enjoy? How? You may acknowledge “culture” and “tradition,” but you don’t get to use them as a get out of jail free card. You may not use religion to support your answer. You may not use “I don’t like it” or any other form of subjective bigotry. You may only use the Constitution of the United States to justify your answer. Cite the Article and Paragraph.  Please be specific.

Well?

Here’s the bottom line, culture changes. Nations change. People change. Traditions are discarded, new ones are created. The men who wrote the Constitution knew that, they didn’t try to prevent it, they planned for it, they built it into the very fabric of the country.

If they hadn’t we would still have slavery – something else that has been a cultural tradition longer than it hasn’t.

When it comes to marriage equality, just like with slavery and civil rights and women’s suffrage, the writing is on the wall – and just like with all of those things, Mike Huckabee and the evangelical bigots remain firmly on the wrong side of history.  It’s their culture and tradition to be so.

Evangelicals are threatening to leave if the Republican Party drops its formal objection to marriage equality?

Good.

Good riddance.

The single best thing that the GOP could possibly do for itself, for the nation, for all Americans, is to rid itself of Mike Huckabee and the rest of the evangelicals who hide their small-minded fear and hate behind Jesus’ smiling bearded face.

Let them go form a third party.

See how they like being a dis-enfranchised minority for a change.

67 comments:

  1. The Evangelicals have been the foot soldiers for the Republican Party since the rise of Reagan. They seem to be starting to realize that They've Been Had. Even when the Repubs had all three branches of government sewed up, none of the big Evangelical priorities (school prayer, abortion, dump on gays, creationism, etc) got implemented.

    If the Evangelicals walk, all the Repubs will have left are rich folks and their servants and flunkies.

    And while we're at it, where will the Evangelicals go? Democrats? Don't be silly. Third party? Possibly ...

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  2. Speaking as someone who does worship a passel of Bronze Age gods & goddesses, I just want to point out that (a) the Bible as we know it only goes back to the Iron Age, and (b) fundamentalism, which is what we're really talking about in Huckabee's case, is barely more than a century old. Not much of a "traditional standard," if you ask me.

    The idea of a marriage as something between "one man and one woman" isn't a lot older, either - for most of human history, it's been an arrangement either between two families or between the husband and the bride's father. The woman wasn't considered a legal actor, and hasn't had much say in it until relatively recently - still doesn't, in some subcultures and some places. So if it's a contract between legal equals now, why, we've already changed from the "Biblical" definition - hacking out the last of the sexism and homophobia is tiny in comparison.

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    1. Be still, my beating heart! I think I'm in love. Actual historical/sociological commentary! Yay!

      For a rather more sardonic take on the biblical view of marriage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFkeKKszXTw

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    2. And then theres this:

      In the period up to roughly the thirteenth century, male bonding ceremonies were performed in churches all over the Mediterranean. These unions were sanctified by priests with many of the same prayers and rituals used to join men and women in marriage. The ceremonies stressed love and personal commitment over procreation, but surely not everyone was fooled. Couples who joined themselves in such rituals most likely had sex as much (or as little) as their heterosexual counterparts. In any event, the close association of male bonding ceremonies with forbidden sex eventually became too much to overlook as ever more severe sodomy laws were put into place.
      http://www.theawl.com/2012/05/sex-and-punishment

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  3. I've been pretty much saying this since 1994. With the pro-big-government religious "conservatives" in command of the Party mechanism, the GOP has effectively become a better funded version of Wallace's AIP, with the identical ideologies and demographics. There is nothing conservative about the religious wing of the Party. In fact, it was their ideologies that the GOP was expressly formed to oppose.

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  4. I'm sure glad the Evangelicals allowed the "culture" of
    Deuteronomy 13:6-18 to be changed.

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  5. I've been considering the scenario suggested by Mr Huckabee where the evangelicals leave the Republicans if they loosen their stance on same-sex marriage. Seems that these are the possibilities:
    1) They leave the Republican party and don't vote at all, thus depleting the ranks of Republicans and ensuring a Democratic victory.
    2) They form a new party, which will be way too small to win anything but will deplete the ranks of Republicans, ensuring a Democratic victory.
    3) They all vote Democratic (seems unlikely), thus ensuring a Democratic victory.

    Sounds like a winner all around.

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    1. I disagree that they'd be too small to win anything. I think they'd be big enough to pick up about 50 or so congressional seats, all entirely within the Deep South and the Great Plains. They'd be big enough to carry a couple of states in a Presidential election, almost certainly South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi and Oklahoma. They'd be dominant on a county and local level almost everywhere in the South and the lower Great Plains. They would indeed be a viable third party, however they'd be entirely regional in their support. They would get absolutely nowhere outside the bible belt.

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    2. It's true. Wallace carried four states, right?

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  6. Nonsensical societal whims are (have been) the Bee Gees, Hula Hoops, swallowing goldfish, i-phones, and fringed buckskin coats. Reasoned, rational debate at every level of government is not a whim. Of course, the operative words I used were 'reasoned, rational debate'. When the base premise for some of the debaters is 'If you do not agree with my Faith, you will burn in HELL for eternity', I suspect that 'reasoned, rational debate', is not in effect.

    Huckabee and others fail to recognize that the majority of people who identify themselves as Republicans do not want Him as a spokesman. If they did, then the Republicans would have fielded someone else for the last two presidential elections.

    Danny

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    1. It's been my cherished dream for almost half a century to own my own fringed buckskin jacket. Why must you hate me for that?

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    2. Be careful what you wish for...

      http://www.amazon.com/Trappers-Fringed-Buckskin-Shirt-Pattern/dp/B008B2C4CQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364784404&sr=8-1&keywords=Fringed+Buckskin+Jacket

      enjoy

      danny

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  7. Such awesomeness, thank you. Nothing hurts like hearing, say, a story about a woman denied being at the hospital bedside of her longtime wife because the marriage is not legally recognized and the blood family doesn't accept her. How is that Godlike? What is right about that sort of situation? It's time that Luddites like Huck and his crowd bowed out and built a little enclave somewhere in Idaho. No offense to Idaho but....

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  8. The irony behind the evangelical 'christians' is that they constantly fall back on the Old Testament. Christ doesn't show up until the New Testament, and if catechism serves me right, called for a few rule changes, like breaking volumes of inane rules down to two, basically love God, and love your fellow man. Now ignoring the fact that He lived with His mom for 30 years (c'mon, it's an old joke) and spent the next three hanging around with 12 GUYS (I think the medieval RC church may have had a heavy hand in Bible male oriented interpretation) he generally seemed a pretty non-bigotted guy. He did not discriminate when it came to miracle working, from street people to Roman consuls. He even knew how to have a good time (changing the old water into wine trick, how do ignore that you hard core Baptists?)
    My struggle (or perhaps my joy) these days is coming to the realization that the only 'religion' that appears to have taken the Christian message to heart are the Episcopalians. As far as the evangelicals are concerned, they are veneered Shariah law. Neither should have any control in a free and caring society.
    Thanks for covering this topic Jim, spot on as always.
    Duff in nofla

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    1. Besides the Episcopalians, you have the Unitarian/Universalists, at least one of the branches of Lutheranism and several other of the main-stream Christians. Some of the more conservative Episcopalian parishes are becoming Roman Catholic.

      I don't follow them closely enough to know if it is the Protestant or Catholic branch of the Episcopal church they are moving from. Yes there are both.

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    2. Episcopal Church is Protestant and grew from the Anglican / Church of England.
      Some Episcopalians began moved to the right when woman were ordained. When the American branch began ordaining openly gay clergy, this group ran for the hills and many have joined an African based Anglican Church.

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    3. THANK YOU! It seems I am always pointing this out (that the Old Testament is what happened BEFORE Christ came and the New Covenant changed EVERYTHING! All that plague and locust stuff went down the tube, and it's really about Love God and Love everyone else, too.

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    4. Not to mention all of the non-abrahamic, as well as neo-pagan religions who follow the basic admonishments of Christ, whereas most evangelicals don't.

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  9. Excellent points as always, though I will have to give voice to the fact that all Christians should not be painted with the same brush. Not saying you are doing so, but I always feel like I should say something when an atheist decides to take on Republican zealots like Huckabee.

    We do not all corrupt the teachings of Jesus Christ to justify small-minded bigotry, nor do we all conciously misinterpret the Word of God into a weapon with which to assault those not on a path we choose for them.

    There are those of us who actually practice Christianity, I just really wish that the others would stop making us look bad.

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    1. I agree, thanks for saying this for those of us who actually try to live as Chist commanded.

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    2. YOU so called good or reasonable Christians are RARE! Do not try and feed me the "Oh but those others are not REAL Christians" or the "Most Christians are good people" crap! I know better, been there, spent 50 years being a Christian, studying for the ministry, going to 2 religious coledges etc. (very dislexic, please ignore bad spelling)But I have been around thousands of Christians in my life and the vast Majoriy are hateful, judgmental hypocrits!

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    3. Tristan,

      As a card carrying atheist, I feel I must respectfully disagree with you. I will admit that I do not see them practicing what they preach, but the majority do not preach.

      Danny

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    4. I have to agree with Tristan, most of the people I have met who identify themselves as 'Christians' are hateful, judgmental hypocrites.

      I believe that's a commonality shared by most 'Christians', not an aberration. In my lengthy experience, honest, non-judgmental, loving and peaceful Christians are the exception, not the rule.

      That's not altered or tempered by whether or not they preach.

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    5. "I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." Gandhi.
      I do know some Christians that live a Christian life; they are rare.

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    6. Some of you would probably really enjoy the Facebook page, "The Christian Left", 134 thousand and growing. It's a group of Christians tired of hateful, rigid, narrow-minded Christians giving Christianity a bad name. Sense of humor and tolerance are a must. Many atheists (like myself)support and follow the group, grateful to see Liberal Christians being loving and supportive, and overshadowing the bigoted, small-minded radical right.

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    7. Sophie,
      Or as John Fugelsang said lately: "Jesus is like Elvis. I really like the man. It's a lot of his unauthorized fan clubs I can't stand."

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    8. The overwhelming majority of US Christians are not zealous and cruel. Politically, a large number, perhaps as many as half, are liberals.

      But the radical right faction has a very large megaphone and a lot of money, and those are the ones we hear the most about, unless we are church-goers.

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    9. One doesn't have to be a church goer to see which hypocrites take themselves off to church each weekend.

      From my experience, the most hypocritical, the most dishonest, the most judgmental and hateful members of any community are the self-styled pious church goers.

      Simply saying it's otherwise won't make it so.

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  10. On the subject of Biblical mentions of how "bad" homosexuality is, my mother - a minister - sometimes points out that the injunctions are against sodomites (male prostitutes). There are no mentions of non-prostitute male homosexuality, and no mentione whatsoever about female homosexual contact, prostitute or otherwise. Cuz everybody loves lesbians, right? Even God and the writers of the Bible, I guess. So it appears that the real message here is Do Not Patronize Male Hookers. (Are you listening, all you evangelicals and conservatives later discovered to have been using virulent anti-homosexual public personae to hide their secret homosexual practices? Protesting too much is the new Emporor's New Clothes. Cuz really, did you think no one would ever find out because of your amazing Ninja secretly-homosexual concealment skills?)

    It's interesting (to me, anyway) that among non-human animals, population crowding increases the proportion of homosezual animals born (or hatched). What species is currently the most overpopulated? Oh, right - HUMANS. Lotta dang people in the world. Maybe we NEED a lot more homosexuals right now (and/or nonbreeders, in general, regardless of orientation). Maybe homosexuality will be the salvation of the world. Seems like the least we could do is let them serve in our military, allow them to marry just like the rest of the world, and stop hassling them every dang time they turn around. That might just be me, though.

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  11. AKDD, I've read that before. That's what comes from translating a translation of a translation of a language that didn't exist in a written form (it is my understanding that in Jesus's day, Aramaic was only a spoken language), and then allowing religious men of power and/or royalty to decide what to keep and what to throw out - multiple times. How can we look at this and even think we have any idea what Jesus said?

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    1. Aramiac is a 3,000 year old written and spoken series of languages - don't confuse the early Jewish history with early Christianity. granted, the Gospels were not written until the second century AD, probably from both written and oral tradition, as heavily biased by the writers as well. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aramaic_language

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  12. I've always maintained it's not about what the Bible says. You see, you can make money selling shellfish (not to mention they're yummy), you can make money selling mixed fiber cloth and clothing, you can make money as a divorce lawyer, or a loan officer... the conservatives don't want to pay for benefits; hell, they don't want to pay for bennies for anyone, but this gives them an excuse. I just wonder if they've taken into account (no pun intended) the studies that show just how much money gays spend? They should be courting their business, not shutting the door on them.

    Disclaimer: Only some sarcasm was used in this comment.

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  13. Hi Jim

    I'm originally from India, and read the Station regularly for the objectivity as much as for amusement ! Just want to alert you to the use of the word 'pariah'. This word has its origins in my Tamil language, and it has come to mean 'untouchable' - the unfortunate result of social caste systems in India. Being the Tamil cultural equivalent of 'N****er', there is a strong momentum that is building against this word. I sincerely hope that you and the socially progressive friends that read this blog will subscribe to a wider worldwide spirit against this word and what it still stands for.

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    1. The thing is, pariah in English is not the equivalent of the word n***er, or untouchable, which i realize is a term for people of alternative sexuality or transgender people in India. I realize the word is horrible in India, but the word as used in English is simply a catchall for anyone out of the social norm, and has been for well over a century or two. It's not used in English quite the same way, and I don't think it should not be used for the way English speakers use it. If i were speaking your language, I would avoid it, but it about context, and how the word is used. Words shouldn't be banned, because that limits expression. People over there should reclaim Pariah, use it as a badge of honor, and that in effect will take most of the stigma away from it. It would be like taking the shots fired and firing them back. Or, in a sense, it would become a shield, an effective tool of deflection against slurs. GLBTQ people in the United States, like myself, have done that and it seriously does work.

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  14. On a slight tangent ...

    ... if the evangelicals were to defect, and force the allowance of the creation of an actual third party (regional, perhaps, but still), that might actually turn into a good thing. The American political two-party tradition is f**kin' *weird*. Yeah, yeah, there are usually two major parties. Usually, though, in most systems, they don't lock out everybody else and thus force all political change to happen within one of the two permitted parties.

    Yes, I know that other parties theoretically exist in the US (in fact, I belong to one of them (no, not the rand-fellators)). Many states (mine included) make it nearly impossible for any party to exist, unless it has won already at a macro level. Wat? Wut? Huh?

    In some ways, the Republican astonishment at the outcome of the 2012 election and their befuddlement at dealing with issues of immigration and gay mar- ... actually, gay *anything* other than stoning ... all that gives me some hope that they'll bail, create another "republican" party and demand that they be recognized 'cause really *they* won all those seats last time, not that other party that worries about *economic* stuff, f**k them. It might make for a multi-party system in the US that could have a chance of creating an interesting future for all of us.

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  15. Hell, if the social conservative leave the GOP, I may have to rethink my party affiliation. Too bad those heathen liberals also got me to see other problems with conservative values while I've been playing for their team.

    But, yea, nothing could be better for the GOP than to have the fake conservatism of the evangelical crowd take a walk. Since Reagan invited them in it's been nothing but down hill for the GOP. The big priblem will be getting the politicians to stop courting them (which may take a few decades).

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    1. Evangelicals were a large part of the Republican party long before Reagan was even born.

      This is yet another instance where Reagan is credited with originating things he had absolutely nothing to do with originating.

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    2. Steve, I've been reading your comments here for a while. I hope you were being just a little sarcastic in your comment and I missed it. The GOP has been the party of fiscal wastefulness and social repression for as long as I have been voting (some decades). The GOP talks about fiscal responsibility, but look at the actual numbers. When the GOP is in power, the economy does poorly or tanks, much worse than the Democrats. They talk about unleashing business, but the only people who do well are the very biggest businesses and their CEOs, never small businesses. When the GOP is in power, their record of sky-high increasing deficits makes a drunken sailor on shore leave look like a tightwad Puritan with a chastity belt. Doubled under Reagan, doubled again under Bush Jr. Going to the GOP for fiscal responsibility is like asking a criminal gang to house-sit for you while you're on vacation. As a nation, we've been doing it for years, and the situation isn't pretty.

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  16. Although I forgot to say, I expect Mike to behave just like the other trolls who say they're going to go away. They just lurk on the edges waiting to jump back in.

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  17. Greg - ETC(SW) - USN RetiredMarch 31, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    There's a reason why Ghandi said, "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

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  18. Huckabees isn't going anywhere, unless its to a private conservative think tank, same as that jackass from South Carolina ( or was it North?)They all have their price.
    Unfortunately.
    I have become cynical through the years, I know. I still hold out hope that the Great Experiment will turn out well, though its hard to hold out hope. Hope lives for me in Americans like you, Jim, who not only aren't afraid to stand up for what you believe in, but who are thoughtful and reasoned in your response.
    Keep on writing, Jim. Keep up the good fight. Don't give up and don't give in. And never forget how many stand with you, an invisible but not silent body of people from the far corners.
    You serve now as you've served before. The pen for the sword. The reasoned response of the individual for the many. From the shadows to the light.
    Shine on.
    And Thank You.

    Beth Garrison

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    1. The optimist thinks it can't get any better than this,

      ...the cynic is afraid the optimist could be right.

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  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  20. "The single best thing that the GOP could possibly do for itself, for the nation, for all Americans, is to rid itself of Mike Huckabee and the rest of the evangelicals who hide their small-minded fear and hate behind Jesus’ smiling bearded face."

    As a (former) 30-year veteran of the Republican Party, I couldn't agree more, Jim.

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  21. "Politicians have an obligation to be thermostats, not just thermometers. They’re not simply to reflect the temperature of the room, or the culture, as it were. They’re to set the standards for law, for what’s right, for what’s wrong, understanding that not everybody’s going to agree with it."

    And that, folks, is Mike Huckabee's definition of a democracy?

    Bruce

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  22. Today, April 1, marks 24 years of marriage for my sweet babboo and me. We are just SO surprised that marriage equality hasn't destroyed our marriage! Maybe it's because no one has an intelligent answer for how that's supposed to work.

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  23. John in Lafayette, LAApril 1, 2013 at 5:39 AM

    You say, Jim, "You may only use the Constitution of the United States to justify your answer. "

    OK. Here it is.

    From Amendment XIV, Section 1:

    "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

    So any protections the law affords to people simply by virtue of their being married have to be extended to ALL those who wish to get married.

    Or how about this one, from Article IV, section 1:

    "Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state."

    So a gay couple married legally in any one state is legally married in all the states.

    Period.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Except perhaps when the violates the public policy of the other state.

      Delete
    2. 92 MOG, so it comes down to does public policy of one state trump the rights of individuals? Guess that's why it's in the Supreme's lap.

      Delete
    3. Loving v. Virginia 388 U.S. 1 (1967), which was unanimous by the way, settled the miscengenation question for the country. It did away with all state and local statutes prohibiting mixed-race marriage, which by that time, existed only in the South. It more or less said that if a couple is married in one state, they are married in all states. It seems to me that, despite what Scalia makes up and calls precedent or law, there is such a strong parallel that the pro-gay marriage arguments before the court are no-brainers. Of course, "the Court must consider blah, blah, blah."

      Delete
  24. So...in a way, you are saying that Gay Marraige could SAVE the Republican party? WOW!!

    As a gay man, who has been with his partner for 28 years, THANK YOU!!! Thank you for this and your other articles/posts about gay rights!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I may be a little slow but the far right has yet to explain exactly how gays having the right to marry in any way affect my marriage of 25+ years.

    Personally, I really don't care who marries who, as long as there are just 2 persons in the union and both are 18 or older.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's your problem with people who prefer multiple partners, and how is that any different than people saying gays shouldn't be allowed to marry? It's still you dictating your personal definitions on people who don't adhere to them.

      And you pointedly mentioned this, so it's obviously something you're worried about.

      Delete
    2. polygamy is of course different in only one respect: it is currently legally available to no one.

      If in the future it is made available to some, then it should, by law and all fairness, be available to all. Or to none. Same as marriage between merely two.

      Equality under the law. It's easy, once you grasp the fundamentals.

      Delete
    3. Polygamy is different --
      1. it it illegal
      2. it plays to the male ego/fantasy
      3. it debases woman as no more than property with none or very few legal rights

      Delete
    4. Pamela, you also miss the point:

      1. Yes polygamy is illegal. But if it WAS legal, it would have to be available for everyone, not just some.
      2. Whether it plays to the male ego is only relevant to a discussion of the pros and cons of polygamy, not to the civil rights issue of making sure what is available to some must be available to all.
      3. Ditto number 2 above. The point is, some people make the (false) argument that allowing gays to marry means every other kind of marital arrangement must also be allowed, including humans & animals, etc. Clearly nonsense, but they keep trying it on. So it's important to understand that the only thing at issue with gay marriage is that a civil right extended to some members of the population must be extended to all. One could, in fact, make substantive arguments against marriage full stop, same as you are arguing against polygamy. But that would be a very different discussion.

      Delete
  26. “Politicians have an obligation to be thermostats, not just thermometers"
    Well, there are two kinds of thermometers; I think we know what type the politicians are, eh ?

    ReplyDelete
  27. For what it's worth, The Huckster's education consisted of:

    "He [Huckabee] graduated magna cum laude from Ouachita Baptist University, completing his bachelor's degree in Religion in 2½ years before attending Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He dropped out of the seminary after one year in order to take a job in Christian broadcasting.
    -- Wikipedia

    He was also Student Council President in high school and plays bass guitar in the his cover band, Capitol Offense.

    What a guy!

    ReplyDelete
  28. "Why, they might even eventually become a reasonable party of rational people who could actually attract moderates from both sides of the political spectrum and who could reach a useful accommodation with the rational members of the Democratic Party and return the federal government, and hence the entire country, to some semblance of functionality and stability."

    But at this point, what policies do the Republicans really have, if they abandon homophobia, racism, and misogyny? I suppose there is still "cutting the taxes of the rich, and making everyone else pay more" but it is hard to see that as a politically plausible or sustainable path.

    The Democrats have swung so far to the right, fiscally, that there just isn't much room left for a fiscally "conservative" Republican position that isn't just batshit insane. If there were still a viable political left -- if there really was anyone arguing for *really* high taxes, and *really* robust social services and policies (serious funding of education, serious funding of infrastructure, serious attempts to restore workers' rights, etc etc.) -- then, sure, a party that argued that those kinds of policies might suppress growth, or were unfair, etc., would provide a good balance. But no one is arguing that (arguably, no one "important" has publicly argued for anything like that since McGovern, and that was a bit before my time...).

    When your party's only policy recommendations are to 1) hurt whoever the worst-off members of society happen to be, for whatever crazy reason you can cook up, and 2) get as much money as possible concentrated in the hands of the already disgustingly rich, well, I really don't see where you can go, politically, that any sane person would find attractive.

    I suppose if some Republicans adopted the policy recommendations re: taxes, healthcare reform, budgeting, of the current more conservative Democrats, they might be able to pull the party back into the middle, and force the Democrats to explain what made them Democrats. ("These are, traditionally, our policies. Reasonable tax rates, a reasonable safety-net that yet encourages responsible behavior, funding of research that promotes growth, etc. What are yours, again?") That'd be nice, I suppose. Not holding my breadth, of course.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Down here in Texas I see a reasonably large number of wack-job fiscal reactionaries. Mexi-phobics, Islamo-phobics, moms-against-abortion, and general anti-Obama birther zealots. I think the GOP could hang onto all of those; it's true that there is some overlap with the evangelicals but not all of the former identify primarily as evangelicals. Even if they are relatively OK with the evangelical agenda. And there are an awful lot of sheeple out there who, if someone invokes God, will actually take it seriously. I see that all the time.

    Huck's gonna be a featured speaker somewhere down here; I just saw a billboard in the last few days. Marveled that anyone would still take him seriously.

    ReplyDelete
  30. "The mistake is that we sometimes base our public policy decisions on how we feel, how we think..." Well holy hell, don't base your policy on thinking, that would totally screw things up!
    And for the record, the Bible makes no mention of Jesus' stand on homosexuality. Jesus is silent on the matter. In the entire Bible there are few mentions of homosexuality, but LOTS of mentions of greed, caring for the marginalized, widows, poor...Wouldn't want to pay attention to that part, it wouldn't fit into the agenda.

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  31. Even if they are relatively OK with the evangelical agenda. And there are an awful lot of sheeple out there who, if someone invokes God, will actually take it seriously. I see that all the time.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I recently stumbled across this post that explains pretty well the animus behind the Religious Right's hatred of gays:

    http://nursingclio.org/2013/04/02/same-sex-marriage-does-threaten-traditional-marriage/

    "Opponents to same-sex marriage reject the idea that marriage should be redefined as “genderless.” Feminism has been arguing for genderless marriage – for marriage equality – for decades! Most of that focus has been on equality within marriage – in matters of housework, childrearing, and sexual satisfaction. Same-sex marriage is the next step in the struggle for marriage equality, but also in the broader struggle for gender equality. So, yeah, same-sex marriage does threaten traditional marriage. And that is why it is being resisted as vigorously as women’s rights and African American civil rights were (are) resisted. It’s not just a matter of a “right to privacy” or live and let live. We are trying to argue it as such. But it’s more foundation-shaking than that. The opposition to same-sex marriage is opposition to a half century of feminist redefinitions of and challenges to “traditional” marriage that have brought us to this historic moment. To quote Ellen one last time, “Asking who’s the ‘man’ and who’s the ‘woman’ in a same-sex relationship is like asking which chopstick is the fork.”"

    ReplyDelete
  33. I doubt that gay marriage will cause evangelicals to run and hide. They know a small Tea Party wouldn't rein in the minions of Satan either. The only hope for them is to whip the servants of God into a righteous frenzy, frighten them half to death and stand back to watch the carnage. They'll carry four or five blood red states, but that won't be nearly enough for the freaks of nature who prefer to take up arms. Fear translates to hatred; the last ingredient of any fundamentalist soup.
    I'm firmly convinced that a lot of the mass killings and murder/suicides we've seen in the last decade are fueled by religious noise that is bound to drive the ignorant into a panic that results in violence. It doesn't even require religious certitude or the threat of the nation's collapse. All it takes is atmosphere. When a troubled person is exposed to the news stories and the amorphous anxiety of the community around them, their psychiatric condition is impacted, and not in a good way. Gun laws and mental health care can only take the edge off their kind of chaos and it won't stop the violence. As long as there are white extremist Christian churches, militias and survivalists there will be resulting violence. What's worse, to me, is they won't even be hiding and their legally owned guns will come in real handy. The seriously mentally ill will stay in hiding, in Mom's basement, until the noise of fear and hatred drives them to seek relief in violence and death. The Tea Party won't take credit for that. They have lots of other people to blame.

    ReplyDelete

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