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tas

Because to the goal of the Republican party is to make sure that each and every America believes in their God, and only their God.

Boyd

Well, I'm not a Republican, tas, but your comment strikes me as taking the easy way out by taking the positions of the extremists and assigning them to the entire party.

And I can't think of a single Republican I know that feels the way you say they do. So pfft on your bogus claim.

Kathy

It may be a generalization to say that the Republican party as a whole wants us to believe in only their God, but I can think of more than a single Republican who feels that way. Falwell, Robertson, Dobson, Sheldon, et al. The leaders of the politicized religious right who claim to have put Bush in office certainly endorse this. Even Bush has commented that there are souls to save and the federal government has resources that the religious groups need. Of course, this was all in the context of funding religious groups that provide social services, but the comment about saving souls kind of highlights the real agenda, don't you think?

Boyd

Again, this is one of the times where the extremist positions are applied to the entire body. There are plenty of Republicans and other conservatives who laugh and roll their eyes at Falwell, Robertson, Dobson and so forth when they stray outside of their areas of expertise and trying to portray themselves as political authorities.

This also indicates that the Republican Party is monolithically Christian. Boy, is that off the mark.

Kathy

I sympathize with your complaint that we're applying extremists' positions to the whole party. BUT, it so happens that those extremists exercise immense influence over the party, despite the eye-rolling of some.

When 42 Republican Senators (82% of the Republicans in the Senate)- and 161 Republican Representatives (70% of Republicans in the House) vote along with Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition over 90% of the time, I don't think you can say that the positions of the positions of the folks I mentioned are minority extremist positions. In truth, they represent the mainstream positions of the Republicans in power.

Boyd

I believe you've cited a false comparison. Not all (probably not anywhere near the majority) positions held by the Christian Coalition are extremist. The vast majority of their positions are mainstream conservative.

Opposition to late-term and partial-birth abortions is a mainstream conservative issue. Limiting and reducing taxes are a mainstream conservative issue. Limiting government benefits is a mainstream conservative issue. I could go on, but those illustrate my point. Agreeing with the Christian Coalition 90% of the time doesn't particularly bother me, because there are probably only about 10% of the issues where they take extreme positions.

They don't control the Republican party. We'll have to disagree on the level of their influence.

Kathy

Mainstream conservative today is a far cry from what it used to be. I miss the mainstream conservatives who focused on fiscal discipline, states rights, and individual liberty. I'll gladly take them over fiscal irresponsibility and narrow and harsh morality focus I get now.

Some of the Christian Coalition positions are mainstream today but I think that's partially because the mainstream has shifted so far to the right. For example, take the support for laws barring the Justice Dept from using funds to enforce laws they don't like. Is it a weakening of the checks and balances in our system a mainstream conservative position?

Then we have protection for abortion protestors that are successfully sued - leaving a loophole for them to go bankrupt instead of paying the judgment against them. Sounds like we're not asking these individuals to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions. Not something I would think of as a mainstream conservative position.

As for late-term abortions.... The very label "partial-birth abortion" is the basis for the politicization of a procedure that by and large has been used because the woman's health is jeapordized or the baby-to-be is dead, deformed beyond survival, or medically unable to survive outside the womb. I understand the revulsion at the idea of "partial birth abortions" but I also understand the medical necessity of the rare late-term abortion. And I hate that women who have faced the terrible reality that they will not have a baby that can survive are demonized at worst and marginalized at best, as the Republicans trumpet their moral superiority. This may be mainstream, but I would argue that it's mainstream because of effective PR and not a real understanding of what's going on. And replacing a doctor's judgment with a legislator's morality doesn't seem like a position a mainstream conservative should hold.

Do I think the Christian Coalition controls the Pubs? No. Do I think the politicized religious right has the Republican party under it's thumb? Absolutely. The Republicans aligned with them and now has to live with the consequences. It's just too bad the rest of us have to as well.

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