October 24, 2004

This article (NY Times link) has been cited in another discussion here (it's also been on that other site), but I believe it's important enough to merit an FPP. (My first!) Apparently a sizeable number of evangelicals believe Bush is an "instrument of God." And this allows them to completely overlook the lack of logic in many Bush administration policies, as well as Bush's frequent, uh, misstatements of fact. As one of the article's sources says in it, ". . . when it gets complex, he seems to turn to prayer or God rather than digging in and thinking things through."

Ron Suskind, the author, points out the divide between what he calls the "reality-based community" (which believes in wacky stuff like science and logic) and the "faith-based" one. The really scary thing about this: If the faith-based community's candidate wins next week, U.S. policies and court appointments will reflect the victory of the faith-based worldview over the reality-based worldview. Tax reform, tort reform, the privatization of Social Security, the right-wing-ization of the Supreme Court: These are the things Bush, by his own admission, will be focused on in a second term, should U.S. voters be moronic enough to vote him back into office -- whether these actions make sense or not, and without adequately considering that they might not make sense. In another thread on this site, someone was deriding the "white-knuckled paranoia" of Democrats. Take the time to read this, and you'll see that it's justified fear, not baseless paranoia.

  • Of course, I meant to say "If the faith-based community's candidate wins next week, U.S. policies and court appointments over the next four years will reflect the victory of the faith-based worldview over the reality-based worldview."
  • He's an instrument of God? Like God's anal probe or something? must...learn...to...resist...
  • He's a tool alright. I've linked to this Frontline doc before but it is definitely worth watching: The Jesus Factor, as is the most recent one, The Choice 2004, which explores the histories of the two candidates. Thanks for the link. I'll have to find a hard copy of this week's NYTM.
  • Paging Decani! Decani to this thread please!
  • Hey Jerry, it's in last Sunday's Times mag (10/17).
  • Ah, thanks! (I would have been most puzzled.)
  • White knuckle fear I decry, not because it is not justified, but because it is self-defeating. To defeat the opponent, one must remain calm, strong, unflappable & absolutely steadfast. Freaking out doesn't help this (in context: white knuckle comment was about crazy-ass speculation over Chimpy McAwol spending a day with his blanky in Crawford, not anything actually concrete or reasonable about his plans). What is necessary is preparation for *anything* the opponent may try. This does not involve freaking out, whimpering & crying over grossly inaccurate polls, & saying "oh god oh god its all over he's getting back in again".
  • He is the Antichrist. The real Christ is all pissed off about that Mel Gibson movie.
  • Bush may not be the Antichrist, but he's views on theology are certainly heretical, in that he deigns to know what the will of the Almighty is. This was an interesting interview I came across in the Daily Howler last week on this subject. Here'as an excerpt: O’DONNELL: No, I don’t believe that God has desires. What we were taught in Catholic education is God’s ways are unknowable. The essence of the Catholic God is that God works in mysterious ways. George W. Bush doesn’t think God works in mysterious ways. George W. Bush thinks he knows what God wants, and George W. Bush then says, I am here to execute what God wants. I don't know from Catholic education, but what O'Donnell describes here jibes somewhat with what I learned in Sunday school all those years ago. Are most evangelicals comfortable with such arrogance?
  • However the religious wingnuts want to apologize for Bush, the fact remains his "faith-based" activities are doing a lot to dismantle basic civil rights. Particularly for folk like myself and those I love and care deeply about, who do not share Bush's heartfelt appreciation for the opposite sex, an attraction he feels obligated to shove down our throats with whatever legislative tools (weak-willed House and Senate, namely) at hand. Legislating his God into our legal code overwrites core, fundamental tenets around which this country was built. I don't care if evangelicals/fundamentalists are "comfortable" with Bush proclaiming himself the voice of God. I want the religious wingnuts to understand and appreciate on an intimate level how uncomfortable the rest of us are with them either apologizing for his behavior or agreeing with it and egging him on. That's the real communication problem.
  • I still don't understand why we can't have all these religious wackos declared legally insane, thereby denying them the vote.
  • I'm with coppermac.
  • My grandparents, life long Republicans in the midwest, are campaigning for Kerry this year. I spoke with my grandmother yesterday, she has been doing calls while my grandfather has been going door to door. These are very Southern Baptist folks. They can't stand Bush. My grandmother actually said that Bush is the worst president she has ever seen, and she is 70.
  • ryoshu: I've heard this kind of thing over and over and over again, and it's great to hear that there are so many Republicans who have, in Suskind's words, reality-based worldviews. If Bush wins, the American people will deserve every insult we get from the rest of the world. (Roughly half of us will, in any case.) But I actually think that the polls are wrong and Kerry's going to win handily. (Here's hoping that's not wishful -- uh, "faith-based" -- thinking.)
  • If Bush wins, the American people will deserve every insult we get from the rest of the world. (IMHO) that stupid prick in the Whitehouse cannot reduce my love of my American brothers and sisters one iota.
  • Thus I'll be raising a beer in your direction on November 2 and wishing you all the best :)
  • I'll raise one backatcha, quidders, though if things don't go my way I may be too drunk. Come to think of it, if things don't go my way, I may be crashing at your place for a while. :)
  • Sometimes I wish the commentary in these political threads wasn't so one-sided.
  • You know, I hear you, SlightlyFoxed. If Bush et. al. were actually conservatives -- you know: free markets are the best route to dealing with most social issues; government should not be able to tell people how to live their lives; etc. -- then I think the discussion would be more balanced. But with Bush and crew you've got a bunch of people calling themselves conservatives at the same time as they're growing the government, spending the U.S. into the ground, making more rules about the way citizens can act, and so on, to the point that a lot of people can't help but calling them out on their BS. The conservatives should get themselves a good candidate. That would help.
  • Here's a link to Suskind's article which should get through.
  • Ah, but we are safer. Unless we die from dehydration, of course, in which case we'll be dead safe.
  • That's quite a photo of Mr. Suskind. Creator of such hits as "Shoo Bee Doobie Doo" and "Let's Get Sentimental".
  • It's just begging to be photoshopped into an album cover.
  • Think I just voted for Shoo Bee Doobie Don't in thread 8446, petes.
  • Absolutley fascinating! One of my favorite episodes, too.
  • He recognized the work of Fair officials and others instrumental in arranging Reagan's visit. "It would be impossible to do in today's security conscience world," Hutchison said. Nice to know that security has a conscience.