Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Self Annointed Pope Of The Republican Faithful

I'm more than a little stunned with the workings of the Republican party. How in the world have Republicans gotten to the point where Rush Limbaugh is their defacto leader? Every time a Michael Steele or a Rick Santorum apologizes to Rush for their questioning of Rush's take on things, I want to cringe. Somehow, a bumper sticker quoting loud mouth, who has never been elected to any political office is running this nation's other political party.

No wonder the professed number of Republicans is down to 25%. At the rate the Republicans are losing credibility, the US could become a one party system. Not a good thing in a democracy.

If Rush's strategy of hoping the president fails is the only hope the Republicans have, then it's time Republicans admit their party is dead and build something new. The reality is if Obama fails then so does the country. Basing the resurrection of your party on the failing of your country is not the most noble of sentiments. Especially when it's your parties failures that have brought the country to it's current state. I would think that Republicans with integrity would be bending over backwards to help the current administration clean up the previous president's mess. So far it looks like there might be all of three of those kinds of Republicans. The rest are apparently taking their marching orders from Rush. Even though Rush and Ronald Reagan share backgrounds in radio, that's the last of their similarities.

I'm also having real trouble seeing Rush as the leader of the "Family Values" party. Here's an excerpt from Bob Cesca's article on Huffpost about what it means for the "Family Values" party to have Rush as their leader:

"To fall under the rule of Limbaugh means that the Republicans have sealed their status as the party of race-baiting. In Limbaugh's world, Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama simply because Obama is black -- excuse me, Halfrican American. In Limbaugh's world, all blacks say "axe" instead of "ask." In Limbaugh's world, it's hilarious to pronounce Mayor Ray Nagin's name as Mayor Nay-ger. In Limbaugh's world, black contestants on Survivor are at a disadvantage because "blacks can't swim."

To fall under the rule of Limbaugh means that the Republicans have become the party of sexism. In Limbaugh's world, women who seek equal rights are making up for the fact that they're
"ugly." In Limbaugh's world, it's hilarious to compare pubescent teenage girls to "the family dog." In Limbaugh's world, women live longer because their lives are somehow "easier." I can't imagine that would apply to Limbaugh's three ex-wives, but okay.
To fall under the rule of Limbaugh means that the Republicans have become the party of comparing torture to
fraternity pranks. They've become the party of multiple divorces. The party of Oxycontin addiction. The party of "phony soldiers." The party of mysterious all-male excursions to foreign nations while in possession of erectile dysfunction medication prescribed under a false name. They've become the party of wild conspiracy theories like the one Limbaugh was repeating in October -- maybe you've heard this one. Did you know that Barack Obama traveled to Hawaii, not to visit his then-gravely ill grandmother, but instead to participate in the cover-up of his secret birth certificate?
To fall under the rule of Limbaugh means that the Republicans have become the party of this:
The Republicans are bowing to the leadership of a man who physically mocked the involuntary tremors of a Parkinson's disease victim. I can't underscore this enough. Rush Limbaugh, the leader of the Republican Party, actually imitated and exaggerated Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's tremors."

Rush has said a lot more than this, but this does give one the flavor of the man. This is the party our Bishops want us to identify with because this is the party which is pro life and espouses family values. Hmmm.

According to Rush though, pro life doesn't mean anything more than being anti abortion, and family values means anything more than an anti gay crusade. Family values in Rush's world sure doesn't seem to mean the sanctity of heterosexual marriage or valuing one's daughters. Apparently he doesn't see racism as 'intrinsically evil' nor does he put any value on the disabled, especially if those disabled people see hope in stem cell research.

And yet the neocon faithful gave this man a rousing ovation during his rambling diatribe at the recent CPAC convention. So did our true Catholic neocons. You know the ones who have sent all us pro choice Catholics to hell as they verbally shove us out the doors in true Rush Limbaugh style. I'm sure somewhere William F. Buckley weeps.

The thing that really angers me is Catholic neocons have spent the last fifteen or so years purposefully working to foment schism in mainline protestant sects and Catholicism itself. They've used two cultural issues, gay marriage and abortion. They had some success for a short time, but now the sheep's clothing is falling off these wolves. Both the Roman Catholic church in the US and the Republican party are losing members in droves. It doesn't surprise me that the percentage of church going Catholics is about the same as people who still call themselves Republican. Americans are waking up to the fact that there are more pressing issues in American and global society than sex.

So is Pope Benedict it seems, as his next encyclical will deal with economic justice. From what little that has been released it will be interesting to see how Catholic neocons take to and obey this bit of Papal teaching. It doesn't it appear it will be friendly to their notions of unregulated corporate capitalism. My guess is they will be conspicuously silent on this encyclical, but Rush like in their attacks on Obama.

Kind of like this one from Matt Bowman who authors the blog Americanspectator:

But the most intriguing component of Sebelius's nomination is her Catholicism. Not that Catholic abortion supporters are rare -- see Obama's failed nominee to HHS, Tom Daschle. But Sebelius is significant as an attempt by Obama to foment a civil war within Catholicism to neutralize its pro-life efforts.
Like a shrewd general, Obama is using Catholics themselves as his ground troops.Two dozen prominent Obama supporters quickly launched a letter supporting Sebelius, and claiming that they are Catholic and pro-life. The letter's signers are the same liberal Obama Pro-Lifers from his presidential campaign, led by Professor Doug Kmiec and the Soros-funded group "Catholics United."

A conspiracy theory claiming Obama is out to foment a civil war within Catholicism? Rush would be proud.


  1. All I can say is when the going gets tough and Republicans need or respect or applaud someone like Rush as a leader what can we expect but more idiocracy to undermine democracy?

    The 25% or so that are left of the Republican Party to support someone like Rush are like a light bulb that is about to go out, but it burns very brightly until it finally does.

    The Republican Party has been in a mess for years under the leadership of GW Bush. The remnants of the Party of the right wing that would follow Rush will believe anything he says. Is Rush in any way like Hitler I wonder? Or are his followers as crazy as the followers of Hitler? Are they the remnants of an age that has already died but they feel they must resurrect it from the dead just as Hitler wanted to do with Germany with its economic woes of the 1930's? Just some questions as I am thinking aloud. Rush Limbaugh is a terrible person with no integrity to be telling anyone anything. He is just too full of himself and couldn't lead anyone into anything but trouble.

    Word is rehad - hmmmm

  2. Those who call themselves "faithful orthodox" are proving themselves to be more accurately described as "hateful orthodox". The hate (and fear) that boils within them is apparent in all of their rhetoric. The Sebelius responses and the young voices responses demonstrate very powerfully the real energy and the true hate that motivates those that call themselves "faithful orthodox".

    (disclaimer: faithful orthodox does not mean the same thing as faithful)

    Rush is simply using that fear and hate, playing to it to generate his personal financial prosperity. His appeals to fear of his audience is the same tactic that Hitler used.

    Rush is playing to white fear of the black race, white mens fear of women, white mens fear of impotency. If you look at his hate messages, all of his rhetoric is addressed to the fears of a very narrow target audience - white men.

    An appeal to fear only goes so far. There is a limit to it. Once that limit is reached, it will no longer work. What I believe we are seeing is that the limit has been reached.

    The catholic church is shrinking. The republican party is shrinking. Fundamentalist groups are shrinking. Even Rush's audience is shrinking.

    The appeal to fear does not have the same electricity with they younger members of our society as it does with the older one. Thankfully, the younger ones are brighter in many ways than our generation was/is.

    Admittedly, it seems that the rhetoric is louder now. Not surprising. Those who remain in these groups are watching their numbers shrink, watching their wealth and power bases disappear, so they are making more noise, but ...

    have you ever listened to geese squawking ... a thousand of them sound just as loud as a hundred.

    Butterfly, there is already a civil war happening within the catholic church, has been for some time. Although it is a bit one sided, meaning that only one side considers it a war. It is the "faithful orthodox real catholic defenders of the faith of the one true church" (forcdotfototc) against "everyone else who is a liberal protestant heretic that must be destroyed at all costs".

    In one breath the proclaim themselves and demean those who disagree with them, then in the next breath they pontificate that it is their "mission" to bring Gods message of salvation to the world.

    Hmmm ...

  3. I recognize the "orthodox traditionalists' by their "Rush like" words of hate and exclusion in their blogs and comments. They cannot just disagree, they have to mark those who disagree with them as "evil".
    It seems like human nature hasn't changed much in 2000 years and I did reread Matthew 23 as-was it Col?-suggested, and I think I will take my final exam on those questions, thank you very much!

  4. Carl I had read those NCR threads and had them in the back of my mind when I wrote this article.

    To me hate is always a fear value. In truth the Faithful Orthodox are fearful orthodox, but atonement theology, which is the driving theology, is a fear based understanding of Jesus, His mission, and the after life.

    Love the lightbulb analogy, butterfly. Unfortunately American is not going to work as a one party system. The Republicans need to get their act together and stand for something instead of their current mode, which is against everything.

  5. I am not concerned with the notion that this will be a one party nation. That seems an interjection of fear if you ask me.

    This nation prior to voting in Obama voted in the other party for two terms; correction, the Supreme Court voted them into power in the first term of the Bush Admin, and then they won another term by a narrow margin. Their selfish and greedy, arrogant ineffective and anti-intellectual leadership led to an unjust war and an economic collapse due to an elitist attitude and top down, trickle down economic leadership philosophy. They were in power for eight years and we see the consequences of that power in the collapse of our economy and exorbitant debt.

    For Republicans and Democrats and other parties that we don't hear much about, this is a time to reflect on what we can learn from failures and what we can do to not just help our country in narcissistic fervor for self-preservation, but how as a nation we can work with other nations to build up humanity and get rid of starvation and preventable diseases in the world, provide the tools for humanity to elevate itself out of the gutters of despair and hatred and greed.