Wednesday, October 12, 2005

She's Religious!

From the AP:
"People are interested to know why I picked Harriet Miers," Bush told reporters at the White House. "They want to know Harriet Miers' background. They want to know as much as they possibly can before they form opinions. And part of Harriet Miers' life is her religion."

Bush, speaking at the conclusion of an Oval Office meeting with visiting Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski, said that his advisers were reaching out to conservatives who oppose her nomination "just to explain the facts."

He spoke on a day in which conservative James Dobson, founder of Focus on Family, said he had discussed the nominee's religious views with presidential aide Karl Rove.

Asked why Rove would have discussed Miers' religious views if the president ascribes to a conservative judicial philosophy that backs a strict interpretation of the Constitution regardless of one's views on various issues, McClellan said it was just part of an "outreach" to help people get to know Miers.
From merely questionable, to completely embarrassing, and now utterly contemptible.

Forty-five years ago, one of the main objections conservatives and others had about JFK was his Catholicism; during the campaign, Kennedy had to reassure voters constantly that if elected president he would not be taking orders from the Vatican and his faith would not influence his policies. Indeed, similar fears had contributed to Alfred E. Smith's defeat in the presidential election of 1928. So does anyone else wonder just how the hell we devolved to the point where religion is openly and proudly cited as the defining personal quality of a nominee for one of the most important public jobs, and someone like James Dobson is a player in determining who will sit on the nation's highest court for the next few decades?


Anonymous scott_api said...

We are stopping Theocracy over there, so we can institute it over here...

10/12/2005 9:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Devolve" is truly the right word.

10/12/2005 10:01 PM  
Blogger mjs said...

welcome back. it is always good to read you and remember there is at least one sane conservative left standing.

10/12/2005 10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure which is scarier, the very notion that a president of the United States could tout 'evangelical Christian' as a relevant and positive attribute for a SC justice, or the shallow transparency of the president's intent for uttering such sad nonsense.

10/12/2005 10:51 PM  
Blogger Hume's Ghost said...

So where are all the "strict Constructionists" up in arms about the apparent violation of Article 6 of the Constitution?

10/13/2005 12:28 AM  
Anonymous Natasha said...

What truly worries me in this issue as well as in many others since the beginning of the Bush dynasty, is the willingness of otherwise sensible people to buy the Bushian line - and worse yet to frame every issue as a political one.

If it is said that the appt. Harriet Miers is obviously purely political then she must be a great candidate that the liberals are trying to smear. Similarily, I have heard the argument that Harriet Miers is the exact kind of fresh blood the left said was needed. I beg to differ. There are lawyers upon lawyers out there who are known for their decisive, insightful work - she is not one of them.

What is it going to take for people to see that the fallacies of the Bush administration have gone far beyond the political?

Bush and co. have indeed created a new reality, one which otherwise sensible americans have swallowed hook, line and sinker. This new reality is one where the United States of America has all but abandoned the priniciples that made it the world's bastion of democracy - the separation of church and state is simply the most obvious priniciple to go.

10/13/2005 8:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for point this out. It has always bugged me that conservatives of today are all for bringing religion more into the political world but are inheritors of the whole Vatican will run the WH paranoia. I know a lot of what was going on in Kennedy's day was a plain anti-Catholic bias and today it is more of a pro-evangelical Christian agenda - but what is the real difference? Nothing as far as I can see, though I am sure the convoluted logic of the theocrates could come up with some lame argument.

BTW - glad you are back.

10/13/2005 9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The American Taliban is a Player in this administration, and has been since day one. Back in the spring of 2000, when I could not believe George Bush would be the nominiee, I saw him praying with Pat Roberton on TV.

Nothing has changed. Every Republican - Conservative, Moderate, and right leaning Independent - who cynically used each other to gain the GOP victory shares the honor or blame for this Supreme Court pick. Half the country DID NOT VOTE for this...the rest of you, thanks a million.

10/13/2005 11:20 AM  
Blogger copy editor said...

The administration was leary of religion with John Roberts' nomination. Check out Lowry in the National Review yesterday. LINK.

Further, this nod-and-wink to the conservative religious right is not going to settle the ire of the intellectual conservative movement with this nomination -- it may actually enhance it. Judging by your response it may likely enhance it. I'd like to see how George Will responded to this yesterday.

Has this administration gone completely tone-deaf in politics? Do they not realize that conservative thinkers and conservative believers are from somewhat different movements?

Hauling religion into the fray is a disservice to our country and a political mistep on a massive scale.

Last night on Hardball, Tony Perkins -- Family Research Council -- said that religion should not be a positive qualification just as there should not be a religious "test" in the negative.

10/13/2005 11:34 AM  
Anonymous ChrisA said...

I'd say the change came in when the Republican party made common cause with that 'silent (religious) majority' about 20 years ago.

It's pretty obvious, to anyone not beholden to the Republican party, that the name of the game is power, and the people in this administration (and the ones in control of the Republcan party) have ridden this horse (values aka religion) for the last 20 years.

They're not about religion but power. How thick do some people have to be?

Really like your posts. Too bad there are hardly any CONSERVATIVES speaking out anymore.

10/13/2005 12:39 PM  
Blogger Robert Bayn said...

Pretty simple, republicans found a way to get elected, you suck up to religious fundies, you promise to pass legeslation, no matter how anti-american that legeslation is, and they vote for you. Right now 'faith' is the in thing, in a few years, people will again realize how uncomfortable religious nut jobs make them, and get back to reality.

10/13/2005 1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think if you look at the executive orders and legislation that has passed over the 4+ years: everything from faith-based initiative, the creation of another office in the WH (Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives & its five cabinet departments), hiring discrimination and political preacher pulpits, faith-based FEMA, etc; Pat Robertson, Jerry Farwell, James Dobson have their hands in RNC/Bush's back pocket and their lips to their/his ear. So why the surprise now, Bush is doing what he has been doing. [Theocracy Watch and Separation of Church and State]

TPM had an entry that really summed it up: "Perhaps the same goes for ending theocracy over there. Sooner the better, so they can bring modernity to us too".

For several years now I've heard Bush talk about Iraq, and I kept thing why the heck are you destroying that here.. :-( If you decry a theocracy in Iraq, why the heck put one here.

It is all about power to control the people, resources, and the money. And it is ashame to have abused and sold religion/spirtuality so cheaply to any political party. I don't think we realize how frenetically resolve this particular brand of religion zeolots are. Knowing how this administration works, who knows why they picked her. Some of the documents and letters released that she wrote to Governor Bush sound more like love letters than professional letters, or maybe I'm not up on the lingo for K.A.

10/13/2005 2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush picked a personal assistant, the deer-in-the-headlights Ms. Miers (I hope they don't pull the nomination; I can't wait to see her hearings), because he knows what kind of legal hurricane he and his buddies are about to face. They need reliable friends in high places.

Can't claim originality to this theory, but when I first read it a day or two ago, it clicked.

10/13/2005 10:26 PM  
Anonymous Julie Zuber said...

One of the best explainations of how the Right went wrong was written in on 10-12-05 by David Ignatius. In it he says: "The hard right, which is the soul of the modern GOP, would rather be ideologically pure than successful. Governing requires making compromises and getting your hands dirty, but the conservative purists disdain those qualities. They swim for that beach with a fiercely misguided determination, and they demand that the other whales accompany them." Well worth reading.

10/14/2005 4:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"ideologically pure" (at least as pure as the aryan nations) but morally corrupt.

amazing how the neocons see themselves and julie is right, they do tout their ideologic purity...

and yet, like any purist movement, their very self concept is a sham.

always beware anyone who wraps themselves in a flag, marches under a standard, or claims the annointed status of a "true believer" in the bible.

more evils have been done in the name of nationalism and religion than any other cause.

but corrupt "leaders" see only power to be grabbed, not the people who have surrendered it unto them.

in 5 yrs they have born fruit from all the moral high talk, bush was placed as grand pubbah and all of us are the poorer for it in both spirit and in wealth. dreams are gone. we are the evil kingdom.

and if you're a lord and master you'll be fine until the people begin to realize they've been duped all along...

2 nations, under bush, lost in the den of iniquity....


10/14/2005 2:06 PM  
Blogger 277fia said...

I don't get it myself but I live on Long Island. My local county legislator marched in the town's Saint Patrick's Day parade with his partner and their children.

Peter King and Charlie Gargano are two of the most crooked politicans on Long Island but I don't think terms of them being Catholics which they are.

NY politicians cater to the Hassidic community in NYC. Giuliani even built schools in upstate NY for them but a lot of religous Hassidics deal in cash and don't pay their fair share of taxes. There's been at least a few big time Hassidic crooks but you don't read about them in the news.

AG Gonzales is beginning his anti-pornography campaign and FBI Director Mueller is looking for FBI agents to track the pornographers down. I think this is a publicity stunt so that highly-paid leaders of the religuous right can show their financial supporters some results.

A couple of years ago, I had an idea about creating a right wing campaign to stamp out child pornography which would be fun to do and show parents why they should monitor their children's internet use. But everyone has to chip in a few bucks to do it.

As part of the campaign, kids would look for child pornography on the internet with their parents watching so the parents would learn something. When they found the pornography, the parents then buy $10 or $20 worth. When the credit card bill came in, the parents demand info about the porno vendor from the credit card company. Let a group like James Dobson's organize a database with names etc.

The right wing in Congress opens an investigation of these child porno vendors and exposes them by name, home address and other particulars. A few samples of their work will get a lot of public attention. This way everyone in the world knows who they are and where to find them.

Most everyone thinks the child pornography is a blight on decent society and would applaud anyone in Congress who did something about it. Me included. But the credit card companies have to cooperate and we already know their idea of reform is using taxpayer dollars so the courts can collect their bills.

I don't necessarily disagree with the religous right. My problem is with the fakirs making a living off the sincere.

10/14/2005 3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe part of the answer lies in: The Hammer: Tom DeLay: God, Money, and the Rise of the Republican Congress

10/14/2005 11:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a very blurry line between the Islamic theocracy in Iran and the Evangelical theocracy that the USA continues to morph into. There is no pride in being an American for me anymore. I fully understand why it is that so much of the world, and most sadly former staunch allies, has animosity in their hearts towards this country. Will I be living here 5 years from now? Honestly, I am not sure. Perhaps it will be the election of 2008 that will be the make or break time for me. I am hanging my hat on John McCain to save this country. If the Evangelicals conspire against him and someone else wins (I am assuming Hillary is unelectable) like Frist or someone of that ilk and continue to have the influence they presently have, I'm off to Australia.

10/15/2005 8:45 PM  
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