Sunday, May 17, 2009

Whoever it is, we're against him.

Do we know who's on president Obama's short list for the Supreme Court? Short list or long shot, the swift boats are taking on fuel and ammunition in preparation to oppose whomever might be nominated. It's more than an attempt to obfuscate and embarrass and delay and sabotage however; while Democrats may see another and hopefully last gasp of the medievalists, Republicans are hoping for some yet unsullied flag they can rally around; something of overriding importance. No, not war or peace or prosperity or freedom, but ancient religious taboos; the neo-Christian American religion and its obsession with reproductive rights and sexual freedom.

That they don't have the votes to actually block an Obama appointment seems obvious, but they do hope to have the opportunity for sufficient demonization and hysteria to loosen the purse strings of newly parsimonious traditional supporters. Needless to say, the Christian Right is demoralized, as financially strapped as the rest of us and most importantly, no longer in the drivers' seat. Focus on the Family has had to cut at least 200 jobs of late. As usual, the sturm und drang is about "Christian values" but it's really about power and money and how to get it back.
“It’s an immense opportunity to build the conservative movement and identify the troops out there. It’s a massive teaching moment for America. We’ve got the packages written. We’re waiting right now to put a name in.”
said conservative fund-raiser Richard A. Viguerie in the Times today. Whoever it is, if Obama likes her it's slime time and they can't afford to be "gentlemanly."
"By doing that, they will not only lose an educational moment with the public, but they will risk driving the base of the Republican Party to once again be frustrated”
said social conservative advocate Barry Bauer. Indeed any kind of cooperation might be construed as weakness; a common obsession of the coward. Whomever, whatever -- they're going to raise hell. They're going to make vague and oversimplified accusations that will anger but not inspire the public to look at the particulars. “Willing to expand constitutional rights beyond the text of the Constitution” is a typical description of a judge deciding that a foreigner has the right to contact his embassy - something every American hopes to do if arrested abroad.

Of course some judges seem to be more palatable to the Party of God than others. potential nominee Judge Wardlaw for instance denied an appeal in a death penalty case, allowed a Ten Commandments monument on public property and allowed a police officer to be fired in wanton disregard of his freedom of speech: all good stuff to the party whose decay conservative Judge Richard Posner so eloquently and clearly outlined a week ago.

There is no longer an intellectual Right. There are idiots with bloody dolls in baby carriages in the streets, there is Palin and the Plumber, Pastor Muthee and his witches, professional media ravers and a host of uneducated schoolyard bullies that the shabby remains of the movement are trying to herd into the party corral. It doesn't take a lot of people to make a big stink, it only takes a few very stinky people and that, I'm afraid, is what remains of the GOP.

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