As fanatical as anything the left spawned in the 1960s

The Christianist Takeover


[E]xamine the candidacies of the two front-runners for the GOP. One launched his campaign in a revival meeting calling for God to solve our economic problems (having previously led mass prayers for the end of the Texas drought); the other emerges entirely out of Dominionist theology and built her entire career in the Christianist world of home-schooling, and anti-gay demonization. One reason Mitt Romney is not a shoo-in? Sectarianism, and his own previous deviations from binding orthodoxy. And it is this fundamentalist mindset – in which nothing doctrinal can be questioned, and the real world must be bent to the shape of a rigid theo-ideology – that defines these two candidates.

Hence Bachmann’s belief that the entire deficit can be ended in short shrift solely by massive cuts in spending. This “spending alone” principle cannot be compromised, since taxation in and of itself is a way in which the liberal elites control people’s lives. It doesn’t matter what economists say about the consequence of wilful default or of austerity too sharply imposed. It only matters what God says. And God is bound up with a radical American theology in which slavery was more benign than the Great Society, and that the Founders were abolitionists. That American theology creates the justification for the use of American military power across the globe, especially in protecting and advancing Greater Israel, Bachmann’s and Perry’s fundamentalist cause of causes.

This is what this party now is: a religious movement clothed in anti-government radicalism. It has nothing to do with the conservative temperament, conservative political thought or conservative ideas. It is hostile to most existing institutions, especially government, contemptuous of the courts, and seized of an ideology as rigid as any far-left liberalism, as utopian as any wide-eyed socialist, as fanatical as anything the left spawned in the 1960s.

And it has hijacked an entire political party; and recently held to ransom an entire country. I knew it would get worse before it gets better. But this bad?


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Writing since ancient times, blogging, e-commercing, and site installing-designing-maintaining since 2001; WordPress theme and plugin configuring and developing since 2004 or so; a lifelong freelancer, not associated nor to be associated with any company, publication, party, university, church, or other institution. 

Categorized as Miscellany

By CK MacLeod

Writing since ancient times, blogging, e-commercing, and site installing-designing-maintaining since 2001; WordPress theme and plugin configuring and developing since 2004 or so; a lifelong freelancer, not associated nor to be associated with any company, publication, party, university, church, or other institution. 


  1. Retired Representative Jay Dickey, Republican of Arkansas, has said, “We have the right to bear arms because of the threat of government taking over the freedoms that we have.” Representative Dickey is in favor of overthrowing the government of the United States by force and violence. He sounds like the Weather Underground.
    Tea Party supporters. like all extremists, have faith. They believe that raising taxes is a sin. Little do they know that Jesus said, “Render unto Caesar ….”
    The counterculture of the 1970s is the spiritual ancestor of the Tea Party.

  2. It’s very hard to get inflation in a depressed economy. But if you had a program of government spending plus an expansionary policy by the Fed, you could get that. So, if you think about using all of these things together, you could accomplish, you know, a great deal.

    If we discovered that, you know, space aliens were planning to attack and we needed a massive buildup to counter the space alien threat and really inflation and budget deficits took secondary place to that, this slump would be over in 18 months

  3. @ miguel cervantes:
    Dammit, there you go again. I thought you were done with that.

    It’s mildly amusing, but also pathetic and typical, that some on the right take K-man’s use of an analogy intended to be mildly amusing as somehow indicative of… anything. Saint Reagan used a simplistic and familiar version of the same analogy, with a far greater expectation that others take it seriously, in regard to international affairs.

    Taking weak-minded potshots is easier than confronting economics and being open about the real implications of the policies you favor. It’s kind of a shame, since there is a valid moral and intellectual argument behind the “take all the pain and get it over with,” if not necessarily an easy political market for it. That’s part of what makes our pseudo-conservatives such hypocrites, and makes their hypocrisy symmetrical with liberal hypocrisy.

  4. Yes, but he didn’t intend it as a policy viewpoint, specially considering Krugman was opposed to the last two military buildups,

  5. @ miguel cervantes:
    If you read any Krugman at all on the subject – or for that matter any qualified economist, and not just true believing mainstream Keynesians – you’ll see an acknowledgment that military spending is “stimulative,” just not the best kind of stimulative, since $1 Trillion spent on, say, an upgraded national electric grid instead of the occupation of Iraq would be something many if not all of us might be benefiting from today. Unfortunately, even infrastructure has become a sin for contemporary pseudo-conservatives, while the military, if not sacrosanct any longer, still benefits from the great rendering unto exception that God Personally wrote into the Constitution.

  6. Well don’t take my word for it, consider Henry Morgenthau:

    We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. And I have just one interest, and if I am wrong … somebody else can have my job. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises. … I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started. … And an enormous debt to boot.”[8]

  7. @ miguel cervantes:

    Morgenthau believed a whole lotta things, and may have believed different things at different times. A career fiscal hawk – imagine that, a non-Gulagian progressive in the FDR admnistration, someone alert Glenn Beck – he was pushing for an even greater Great Mistake of 1937, at least in the Keynesian re-telling, where contractionary policy, oddly enough, led to… contraction.

    Morgenthau also said, as quoted immediately following in that very same Wikipedia entry you seem to be using: “We have never begun to tax the people in this country the way they should be….. I don’t pay what I should. People in my class don’t. People who have it should pay.”

    So, is Morgenthau believable only when his words happen to appear to support pseudo-conservative propaganda, or do you stand by the whole man?

  8. George Jochnowitz wrote:

    Can’t one agree with Morgenthau on some issues and disagree on others?

    Of course, one might. Using him for a would-be historical gotcha – if you Google the quote you’ll find rightwingers using it in exactly the way Don Miguel just did, even down to the same “don’t take my word for it” intro – adds nothing the conversation on its own terms.

  9. @ miguel cervantes:
    Whooptiedo, and thanks for the spare belly button lint: “Look at it from a blog perspective: do you think Enron without 9/11 would have unleashed the creative juices of a multitude of people?” Sheesh.

    I don’t consider Krugman infallible, but, if you treat Enron as a simulacrum of the financial crisis, or a harbinger, a dry run through toxic derivatives traded and rated, but discovered to be worthless, to the vast woe of countless everyday folk, then Krugman had a pretty good point. In any event, what impact does it have on any sensible discussion – of economic policy or of the state of the contemporary Christianist right – that 9 years ago Krugman said something that pissed off war bloggers?

  10. No, because the cure to Enron, WorldCom, Global Crossing et al, was deemed to be Sarbanes/Oxley, which had practically no impact on the upcoming crisis, and the solution to this one, Dodd Frank, doesn’t impact the GSE’s that were at the heart of it,

  11. miguel cervantes wrote:

    was deemed

    By whom? Krugman? And what difference would it make if he did? Does that mean you favor regulation stricter than S-O or D-F (which Republicans won’t even allow to be administered) or does that mean you don’t believe regulation is possible, or are we just supposed to take it on faith that Sarah Palin or some facsimile will magically solve these vexing puzzles?

  12. By Contrast, the Patriot Act was going to bring ‘long dark night of fascism’ down on this country, but as the late Jean Jacque Revel,
    remarked, it’s always descending on America, but it always lands in Europe, it’s turned out fairly well, all told,

  13. @ miguel cervantes:
    Just more free-floating reaction to vaguely attributed supposed other stands and opinions… There’s always something someone says, or is said to have said, or is thought to have said, on whatever other side, that’s ridiculous.

    By the time one ever gets around to discovering whatever you actually are willing to stand for, the topic is usually worn out.

  14. CK MacLeod wrote:


    Now I know how to spell that great word. Thanks.
    George Jochnowitz wrote:

    The counterculture of the 1970s is the spiritual ancestor of the Tea Party.

    As some of you know I have been handing out silly awards that connect with my avatar. George’s statement does not get an award. It gets what would come out of my avatar if it were real. I am just in awe. George has succeeded in making the single most ridiculous statement I could ever imagine someone even thinking, much less actually writing.

  15. @ Scott Miller:
    Lots of alternative spellings… might even prefer “whoopteedo,” for example…

    There’ve been some respectable efforts to relate Tea Party protests to ’60s-’70s era protest, but I think the word “spiritual” might throw you, since we tend to equate a particular content to “spiritual” that may not be what George is getting at at all, and that he and others in fact assume is obviously contradictory between the two phenomena (thus the piquancy of the observation).

  16. And I thought that the Tea Party might be akin to the Great Awakening or even the second one in its upstate NY aspect.

  17. fuster wrote:


    If I were to give out a Sphincty for the spelling of that word you would get the award.
    Oh, and Frog, you might note that Richards, the kid the Angels had pitch his first game against the Yanks, is now going to pitch the first game of a critical series against the Rangers. Even though I agree with you that he did okay against you guys, his ERA is over 10 from that game and who knows what will happen tonight. I just can’t see the logic.

  18. ERA from a one game sample is pretty much meaningless, Scott.

    Scioscia knows pitching, and certainly his own staff, better than about anyone. The mystery will be demystified.

  19. well Scott, now do you see?

    Richards didn’t give up a single earned run all night.

    He was replacing Piniero in the rotation, right? A guy who has given up a heck of a lot of earned runs for a long time.

  20. The ATF has promoted three key supervisors of a controversial sting operation that allowed firearms to be illegally trafficked across the U.S. border into Mexico.

    All three have been heavily criticized for pushing the program forward even as it became apparent that it was out of control. At least 2,000 guns were lost and many turned up at crime scenes in Mexico and two at the killing of a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Arizona.

    The three supervisors have been given new management positions at the agency’s headquarters in Washington. They are William G. McMahon, who was the ATF’s deputy director of operations in the West, where the illegal trafficking program was focused, and William D. Newell and David Voth, both field supervisors who oversaw the program out of the agency’s Phoenix office.

    Read more:,0,3762843.story#ixzz1VCchHxP9

  21. @ fuster:
    Actually, my concerns were realized in the worst possible way. As a kid in that situation is prone to do, he overthrew and blew out his groin. One reason I was “shocked” at the whole thing is the point about Scioscia. He has been a great pitchers’ coach. But he made a big mistake. He could have used the lefty Japanese pitcher with big-league experience they have in the bullpen. That guy might have won the game in your ballpark, given that Cano and Granderson would have had a harder time with him. You never know, but now the kid will spend the offseason looking at his over 10 ERA. That’s the point about the ERA. It’s psychological. A young kid cares about those things. An off season looking at that is not cool for a kid who now also has to deal with a confidence reducing injury. Scioscia made a mistake. I knew it was a big deal (as far as anything sports-oriented can be a big deal) which is why I needed to express this. So thanks for listening (so to speak).

  22. @ Scott Miller:

    Scioscia’s gamble with the kid didn’t pan out, but it was still a smart one. My guess is that the Angels were down to three good starters, and knowing that the post-season schedule was tightened up so as to necessitate a four man rotation, he was getting the kid some games against good teams.

    (Cano and Granderson eat up lefties just as well as righties. For Cano that’s always been the case, for Granderson, it’s been so only since last August, from which time he leads in majors in HRs against lefties)

  23. California is clearly the ass-end cutting edge of the nation and gambling with young Californians is, as a great Californian once said….”“We could do it, but “(unintelligible) “that would be wrong.”

    To me, the kid liked like a major league pitcher and possibly a good one and taint butt one way tuby sore.

  24. @ fuster:
    That’s my whole point. He is a major league pitcher and could be a great one soon. So pitch him against some easier opponents and let that build. Given what happened, I’m sure the whole Angel organization would love to have a do-over and they won’t be doing the same thing in the future. If they’re lucky, Richards will recover from the groin injury, get to pitch some this year against weaker opponents, and be fine. Trust me, he won’t be pitching next against the Rangers, or the Yanks, or Boston.

  25. @ Scott Miller:who is then the fourth starter? Am I wrong to think that there wasn’t a better option?

    I think that it might have been better not to pitch the kid against power hitting teams in their home (and relatively small outfield) parks and preferable to give him a go in the Angel’s somewhat more spacious park where a really good group of outfielders could weigh more heavily, but 3 starters just ain’t enough.

  26. Oh, yeah, I meant to get to that earlier when you brought it up:
    Tyler Chatwood is the fourth starter and has been for some time. He’s young too, but doing okay. When Piniero, the 5 starter, began going bad, they made the decision to put him in the bullpen. I was surprised Scioscia did that since his m.o. has always been patience. P did really well at the beginning of the year, so I thought S would be patient as usual. Nope. And P’s troubles were the kind that could turn around. It wasn’t like he got hurt. His stuff was okay too, with a lot of movement, so it wasn’t like his arm went dead. Plus, he seemed fine in the head. So first of all, they had time to replace him. They could have timed it so they got someone else if they didn’t want to put Hisanori Takahashi in. Takahashi pitched okay in like 13 starts for someone else last year. He has experience and it would have been interesting to see what happened. I think it’s possible that Piniero’s problem to some degree is that he’s on a staff with 4 other righties who all throw like him. No one throws super hard. No one has a great curve. They all are just real good pitchers with sliders and deceptive movement and brains. The others are doing better and by virtue of P being relatively weak, the other teams get confidence facing him. They have to hit somebody. So a lefty would help the other 4 starters. They have a left reliever in the minors who’s okay and could have filled in for T in the bullpen. Plus, they have a guy named Cassanah who’s decent. Probably more info than you needed, but this is the most interesting part of baseball to me: handling the pitching staff.

  27. Of course, if Scott Kazmir hadn’t suddenly just lost the ability to get anyone out early in the year for incredible number of starts in a row, Scioscia might still be more patient. That really was weird. Again, it wasn’t like he lost it completely or was hurt. He just couldn’t get anyone out. So when the same thing started happening to Piniero, maybe S was just not so willing to ride it out.

  28. Handling the pitching staff is extremely challenging and Scioscia’s top three in my book.

    Haven’t seen much of Piniero since he washed out of the AL with Boston ….never thought too much of him. He always looked like a three-run homer waiting to happen.

    I think that I agree with you that it’s really unlikely that Scioscia yanked him from the rotation without very careful consideration…and considering that he’s still putting too many guys on base, striking out too few, and has an ERA over 5 … I’m sure as hell not putting his right arm on the mound in Arlington.

    Don’t remember Chatwood … he a better bet than the other kid?

  29. @ fuster:
    I think very highly of Richards. That’s why I was concerned about him. The Angels have gone through a lot of Chatwood types– young pitchers, who are smart, fairly talented but don’t last all that long. Scioscia has been great at working with them. Look at Lackey. He was different because of his curveball, but as soon as he went away from Scioscia it was not pretty. So you’re right, Scioscia is tops. Chatwood is benefitting from this coaching. And he is good. He might make it. Richards, though, is a potential star–which you also recognized.

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