Monday, September 7, 2009

The Republican Party is Dead. Long Live the Republican Party.

Frank Schaeffer, son of the iconic Francis Schaeffer, one of the "thinking fathers" of the Religious Right, has a review of Max Blumenthal's latest, Republican Gomorrah - Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party. Schaeffer writes:

Republican Gomorrah is the first book that actually "gets" what's happened to the Republican Party and in turn what the Republicans have done to our country. The usual Democratic Party and/or progressive "take" on the Republican Party is that it's been taken over by a far right lunatic fringe of hate and hypocrisy, combining as it does, sexual and other scandals with moralistic finger wagging. But Blumenthal explains a far deeper pathology: it isn't so much religion as the psychosis and sadomasochism of the losers now called "Republicans" that dr ives the party. And the "Christianity" that shapes so much "conservative" thinking now is anything but Christian. It's a series of deranged personality cults.

The Religious Right/Republicans have perfected the method of capturing people in personal crisis and turning them into far right evangelical/far right foot soldiers. This explains a great deal that otherwise, to outsiders, seems almost inexplicable--the why and wherefore of "Deathers" "Birthers" et al. Blumanthal brilliantly sums up this pathology as:

"...a culture of personal crisis lurking behind the histrionics and expressions of social resentment. This culture is the mortar that bonds leaders and followers together."

How can a rag-tag party like the Republican party be doing so well right now? They've kept health care reform on the skids (taking single payer off the table immediately), rallied the wackos to make some big noise at town halls, caught Obama flat footed on issue after piddly issue (like addressing school kids). And as a country: we still act like women's reproductive rights are up for compromise; the NRA has more pull in congress than the majority leader; it's perfectly common to discuss the horrors of the government pulling the plug on grandma but not the benefits of getting insurance agencies out of our health.

We all could go on and on. Somehow the Republicans are doing something very right. Even their prospects for 2010 are being touted! How can they pull out one more ridiculous after another - to the detriment of our nation's advancement? Schaeffer promises that Blumenthal shows us how.

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Blogger Cameron said...

Here's video interview and transcript with Max Blumenthal over at Democracy Now! It's an interesting take on the players and connections involved between personal crisis and fundamentalism, revealing some non-intuitive connections and reasons behind the far right agenda to squash health care reform.

September 7, 2009 at 8:42 PM  
Blogger L A Neumann said...

Thanks Cameron!

September 8, 2009 at 5:40 AM  

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