Thursday, March 03, 2005

All Good things come from Bush, the “Rove Mandate”

Andrew Sullivan posted this letter to his blog. I think it summarizes feelings about the current wave of republican propaganda rather nicely…

Let me explain what's maddening to Democrats: no matter what happens that is progressive in the Middle East, Republicans and the Bush regime not only claims credit for it, but also claim that the war in Iraq is the reason for the progress. Libya doing a deal on weapons and Lockerbie so it can back into the international oil market? Must be because Bush invaded Iraq! Lebanese reacting with revulsion to Hariri's assassination, probably by Syrian agents, and demanding Syria's exit from their country? Must be because Bush invaded Iraq! Progress in the Palestinian-Israeli peace effort as a result of Arafat's death? Must be because Bush invaded Iraq! Who’s really peddling nonsequitors here?

In short, what drives Democrats batty the tendency to take partisan political credit for anything progressive, and to blame anything retrograde on political enemies (both foreign and domestic) who "just don't get it." Never is there any recognition that Bush's international strategy even MIGHT be responsible for the negative radicalization we're seeing in places like Iran, North Korea, and maybe even Venezuela -- not to mention alienating essential partners in nation-building.And what really kills Democrats is the way that Bush not only takes credit for everything that is going well, and denies any responsibility for things that are going badly (and, when we're honest, how many people really feel that the world is, on balance, headed in the right direction?) -- it's that he then claims these false credit as the basis for "political capital" to spend on what Democrats feel are retrograde domestic policies.

The result is that the first reaction any Democrat has to good news in the Middle East (or anywhere else) is to think, "How can Bush be denied political credit for this, since you know he's going to claim it." And the important thing to emphasize is that it is Bush's own political habits that have created this dynamic, and it started right after 9-11."

The world according to Carl Rove.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

When the Government Tells you Who to Pray To

As a Christian I have no greater fear than a government that holds the power to tell me who to pray to, when to pray or how to pray. All too many, and perhaps most, Evangelical Christians go through life assuming that inside of every heathen (i.e. anyone who is not Evangelical) there is a good Evangelical just waiting to get out. How else could it be? Now that Evangelicals control the White House, Congress, and soon the Supreme Court they see it as only logical to consolidate their power and make it the law of the land that all should bow down before their God. What Evangelicals forget is that one day they may not be in power. One day it may be Muslims, or Jews or Buddhists or someone else who has a monopoly on power. When that day comes, how will Evangelicals feel about having given the government the power to tell us what God to bow down to?

Remember this as the Supreme Court debates whether or not the government should be pushing the 10 commandments.

From today’s
New York Times:

Adding the national anthem to the Kentucky displays or pointing to other statues in the distance in Texas cannot undo the displays' clear motivation: tying the legal system to Protestantism. The wall between church and state dates proudly to the earliest days of the republic. The founders may not have anticipated a country with many Hindu and Buddhist Americans, but they were wise enough to write a document that protects their rights. Our increasingly diverse nation must not appear to prefer some religions, and some citizens, over others.

By the way, if we lose this one I suggest everyone hide those graven images lest you risk getting stoned to death....2nd Commandment - "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image"