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"Perpetual deception of the citizens by those in power is critical because they need to be led, and they need strong rulers to tell them what's good for them."
-Leo Strauss

"Faith, hope and love - the greatest of these things is love."
- 1 Corinthians 13:13

Lee Atwater famously said, “You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger.’ By 1968 you can't say ‘nigger’ — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is blacks get hurt worse than whites. […] You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, ‘We want to cut this,’ is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than ‘Nigger, nigger’.”

Tying Republican fortunes to the white vote made electoral sense in the early 1970s. But since 1980, the white share of the electorate has fallen in every consecutive election. During the 1990s, the Southern Strategy was redirected less on the South itself and more on a general concept that successfully uses wedge issues such as family values, abortion and gun ownership.

We now call it “Dog Whistle” politics when they use the core principles of the Southern Strategy on a national level to help generate support in new regions of the country, mostly rural areas and the Midwest. It works because it allows them to deny racism while at the same time playing on fears of “reverse racism” and economic victimization.

Remember the hatred they expressed for Clinton, whose inclusive politics led the right to call him the “first black president.” And they didn’t mean it as a compliment.

But increasingly they’re fishing in a smaller pond due to demographic changes. Whether or not their candidates are racists (and I don’t believe Romney is), they have come to realize that they have no choice but to use the dog whistle to win. For example, Romney needs 61% of the white vote from a white turnout of 74%. In 2008, John McCain got 55% from the same turnout. The only way out is the double-down on overtly racist rhetoric.

Senator Lindsey Graham admitted, "We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."

It’s all wrapped in a religious veneer, but there’s very little religious conviction behind it – it’s a foil to legitimize their strategy, and it’s put them in a terrible position with the nomination of a Mormon as their standard bearer.

So, where are the right-wing religious fundamentalists and their faux-religious outrage in this election cycle?

They’re nowhere to be seen because the Republicans can’t risk having that conversation – it’s a mess for them. A big huge pile of steaming dog crap that came out of their own collective asshole, and they’re scared to death to step in it.

Romney’s religion is strictly off limits this time and Democrats are more than happy to oblige because it is a part of their core political conviction that religion should remain a strictly private matter.

Let’s connect the dots a bit here.

Four years ago, then-Senator Obama was vilified because of a few statements of Black Liberation Theology made by his pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. These were statements he says he never even heard but the right-wing jumped all over him demanding to know, “How could you sit in that church for 20 years?”

On the other hand, the Mormon Church ended its policy barring black men from their priesthood in 1978. Mitt Romney was 31-years-old. Just like Obama, he could have disavowed his religious leaders or gotten up and walked out of that church at any point during those 31 years, but he chose not to. How come he never got asked, “How could you sit in that church for 31 years?”

Why does Romney get a pass when Obama doesn’t? Let me make this really easy for you: Because Obama and his former pastor are black. The Southern Strategy says that, because they’re white, Romney and the Mormon Church are victims and are deserving of cultural self-forgiveness. It gives them the power to degrade other people while maintaining a sense of martyrdom.

Think about it.

What happened to the Saddleback Church Forum, the all-important right-wing litmus test of religious bona fides that look place four years ago (on national television) when both Obama and McCain were required to kiss the ring of pastor Rick Warren at his megachurch in Orange County, California? If it is so important to the right-wingers that we know exactly where a politician stands on matters of faith and morality, why didn’t we have the chance to see Mitt Romney discuss the particulars of his Mormon belief in the plurality of gods and his rejection of the Trinity?

The response of the Republican party this time around: “Oh, never mind.”

How is it possible that the number of Republicans who think Obama is a Muslim could double since he was elected, and that less than half of all registered voters know what religion he holds (despite the Jeremiah Wright controversy which at the very least clearly showed that he’s a Protestant Christian)?

Perhaps it is because just about every Republican politician has tacitly encouraged or tolerated it. Or perhaps it’s because his religion never really mattered to them to begin with, any more than Romney’s Mormonism matters to them.

“Muslim” is a dog-whistle code-word. Add a little lunatic Birther, Bircher and now Welcher to the brew and you’ve got Romney campaign surrogates like John Sununu dog-whistling that the president “needs to learn what it means to be an American,” is “lazy” and “not that bright”.

What’s it all mean?

Peel back the religious veneer and the blatant racism is laid bare. Because the fact is, it’s not about religion and never has been. It’s about using religion to legitimize racism and xenophobia and homophobia, whip up resentment, hate and division, and ultimately, cynically grab power for the economic elites.

*

A PERSONAL NOTE: I hate this subject. It's the hardest thing to write about, and I know I've done it very little justice, but I'm glad I've tried. It's been a long time in the coming. Like a lot of you, I've often found myself so repulsed by it that I avoid even reading or viewing material that covers the subject. Over the years, I've searched in vain for an explanation that would let me believe that racism and xenophobia and homophobia are really not what motivates the Far Right. I want to believe in the goodness of people, but I've come to the cold hard realization that there's really no other explanation. I'm Catholic and I'm gay - not conflicted (please, no flames), but rather deeply dispirited that the Christian faith has been hijacked by the right-wing to advance their agenda that is anything but "Christian" in my mind. It chases away a lot of my liberal friends who feel rejected, angry and disgusted by the hypocrisy and hate they see on the Right, and I don't blame them for feeling that way. Christ helped the poor, befriended outcasts and "sinners" and healed the sick (for free). All of my heroes have been progressives, and they were also Christians: Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert Kennedy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, to name a few (not to say there aren't plenty of progressives I admire who were not Christian, because there are lots of them, too). But it's truly painful to see something so admirable be distorted beyond recognition, isn't it?

Originally posted to Redneck Aeschylus on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 07:50 PM PDT.

Also republished by Street Prophets , Political Language and Messaging, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (235+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, Sharon Wraight, George3, blueoasis, boilerman10, Ojibwa, KateCrashes, DJ Rix, Purple Priestess, commonmass, linkage, Tam in CA, Killer of Sacred Cows, jan4insight, MasterPlan, Wayward Wind, exterris, Paul Rogers, Marko the Werelynx, jnww, Pete Cortez, homogenius, Mighty Ike, Thursday Next, jck, el dorado gal, Odysseus, jack 1966, enufisenuf, orson, mali muso, Intheknow, Mr Stagger Lee, bluedust, nervousnellie, Trendar, Bob Guyer, Gentle Giant, boofdah, FrY10cK, knitwithpurpose, MaikeH, zukesgirl64, zerelda, Joy of Fishes, Voter123, citizen dan, dotdash2u, elginblt, US Blues, DeminNewJ, Crashing Vor, Deep Texan, Southern Lib, Buckeye54, KHKS, Yamara, hopesprings, bronte17, gulfgal98, dmhlt 66, Sam Sara, A Runner, our better angels, CFAmick, Dirtandiron, tacet, mwm341, kevin k, Christian Democrat, doroma, Catte Nappe, PBen, missLotus, MrJersey, eru, pengiep, cyncynical, GDbot, MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel, Involuntary Exile, karmsy, jfromga, fiercefilms, No one gets out alive, Cronesense, greengemini, roses, FogCityJohn, enhydra lutris, sodalis, OldDragon, gizmo59, Temmoku, mbh1023, SuWho, Eddie L, avsp, JBL55, emidesu, gloriana, JDWolverton, jasan, jkb246, MarciaJ720, KJG52, Alchemist, a2nite, TexDem, Boxers, litoralis, LynChi, zeke7237, LillithMc, Mxwll, milkbone, AllanTBG, Laughing Vergil, OregonWetDog, Sapere aude, Simul Iustus et Peccator, Gowrie Gal, turn Virginia blue, HarpLady, bartcopfan, Haf2Read, Front Toward Enemy, SaintC, Jake Williams, Jim P, nailbender, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, bnasley, ontheleftcoast, zenox, triplepoint, surfbird007, Mayfly, Joieau, sfbob, GRLionsFan, Shockwave, Empower Ink, mofembot, bookbear, lawyernerd, tobendaro, StrayCat, wader, KnotIookin, yoduuuh do or do not, armadillo, soithoni, cspivey, Matt Esler, mikeconwell, prettygirlxoxoxo, Blu Gal in DE, xaxnar, tofumagoo, deeproots, blackjackal, Mr Horrible, JayC, greycat, Unknown Quantity, JerryNA, oakislandgirl, NM Ray, doingbusinessas, dirkster42, ssentamu, Fiona West, Arahahex, bunsk, highacidity, vahana, GreenMountainBoy02, YucatanMan, CT yanqui, allergywoman, howd, smrichmond, Wendy Slammo, tiponeill, exiledfromTN, South Park Democrat, teloPariah, uciguy30, jennylind, laurustina, My Spin, retLT, venger, Habitat Vic, TheDuckManCometh, OWTH, davelf2, slowbutsure, Fireshark, skrekk, Leftcandid, countwebb, Cassandra Waites, rgjdmls, tung sol, terabytes, SherwoodB, Boise83702, biscobosco, eyesoars, J Orygun, Larsstephens, thomask, Freakinout daily, caul, antirove, Lilith, Yo Bubba, rosabw, Neon Vincent, BlogDog, freshwater dan, GrinningLibber, profundo, TracieLynn, Ishmaelbychoice, essjay, VTCC73, splashy, Mokurai, 88kathy, Alexandra Lynch, poliwrangler, orangeuglad
  •  One of the most intelligently written pieces (37+ / 0-)

    I've read here over the years.  Quite succinct as well.

    "Injustice wears ever the same harsh face wherever it shows itself." - Ralph Ellison

    by KateCrashes on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 09:09:21 PM PDT

  •  I don't like writing (20+ / 0-)

    about this stuff, but I don't find it all that difficult to write about.  My attitude is, "You want to make thing out of religion every other election, I'll give you religion up the wazoo the one election you're afraid of using it." "Not fair, not fair," I hear from my few conservative acquaintances.  One I invited to put in touch with my born again Baptist nephew so he could "Get real  about being Republican instead of masquerading as a libertarian." But, I warned, "It isn't Methodism, you'll  have to go full immersion."

    "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

    by DJ Rix on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 09:31:10 PM PDT

    •  "I don't like writing about this stuff, (7+ / 0-)

      but I don't find it all that difficult to write about."

      Because you're not a bigot.  Bigots like writing about it, but have a hard time putting into palatable words.

      "A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself." - Joseph Pulitzer

      by CFAmick on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 08:25:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Religion has elements of racism in it (11+ / 0-)

      I think there are deep elements of racism is many religons.

      It has been said by pundits that the most racially divided hour of the American week is Sunday mornings: white people in the white churchs and black people in the black churches, and "ne'er the twain shall meet".

      Notice the favortie American depiction of Jesus is blond and blue-eyed, and not the dark-skinned, dark-haired colorings of someone of middle eastern Jewish heritage.

      In my opinion, there has ALWAYS been something racist in conservative appeals to religious values.  The conservative appeal to religious values NEVER aligns with the teachings of Jesus: love thy neighbor, feed the hungry, heal the sick, take in the refugee, etc.

      Yet the conservatives will all raise their hands up and tell us how important Jesus is - just not doing any of the things Jesus told us we should be doing!!

      Good post Aeschylus!

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 09:01:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Blue-Eyed Blonde Jesus (4+ / 0-)

        Jesus figures or figurines take on whatever culture is dominant.

        For instance, in Africa, Jesus is much more black and closer to his real looks (dark skin and dark eyes).

        In South American countries, he is seen as a darker version of the Blue-Eyed Blonde guy in America but tends to have darker skin and darker eyes....

        In other words, Jesus is WHOEVER you want him to be.

        -6.13 -4.4 Where are you? Take the Test!!!

        by MarciaJ720 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 09:34:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Timbuk3 - Standard White Jesus (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        teloPariah

        The problem is we're arguing about the wallpaper and we haven't even got a foundation yet.

        by 84thProblem on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 11:07:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  We all got a huge taste of this racism from (5+ / 0-)

        the Vatican when it recently declared Juan Diego a saint.  Juan Diego was canonized by Pope John Paul II on July 31, 2002.

        Juan Diego was the peasant who saw the vision of the Virgin of Guadalupe December 9, 1531.

        The Spanish Conquest was roughly 1519-1521 and Juan Diego was an adult, so he would have been full blooded Native American.  In 1531, he was supposedly 57 years old.  

        In the official image of the Vatican for the canonization of Juan Diego, he is portrayed as a light-skinned, bearded European, similar to a Conquistador.

        In 2002.

        Even today, "holy people" are white, regardless of the obvious truth.

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 01:05:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Racism is not inherent in religion (0+ / 0-)

        In fact, there are many religions whose doctrine always was or has evolved to become anti-racist, but whose doctrine is widely ignored by the supposed faithful.

        The Judaism attributed to Moses and Joshua was not only racist, but genocidal. However, the Judaism that teaches pleading for the stranger among you is the opposite. The treatment of Ethiopian Jews by Israel in our time, and much of the treatment of Palestinians, is frankly racist.

        Islam in the Qur'an is vehemently anti-racist, and Malcolm X was astonished at his welcome reception in Saudi Arabia when he went on the Hajj (the pilgrimage to Mecca), but in the Communal Violence between Pakistan and India (three wars and ongoing terrorism, among other things) and in the Israel/Palestine issue, vehement, vicious Protocols of the Elders of Zion racism is endemic.

        The Hinduism of the ancient caste system and modern Hindutva is beyond merely racist, dividing Indian society into more than a thousand levels, but the Advaitva Vedanta Hinduism that teaches, "That [the Divine) art Thou" is the opposite.

        Buddhism has, in its origins, no place whatsoever for racism, but nationalist, Fundamentalist Buddhism in several Asian countries, notably Sri Lanka and Myanmar, ignores that.

        Christianity has long been deeply divided on the question whether we are all God's children or whether God made Blacks mentally and morally inferior and fit only for slavery (Curse of Ham theology) so that slavery was a net benefit for them.

        The Mormon doctrine that Blacks were devotees of the Devil in a previous life is also quite vicious. It has never been contradicted, even in the revelation that allowed AA Mormons entry to the Priesthood, the Tabernacle, and the higher heavens. Nevertheless, there have been and continue to be Mormons who have nothing to do with such notions.

        Among atheists and agnostics, also, there are those who are a Law to themselves (Saint Paul) and those who accept no law but their own greeds and hatreds.

        So it is not which religion, which church, which set of Scripture you adhere to that makes you a racist or anti-racist. It is something in your own heart. Let us consider that real religion, then, is not the doctrine or practice that churches mandate, but the thoughts, will, and actions in our hearts. Then we can take back the argument over religion from the pseudo-religious, in our own hearts even if not in the public forum. As Harper Lee put it in To Kill a Mockingbird, let us be the "people of background" who join together to create the future while the others continue their desperate rearguard action to build a bridge to the Stone Age, when some among our ancestors first discovered mass hatred and mass murder.

        America—We built that!

        by Mokurai on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 04:17:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Yes, yes it is. (49+ / 0-)

    Like you, this subject makes me angrier than any other. My oh-so religious neighbors across the street just put up their Romney sign. They are middle-class, the husband is the part-time music guy at their church, and they have always acted as though they are superior to everyone else in the neighborhood. Their son felt it was necessary to question my daughter on her religious beliefs before they could be friends. (They are not friends!) These folks, who would be economically harmed by Romney's policies, see no hypocrisy in endorsing a party who's every policy and action is harmful to the very people Jesus told us to love and help. If I were Mormon, I'd be so embarrassed by Romney's constant lies and unrelenting greed.

    It's late and I'm tired, so rather than ramble I just want to say thanks for plunging in, and tackling such a tough subject. It is one I think of every day.

    •  That kind of religious in your face behavior (16+ / 0-)

      usually leads to some scandal down the road.  And they should know, or do they teach pride goeth before the fall in churches anymore?

      One does not simply walk into Mordor! One invites a gas driller in, and one’s land becomes Mordor. Chris From Balloon Juice

      by Mr Stagger Lee on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 07:39:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly Mr. Stagger Lee... (8+ / 0-)

        ...the inside of the house doesn't always match the landscaping.

        In other words, things may not be quite so "perfect" behind closed doors.

        Arrogance usually masks some deep seated fear, insecurity, or shameful secret.

        Confidence - that's a far different matter.

        But true confidence isn't alway obvious on the surface the way pride and arrogance are.

        "When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him: 'Whose?' Don Marquis

        by hopesprings on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 08:20:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My Southern Baptist Cousin (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          teloPariah

          and Aunt & Uncle have "their secrets" too.

          And what I find interesting, my Uncle who has been trying to get back to his first family that died in the early 1950's from a drunk driver a day after Christmas.... (yes, he believes in the Rapture and all will come back who believe AND more importantly are baptized correctly because he never accepted her death or his twin daughters), he now has Alzheimer's, the very thing taking his soul, eating away at his being.

          He is now cruel to my Aunt and she just puts up with it like a good Baptist wife.  My mom and I are concerned.

          My cousin and his adopted daughter.... for her age, he allows her to hang on to him in rather inappropriate ways for her age.  It is weird and again, a bit concerning.

          And for Jesus, a man who preached for the poor and against the rich.... my cousin is so wealthy he even owns his own airplane..... Yes, that is what Jesus was all about.

          -6.13 -4.4 Where are you? Take the Test!!!

          by MarciaJ720 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 09:41:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I just returned from an emergency visit South (7+ / 0-)

      Spending a few overnight hospice vigils with my Dominionist sister certainly tested my ability to "stick a sock in it". Every bit of hypocrisy, tiny-minded, holier-than-thou bigotry that had me leaving the South like I was leaving a burning building so many decades ago was on FULL display. I was called "dogmatic" when I said I didn't want my chicken marinated in hatred and bigotry (Chick fil A recipe) but those Repub dog whistles were being answered without consciousness. The white privilege with which my own family operated was so painful and made an already distressing visit so much worse. Evangelicals certainly leave out all the "Christ-y"bits in my sister's theology.

    •  Superiority is the problem (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cassandra Waites

      The New Testament abounds with parables, stories and preachings against one person or group claiming moral superiority over another. Greeks, Jews, women, the sick and the blind, conventional wisdom of the day labeled them all inferior, unworthy and condemned. And here we are today, 2,000 years later, declaring the poor, women, gays and pretty much 47% of us irresponsible, to be inferior, unworthy, and condemned. No progress at all, it seems.

    •  just ignore those people (0+ / 0-)

      that's what i've always done with those types.

      RRH expat (known as AquarianLeft). Also known as freepcrusher on leip atlas forum

      by demographicarmageddon on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 06:16:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I am a Buddhist, and I would be embarrassed (0+ / 0-)

      by the Fundamentalist, racist, ultra-nationalistic Buddhists of Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, China, and Japan (among others) except that I am aware that I am in no way responsible for them. I am responsible for my own training, and for how I pass it on to those few who listen to anything I say about it or observe my example.

      America—We built that!

      by Mokurai on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 04:24:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The problem is, for many on this site, you are a (0+ / 0-)

    member of the "far right" (and therefore racist, according to you) if you don't support the President's reelection. Connecting dots is not always valid.

    What right-winger called Clinton the "first black President" before Toni Morrison?

  •  It seems that religion is used in many ways. (11+ / 0-)

    What do you make of the occasional videos from the right wing using religion to support specific political causes, such as the bishop who made a video about being careful who to vote for that was the focus of a diary here a while back?

    Or Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, etc..?

    These people undoubtedly use religious appeals to support their political agendas, which seem to have little to do with race directly.

    It's hard to write about the intersection of religion with politics, but you are totally correct that some people use religion as an excuse to mask implicit racism.  The appeals against social programs like social security, food stamps, etc...  Those appeal to some because of racism, and they use excuses like it being a part of their religion to justify it, instead of admitting that they want to harm minorities.

    But it seems to me that religion is used in a lot of different ways, not just that one way.

    It does help when attention is drawn to tricks that people using religion like this are doing.  Keep it up.  It's something I don't see religious people doing enough of.

  •  Peel off some RW religious VOTERS, too. (7+ / 0-)

    Here:

    In the 2012 presidential election, President Barack Obama could double the amount of support he got from evangelicals in the 2008 election, according to Barna Group, a Christian polling organization.
    In 2008, Obama received the support of about 11 percent of evangelicals, according to Barna Group. In a March 14-21 Barna Group poll of 647 likely voters, twice as many evangelicals, 22 percent, said they were prepared to vote for Obama.
    Barna categorizes "evangelical" more narrowly than most other polling organizations. Many polls simply include self-identifiers – those who say, when asked, that they are evangelical or born-again.
    Under Barna's classification, an evangelical is one who says they have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ and that commitment remains important to them, and shares seven beliefs common among evangelicals, such as the existence of Satan and that eternal salvation comes through grace, not works. Using this measure of evangelical, Barna found that evangelicals comprise seven percent of the population and 10 percent of likely voters.

    Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/...

    •  Very interesting. Maybe the pressure of the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      teloPariah, Pete Cortez

      recession has made some evangelicals more open to voting in their own interests.

      Also, racism varies. For some people it's more implicit, absorbed cultural attitudes they may only be partially conscious of; for others, it's a stance they have a strong psychological commitment to.  For implicit racists, seeing a black man in the role of a strong national and world leader, carrying out that role with dignity and competence --along with the warmth and likeability of the President and his family-- may have eroded their resistance to voting for him.

      There are others, of course, whose resistance will only end when they die off.

      --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

      by Fiona West on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 12:48:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Preach it, brother, preach it!!!! (5+ / 0-)

    AMEN, BROTHER, YOU PREACH IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  •  The Bible was used to justify slavery in the South (20+ / 0-)

    In fact, the reason there is a "Southern Baptist Convention" is that the South broke away from the national church on the issue.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    The Southern Baptists didn't renounce slavery until 1995!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

  •  In what world...... (10+ / 0-)

    could someone who works and performs duties in a church, while representing the positions of that same church, have these said duties be considered "off the record"?

    If a minister, priest, reverend, or bishop runs for office, their   religeous resume should be explored, just like any other profession.

  •  I know youtube comments suck (8+ / 0-)

    They are the dregs of the dregs of internet forum.  

    But people say things in an unguarded manner on youtube comments.  

    It's hilarious to me when the right tries to pin racism on the dems by bringing up the KKK, and Robert Byrd.  

    There is the type of belief that you convince yourself of because it is in the benefit of your cause.  And there is the type of belief that you truly hold.  

    I think they (not self admittedly) believe in the more cynical and pragmatic sense of the word.  

    The Southern Strategy is a well understood, and commonly accepted fact of American political history.  

    I had to go to conservapedia and link to the Lee Atwater bio page to get any credibility.  

    They simply will not believe anything.  And if it is somethiing that they don't want to believe, then they will just rationalize it away.  I'm sure that the people who read the Lee Atwater bio page on Conservapedia just assume that some liberal updated it.

    Incarceration Nation has a Jail Jones to feed its Imprisonment Addiction

    by otto on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 07:45:58 AM PDT

  •  The last debate was a setup (14+ / 0-)

    IMHO, Romney spewed lie after lie waiting for Obama to passionately refute him so they could point at the Angry Black Man. When Obama didn't rise to the bait then you had idiots go on air talking about him being lazy and not that bright.

    Don't know what the answer is but I trust Obama will have a strategy for it in his next debate.

  •  Race is real, religion is imaginary (5+ / 0-)

    The greatest quote I have ever created succinctly says exactly what this article is about, but you need to be a mathematician to fully appreciate it:

    Life is complex: race is real, religion is imaginary.

    •  The reverse seems more true to me. (0+ / 0-)

      Race is real?  Religion is imaginary?

      Some people don't fit at all into an easily categorizable race.  Race has extremely blurry lines, and is a pretty ridiculous social construct.  It is imaginary.

      Religions make axiomatic claims about the nature of reality.  The axiomatic claims conflict with one another.  Sure, religion is only something that is true in the mind, but the end result of those axiomatic claims can be very different from one another.

      Religion is a complex phenomena, but in some sense, I would consider it more 'real' than race.  It determines what kind of megastructures we build, and what kind of society we have.

      Oh, and I am a mathematician.

  •  "Building church and university, (0+ / 0-)

    Deceiving the People continually..."

    - Robert Nesta Marley

    "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

    by US Blues on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 08:02:31 AM PDT

  •  From my Conservative Christian Ghetto (14+ / 0-)

    I have seen the Religious Right declare pretty much any preacher caught preaching while black a "Liberation Preacher" which automatically knocks them out of "Man of God" status. Really, one friend declared that Blacks should "stop seeing color" like him "and go hear some good preaching" which is only to be found in White Churches.

    Further, starting in the eighties, when "Christian" became synonymous with "Pro-Life", I noticed that "Pro-Life" became synonymous with "Christian" and many who formerly believed Mormons (and Catholics, too) to be a cult started wondering about how cultish they were, since they were Pro-Life and all. Romney in 2008 kinda showed how short the Pro-Life coattails were.

    Taking a different tact, then, when Liberty Republican Whore University invited Conservative Superstar of the Year, Glen Beck - also a Mormon - to speak at their graduation ceremony, the ghetto echoed with the observation that Beck was a convert to Mormonism. That is, he is a Christian but later on chose to join Mormonism.

    Strange bedfellows indeed.

    •  The growth of rightwing PanChristianism (19+ / 0-)

      is among the most frightening things in this country today. It's basically an openly theocratic/fascist movement. I seem to remember a quote about flags and crosses?

      "I wish you luck on not hating your parents for mixing up such an unthinkable person." --The frickin´ HP--

      by McWaffle on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 08:21:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Perhaps it is their death throes (9+ / 0-)
        The number of Americans who say they have no religious affiliation has hit an all-time high — about one in five American adults — according to a new study released Tuesday (Oct. 9) by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

        Labeled “nones” because they claim either no religious preference or no religion at all, their ranks have hit 46 million people. Much of the growth is among young people — one in three U.S. adults under 30 are now considered nones.

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

        "...you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem." Mitt Romney

        by Catte Nappe on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 08:48:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I saw this - Read the whole Pew (5+ / 0-)

          report on it.

          Notice the younger generation, after the Hubble Telescope?

          My personal take is that the Hubble Telescope showed how large our Universe really is and how small the God of the bible really is.  

          But the most honest people I know, because they admit they no longer have any doubts, are atheists.  

          Christianity in this country is of the kind that Jesus would never accept, but you know, the color of your skin, being Gay or having an abortion are by far more important to Jesus than the poor, disabled, aged, etc., etc.,

          -6.13 -4.4 Where are you? Take the Test!!!

          by MarciaJ720 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 09:49:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I like to tell my pre-mil (aka. Left Behind fans) (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SuWho, JerryNA, exiledfromTN

        friends that the "One world religion" of the end times will come out of the Pro-Life Movement.

      •  I Vote... (4+ / 0-)

        based on this issue exclusively anymore. It is the greatest danger to our democracy, and my civil rights.

        The Republican Party has been taken over by the corporatists and christian fundamentalists. The corporatists will force you into poverty, and the christian fundamentalists will force you to live under biblical law; daily gruel and scripture for all.

        by glb3 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 08:49:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's often attributed to Sinclair Lewis ... (5+ / 0-)

        ... but he never actually said it.

        It's a dandy, though, and I'm afraid it's already come true, given the pro-fascist elements in the GOP: “When fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in the flag and waving a cross."

        Please note I am not saying America is a fascist country, only that there are plenty of fascist people and as well as policies both implemented and popularly proposed.

        Here are a couple of things Sinclair Lewis did say:

        “But he saw too that in America the struggle was befogged by the fact that the worst Fascists were they who disowned the word ‘Fascism’ and preached enslavement to Capitalism under the style of Constitutional and Traditional Native American Liberty.”

        ~ It Can’t Happen Here (1935)

        “I just wish people wouldn’t quote Lincoln or the Bible, or hang out the flag or the cross, to cover up something that belongs more to the bank-book and the three golden balls.”

        ~  Gideon Planish (1943)

        And here are two cousins from other sources:
        “It is a peculiarity of the development of American fascism that at the present stage it comes forward principally in the guise of an opposition to fascism, which it accuses of being an “un-American” trend imported from abroad.”

        ~ Georgi Dimitrov, in his report delivered at the Seventh World Congress of the Communist International in 1935.

        “When and if fascism comes to America it will not be labeled ‘made in Germany’; it will not be marked with a swastika; it will not even be called fascism; it will be called, of course, ‘Americanism’.”

        ~ An uncredited New York Times reporter covering Halford E. Luccock in an article published September 12, 1938.

        "The fears of one class of men are not the measure of the rights of another." ~ George Bancroft (1800-1891)

        by JBL55 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 09:31:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Invisible Sexism (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    karmsy, SuWho, JBL55, JerryNA

    During the 2008 campaign, after the Wright business, Fr. Michael Pfleger, white pastor of St. Sabina's in Chicago, with a mostly AA congregation, railed about the "entitled" white Hillary Clinton in a sermon at his parish.  Neither he, nor the Mormon Romney, feel any shame about the exclusion of women from their respective hierarchies.  

    Religion is a business like any other.  Whatever they sell has to be palatable to the customers or they have to instill loyalty from birth to keep the support of the customers.  In addition, they have a recruitment program to bring in new customers.

    It isn't just Romney's Mormonism that has led to the lack of religious fervor amongst the Republicans in this Presidential campaign.  It is also the revulsion of many voters over the insinuation of religion into the debate over healthcare.  As usual, I credit Rachel Maddow for her reporting on the Family and the Catholic hierarchy for spearheading the media attention to their involvement in the political process.

    Don't look back, something may be gaining on you. - L. "Satchel" Paige

    by arlene on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 08:14:20 AM PDT

    •  Beware socially marginal, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JBL55, arlene

      low-status men. You find some of the most virulent sexism afoot in their ranks.

      If you're a man, you can be "low-status" because you are in a low-paid, low-status occupation, or you are older, or your skin is the wrong color, or some combination thereof. Because traditional "macho" ideology--to which you may well subscribe--is all about proving your superiority to somebody-or-other, well, you are still "superior" to any and all women, right? Hence, the lethal misogyny. Hence, its cynical exploitation by bad operators in some circles.

      It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

      by karmsy on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 09:27:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Highly recommend a read of 'Republican Gomorrah' (12+ / 0-)

    by Max Blumenthal which discusses in great detail the rise of such organizations like Focus on the Family, Liberty University, the sponsorship of Howard Ahmanson and the seminal leadership of RJ Rushdoony which brought about the conservative Christian movement and the alliance with the Republican party and why there has been so much forgiveness for the peccadilloes of Republican politicians.

    •  Interesting. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ammo Hauler

      The history of this phenomenon, the co-option of conservative Protestantism by political conservatism, in its most blatant form, goes back to 1980 or so. And it's really changed shape since its heyday. Now, as antibiotics are losing their effectiveness against infections they used to cure :) and so can't be taken for granted anymore, it's getting tougher and tougher for the political RW to co-opt Christian Evangelicals. Does the book document this shift at all?

      It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

      by karmsy on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 09:33:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Indeed it does, in fact the entire book is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        karmsy

        filled with fascinating insight into the symbiotic relationship of the religious right and the Republican party.

        The constituency of the religious right is afraid or uninterested in complex reasoning and thought.  The GOP found a way through their authoritarian style to appeal to these people.

        Everyone has heard of James Dobson, Ralph Reed, Pat Robertson, Billy Graham and many others of the religious right.  The book examines in detail how each came to play a role in the evolution of the GOP to the right-wing religious and racist organization that it represents today.

        •  These breathless diaries (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ammo Hauler

          on the rec list every so often (and a particular diarist hereabouts I won't name is a chief culprit) about "the rise of neo-hard-right-Christianity among the masses" drive me batty, because I don't feel that they take the historic context into full account. Namely, as a whole, Protestant fundamentalism is losing its efficacy as a political tool, due to inexorable and continuing demographic changes in recent decades.  

          It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

          by karmsy on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 12:12:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank goodness for that! n/t (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            karmsy
            •  Oh, the RW is in a royal pinch-- (0+ / 0-)

              don't think it isn't. The Kochs need a front operation of some kind  to sell their RW free markets (and to acclimate the masses to poverty). Sheldon Adelson, though he doesn't fully realize it, needs a front operation, too. Hell, the Family Values and Christian values stuff just isn't working the magic it used to, to get the medicine of austerity down. The angry old white guys who make up your base are dying out. The Hispanics, they hate your guts, and the kids coming up, they're just plain oblivious to your message. What the hell are you going to do?

              It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

              by karmsy on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 12:48:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Every time I see that name ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Freakinout daily
      RJ Rushdoony
      ... my first thought is that it's a satirical name for Rush Limbaugh, like Limp Gasbag.

      "The fears of one class of men are not the measure of the rights of another." ~ George Bancroft (1800-1891)

      by JBL55 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 09:34:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  In 2008, McCain supporters I dealt with were (12+ / 0-)

    relentless with the Wright/ Obama religious narrative. Today, when I bring up "Bishop" Romney's participation in the Mormon religion at the time when he knew of and accepted the church's position on the exclusion of blacks, they do what they can to avoid talking about it, some even claiming, hypocritically, that religion shouldn't be an issue.

    These people don't think. They are voting against Obama with a vengeance. I have come to the conclusion that they are doing so because he is black. They don't even care about Romney's policies, or even if he has any or not. They are going to vote against their own best interests to keep the black man from getting another four years in the White House.

    •  And one of many sad things about this ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JerryNA, exiledfromTN, Voter123
      They are going to vote against their own best interests to keep the black man from getting another four years in the White House.
      ... is that they are convinced it is in their best interests.

      "The fears of one class of men are not the measure of the rights of another." ~ George Bancroft (1800-1891)

      by JBL55 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 09:36:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It doesn't matter to them (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Voter123

      who the nominee is. Romney is simply a place holder for the MCP. The Monied Corporate Party.  He will do as he is told and the Right will march on.  

      Everyone! Arms akimbo!

      by tobendaro on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 11:04:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, Being Black Is Just A Cherry On Top (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Voter123

      The real reason for the Obama hatred is that he dares to be a Democrat.  The Right would hate any white Democrat running for President about just as much as Obama.

      The funny thing is they mock the Democrats who lose, i.e. Carter, Mondale, Dukakias, Gore and Kerry as girly men losers, while those who win, Clinton and Obama are the most evil ones who are hell bent on destroying our country.

      Poor man wants to be rich. Rich man wants to king. And the king ain't satisifed until he rules everything. B.Springsteen

      by howd on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 01:33:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It wasn't a "Hijacking" (12+ / 0-)

    It was a very Quiet, Behind the Curtain, Back Room Merger.

    The Church Hierarchy has always wanted a Political ally
    to restrain what it sees as the Evils of Liberalism.

    The main targets have always been Abortion, Contraception,
    and the Definition of "Marriage".

    The Republican party was happy to Oblige. The Church
    got to turn religious Dogma into Law. The Republican
    party captured a huge number of Non-Thinking Voters.

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 08:22:21 AM PDT

  •  I'm not convinced it's a veneer. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SuWho, JBL55, hungrycoyote, JerryNA, YucatanMan

    It's a pattern of deeply embedded irrationality. Religion may not be the cause, but it certainly doesn't help.

    "I wish you luck on not hating your parents for mixing up such an unthinkable person." --The frickin´ HP--

    by McWaffle on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 08:29:12 AM PDT

    •  On point, McWaffle (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hungrycoyote, JerryNA, YucatanMan

      Religion, itself, encourages delusional thinking. Always has, always will.

      There's nothing much wrong with a closed mind that a closed mouth wouldn't cure.

      by numi on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 10:26:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Did you see the Lawrence O'Donnell's (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lilith

      Rewrite last night on The Last Word?

      Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

      “Mitt Romney is the only person in America who looked at the way this Congress is behaving and said, ‘I want the brains behind THAT operation.’ ” — Tom Perriello

      by hungrycoyote on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 11:27:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Ascension of the Religious Right... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hungrycoyote

        to a position of power and influence in the Republican Party has got to give everyone pause. Your freedom and rights are at risk. If your freedom to practice your own religion, or none at all, if your political issue is gay rights, abortion rights, minority rights, science, school prayer, the Supreme Court, etc., they are all going to be effected by electing Evangelical Christians to office; including local, state, and federal. Don't underestimate them!

        Right Wing Watch

        The Republican Party has been taken over by the corporatists and christian fundamentalists. The corporatists will force you into poverty, and the christian fundamentalists will force you to live under biblical law; daily gruel and scripture for all.

        by glb3 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 07:31:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  good diary. everything in it is so true, too. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JBL55
  •  "...something so admirable be distorted..." (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JBL55

    "...something so admirable be distorted beyond recognition..."

    More than just painful.

    This is evil in action.

    Fight!  Expose this evil for what it is.


    The Fail will continue until actual torches and pitchforks are set in motion. - Pangolin@kunstler.com

    by No one gets out alive on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 08:57:38 AM PDT

  •  After years of studying (11+ / 0-)

    my former faith one of the many conclusions I came to is that this issue of whether Christianity is reflected by the nice God/Jesus or the mean God/Jesus will never be resolved because BOTH are in the texts. There is no true or right definition of what a Christian is.  Liberal Christians have this view of Jesus as a benign community organizing turn the other cheek tolerant guy. Sometimes he was and often times he wasn't .  He could be harsh, arrogant, mean, condescending, rude and closed minded, and I could find passages in the gospels to back up all of these.  Most of all, he threatened hell for those who did not want to listen to or agree with his preaching.  I find hell an immoral concept.  

    So this arguement about whether the left or the right within Christianity has the true slant on Jesus is useless to all of us and certainly gets in the way of approaching our political and social problems in a rational and reasoned ways.  Racism and bigotry in any form is wrong because it is immoral in the humanism sense, not in the religious sense. That is how I think we need to approach this rather than get drawn into the circular arguments of the liberal and fundamenatlist camps within Christianity.

    •  this. Exactly this. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      "I wish you luck on not hating your parents for mixing up such an unthinkable person." --The frickin´ HP--

      by McWaffle on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 09:02:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Right. For instance Republican Jesus refused (0+ / 0-)

      to heal the leper. He said it was a pre-existing condition.

      But seriously, you find the good, the bad and the ugly in the bible because the same array of personality types existed back then.

      But sticking just to the composite called Jesus, didn't he go through a mean phase when he thought the end time was coming at once, so he and his disciples had to preach in and convert as many towns as possible in a short time? But then when the end did not come, did he not go for a long think in the desert and become kinder and gentler?

    •  From Where I Sit, Jesus Was A Flaming Liberal (0+ / 0-)

      ... but that's just my opinion :).

      But I couldn't agree more with this:

      Racism and bigotry in any form is wrong because it is immoral in the humanism sense, not in the religious sense.

      Poor man wants to be rich. Rich man wants to king. And the king ain't satisifed until he rules everything. B.Springsteen

      by howd on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 01:45:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Romney may not be a racist, but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    exiledfromTN, skrekk

    he clearly does not feel comfortable around black people.

    -5.13,-5.64; If you gave [Jerry Falwell] an enema, you could bury him in a matchbox. -- Christopher Hitchens

    by gizmo59 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 09:08:53 AM PDT

  •  It's getting harder and harder (3+ / 0-)

    for the RW to dress its free-market nihilism up in "Christian" garb. More and more people, including more and more Evangelicals, just aren't buying what heavy-handed reactionary political elements are selling. Karl Rove and his followers can't work the magic they did in the 1980s, stocking the literature tables in the church lobbies and whatever. Folks who sit in the pews are becoming increasingly cynical about these moneyed interests' attempts to co-opt them.

    Two blocks from my home is what can only be described as a thriving fundamentalist Protestant congregation. They have Billy Graham books on the literature table. Their preaching emphasizes a literalistic interpretation of scripture. A few years ago, I attended a service there in order to determine if this church could be a suitable venue for one of our educational speakers for California's pending major healthcare overhaul (which hasn't happened as of this writing, btw). Anyway, this young minister, no exaggeration, was bashing WalMart from the pulpit. He was doing it as an aside to the theme of his sermon, in a "surely-this-is-old-hat-to-you-folks" tone.

    How far we have come.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 09:15:01 AM PDT

  •  They may be fishing in a smaller pond (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JerryNA, Freakinout daily

    but they are still winning due to redistricting, voter suppression, manipulation of the media and spending obscene amounts of money on campaigns.

    We aren't even close to being out of the woods.  I fear that by the time our numbers overwhelm their tactics, they would have succeeded in creating a fascist state.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 09:45:00 AM PDT

  •  The politics of racism (3+ / 0-)

    I think you wrote it beautifully, succintly, briefly and clearly. It is an ugly reality, and we must see it for what it is, confront it as it really is.
    I just returned from a trip that included a visit to the Muhammed Ali Museum in Louisville, Ky. While the museum celebrates Ali the boxer, it also celebrates Ali the fighter against racism and incorporates the words and lives of many people who joined him in confronting racism. I left the building in wonderment.

  •  Strauss's strained logic (0+ / 0-)
    "Perpetual deception of the citizens by those in power is critical because they need to be led, and they need strong rulers to tell them what's good for them."
    -Leo Strauss
    Does anyone else see what I see in the above quote from Strauss?

    For their own good, citizens must be deceived by those in power who will tell them what is good for them.

    Mmmmm....let's see...Do these people in power deceive the citizens before they tell them what is good for them or after?

    ---I think Leo Strauss was a stupid man.

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 10:19:22 AM PDT

    •  Leo Strauss was a political Platonist (0+ / 0-)

      He went by Plato's two manuals for oligarchical tyranny, The Republic and The Laws.

      The greatest principle of all is that nobody, whether male or female, should be without a leader. Nor should the mind of anybody be habituated to letting him (or her) do anything at all on his (or her) own initiative–to his leader he shall direct his eye and follow him faithfully. And even in the smallest matter he should stand under leadership. For example, he should get up, or move, or wash, or take his meals…only if he has been told to do so. In a word, he should teach his soul, by long habit, never to dream of acting independently, and to become utterly incapable of it.
         Plato, Laws 942d (350 BCE)

      It's all right there.

      America—We built that!

      by Mokurai on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 04:31:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you for sharing this with me. (0+ / 0-)

        I have a copy of Plato's The Republic which I refer to once in a while. The difference between my take and Strauss's however is the interpreting of the text. When I read the following for example...

        And even in the smallest matter he should stand under leadership. For example, he should get up, or move, or wash, or take his meals…only if he has been told to do so.
        ...I interpret "the leader" as one's own inner compass, or conscience to be followed, instead of living like an animal with no guidance from such an inner guide. Plato wrote metaphorically, using the govermental systems as outer symbols representing of an inner reality.

        If we are to take "For example, he should get up, or move, or wash, or take his meals…only if he has been told to do so" literally, then we are to think that Plato advocates complete disability (paralysis) which makes no sense. Because even a slave was able to move around (put one foot in front of the other) on his own accordance.

        Strauss may have been a "Platonist," but I doubt if he undersood Plato well.

        "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

        by zenox on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 05:57:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Race and a Heavy Heart (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JerryNA, Ishmaelbychoice

    First, eloquent, well-argued post.  

    Second, let me highjack it... a bit.  Perhaps a redirect is more accurate.

    What intrigues me about your post is the sense of regret you express at the end, the frustration you express at having to concede the Southern strategy's hidden endurance and resilience, even in the face of the demographic changes that (we hope) will doom the current edition of the GOP.

    I experience a related sadness around race, especially around the degree to which racism remains so stubbornly hidden and thus effective.

    If you pause to consider what the GOP has done since Obama's election, you really have to stand in awe (or cower in fear).  From ALEC's ascendance, Citizens United, the slew of bills against abortion/birth control/women's rights, the concerted attempts to deny the vote to the poor, elderly, people of color, the heretofore-understood-as-political-suicide attacks on Social Security and Medicare and on and on...  they're making their power grab.  They no longer veil their hatred of all things liberal.  Think about Romney's 47% or his Big Bird attack: the GOP has thought this stuff for generations; they're only now going brazen and for broke.  Even worse, the Randians are at the gate via Paul Ryan.  If they win, we will have a VP who thinks that there should be no public commons, a man who has authorized himself a moral enforcer who, in his Catholic-infused Randianism, decides who is a social parasite and thus deserves the weight of the security state as punishment.  You have to stand, again, in both awe and fear in how close they are to seizing power on every level:  they draft the legislation, they buy the elections, the own/spin the media, they can steal the election with ease if the races in swing states are in the margin of error.  They can undo every progressive gain of the American past.  Every one.  

    And they have means to do that with a candidate they mistrust, even despise.  A man who knows nothing but his own ambition and the pursuit of wealth, who lies like it's nothing--with no apology--because he only considers what is useful to him.

    And this candidate has 1/2 the vote.  

    Why?  

    Because electing the first black president has provided an unprecedented opportunity for the consolidation of the forces of reaction, fascism and corporatism.  It's made this dramatic shift to unreason both more rapid and more fierce it its denial of itself.  All of it.  Think about, as just one example, the explosive rise in membership in right wing militias and the equally explosive gun rush after the election.  From the moment Obama was elected, the hidden racial fear and resentment of unthinking white conservatives has afforded these opportunities to seize power and undo the 20th century.  

    And its hiddenness is essential to its power.  This is the paradox that makes me so, so heavy-hearted.  Every time this racism surfaces, every single time, the right capitalizes on the very reluctance Redneck Aeschylus voiced at the end of this post. It is regrettably racist.  No, it exploits racists but isn't racist itself.  Or, no, is it racist at all; let's debate that.  No, dammit, how dare you accuse us of racism!  It is masterful how each incident of exposed white racial resentment manages to further this argument that white racial resentment isn't something "good" people are willing to discuss openly in homage to a stubborn and misplace presumption, if not imperative, of white innocence.  No matter how many cartoons of Obama depicted as a monkey, no matter how many whites hang empty chairs from trees, no matter how many whites think Obamacare is a handout to "those people" or insist that Obama isn't "one of us."  Shit, those very people insist that even THEY aren't racist and oh how dare you suggest that they are!?!?!

    So, yeah: heavy-hearted here.  I think this often when I contemplate U.S. history, particularly progressive challenges since the founding:  it's always the fault line of race.  Always.

  •  The religious right is deeply involved in politics (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JerryNA, YucatanMan, skrekk, Paul Rogers

    And deeply involved in instigating hate.

    The email below was sent by a "parishioner" to Mikey Weinstein the President of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation where I am bit of an activist;

    Yesterday my church had a much attended discussion after the service about who in America is dragging our nation into literal hell. Along with Hussein Obama and some other traitors your name came up for being the clever jew leader of an organization dedicated to the Dark One. And to stripping our armed forces of the Power of Christ in order to allow the diseased Muslims and faggits to take control of America and the world. I have a request of Mr. Weinstein. Would you please just drop dead and save us all the trouble?
    Mikey gets tons of hate mail from such people.  It is clear what sort of discussions these guys hold after church at the church.  The American Taliban at its best.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 10:34:37 AM PDT

  •  while everyone is waving AYN RAND around its... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    howd

    really LEO STRAUSS that guides todays republican party...

    Many former Bushies were disciples of strauss, not rand...and these former bushies are advising Romney now...for real.

    "You've got to be an optimist to be a Democrat, and a humorist to stay one" - Will Rogers

    by KnotIookin on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 10:39:03 AM PDT

    •  Why Either/Or? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JerryNA

      Why is it either/or?  

      Paul Ryan passed out copies of Atlas Shrugged to all of his staff and has identified Rand as the foundational thinker of his politics, if not his life.

      You also cannot understand the Tea Party or Rand Paul's Presidential bid without knowing about the Randians.  

      There's no question that Cheney et al. are Straussians, but the changes in the GOP since the rise of the Tea Party indicate that the Randians are gaining power within the party's ranks.  

      I'd also argue that no follower of Leo Strauss is going to use Strauss's ideas to widen their political base.  Definitely not true of Ayn Rand.  Her views are especially persuasive to a particular kind of, at least to my mind, adolescent-like masculinity.  And to me they are especially dangerous because they make the "What's the Matter with Kansas" phenomenon quaint by comparison.  

  •  In Letter from Birmingham Jail (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JerryNA, YucatanMan

    MLK condemned the "moderate" Christian churches.  He was furious that they not only criticized the non-violent civil disobedience, but that they had failed to join actively in support of civil rights because it was their   duty as Christians to do so. He recognized their collaboration in
    maintaining the racist status quo.

  •  Family from the south (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JerryNA, exiledfromTN, Late Again

    My mother’s side of the family is from the south; the "back up in the holler, coal mine country" South. Her mother had seven siblings. My Gran moved north of the Mason-Dixon Line around the time she turned twelve after her mother passed. When we would go visit the family that stayed in the south I was amazed at the difference, even as a child. My Gran was accepting of all – no matter the race or religion and instilled that into us. My great aunts and uncle on the other hand were so racist that when my one G-Aunt would walk down the street, if there was a black person on the side walk, she’d knock them into the street with her cane and call them the n-word. I’m half Hispanic (Dad) and my mother and Gran told this side of the family that we were half Italian because being a ‘greasy deigo” was bad but not as bad as being a Sp*c. The cousins that are still down there are still just as racist and are raising racist children. Racism is taught. It is a way of life.

    •  Funny. I'm in the "back up in the holler, coal (0+ / 0-)

      mine country" South, now. (East Tennessee.) But I was born and spent my first years in Memphis.

      I definitely don't recall use of the n-word anyone in my family saying the word "nigger." (G-d dammit, use the fucking word. It's just a fucking word. Fear of an evil thing only makes it stronger. [JK Rowling.])

      Just once. A cousin of mine from Alabama used it, and my mother slapped his face.  That was in 1967. In Memphis. My mother, raised on a cotton farm in Mississippi County, Arkansas.

      The working poor haven’t abdicated responsibility for their lives. They’re drowning in it. -Ezra Klein

      by bubbajim on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 08:13:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This was my experience growing (0+ / 0-)

        up in Eastern NC. I only rarely heard the word and it was usually the same people. Open racism really seemed to vary widely between families.

      •  In 1966 in Nashville, the sheriff said of (0+ / 0-)

        a prisoner who had died in his jail, whose widow was suing, "Damned dead Nigger ain't worth but $10,000," and was astonished that this meant he couldn't be re-elected. I was there for Peace Corps training, including the cross-cultural exercise of checking out the local politics. We talked to a lot of politicians, high and low, and to a lot of concerned citizens of various stripes. I grew up in and around Newark NJ, so it wasn't that surprising to me.

        I also went into the Black YMCA downtown to ask whether that was still true, what the sign said. The manager said that it wasn't any more, but that he had not gotten around to changing the sign. Then he told me about the Civil Rights struggles and lawsuits of the 1930s that he had taken part in right there in Nashville.

        The struggle had been continuous but nearly invisible to most, from Abolition through Reconstruction and the sufferings of Jim Crow until it burst into the light in the modern Civil Rights movement. The struggle continues, and will not end any time soon. But the demographic shifts we see in the US mean that it is gradually going our way, to the despair of those racists and bigots who think it is taking us straight to Hell. Hence the increased vitriol, the louder and nastier screaming, as their numbers shrink ever more.

        America—We built that!

        by Mokurai on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 04:45:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Can Identify (0+ / 0-)

      I read your comment and it could have been my own.  My grandmother was horrible.  I knew that when I was 3, but don't ask me why I knew it. Fast forward 50 years and the family tree cousin, found out that our grandmother's family owned slaves and lost all their wealth in the Civil War. (the northern family was horrified! before that we had comforted ourselves with the fact that we had always been tooooo poor to afford slaves)   I still have family in Mississippi and Texas. Even the branches of the family who live in Missouri and So. Indiana are raving Baptist/Evangelical loons. We keep in touch as they are "normal" otherwise.

      What I find most amusing is their ability to compartmentalize  their religious/racists beliefs from everything else going on in their lives.  I think it's because they live in a community that insulates/empowers them.

      I have an brave agnostic member of my immediate family. Do you have any idea how hard that is?   Can you imagine how courageous their children have to be?  I watch in awe as those children, look others straight in the face and with respect say no thank you, I decline, I respect your beliefs - please respect mine.  They have been ostrisized, dis-invited and targets.When attacked, they calmy get up and leave - classes, extra-cirricular activities, and family dinners.

      i also find as some people age, the abiity to control themselves due to minor strokes, loss of judgement or even some crazy idea that they can say anything they want after a certain age passes down the insidious cell-level racism and the circle never ends.......and thanks to modern technology its easier to find each other and reinformce the ugly in the like-minded. Like revenge, it's something that will never be appeased or eliminated - only shamed.

       

  •  Well done in a straight-forward guide to the (0+ / 0-)

    evolution of the racism that lies just beneath the "religious right."  

    The words you quoted from Lee Atwater could have come directly from my father's widow (not my mother) except for them explaining politics.  She started out with the "n- n- n-word".  Then moved on to all the rest, but it is founded, fundamentally in Racism.  Outright fear of anyone not lily white. And protestant. And straight.

    Having lived in different parts of the nation, I've seen the variations you describe and you are on point.

    Oh, maybe you could have expanded here and there, but it's not necessary.  Racism is the basis of the right wing manipulation of the white vote.  

    After WWII, we had the "Red Scare" combined with the "Homophobia Scare," but the right wing -- read ultra-rich -- have long been scheming to manipulate people into destroying Roosevelt's New Deal.

    Economic exploitation is colonialist at its essence. People exploiting people.  It cannot exist when all people are recognized -- legally, morally, emotionally -- as equals.  

    So the wealthy exploit fears, drum up fears, manipulate people with scare tactics and dog whistles.  But underneath, it is all the same:  racism and "we know what's best for you" paternalistic economic exploitation.

    "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

    by YucatanMan on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 12:51:41 PM PDT

  •  I believed Obama would have (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluezen

    mopped the floor with McCain if R. Warren would have asked them about scripture or actual Christian tenets. Rick Warren is a coward and a liar on the world stage. I will never get over that one.
    Great diary. Thanks

  •  Thank you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    exiledfromTN

    Thank you for all of the kind words! This is the first real diary I've written in several years, and I'm so pleased that it generated some great comments and conversations. I hope to find the time for more writing in the future. I tend to be long-winded in my writing, so I tried to keep this one short and sweet - perhaps I'll go a little deeper with my next topic and see if you all can stand it.

    Best,
    -Thomas

  •  Very thoughtful (0+ / 0-)

    and incisive writing like this doesn't come to someone without a price. I'm sorry we all have to pay it, but then I have some good examples like yours to get over it. Thanks for saying to me what the others never had the courage to.

    Have you pampered your born-again? If you have, try.... www.getequal.org

    by teloPariah on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 01:47:49 PM PDT

  •  If Romney's not racist then he's worse.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    countwebb

    I read and commented on a Diary the other day that did not make the rec list, this diary deals with this issue from another perspective ( trying to explain the psychology of the GOP ) http://www.dailykos.com/.... My comment in that Diary applies here, I will never forgive the racists in the Republican party, the way they have reacted to the first black President is nothing short of evil.

     And when I hear I don't think he's a racist, well besides my head exploding I have to ask the obvious, Why hasn't he repudiated the racism he is using to get votes, of course the question answers itself. Anyone who claims not to be a racist yet uses racism as a tool to further their own agenda IS A RACIST, and is worse than the ignorant racist. Do I really need to explain why.

    Whoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture

    by nezzclay on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 02:22:04 PM PDT

    •  Your question is the question Jackie Robinson (0+ / 0-)

      asked Barry Goldwater in 1964. Same answer then as today. Anything to get elected, because what matters is the privileges of the ultra-rich, and those who can be conned into believing that they will have a share in those privileges.

      America—We built that!

      by Mokurai on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 04:47:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If Romney wins, racism will be a huge factor (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bubbajim

    I think what we have to contemplate regardless of who wins, is that the landscape is perhaps not as we thought.

    Progressives have a tendency to really not get what is going on with right wing politics and religion.

    It is not simple.  There is a vast cultural dismay that the way the world works is getting away from people in small towns and rural America.  Look where the red states are.  

    Religion is not about the words involved.  Taking it literally is a huge mistake.   A lot of people are pretty inarticulate and so the words in the Bible tend to provide words even if they don't really apply.  

    It is a social thing.  People huddle together to seek some sense of common shared plight in facing the world outside.

    This vulnerability can be exploited by people willing to do it.  The millions of dollars involved in setting up radio networks and think tanks and all the rest over the last several decades are aimed at figuring out how to move right wing culture in very subtle ways so that there aren't specific arguments but there are commonly held assumptions.  

    Progressives haven't done such a thing with a military sense of strategy or the money devoted to focused purpose. We do have a great amount of energy devoted to activism on a lot of fronts and we do have a lot of very articulate people.  

    What we hope to do is to move society forward in a realistic way so that we can best survive the problems with outcomes based on sound policy.  Conservatives tend to see all that as a scam and want instead to take us back to the fifties.  They insist this is possible and won't believe it isn't.

    So it really, at root is about a deep anguish at the loss of the good life in the suburban middle class fifties.  

    No, it didn't include blacks.  It all began to go bad when we went with Civil Rights reform, as well as the sexual revolution.

    That isn't anything Jesus talked about.  It is, however, what is really underneath all this.  Churches just happen to be a good way to find people in large groups that are amenable to being told what to do.

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 06:40:58 PM PDT

  •  Honey (0+ / 0-)

    I quit the catholic church when I figured out it wasn't about Jesus.  It was about being anti-science.  That shit was just too much for me to bear.

    “Muslim” is a dog-whistle code-word. Add a little lunatic Birther, Bircher and now Welcher to the brew and you’ve got Romney campaign surrogates like John Sununu dog-whistling that the president “needs to learn what it means to be an American,” is “lazy” and “not that bright”.

    I thought I was the only one who noticed.

    Just rolled my eyes at the ugly.  

    If you starve the middle class, whose gonna pay for your crap?

    by rosabw on Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 05:37:19 AM PDT

  •  Regressives hiding... (0+ / 0-)

    behind a burning cross.

    It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument.

    by GrinningLibber on Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 06:09:55 AM PDT

  •  I have been diarying about Dog Whistle Code (0+ / 0-)

    here for years, and maintaining a Code Glossary on dKosopedia. Feel free to reuse any of my material.

    Thanks for what you do. I propose to republish this in the Political Language and Messaging group.

    America—We built that!

    by Mokurai on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 04:52:24 PM PDT

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