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Damn It All!

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Hearst Newspapers columnist Helen Thomas has taken on the quest of Diogenes in seeking a sign that "the American people to refuse to be shamed any more."

At least one US citizen has reached that point, noting in her comments that "I don't think people realize how far down we have been taken in the last 7+ years since the coup of 2000."

New York Times Op-Ed Columnist Bob Herbert is on a similar quest, observing that the entire political process has become thoroughly warped by histrionics and asks, "Are we in the news media going to be serious about this election, or is it really going to be all about Wright and race all the time?"

Considering that the campaign has already descended into the gutter, the short answer is: WRIGHT! David Swanson presents his view on why Hillary is participating in the race-baiting game while asking, "So, why does the corporate media behave as if it's still a contest (Here's a video of Chris Matthews admitting the media's role in this farce), and why does the independent media obediently fall into line?

There's independent media operating in America? If there were, one might think that these questions would not be asked by those within the industry, and Joan Vennochi of The Boston Globe wouldn't be wondering why the coverage of Bush's Terror War Against Terror was relegated to the back pages while the latest on the James Raven Revisited campaign stole the headlines. Said headlines remain focused on Obama, Hillary, and Jeremiah Wright. But what news of the GOP's participation in the revelry?

According to New York Times columnist Frank Rich, the Great Hope of Eternal White Supremacy is fading fast, and the Republican Party knows it. The eventuality that American Caucasians would cede numeric dominance has been politically known since the 1960's. When Lyndon Johnson lamented that his signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would cause racist Whites to bolt to the GOP after decades of clinging to the Democratic Party as the only alternative to the destroyer of The Southern Lost CauseHe knew well of which he spoke. These irrationally terrified folk became the nucleus of Richard Nixon's "Silent Majority" in an attempt to stave off the inevitable loss. To maintain influence with this group, the GOP thus used every advantage in defense of White Privilege, including religion.

Former Missouri Republican Senator John Danforth, an Episcopal priest, told Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne that for years the role of the religious right in Republican politics "did not get enough attention," in part due to so much of its activity being beyond public purview.

Dionne goes on to pose the stumper as to whether the media "will be just as tough on false prophets who happen to be white and right-wing." If this is to happen – and I doubt that it will – then the time is now ripe.

David Michael Green presents a thorough examination as to why John McCain has to be the luckiest politician in human history due to additional factors beyond racial fears. As the last Republican candidate standing, he will benefit from a disciplined political machine which is "congenitally incapable of running anything other than a vicious campaign."

Viciousness seems to be what the current version of Republicans is made of. Take John Hagee [PLEASE!]. He endorsed John McCain on Feb. 27, which was accepted gratefully despite John Hagee declaring "God Damn America" in a manner similar to Jeremiah Wright – if for different reasons. John Hagee also wrote on page 150 of his 2006 book Jerusalem Countdown: A Prelude To War that "America's role is to get nuked by God".

Cenk Uygur has found a hate sermon by Reverend Hagee in which he "is shouting maniacally at poor people to 'Starve!' and encouraging others to die before they compromise on (Hagee's view of) Christianity." Uyger concludes by asking, "Will McCain give a similar 45 minute speech explaining his relationship to hateful evangelical preachers like Rev. Hagee?"

I doubt it! I'm quite certain that neither Mr. McCain nor his camp knew anything then about Mr. Hagee's views – NOT!

But, despite the "conservative" corporate ownership, there seems to be a little honesty leaking out of the Information Gulag. In the mien of Chris Matthews' mea culpa cited above, Newsweek's Richard Wolffe revealed on MSNBC that he believes that "in some ways, John McCain is getting a free ride."

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  • Dan Miller

    Realist,

    A cogent, well written article. I may have additional comments later, but for now — do you remember the old Pogo cartoon strip? In it, one of the characters, Pogo himself, as I recall, said We have found the enemy and it is us.

    News, whether TV, radio or the rapidly (I almost said vapidly) vanishing newspapers have a primary purpose, which is to get ratings and sell advertising time. They give us what they think we want, and the process is self perpetuating. The more crap we get, the more we want and the more they supply.

    It is sad, but I think it is true.

    Dan

  • JTS

    Realist,

    The problem that the press is overlooking with the right’s religious ties is that there are powerful political implications. The religious right is deeply involved in our politics. Look at Bush’s stances in RU486, abortion (including its ties to foreign aid), supression of scientific research, attempts to teach pseudo-creationism in the classroom, stem cell research, etc.

    What is worse, a religious affiliation with a minister who will cost votes (Obama), or political affiliation with ministers (and their voting blocs) that will deliver election-deciding votes to a candidate. Fear the religious right; they have real power and they are not shy to use it.

    -JTS

  • Ruvy

    I think that people like Hagee and Wright are full of shit, and no matter how many “halos of holiness” you put on the stuff, just because it shines in the sun doesn’t make it anything other than shit.

    But my beliefs aside, this election is rapidly becoming a contest over which idiotic pretender to the American throne can line up which goyisher preacher to back him up.

    I believe in and maintain the Jewish vision for the Redemption of Mankind, and in this Redemption many will die – including Jews. But I do not hold with all the Christian millennial garbage that sells like hotcakes in the States. Christians can delude themselves all they wish – they’ve been doing that for two thousand years. It is irrational to expect them to change now. But Jewish prophecy is coming true, whether I like it or not; and usually I don’t like it.

    Realist, your big problem is not that you can’t dig up facts; it is that you dismiss the truths of religion altogether. That is foolish.

  • Leslie Bohn

    Ruvy as usual is expressing one of the great universal truths of religion: Mine is correct; yours is wrong, and probably evil.

    The idea that Ruvy’s secret Jewish Da VInci codes predict anything is hilarious, though, although I don’t want to inspire another asinine fantasy explanation of how the frequency of letters in a certain section of the Talmud predicted the Asian bird flu.

  • bliffle

    Until we diminish the importance of religion and superstition in our lives people will be susceptible to these crackpot religionists.

  • jamminsue

    Dan Miller – Pogo was right
    Leslie – sooo right!
    Biffle – good point.
    I attended an event recently where the speaker was a political refugee from Iran, who counseled us “Fear the Fundamentalists!”