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The Republicans' Deal With God

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by Batman Jones, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. Batman Jones

    Batman Jones Contributing Member

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    http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2009/jun/17/ensign-fallout-could-weaken-gop-efforts-rebuild-pa/

    Ensign fallout could weaken GOP efforts to rebuild party at state, national levels

    Analysis: Republican emphasis on faith could backfire when conduct fails to meet ideals

    By J. Patrick Coolican
    Wed, Jun 17, 2009 (2 a.m.)

    The Republican Party didn’t make a deal with the devil.

    It made a deal with God, or at least people who said they were God’s representatives — a certain class of very political and ideological preachers.

    The deal, engineered by Republican operatives such as Lee Atwater and Karl Rove, went like this: Be against gays and abortion and for prayer in the schools, and in return, those preachers would proclaim the GOP the party of God and deliver millions of suburban and rural voters — enough to win elections for three decades.

    But the deal carried a risk: Any behavior by Republican officeholders or public figures that seemed at odds with a certain kind of Old Testament morality — a tryst in an airport bathroom, a painkiller addiction, a sexual harassment lawsuit — and voters might feel betrayed and manipulated.

    And the deal would collapse.

    The risk is surely now outweighing the reward, if the past few years are any indication. As Nevada’s rising star Republican Sen. John Ensign acknowledged an affair with the wife of a top aide who was also a friend, Republican Party fortunes in Nevada and nationwide — already at their lowest ebb in 45 years — fell still further.

    Ensign has never been like other Nevada Republicans, who have tended to come from the libertarian wing of the party. Ensign is a proud social conservative.

    “The problem is, he’s another one of these Bible-thumping Republicans,” said a Republican operative who asked to remain anonymous to speak candidly about the situation.

    “When you take the social conservative banner, there’s a higher level of scrutiny on these kinds of things,” he said. “The public comes down a lot harder on people who carry that banner,” he added.

    American social mores have become more tolerant in recent decades, and in the process, voters have become more accepting of different sexual orientations (see Rep. Barney Frank); drug use (see Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama); and extramarital affairs (see President Bill Clinton.)

    But there’s still one unforgivable sin: Hypocrisy.

    “People have survived extramarital affairs, but he’s got a hypocrisy problem to deal with,” said another Nevada Republican operative who was granted anonymity to speak candidly about a fellow Republican. “He’s got a serious hypocrisy problem.”

    During his first Senate campaign in 1998 against Sen. Harry Reid, Ensign called for Clinton’s resignation in light of his acknowledged affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, saying Clinton “has no credibility left.”

    Now we know that Ensign had an affair with a member of his staff. He also betrayed the woman’s husband, a close friend who also worked for him — not unlike San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.

    Recall that Republicans like to use “San Francisco values” as an epithet.

    Ensign also must now account for his prior defense of “traditional” marriage. In calling for a constitutional amendment to ban gays from marrying, he said, “Marriage is an extremely important institution in this country and protecting it is, in my mind, worth the extraordinary step of amending our constitution.”

    Ensign was head of Senate Republican election efforts last year, an effort that failed badly. He tried to get Sen. Larry Craig to resign his seat after the Idaho Republican pleaded guilty in 2007 to soliciting sex from a man in an airport bathroom.

    Ensign called Craig “a disgrace.”

    A few months later, Ensign’s own affair began.

    His news conference Tuesday was like so many others, now almost routine political theater, involving fallen public officials. The head-down contrition. Pledges of solidarity and forgiveness from the wife, though in this case, he had the good sense to leave her at home.

    Though, as usual, Ensign was tanned and without a hair out of place, he looked shaken and sullen.

    “I know I have deeply hurt and disappointed my wife, Darlene, my children, my family, my friends, my staff and all of those who believed in me,” he said.

    The numbers do not lie. Fewer than one-quarter of Americans identify themselves as Republicans, according to recent polls. The Republican Party needs to consider a new deal because this one with the religious right is failing.
     
  2. Rocketman95

    Rocketman95 Hangout Boy

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    i know you're not surprised.
     
  3. pirc1

    pirc1 Contributing Member

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    Why do politicians want people to live the way they talk but not the way they live?
     
  4. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    My anger here isn't with the GOP at all. It's with Church "leaders" who would so equate the Church and the Gospel with a political party and it's ideology.

    Disgusts me beyond belief.
     
  5. thegary

    thegary Contributing Member

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    power corrupts
     
  6. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
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    The hypocrisy is bad but even during the heyday of the religious right wasn't there already a lot of hypocrisy and the movement kept on going. What has brought it down recently seem to be more of a perfect storm of things besides with the failure to live up to their professed morality being just one of the many factors.
     
  7. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    i hear ya.


    the "king" we point to rode into town on a donkey, not a war horse. he washed the feet of his followers. his concept of victory was his own death. he was the exact antithesis of religious and political authority....yet, we believe he was far more authoritative.

    that's the power i would hope that people who come in the name of the church...particularly its leaders...would be pointing to and seeking to imitate.
     
  8. thegary

    thegary Contributing Member

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    impotence, as in abraham's fealty = power of jesus.
    but, we live under a blighted star IMO.
     
  9. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    this would be better said over a beer, because i didn't understand it....can you restate your point??
     
  10. VooDooPope

    VooDooPope Love > Hate
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    my god wouldn't strike deals with slimeball politicians
     
  11. thegary

    thegary Contributing Member

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    i'm saying that it is an imossibility to expect people to be abraham. not saying that's what you want, but the kind of ultimate power you are speaking of is one of total submission or a self-imposed impotence.
     
  12. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
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    Not trying to pick an argument but just curious about what role you see religion, particularly Christianity, playing in the public sphere? Should there be a role for Christianity in politics?

    I'm wondering about your opinion as both a a lawyer and a devout Christian.

    I had a similar discussion with some people a few years ago regarding what role Buddhism should play in a society. It seems to me that for someone to live absolutely up to the dictates of Buddhism, as espoused by Sakyamuni, you would have to withdraw completely from society.
     
  13. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
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    Abraham also had sex with someone besides his wife. If I recall correctly many of the great figures of the Bible like David and Solomon all also had flaws.
     
  14. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    a life spent serving other people....living out of love instead of out of fear of scarcity. that's what i'm TRYING for. make no mistake, i'm not there.
     
  15. rhester

    rhester Contributing Member

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    Has anyone noticed?

    GOD DEALS WITH REPUBLICANS

    so much for getting away with hypocrisy

    all who throw stones at republicans should take note
     
  16. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    I can't separate God from an sphere of my life. There is no good translation in Hebrew for the word spiritual...because to them, everything is spiritual. (credit, Rob Bell).

    In my business dealings...in my house...in the voting booth...at the supermarket...whereever...it's all spiritual. I can't turn off the fact that I'm trying to imitate Jesus when I walk into the office. Please understand, that doesn't mean I do a good job of it. It just means that you treat people with respect....with love...with compassion...even when, and maybe especially when, that's most difficult.

    If Jesus is the model, then you don't withdraw from society, you engage it. In all its ugliness. In all its rawness. You find ways to speak into it with love. Not to point fingers and condemn it....but to partner with God in its redemption. Where there are no friends...be a friend. Where there are only fathers and no dads...be a dad. Where there is despair...be hope.

    Yes, all of that is weird...and freaky...and different. Truthfully, if it weren't, then it probably wouldn't be of God to me.
     
  17. El_Conquistador

    El_Conquistador King of the D&D, The Legend, #1 Ranking
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    Batman, do you have a problem with Christianity?

    I really doubt you are Buddhist -- at least I hope you are not. Are you aware of their concept of 'karma'?
     
  18. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    I think guys like Sean Hannity, O'Reily, the Church establishment, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove - have really turned a lot of liberal and moderate Republicans off.

    I mean, you watch this crap or listen to the speech and it literally just makes you laugh and ask, "Do they think people are this naive?"

    And it turns out, only 25% of the country is.
     
  19. thegary

    thegary Contributing Member

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    not as freaky as catching yourself on fire. that's hardcore
     
  20. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    yeah, i try not to catch myself on fire too often. only during lent and after extended periods of lust.
     

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