Onward Christian Soldier. . . 

Freedom is on the march?

Ehhh. . . not so much.

Returning to a non-Domenech subject Christy brought up earlier, Tony Perkins, president of the theocratic Family Research Council, said some things on Hardball last night sure to make Unka Karl’s special muscles tighten.  I’m giving you my own transcription from the video available at Crooks and Liars, because the official MSNBC transcript omits an interesting slip of the tongue (highlighted in italics):

We went over to relieve them of their oppression, set up another administration, another regime, (and) it appears now that (it) is just as hostile to religious freedoms, or just as hostile to human rights.  We bear responsibility for that, and what is concerning, Chris, about this is that their constitution, in the wording of giving deference to Sharia law, is very similar to what is in the Iraqi constitution, and. . .

Let me be clear:  I served in the Marine Corps.  I reenlisted for the first Gulf War, but I would say that the resolve of the American people will not long stand if they know that they are giving their sons and dollars, their sons and dollars (sic)… daughters to die for just changing the names of regimes.

This is a HUGE story for the wingnut theocratic base of the corrupt Republican establishment.  I won’t link to them, but they’re talking about it at hate sites like freerepublic and Redstate. Because of all the disaffection among members of its "governing" coalition, the foundations of the conservative establishment haven’t been weaker in decades.

BushCo. is losing the support of its base for its Global War on Terror™.  As Perkins points out elsewhere in his Hardball appearance, this is a "culture war" to them, which is 21st Century lingo for the contemporary theocratic crusade. With serious doubts surfacing about the ability of the American crusade to deliver the theocratic goods to the base, BushCo. has real trouble.  These divisions will be clear during the ’06 midterms and even clearer in the runup to the ’08 Republican presidential nomination.

It has not been a good week for the theocrats.   In the wake of all the publicity surrounding Kevin Phillips’ book, American Theocracy,the party that can’t handle the truth is being exposed to sunlight.  More and more, people are picking up the rock for a little look-see at all the creepy crawlies underneath.  What are they finding?  Naked, antidemocratic extremism, lust for power and hatred for those who oppose them.

Currently, political and economic pressure is forcing Afghanistan to create a figleaf, declaring christian convert from Islam Abdul Rahman to be insane and therefore unfit for trial.  But it won’t make a difference.  Once he is released, he will be killed.  The clerics are calling for it, and they’re quite aware of this fact over in the extremist hate fever swamps.

The lesson here is one the crusaders, neocons and many elected Democrats refuse to acknowledge:  you cannot change cultures at gunpoint.  The military is good at killing and destroying.  That is its job.  Nation building, when appropriate, is the job of nations, coalitions of nations and civilians, while sustained, peaceful engagement is far more effective in influencing cultures over the long haul.  The Cold War was won without invading the Soviet Union.  Bush lost Iraq the minute he decided to invade, which as Helen Thomas helpfully reminded us this week, occurred before he ever took the oath of office. 

Before I wrap up, let’s take a quick look at Perkins’ Freudian slip in my transcription above. People like Perkins and Dobson are political operatives who lead their christian theocratic orc hordes, but they are just as much aligned with the big corporate robber barons who form the other key part of the corrupt Republican establishment.  That’s why Perkins slipped and said "sons and dollars" instead of "sons and daughters."  Helpfully, MSNBC omitted this slip from its official transcript.  MSNBC is, after all, an important pillar in the conservative establishment media.

What does Perkins’ slip betray?  Just this: for the opinion elites and money men who bankroll the corrupt Republican establishment, the people who die don’t matter, except insofar as they serve as helpful propagandistic tropes and sound bites.  Money, on the other hand, matters very much.

PS (to Ben):  Now is a good time to do a thorough life review.  Your political friends have abandoned you, and those who haven’t yet, will.  Your parents set you up for a life based on lies.  The most personal writings on your own blog betray a young man filled with inchoate confusion lost behind a make believe identity. 

Time to grow up and deal with your confusion.  No need to be the best little boy in daddy’s world anymore:  your reputation is ruined.  Stop lying, misdirecting and whining.  David Brock came to the light; you can too. 

I’m not saying you’re gay.  Contrary to what your fair weather defenders allege, I’m unaware of any claims from our side that you are.  But you’re not an authentic person either.  There’s more than one kind of closet.  I for one am hoping you can put your life together. 

UPDATE:  Ben, Ben, Ben.  You’re not off to a good start.  But then, you haven’t had time to see how toxic you’re going to be once they finish their last round of rallying to your side, which is more about themselves than it is about you.  Hat tip to John Casper in the comments. 

UPDATE II: Well, this is a fair apology.  A much better beginning.  Good luck, Ben.  I hope you find your way.  And when you do, you’ll have to confront the extent to which the policies you advocated supported a war of aggression and vilified those who dared question it.  Then you can figure out how you can work to promote greater, life affirming social and political progress.  But you’re young; you have time.  Take it.  I’m rooting for you.

Graphic by Pachacutec.



Pachacutec did not, as is commonly believed, die in 1471. To escape the tragic sight of his successors screwing up the Inca Empire he’d built, he fled east into the Amazon rain forest, where he began chewing lots of funky roots to get higher than Hunter Thompson ever dared. Oddly, these roots gave him not only a killer buzz, but also prolonged his life beyond what any other mortal has known, excluding Novakula. Whatever his doubts of the utility of living long enough to see old friends pop up in museums as mummies, or witness the bizarrely compelling spectacle of Katherine Harris, he’s learned a thing or two along the way. For one thing, he’s learned the importance of not letting morons run a country, having watched the Inca Empire suffer many civil wars requiring the eventual ruler to gain support from the priests and the national military. He now works during fleeting sober moments to build a vibrant progressive movement sufficiently strong and sustainable to drive a pointed stake through the heart of American “conservatism” forever. He enjoys a gay marriage, classic jazz and roots for the New York Mets.