Thursday, May 24, 2012

Repent - the end is near!

I am beginning to feel that the hysterics of the political and religious fringe this campaign season are an allegory of how the world will end - not  by solar storms, flood , fire or locusts but by shrieks and a torrent of mindless babbling as people discover  that the end is near.  Nowadays, the news cycle is not complete without more reports from one apocalyptic  dead-ender  or another that demons are descending upon our bedeviled planet. And a lot of it  is coming from people once thought to be sane enough to get elected.

From Arizona, for example, came word that the Republican secretary of state suggested he might keep President Obama off his state's ballot unless Hawaii provided irrefutable proof that Obama was not born beyond paradise.  I thought we had been there the last time.  Ken Bennett, the election boss, soon recanted but not before he moved to the top of the most-ridiculed list amid strong competition. The secretary of state, for God's sake!

Folks like Bennett have become desperate in sustaining the moronic  cult of birtherism.  He said he was merely responding to questions from his constituents.  That made no more sense than to revive the old myth that there are alligators sloshing around in New York City's sewers. (They're not?)  Oh, some diehard birthers want us to know in their end of days  scenario that Obama's real father was named Frank Marshall Davis, who, alas,  was a communist.

In Iowa, the so-called Republican Party has prepared a draft platform that calls for proof that a presidential candidate is a natural born citizen.  And they are so impatient to instill purity in the Oval Office they want the proof in time  for the 2012 election. The platform also wants to ban  money for Planned Parenthood, end stem cell research and eliminate all school activities on Sundays or Wednesday nights,  which they contend conflicts with Baptists'  prayer meetings.

(None of this will matter if the planet  disappears before the Republican convention in Tampa. We can hope.)

Alas, there''s more. Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.)  questions Obama's  birth certificate; Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) doesn't think  that Obama is American "in his heart". In North Carolina a preacher named Charles R. Worley has topped the list of homophobes by demanding that gays and lesbians  be penned up behind an electrified fence and  left to die, adding that Obama  was a "baby killer and homosexual lover." Other Obamaphobes  more gently refer to him as a "half-breed".

The hate pouring out of some pulpits and along the circuit  today could bend spoons.  No matter.  Who will need a  spoon when the lights go out on all of us, including the Rev. Worleys,  in the land of the free?



Mencken said...

They can put the "proof of birth" legislation in place as long as they have to use the same methodology to prove god exists.

Anonymous said...

Arizona is one of the first stops on the tea party/birther crazy train. The crazy (hypocrisy) is nowhere close to being done this election cycle.

Anonymous said...

I don't know whether to laugh or cry!

Grumpy Abe said...

I understand that Plan B is to challenge the constitutional validity of adding Hawaii to the Union.

David Hess said...

Quite apart from the risible loonies who either declaim as you noted from pulpits or from the House floor, consider the Republican candidate himself who on various occasions has simply spouted outright falsehoods about the incumbent President. For instance, take Romney's oft-repeated calumny that under Obama "federal spending has accelerated without precedent in recent history." Two highly reputable and non-partisan analysts, comparing Obama's record with chief executives going back to and including Reagan, have put the lie to that . Those analysts have put the range of growth in Obama's spending between 1.4 and 3.3 pct., depending on whether one includes George W. Bush's initiatives still in effect as he left office in 2009. In Bush's first term, e.g., spending growth rose annually by 7.8 pct.; in his second term, by 8.1 pct. Between Bush II and Reagan, rates of annual growth in spending far exceeded the Obama rate, with Reagan coming in just below Bush II, followed by Bush I and Clinton, in that order. Then there is the conservative think tank, Heritage Foundation, that issued a list of 10 occasions in which Obama was alleged to have made public "apologies" for the United States. A review of those so-called apologies clearly shows that they were not such at all, yet Romney and his supportive right-wing lobbies continue to mouth them -- mainly to red-meat audiences that are ready to believe that Obama is a foreign-born communist bent on upending capitalism. One would believe, perhaps naively, that the planet's oldest democracy by now would be immune to such obvious slanders. But such immunity requires a citizenry that pays more attention to the way it's governed than to who's going to win the next TV singing contest.