This isn’t an attempt to paint docweaselblog as possessing any moral superiority over those with which we disagree. It is, however becoming more and more apparent that some very loud and influential rightwing voices are venal, dishonest and disgusting in their stands on some of the issues in which the country is embroiled.
docweaselblog has always been a fervent backer of President Bush, mostly over the War for Iraqi Freedom and his prosecution of the WOT, although we have criticized some of his decisions and methods, we recognize that he is doing a very capable job with an almost impossible task. We certainly don’t know anyone who could do a better job, and its hard to name someone who could even do as well.
However, this election season has exposed some of the execrable excess that the left has always imagined drove the right. Of course, we’ve always been involved in the pushback and righteous refutation of most of their crap. But lately, it seems like even the zanies at Kos and Atrios might have a point.
The heated, concerted backlash against John McCain since he has become the putative fron trunner and presumptive nominee for the Republicans has forced the docweaselblog to re-evaluated the affinity our editorial staff formerly had with Republican mainstream issues and the present atmosphere of the campaign for the presidency in ’08.
There can be honest political differences, but I find bloggers whom I previously respected backing Romney over McCain for, as far as anyone can glean from their arguments, purely personal reasons bordering on pique, resulting in a temper tantrum where they hope for the destruction of the GOP in retaliation for McCain’s ascendancy as the head of the party.
Idiots like Ann Coulter (whom I have always considered bad for the Republicans) take the idiotic stand of saying they’ll back Hillary over McCain, whose main sin is that he supposedly collaborated too much in helping the Democrats! That makes perfect sense, to a fucking moron.
Most of the new supporters of Romney are driven by their hatred of McCain than any real affinity for Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts who has never actually done anything for conservatives or passed any legislation that would be considered conservative (he helped create a disastrous state-run healthcare system, backed gay rights, was pro-abortion and pro-gun control, but he claims to have had a revelation and now is 180 degrees AGAINST those former stands.
Some are not really serious critics (like Ace of AOSHQ) and just seem to be blowing with the prevailing winds, but although a site cannot be held completely responsible for its commentator base, its hard to ignore the almost universally bigoted responses to the question of Mexican immigration rights versus the rights of Anglos and Europeans.
But even more rational and usually temperate commentators like the Captain from Capts. Quarters and Dan Riehl (in uncharacteristically strong language) are backing Romney, mostly because of their avowed distaste, bordering on rage, against John McCain, while refusing to confont very valid and important issues regarding Mormon bigotry against blacks, hate speech against Jews and Catholics (as well as other Christians) and the inherent sexism and repression of the Mormon cult.
The fundamental raison d’être of the Mormon Church is the core belief that no other Christian denomination whatsoever —- whether Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Congregationalist, Assemblies of God, Baptist, Anabaptist, you name it —- is valid. In fact, Mormons assert that there was no legitimate Christian church whatsoever, and therefore no legitimate Christians, virtually from the time the last remaining apostles died off at the end of the first century until the founding of the Mormon religion in 1830 by the self-proclaimed latter-day prophet Joseph Smith. They refer to this nearly 1,800-year interregnum as the “Great Apostasy,” which pretty much speaks for itself.
Here, in (Mormon founder Joseph) Smith’s own words, in “Pearl of Great Price,” a writing published by the Mormon Church, is the response he claims to have received directly from the mouth of God (my comments added in brackets):
“I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination [apparently, including the Nicene Creed and the Apostles’ Creed, the two most common summations of Christian belief] in His sight; that those professors [those who professed those creeds] were all corrupt; that ‘they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men. …'”
All Christian creeds an abomination? Every follower of an existing denomination corrupt? So much for ecumenical spirit — or even basic religious tolerance. This means, in Mormon doctrine, that the post-apostolic Roman Catholic Church has been apostate during its entire 2,000-year history; the Eastern Orthodox churches that split from Rome in 1054 also were and remain illegitimate; even the various denominations founded by the great Protestant reformers in the 16th century — Martin Luther, Thomas Cranmer, John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, Jan Hus — are all null and void.
In many media interviews with Romney over the last several months, reporters and interlocutors have tended to focus on the more exotic things such as the Mormon history of polygamy, the strange origin of the Book of Mormon and the belief unique to Mormons that Jesus Christ personally ministered to ancient Indian tribes in North America after his resurrection — and will return in triumph to the state of Missouri. These inquiries, however, while perhaps titillating, are mainly off the mark.
The far more critical and basic question is: Does Romney’s brand of faith and membership in the Church of Latter-day Saints require that he question or dismiss the validity of the Christian tradition, and the efficacy of baptism into their faith, of every non-Mormon adherent of Christianity who has ever lived since the end of the apostolic era? And does he?
In the last presidential election, I was a senior adviser to Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, who in 2000 was the first Orthodox Jew to be on a major-party ticket and in 2004 was the first to run for president. During his campaign, Lieberman was often asked this question by sincere, well-meaning Christians: As a practicing Orthodox Jew who clearly does not believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, would he allow the traditional White House Christmas tree in the Blue Room? (The answer? Of course, because it is a long-standing national tradition and the tree is not a religious symbol in and of itself.)
If Lieberman was queried about such a considerably less weighty matter pertaining to his faith, then I submit it is neither unfair nor inappropriate to expect a would-be President Romney to publicly state whether he personally believes, as does his church, that every non-Mormon Christian he would govern was invalidly baptized in an illegitimate church.
No right winger supporter of Romney will address those questions, most dismiss ANY debate or discussion of Mormonism as bigotry.
Further, what I call the Malkanite wing of the blogosphere is virulent rhetoric against Mexican immigrants, the fall back position being they aren’t against Mexicans, just illegal immigration. However, when you grant them that you too are for securing the borders, but that Mexicans should be afforded a cheap, fair and timely path to citizenship, you get arguments about how Mexicans will negatively affect our way of life, that they “refuse to assimlate” that there is no more in America for new citizens or that they are less than worthy to be Americans and they will have an overall deleterious impact on the US.
This dovetails with the unease docweaselblog felt when all the anti-gay rhetoric was steaming during the ’04 election. There was never a rational, coherent argument against gay marriage, just a drumbeat of bigotry and slander against gays, most alleging the only reason they wanted marriage was to piss off the straights. I didn’t agree with the Republicans then, and I was pretty disgusted with the gay-baiting employed.
I feel the same way about Mexican baiting, and spare me the common excuse that they don’t hate Mexicans, just illegal Mexicans. Bullshit. The argument you get right after “ok, lets secure the borders, and then let’s talk about a legal means of citizenship so they don’t have to sneak in” is that we don’t need no more immigrants (read: filthy fucking Mexicans) for the reasons stated above.
This, combined with the fact that so many far right bloggers, radio personalities and editorialists of influence have backed Romney while refusing to address the very real and disturbing concerns regarding his cult, and it is a cult:
Some critics refer to Mormonism as a cult (for a definition of cult in this context see Unmasking the Cults), for example, critic Richard Abanes claims the LDS church employs cult-like practices such as:
* “Us vs. them” mentality
* Authoritarian leadership
* Expelling dissenters
* Rigid controls over personal life
* Dismissing all criticisms as persecution
* Withholding information contrary to church teachings
* Deceptive recruitment techniques
Critics also cite the historical event Mountain Meadows Massacre and the Blood oaths in temple ordinances, which require death penalties for disobedience.
All this has led docweaselblog to question our affinity with the Republican party and its worst excesses. Of course, if McCain is the nominee, many of these merely opportunistic racists will certainly fall in line and start bashing Hillary. But there is a dark undercurrent of hatred and bigotry in the far right that more than confirms the left’s charges of racial prejudice, gay bashing, hatred and contempt for brown people in general, and the acceptance of a racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, repressive cultist as a nominee for political reasons.