Sunday, January 25, 2009


As I read about Republican objections to the Obama stimulus plan, not just from the people you'd expect to be zealots, such as John Boehner, but also from recent right-wing dinner companions of Obama like Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer, and David Brooks, as well as a guy a lot of people thought would be an Obama ally, John McCain, I'm reminded of a sentence I read in an article about Pope Benedict's decision to reinstate four far-right bishops, one of whom is a Holocaust denier:

A theologian who has grappled with the church's diminished status in a secular world, Benedict has sought to foster a more ardent, if smaller, church over one with looser faith.

That sentence accurately describes not just Pope Benedict but every prominent member of the Church of Reagan and Limbaugh, otherwise known as the national Republican Party: they all regard themselves as theologians; they all know their respective churches are less influential than they used to be ... and on every issue they inevitably come down on the side of whatever gets the looniest, most extreme church members pumped up, and moderates can go hang.

Benedict champions extremists who opposed Vatican II -- and if one of them is a crackpot ant-Semite, well, tough. Prominent Republicans champion champion tax cuts as the Alpha and Omega, tax cuts uber alles, and if the economy collapses ... well, tough. The thinking is the same.

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