Friday, November 20, 2009

(and other thoughts on wingnut dissent)

Do Obama-era wingnuts owe a big stylistic debt to Bush? Greg T. thinks so. Here's what he says in comments:

George W. Bush was the worst president ever -- eat his dust, James Buchanan! -- but he may have inadvertently done one good thing for the Republic: make the majority of his stupid supporters (including La Palin) so full of themselves, that they aren't able to function properly in a political system where some form of compromise is required. Even if your name is Bush.

Hmmm -- maybe that's right.

Though Greg adds:

At least this would be a good thing, as long as Teabag Nation can't get away with the next step in its descent to madness: violence.

I tend to think that's the direction this is heading in, but what seems to be holding the teabaggers back is that the president and congressional Democrats haven't really done anything. (Imagine the late '60s and early '70s if we had cautious, conciliatory presidents who kept thinking about sending half a million troops to Vietnam, but never actually did it.) And it's not at all clear that the Dems are going to get anything on their agenda passed -- and I mean anything -- thanks to the obstreperousness of teabag-inclined politicians (i.e., every Republican plus Lieberman and the Blue Dogs). Even the crazies seem willing to hold their fire when none of the Signs of the Last Days, i.e., Obama agenda items, ever get to a signing ceremony.

And if anything passes, the next step will probably just be nonviolent -- a simple muleheaded refusal to comply. Hell, there are plenty of towns in this country where they just pray in the public schools and don't care who knows it. We know the Tenth Amendment crowd thinks it can nullify health-care reform (hello, Rick Perry and Tim Pawlenty). I assume that would be the reaction to just about any big Democratic agenda item. That might keep the violence at bay for a while.

And speaking of nonviolent resistance, there's this in The New York Times today:

Citing the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s call to civil disobedience, 145 evangelical, Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christian leaders have signed a declaration saying they will not cooperate with laws that they say could be used to compel their institutions to participate in abortions, or to bless or in any way recognize same-sex couples.

"{We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence," it says.

... The document was written by [Charles] Colson; Robert P. George, a professor of jurisprudence at Princeton University, who is Catholic; and the Rev. Timothy George, dean of Beeson Divinity School, an evangelical interdenominational school on the campus of Samford University, in Birmingham, Ala....

Yeah, I know -- it's hard to imagine these pink-skinned old bastards, who usually don't do anything more vigorous than deliver a sermon at a megachurch or do VIP-box duty at the St. Patrick's Day parade, leading sit-ins and going to whatever might be the 21st-century liberal-fascist equivalent of Birmingham Jail. But I think the right will have some sort of nonviolent-civil-disobedience phase if there's ever anything to nonviolently resist, if only because of the right's deep envy of the '60s left.

I can easily imagine the right making a hero of some brave refusenik who won't participate in "ObamaCare" even though he's dying of cancer -- just as, a few years down the line, I can imagine wingnuts choosing to die rather than avail themselves of embryonic stem cell treatments. And these people will be the great heroes of the right.

What the religious leaders will do about, say, gay rights is another story. If Don't Ask, Don't Tell is repealed, are we going to see aging cardinals lying down in front of troop trains? And pouring blood on (computerized) military personnel records? I'm kinda looking forward to that, just for the absurdity of it.

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