Sunday, July 03, 2005

Are Democrats Good? Are Republicans Evil?

Howard Dean said, earlier this year, that we are in a struggle between “good and evil” and Democrats are “good.” I happen to agree with what Howard Dean said on the following level.

You cannot have Republicans run a Presidential campaign where they say that the issue is that the Democrats are going to subvert the Bible, that they are evil people, and let the issue of evil in the Republican Party go unremarked upon. What is evil anyway? If the Republican Party can say that policy differences are actually battles between good and evil, and if voters agree with that approach, who is to say the voters are wrong?

If the Republican Party can go throughout the Bible Belt saying that I am evil and about to burn in hell, why can't the Democratic Party respond in kind? Since Democrats have not spoken in those terms since the 1960s, Dean's broaching the subject may have been clumsy.

However, until Democrats are able to say to each other that the atmosphere of intolerance that pervades large swatches of the Republican Party is evil, then they will not be able to say it to the country as a whole. What is intolerant in the Republican Party position that may be classified as evil? Let’s just take the news of the week:

The part that says Democrats are anti-religious because certain Democrats objected to anti-Semitic behavior at the Air Force Academy. [Actually, the investigation began in earnest when an Air Force cadet -- the Jewish son of a Reagan official -- got tired of being called a “f----g Jew” every day, in formal settings, and brought the matter to the attention of his father.] The strong implication made by the Indiana Congressman was that Anti-Semitism is so important to Christianity, that preventing Anti-Semitism is tantamount to government suppression of Christianity.

The part that says child molestation by Catholic clergy in the so-called "Blue States" was understandable, since an environment where Democrats and secular freedom were tolerated was bound to lead to a clergy where pederasty and fondling was tolerated. According to the Pennsylvania Senator, even the most devout clergyman is powerless against what he apparently believes to be the kryptonite of freedom.

The part that says that marriage is such an important sacrament that it can not be offered to gays, but still rails over the fact that Hillary Clinton has never divorced the “sumbitch”,

The part that says that the lawyers in the Senate who made a big spectacle of passing a cynical, empty law on Palm Sunday, not in an attempt not to save Terri Schiavo (which they could have easily done by drafting the law differently), but to continue to rile their supporters and increase their fundraising are good, but the judges who read and interpreted the Palm Sunday statute as a nullity should be impeached or worse?

The part that says marriage is such an important sacrament that Michael and Teresa Schiavo’s marital rights, anyone’s marital rights, can be abrogated whenever Jeb Bush and Bill Frist read a poll result?

The part that says that the state can tell you when you can choose to die, when you can have an abortion, when you can do medical research that may cure you of Alzheimer’s, but cannot tell you to move your house 6 inches for multi-million dollar compensation?

The part where the President’s closest advisor gets to say that anybody who breathes against the war is a liberal who is destroying the war effort (and is by implication un-American), but (if today’s blogosphere is to be believe) is not destroying the war effort when he outs a CIA agent? (Can you imagine? It is possible that Judith Miller of the New York Times is going to jail to protect Karl Rove. Can you imagine Brit Hume going to jail to protect Karl Rove?)

The part that says that a Supreme Court justice ought to be killed [and we’ve been through this one fellas – references very available on request] for looking to European precedent to attempt to justify a holding against the death penalty, but expects these same “strict constructionist, intent of the framers, constitution-in-exile” judges to make holdings on matters such as euthanasia, the death penalty and takings, on no law or precedent at all?

The part that says that Alberto Gonzalez is unfit to serve on the Supreme Court because he is too liberal – because he attempted – one time – ONE TIME -- to look at the law in reaching a legal decision?

Maybe some of these things are just wrong-headed policy choices, maybe some of them are part of the debate on good v evil. Howard Dean raised these issues as a Democratic family matter, and it was really none of the Republican's business to comment on them.

P.S. --- From where we sit on the Democratic side of the aisle -- the entire 2005 political season has been devoted to the needs of rich white Christian males to the exclusion of everything else. Howard Dean pointed that out. It was bad p.r. -- because a lot of rich Christian white males are writing heavy checks to the Democratic Party, and those people may think twice now. Doesn't make it untrue.