About Me

My photo
This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The New Face of Prejudice -- By James Taranto, The Wall Street Journal

"If you want to understand why the government is shut down or why elected Republicans would even consider doing something as reckless as using a debt default to extract policy concessions from the White House--without necessarily even knowing which policy concessions they want--Stan Greenberg has a memo for you," writes Francis Wilkinson, a Bloomberg View editorial board member.

Of course if you begin with the supposition that Republicans are "reckless" and ignore the fact that debt-ceiling brinksmanship is nothing new, what you want is probably to have your prejudices reinforced, not to understand. And Greenberg does deliver. His organization, Democracy Corps, "issued a report this week on six focus groups conducted with Republican subgroups--two each with Tea Partiers, evangelicals and moderate Republicans."

According to Wilkinson, "the results somehow manage to be unsurprising and shocking at the same time." We'd say they manage to be utterly banal and unsurprising. The utterly banal part is that Republicans turn out not to care for Barack Obama--who is, after all, a Democrat and a highly partisan one at that.

The unsurprising part--the part Wilkinson finds "shocking"--is that some of them, specifically the Tea Party and evangelical Republicans, speak in rather harsh terms about the president. If Wilkinson actually finds this shocking, he must be about 17 years old, which is to say too young to remember how liberals (including elite ones in academia, arts, entertainment and journalism) spoke contemporaneously of President Bush.

According to Wilkinson, the Tea Party and evangelical Republicans' "default position" toward Obama "is essentially abject terror." In truth, some of the examples he cites are actually quite anodyne: "What is he really thinking?" asks one "Tea Party Man." Another simply says: "Background." An "Evangelical Woman" says, "His motives behind his actions," which would be a tautology if it were a complete sentence. An "Evangelical Man" says: "He wants to fundamentally change the country." If our theory is right, Wilkinson isn't old enough to remember that Obama himself said the same thing.

Admittedly, some of the comments are on the truculent side. Each of these is from an "Evangelical Man": "Not a US citizen. Supports Terrorists." "I don't believe he's a Christian. He's a tyrant." "He supports everything that is against Christianity."

Then again, isn't it possible that the Evangelical Men are on to something? Obama did, after all, describe as his "spiritual mentor" a so-called pastor whose most famous pronouncement was "God damn America!" That would seem to indicate a theological understanding that is at odds with that of most Christians, especially American Christians.

  (Click link below to read more)
READ MORE Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Post a Comment