Thursday, September 17, 2009

They’re both chickens

Did Siggy see zis, I mean this?

Vut, Lieschen?

It’s a post about the most recent release of Uniform Crime Reports:

A Smart Politics analysis of the recently released 2008 Uniform Crime Reports finds that red states across the nation have both higher violent and property crime rates than blue states, across several measures of partisanship.

Yah, Siggy saw zat.

Well, the author of the post raises this question:

So here is the chicken and egg question: are states with high crime rates electing Republicans because the GOP is perceived to be tougher on crime and thus are more likely to take action to fix the state's crime problems, or are Republican policies to combat crime proving less effective than Democratic policies and thus resulting in higher crime rates?

So, which is it, Siggy?

Bah. They’re both chickens.

I don’t follow you, Siggy.

Both ze higher crime rates and ze voting for Republicans are ze consequences of ze real egg: ze people in zese areas.

You mean that more criminals are Republicans?

Nah, nah, grasshopper! You are zo thick, zometimes! It is wery difficult, maybe impossible, to zay how zese tings are related, but one is almost certainly not ze cause of ze other.

Well, vut, I mean what, is the the explanation, then?

Maybe zere isn’t one. But ze evangelical Christianity probably has zometing to do with it. Here’s Max Blumenthal talking recently to Scott Horton:

If [psychologist Erich] Fromm were alive, he would point to Dobson as the modern realization of the “magic helper” who “promises excitement and offers a political structure and symbols which allegedly give meaning and order to an individual’s life.” Fromm would also recognize in Dobson the sadomasochistic tendencies that he says are essential to the authoritarian character–the simultaneous drive to hurt the weak and worship the strong.

Max is talking about ze evangelical Christianity zat animates the Republican party zese days, especially in ze South. It isn’t just ze crime issue: it’s abortion, gay rights, teen pregnancy, divorce, infidelity, and ze list goes on. Blumenthal goes on to describe ze “personal crisis” mentality zat feeds into evangelical Christianity and ze modern Republican party. Ze Republicans want to be ze party of God, not merely ze crime fighters.

It vuz a pretty neat trick, actually, zis Southern Strategy, but now it threatens to swallow ze whole Republican party.

But what about the extra crime?

Vell, ven you’re Ted Haggard, Mark Sanford, or John Ensign, you explain your transgressions by saying zat you just stepped away from God for a bit and you’re powerless to avoid evil on your own. Ze devil made me do it, so to speak. Za zame explanation vorks for a lot of people.

No comments: