Monday, August 22, 2011

4800 tea-stained Iowans cannot be wrong

At least according to Jason Lewis. Lewis says that Bachmann's win in the Iowa straw poll -- fueled by a more-or-less bribed fringe element of an increasingly fringe Republican Party -- signals that the "silent majority" has spoken. This "silent majority," Jason?
Washington Post photo
The tea baggers, who we were assured early on were just interested in the "tax stuff," have been revealed for what they really. I'm going to let Lewis describe it, and even admit it:
Millions of Americans who have seen their social norms vanquished on the alter of an absurd political correctness. Their social conservatism is branded as bigoted, fringe and, of course, hateful, but they no longer care, they've had enough. 
That's what Bachmann represents -- a leader who will make, if nothing else, a last stand for traditionalism. Someone willing to unapologetically declare that, all things being equal [my emphasis], children need both a mom and a dad.
Equality, now that's a concept, Jason. It's too bad you have so little actual regard for it. Bigotry and prejudice based on race, religion, ethnic origin, and gender were (or in some people, still are) social norms, too, but at some point the legal tide turned in each case. This is probably the American story: minorities making their case -- and ultimately winning it -- for equal treatment in society and their own place in the sun. It is truly one of the glories of America.

Every time there is the smallest advance in social justice, you can always depend on people like Lewis and Bachmann and some cleric somewhere to be pulling hard on the other end of the rope. One of the earliest examples I can think of is the Apostle Paul f/k/a Saul, who as we all know, is the New Testament's principal gay hater, not Jesus, not the Gospel writers. (Paul didn't like marriage especially either; he seems to have been just a cranky misanthrope.)

We'll lay the gay-hating Paul aside for today and consider his advice to Titus. Titus was Paul's pal, and a protégé, and Titus was running the show in Crete, where things had apparently gotten a little rocky. In about 63 CE, Paul sat down to write a letter to give Titus some advice.

After calling the Cretians uniformly liars, he went on to take one of the new religion's first anti-equality stands:
Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them. Titus 2:9 NIV
Paul was full of this sort of kindly advice.

And there's been a string of people using religion ever since, wielding the cross as a cudgel to keep people down. Michele Bachmann and Jason Lewis are on the end of that string; Bachmann because she flagrantly panders to people's bigotry using the Bible, and Lewis because he's a enabler.

But even Jason Lewis has figured out that the game is already up. Even he calls it Bachmann's last stand.

Oh sure, there will be pockets of resistance to be stamped out on the gays rights and marriage issue, but one day they will.

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