It seems that Eugene Robinson has some company for worst op-ed writer for the Washington Post. Now, it would be all to easy to ridicule this latest entry from Kathleen Parker – and that’s precisely why I am about to do it.
As Republicans sort out the reasons for their defeat, they likely will overlook or dismiss the gorilla in the pulpit.
Three little letters, great big problem: G-O-D.
I’m bathing in holy water as I type.
Well, if you want to say that the GOP has a problem because it has affronted God with their backing down off of core principles, you might have a point there. But I don’t think that’s what Kathleen’s getting at.
And the bathing in holy water comment – might seem humorous to you, but not only is it not funny, but a tad offensive. But, by all means, please continue on your flight into Sullivan-esque dementia. It’s entertaining in a perverse sort of way, and it gives me something to blog about.
To be more specific, the evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP is what ails the erstwhile conservative party and will continue to afflict and marginalize its constituents if reckoning doesn’t soon cometh.
I’m not really sure what the worst thing about this paragraph is. Of course the thesis is tragically flawed, but Parker is not really saying anything different than what other “brave” “conservative” commentators have been saying over the past couple of months. No, what’s particularly horrendous about this paragraph is the failed attempt at wit. The puns are flying fast and furious, but in all honesty this is more wince-inducing than reading a high schooler’s English journal. At least with the high schooler you can kind of laugh at the lame attempts at humor, but at this point you almost feel like you have to call the police and lock this woman up before she inflicts more damage on the English language.
Simply put: Armband religion is killing the Republican Party. And, the truth — as long as we’re setting ourselves free — is that if one were to eavesdrop on private conversations among the party intelligentsia, one would hear precisely that.
What the hell is “armband religion?” Is that another really lame Parkerism? Stop it already before someone gets hurt. Seriously. And what party intelligentsia is she talking about? I guess I can see Kathleen Parker at one of those cool cocktail parties. She’s the one pretending to keep up with the conversation because she wants to be with the “in” crowd. They’re probably conversing in that sort of academic language that no normal human can understand, and she really has no clue what they’re saying. But they throw in a couple of jabs at those “Christianists,” and her brain slowly churns in order to decide how to turn their jabs into a delightful pun that she can suavely place in her next column. Meanwhile they ask for her opinion, and she throws back some words she thinks they want to hear. They politely nod and go back to ignoring her. Meanwhile she thinks, “Score! David Frum totally likes me.”
But they need those votes!
So it has been for the Grand Old Party since the 1980s or so, as it has become increasingly beholden to an element that used to be relegated to wooden crates on street corners.
Wow. Can you smell the condescension? Remember folks, Kathleen Parker is your intellectual superior. All you crazy G-O-D people need to go back to your crates so the enlightened can go back to the business of pretending to be conservative.
Short break as writer ties blindfold and smokes her last cigarette.
This is seriously one of the worst written columns I have ever read, and I don’t even think I am halfway through it. Reading this tripe has got to get me a few years deducted from purgatory. But please, carry on my wayward martyr.
Which is to say, the GOP has surrendered its high ground to its lowest brows. In the process, the party has alienated its non-base constituents, including other people of faith (those who prefer a more private approach to worship), as well as secularists and conservative-leaning Democrats who otherwise might be tempted to cross the aisle.
Interesting observation. Too bad it’s based on a fairly innaccurate assessment. Is there any left-wing columnist lamenting the fact that the Democratic party attracts an inordinate share of the vote of people who don’t even have a high school diploma? Well, maybe not in public, because that would be kind of silly. Insulting your base is generally not thought to be a really smart vote getting device. As to low-brow, well I am not really convinced that the GOP has cornered the market on appealing to the lowest of the low.
Here’s the deal, ‘pubbies: Howard Dean was right.
It isn’t that culture doesn’t matter. It does. But preaching to the choir produces no converts. And shifting demographics suggest that the Republican Party — and conservatism with it — eventually will die out unless religion is returned to the privacy of one’s heart where it belongs.
Yes preaching to the choir doesn’t work – except when it does, as it did especially in 2004. But let’s address the idea that religion is something that belongs to the “privacy of one’s heart.” Funny. When I go to Church there are other people there. Lots of other people there. Should we be ashamed to gather togther and so publicly worship the Lord? Ah, you say, that’s not what Kathleen is saying? No, then what is she saying? Religion is not a private matter. Sure, one can worship as one wants, but that’s really nothing more than saying that each person has the right to be as religious or irreligious as they desire to be. But for those of us that are of a religious bent, are we to turn off our religious feelings like some sort of faucet when we talk about politics? One’s faith ought to inform one’s politics. This is not to say that we have to go around converting everyone to our religious views, but only that our religious inclinations will guide our political philosophy – that is, if our faith truly has any meaning. The idea that we can simply divide ourselves into “private” religious beings and “public” political persons is nonsense.
Religious conservatives become defensive at any suggestion that they’ve had something to do with the GOP’s erosion. And, though the recent Democratic sweep can be attributed in large part to a referendum on Bush and the failing economy, three long-term trends identified by Emory University’s Alan Abramowitz have been devastating to the Republican Party: increasing racial diversity, declining marriage rates and changes in religious beliefs.
Ahh, those pesky religious conservatives. If only we had fewer of those conservatives who believed that their faith and their politics should somehow be intertwined. We need fewer whackos than those men like Abe Lincoln, William F. Buckley, Russell Kirk, and Ronald Reagan who based their political thought at least in part on their religious values. If only we can follow the guidance of astute political philosophers like Kathleen Parker who have done so much to influence the Nation.
As for those troubling trends – is not religion the answer to the latter two problems? We have a decaying culture that is witnessing families break up and people turning away from fundamental moral values, and the solution is to cave in and dismantle the very thing which can address these concerns? Makes sense to me.
Suffice it to say, the Republican Party is largely comprised of white, married Christians. Anyone watching the two conventions last summer can’t have missed the stark differences: One party was brimming with energy, youth and diversity; the other felt like an annual Depends sales meeting.
With the exception of Miss Alaska, of course.
Even Sarah Palin has blamed Bush policies for the GOP loss. She’s not entirely wrong, but she’s also part of the problem. Her recent conjecture about whether to run for president in 2012 (does anyone really doubt she will?) speaks for itself:
“I’m like, okay, God, if there is an open door for me somewhere, this is what I always pray, I’m like, don’t let me miss the open door. Show me where the open door is…. And if there is an open door in (20)12 or four years later, and if it’s something that is going to be good for my family, for my state, for my nation, an opportunity for me, then I’ll plow through that door.”
Let’s do pray that God shows Alaska’s governor the door.
Ahh, here we go, Miss Parker’s white whale. In the end, it all comes down to Sarah Palin – an attractive woman that conservatives actually care about. It all comes down to a petty vindictiveness that has so colored Parker’s judgment one almost feels sorry for her. But not too sorry.
And so it goes on and on, and Parker ends on a note that really is a different subject – demographic diversity. Parker seems ignorant of the fact that an awful lot of non-white people attend Church. A lot of those non-white Church attendees happened to vote in California to pass Proposition 8. One would think that such an event would give one pause before writing a column deriding the G-O-D faction of the Republican party.
But that would require a greater level of brain activity that Kathleen Parker possesses.