Thursday, December 21, 2006

Goode, Ellison, and Who Gets to Decide What is American

Normally, I try not to cherry-pick an instance of Republican lunacy and use it to bash other Republicans over the head. That is one of the favorite techniques of right-wing punditry, and achieves its most refined form when the protagonist then goes on to demand that others criticize or condemn the offending party.

For example, some Democratic city council person in some tiny little town says that we ought to require the Bush twins to participate in the front lines of their father's optional war, and suddenly you hear the vast right wing noise machine, backed with the full weight of the corporate media, howling in protest, and demanding that every clear-thinking, upstanding Democrat must disavow and condemn this outrageous assault on the Bush twins. And the Senator of Sanctimony, Joe Lieberman, leaps across the aisle to hug and kiss his Republican friends, and comforts them in the face of this outrage, and calls upon his fellow Democrats to do the same.

That's the way it works. And the debate shifts from whatever serious topic was being discussed to whether all Democrats have sufficiently distanced themselves from someone nobody had ever heard of a week ago.

Well, I'm not going to use Republican Congressman Goode's racist nonsense like that. I'm going to assume that most of the Republicans out there are as disgusted as I am by this idiot's suggestion that Muslims can't be real Americans, and that we need to close our borders to LEGAL immigration of those whose religion we do not share.

Instead, I'm going to ask all of us - Republicans and Democrats - to think about exactly what "values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America" we really wish to preserve. Honestly. Stop reading. Close your eyes. Think about it for a few minutes. What values and beliefs traditional to our country do we want to preserve? Racism? Xenophobia? Manifest Destiny? Tolerance? Democracy? Freedom from an inquisitive and intrusive goverment?

After you spend a few minutes thinking about who we are, feel free to condemn Goode if you want. But only if you mean it.


Anonymous Anonymous Me said...

OK, Goode's an idiot. As to the nominal topic of your post, I completely agree.

The real topic, however, the alleged tactic you describe, is far from the "favorite techniques of right-wing punditry." It is, in fact, a favorite tactic of the left. Proof of same is the fact that you engage in that very tactic even as you condemn it. Hypocricy, look in the mirror.

BTW - good to have you back on-line. Even when you're wrong. Again.

12/21/2006 8:31 AM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

Dan, you asked about values and beliefs traditional to America. Values and beliefs are things in which we have an emotional investment. They are not the same as laws. It is not in my nature to compromise any of my values and beliefs easily. Religion is among the most emotional of values and beliefs. Traditionally, America is a Christian nation and a highly religious one compared to European countries. Of course, Muslims are religious people also, but in most Muslim countries their religion rules their way of life legally, politically, and socially. That's what sets us apart from them.

In the case of Ellison, there is no law which prohibits him from swearing his oath on the Koran; however, he has demonstrated to the public that he is willing to stand by it as he exercises his politics on behalf of the American people. In my mind, that bears watching, because my values and beliefs are definitely not in agreement with ISLAM. I wouldn't have voted for him, but the people of Minnesota did and that is their right and it is his right to serve them.

I'll not comment on the Bush twins or your views of Lieberman other than to say I don't agree.

12/21/2006 11:00 AM  
Anonymous Missourimadness said...

American Christians act more like whores every day. Who are we to question anyone else's religious values when we've abandoned ours to hatred of anything that is not WASP?

12/21/2006 11:36 AM  
Blogger les said...

Goode makes me wish I believed in hell. The notion that anyone sees his attitude as even remotely American saddens me immensely.

12/21/2006 1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Given the fact that the actual, legal, swearing in of the newly elected congress is a group event without any hands touching any books makes this whole thing just stupid.

The whole "hand on a bible" thing is an optional photo opportunity that occurs after the "real" swearing in. It's totally bogus and self-serving. So who gives a crap what book they use?

They could use the Koran, The Whole Earth Catalog, The Hobbit, Tom Sawyer, or The Happy Hooker. It makes no difference.

Plus, politicians in general don't seem to have had their behavior skewed much by touching a bible. Hell, they can do that by accident while reaching for the Astroglide at the Motel 6. Damn those Gideons!

Travel - "Traditionally, America is a Christian nation". Eh, true and not true. The founders were Christian, no doubt. But they came here to found a country based on Freedom of Religion. That means you can believe whatever you want here. They opened the can't shut it now because you don't like what comes in.

Conservatives despise "activist judges who legislate from the bench". Fine. That means you can't restrict people's religous affiliations or lack thereof. Because the First Ammendment very clearly states that.

If you want "strict constructionist" judges who don't view the Constitution as a living, breathing document, but ones who limit judicial interpretation to the meanings of the actual words and phrases used in law, and not on other sources or inferences, then you have to live with this:

Amendment I - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791. Note

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That's pretty clear. No mention of Christianity there.

He can use whatever book he wants for his photo op.

12/21/2006 6:59 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

To clarify, Travelingal, I'm not saying the Bush twins should go to Iraq. I was holding that suggestion out as an instance of left-wing lunacy.

As for Lieberman, we'll have to agree to disagree. I think he's a Bush-kissing sycophant.

12/21/2006 10:18 PM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

The bottom line is we vote for the person and the issues. We base that on our beliefs and values. In some cases Christian beliefs are the same as Muslim beliefs. In other cases, they are different. Those who are of different religions or no religion have their own beliefs and values which determine their votes. So...back to Dan's post, he asked about values and beliefs TRADITIONAL to the United States and that's how I answered.

I don't really care about Ellison and I don't really care about Goode. I think I disagree with both of them. And, I'm very happy we have freedom of religion as opposed to most Muslim countries where such things as homosexuality is punishable by death and ISLAM is the state mandated religion. Ok??????? lol

12/22/2006 10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's funny that someone who doesn't like Muslims is called a racist, but someone who can't stand Christians isn't.

Not funny "haha", more like funny "hmmmmm".

12/22/2006 11:20 AM  
Anonymous Rhymes With Right said...


Don't you understand? To the PC liberal, all beliefs and religions are equal -- except for Christianity, which is the source of all evil in the world.

12/23/2006 10:33 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Emaw and RWR,

You are delightfully far from sanity. People who hate Christians are not racists, but they are bigots. It's not okay to hate Christians.

Insane fundamentalism is a source of evil - Christian, Muslim, or whatever brand you prefer.

12/23/2006 2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'll just sit here and wait quietly for the irony of that statement to sink in.

Hmm, hmm, hmm. Doo dee doo dee doo.

Got it? Cool.

12/25/2006 7:46 PM  
Blogger dolphin said...

The founders were Christian, no doubt.

Do what?

Some of the founders were Christian. Most of the most influential of them were more along the lines of Deists and Unitarians. One could argue that Thomas Jefferson was even "anti-christian" as he called those with belief in the trinity and Jesus as a deity "Platonists and mystics."

12/30/2006 2:26 PM  
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